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Old 09-16-2007, 11:08 PM   #1
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?


Hi, I live in an older home, and on the outside there are 4, 4" sewer pipes that run up from the basement floor to the top of the foundation on different sides of the house. They protrude to the outside, where they are cut off as elbows. They are filled with concrete. I've also seen these on other older homes, and always wondered what they are. Does anyone know? I've always just imagined it had something to do with keeping a pressure balance to keep stink from the sewer from getting into the house.


Last edited by shub; 09-17-2007 at 10:29 AM. Reason: added pictures
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:27 AM   #2
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?








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Old 09-17-2007, 11:07 AM   #3
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?


I would say that the gutters originally discharged into the sanitary sewer through these pipes. That is no longer allowed so the pipes were sealed.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:13 AM   #4
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?


Ohh, if that's true I guess that was pretty obvious. That's really interesting. Do you know why they would have set them up that way in the first place? It sounds like it must have been an awful overload on the city sewer system even back then.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:24 AM   #5
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?


I guess the developer figured he might as well use the sewer system to get rid of all water from the home since it was cheaper than installing a storm water drainage system. And maybe the waste really wasn't treated all that much by the city back then (straight to the river?) so they didn't care. But it sure won't work now.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:30 AM   #6
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?


hhm, good point. thanks for posting back, appreciate it.
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:34 PM   #7
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?


My old house has a Cistern that those pipes led into to store water before city water was installed.
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Old 09-18-2007, 08:11 PM   #8
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?


They would look great with a flower pot on top.
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:44 AM   #9
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?


Gregad makes a great point. Those might lead to a cistern rather than the sanitary sewer.
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:25 AM   #10
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?


A cistern? Like bucket and water? How would that work, I am having trouble envisioning it.

Although I should note that I am pretty certain it goes into sewer, considering my washer's waste is in line with it.
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:36 AM   #11
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?


As in big tank. Usually concrete or masonry and underground though I once saw a huge steel cistern in the attic of a very big old house.

The idea of a cistern is to collect rainwater off the roof as a water supply.

Hopefully your washer doesn't discharge into a cistern.
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:21 PM   #12
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?


Well, I examined the pipes and they all converge to sewer, as was evident after following the sink pipes, and the toilet waste pipes into the basement. Although the idea of a cistern is interesting. Would this be something that would be outside, in the basement? I just doubt my house is old enough to have not had running city water... but I don't know, it was built between 1910-1930.
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:17 PM   #13
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Concrete filled sewer pipes outside?


When those were installed all the sewage probably went to the same place, your local river. No one cared if the extra rain water went there also. Now that all that water goes through a treatment plant it cost money to process rain water. They don't want that unnecessary expense.

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