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#3522345 - 12/30/13 11:51 AM 14" wide sinkhole
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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Anyone have some tried-and-true tips for managing a slowly expanding sinkhole?

I've been occasionally putting soil in it when it was considerably smaller, which generally prevented me from accidentally stepping in it, but a big rain event early in the month has caused it to widen considerably.

I would guess it's a foot deep, and about 14" across. It's in between my house and my neighbor's house, not in a location I would suspect houses any water/sewer lines (but I might be wrong!). Rain runoff runs diagonally across my front yard, and a lot of it seems to point in the direction of the hole, so I believe that is the culprit.

I've read advice about using concrete, and others that say not to. Any advice?

FYI, it's about 8 feet from the side of my house, so I don't believe my foundation is in any danger.
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#3522685 - 12/30/13 03:52 PM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: Crosshairy]
Diehard Hunter
CRAMP
12 Point


Registered: 08/01/08
Posts: 6980
Loc: East Tennessee

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Better find out what is causing it before it causes problems with your foundation. The soil is going somewhere. If you don't find out where, your foundation may be damaged in the future.
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#3522730 - 12/30/13 04:40 PM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: Diehard Hunter]
plinker22
16 Point


Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 12880
Loc: Mountians of East Tennessee

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I would hate to find "and size" sink hole that close to my house. Like DH says, investigate!
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#3522797 - 12/30/13 05:26 PM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: plinker22]
MickThompson
4 Point


Registered: 08/09/06
Posts: 291
Loc: Cookeville, Tennessee

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I have seen 18" sinkholes turn into a 35 foot abyss in a matter of months. Talk to a qualified engineer/geologist before your upstairs turns into a basement!
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#3523708 - 12/31/13 09:05 AM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: MickThompson]
LA man
18 Point


Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 20845
Loc: spencer, tn/houma, la.

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Fill it in and sell the place
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#3524075 - 12/31/13 12:33 PM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: LA man]
landman
10 Point


Registered: 11/15/09
Posts: 2746
Loc: TN & Western KY

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Don't put dirt in it!!!
if your going to fill it us big rocks at the bottom then smaller near the top.
But I have it checked out, go look under your house NOW,
sounds like you are in a subdivision, if your in the city limits call building and codes or the street dept, if you have run off going across the yard there could be a storm drainage easement on the lot lines, if you got a survey it would should that
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#3524318 - 12/31/13 02:59 PM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: landman]
duckriver
10 Point


Registered: 12/24/13
Posts: 2635
Loc: River Bottom

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I'm curious to a solution to. After the major flood a few years ago we have some bad ones. One is so large we were riding 4wheelers and a buddy of mine thought he was about to split a large mud hole open and actually buried his foreman in it. Nosed dived right into it. Nothing but back rack sticking out.several smaller ones have popped up around it.
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#3525120 - 01/01/14 06:03 AM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: duckriver]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16954
Loc: Allardt, TN

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You could make a grout mix with portland cement and bentonite. I have seen it done in my line of work inspecting sinkholes but Im not sure about legality/permits/etc for a citizen pumping that grout in the ground. That can be pumped in and volume measured untils your grout starts coming back up...that can give you an idea on the size of the void. If you keep pumping grout in and it doesnt come back up pretty quick, then you know for sure you have an issue. 8ft from your foundation is very close... I would be concerned if it is found to be a sinkhole and not just settlement from some construction activity.
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#3526267 - 01/01/14 08:35 PM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: Crosshairy]
DaveB
10 Point


Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 4764
Loc: Shelby County

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As mentioned, the dirt has to go somewhere. Must be an easement for a storm/sewer pipe. See if there is a manhole cover in the street that lines up or is close. I'd get County folks in right away. And yeah, 8 feet is really, really close. Keep us posted.
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#3526453 - 01/01/14 11:26 PM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: DaveB]
TAFKAP
14 Point


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9856
Loc: Memphis

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Get it checked out, quickly. One of our old neighbors on Mud Island had a similar situation. $10,000 later and a 10' deep hole, they discovered their house's main sewage trunk going into the city sewage never connected. Every toilet and every sink drained out into the dirt underneath his house. Best we suspect, the graders dislodged it before the slab was ever staked out.
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#3528511 - 01/03/14 12:40 AM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: Crosshairy]
Rob R.
12 Point


Registered: 04/25/11
Posts: 6191
Loc: Collierville TN.

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I know I'm late to this dance but is the hole on the same side of your house as the utilities?(gas or electrical meter) What age is your home? I see your in Bartlett. City of Bartlett's engineering dept. might be of some assistance to you.
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#3540886 - 01/10/14 03:43 PM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: Rob R.]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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Rob...good questions, and I've thought about the utilities too - (since vapor could cause erosion just like water).

The answer is yes - it's about 10-12 feet from the meters on the side of my house.

Thanks for the replies thus far. I've been absolutely snowed under (no pun intended) at work lately, so I haven't even thought about this issue until today.
_________________________
I'm hungry and tired. Don't poke my belly.

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#3553363 - 01/19/14 08:55 PM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: Crosshairy]
Inkstainz
14 Point


Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 7707
Loc: Memphis, Tennessee

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Sounds like you may want to get on the horn with somebody
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#3606383 - 03/03/14 09:43 PM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: Inkstainz]
TNlandowner
6 Point


Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 568
Loc: Carroll County

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Wow, I'm very happy to have found this topic. After a recent 3" rain, I found a 18" diameter sink hole, 3' deep....

Fortunately, it's not near a house or any structure. It's in a spot where two valley's meet. My guess is an underground stream is to blame...

Should I call a soil scientist?
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#3612862 - 03/11/14 09:02 AM Re: 14" wide sinkhole [Re: TNlandowner]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
Loc: Bartlett, TN

Offline
TNlandowner, is this just out on your property somewhere? Gullies and wash-outs are not uncommon, especially in areas where there are trees (it's likely to be an erosion problem made worse by a void space left from a tree rootball being pulled up in the past.

As an update to my situation, the City of Bartlett engineering department sent someone out THE SAME DAY as my call, just to look the area over. In a very odd coincidence, they found some sinkholes along the back of my property line that I didn't even realize were there - they looked like spots under the fence where my neighbor's dog had been digging. they were unrelated to the sinkhole I called about, which was even more strange. The city employee did some checking on older drawings, and found that the first sinkhole (the one I had called about) was in the area of utility lines (gas & electric). The other sinkholes along the property line in the back were along a shared sewer line.

So in an ironic twist of fate, Bartlett took care of the sink holes on the sewer line that were unrelated to my initial concern. They also did testing of the first sinkhole to find out whether it drained into a sewer or not (just to be sure). Ultimately, it was ruled that the first sinkhole was part of a relatively common issue of water channeling alongside utility lines (the water uses the void spaces around utility lines as "highways" and picks up dirt along the way).

The guys gave me some sand and sod to help out with the sinkhole, even though it technically wasn't their responsibility. They also spent a lot of extra effort taking care of my yard in the back yard, pruning back my rose bush, and carefully relocating it, so that it wasn't damaged due to the sewer line work. Afterwards, they did a great job of sodding the area.

The whole ordeal has certainly left me with a good feeling about the quality of service that Bartlett provides its citizens. Now I just need to figure out whether extra effort needs to be made around this utility line issue. I guess I'm going to call MLGW (oh joy) to see if they provide any service to help address these problems.
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I'm hungry and tired. Don't poke my belly.

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