Small sink hole in front lawn

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Old 07-01-17, 11:13 AM
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Small sink hole in front lawn

Not sure if this is right place to put this question. I am in PENN. About 3 yrs ago a small depression developed in the front of house, It is now about 13ftX9ft and about 9 in deep. Have any idea or where to find info?
 
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Old 07-01-17, 02:53 PM
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Hi Bob, not sure if you are in Pennsylvania or NY but anywhere near the oil drilling would concern me.

How old is the house?
Any history as to what was there before the house was built?

In many cases it is just the soil settling, possibly a swimming pool was removed, but nice to find out.

Bud
 
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Old 07-01-17, 02:59 PM
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It is/was common when houses are build for the builder to dig a big hole and throw much of their construction debris in. Then they cover it with dirt. It usually takes about 10 years before the wood underground to decompose enough for the ground above to slowly sink.

Another option is that you may have a water or sewer leak which is washing away the soil underground. Most often these tend to be smaller unless you have a large sewer main running under your yard.
 
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Old 07-01-17, 04:57 PM
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Where a tree was and the roots are now rotting.
Where an old oil tank, or septic tank was and it's now collapsing.
I'd just fill it in and plant new grass and see what happens.
 
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Old 07-02-17, 04:04 AM
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The house was built about 35-40 years ago in northern PA. NO oil,gas tanks plus no swimming pools removed. Maybe a tree when house was built. I was thinking of filling depression with small gravel (like stuff used on some drive ways) and topping it off with dirt. My big questions would be if a depression is 13ftX9ft and 11 in deep,how much gravel would I need. I am hoping that the small gravel would slow down any migration of water with the dirt on top of it. If it holds for another 10-15 years I might not be around to worry about it than.
 
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Old 07-02-17, 04:17 AM
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Has the depression been slow occurring or did it appear rather quickly? If slowly, like over years then I'd say settling as others have mentioned. If quickly, like months or weeks, I'd say something more serious like PD mentioned.
 
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Old 07-02-17, 04:28 AM
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I would not use stone to fill the hole since it's so shallow. I would just fill it with dirt.
 
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Old 07-02-17, 05:59 AM
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Could also be a good time to do a little landscaping. When you are done it would be good if that was not a low point where all the water in the yard was draining to. That's another reason to not use gravel as it would encourage surface water to sink in right where you are hoping not to.

Bud
PS 13' x 9' x 11" is about 4 yards, more if you need to raise the entire area.
 

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Old 07-02-17, 01:44 PM
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My parents have a spot like that at their house. Every 8-10 years they have a load of dirt brought in to level the area. I assume eventually it will stop but so far it's needed two toppings to fill in the depression. The area gets driven over weekly with a 1'500 pound lawn tractor when mowing so there doesn't seem to be any danger. It is rather annoying to have to re-do that section of lawn every ten years though.
 
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Old 07-03-17, 06:00 AM
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Depression

Could also possibly be a septic leach field in which the porous material has decayed and settled.
 
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Old 05-10-18, 04:24 PM
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I would....

..start to ask some old timers in the town if they knew what was in the area before your house was built. Could also look for some old land maps at city hall. Might indicate the previous use of the land. Most likely is a old septic field or cesspool that is compressing
Not to scare you but I had relatives near Pitcairn and they always talked about the old mines in the area that are were no longer used and causing problems. They knew where most were because they worked them.
Just a suggestion, take a good strong rod and drive it into the center of that depression. See if it is hollow underneath.
 
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