Filling in an old Cesspool
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    SRG
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    Filling in an old Cesspool

    Doing some outside remodeling. Tore out the old wheel chair ramp from the previous owner, we're reclaiming the majority of the wood for our chicken coop. This uncovered the old Cesspool 100%, it was previously only half covered by the ramp structure. The house has a septic system now, installed when my neighbors mother lived here. It's apparently pretty close to the house I guess, because the 4" PVC clean out pipe/stack, is about 30" from the foundation. My neighbor, couldn't recall exactly how far out from the house, that the tank is buried. Anyone have any insight on how a clean out pipe is laid out, in relation to the actual tank itself? Like, would it be straight down to the tank, or would/could there be a run of pipe, parallel to the ground, then in to the tank, would there be any reason to do that?
    The Cesspool had an old concrete pad that covered it, my neighbor who lived here as a kid said they used to bail it out every springs with rope and pales. He said it was his "favorite job to do" Apparently the structure that supported the concrete cover, partially collapsed, so someone just drug the cover about 20ft away and left it there (we just moved it with my neighbors 4020, way to big for the 870), it's about 4ftx5ft and easily 6" thick. They poured a new cover with a steel lid, or purchased one preformed (most likely now that I think about it), and threw it over the top of it, rather then permanently filling it in. Why the hell wouldn't you just fill the thing in? You can clearly see the entrance tile is collapsed. Would there be any reason that the exit (liquid overflow) of this Cesspool, would be tied into the newer septic system? Perspective, the crushed entrance tile, is facing east (towards the house obviously), the exit pipe, is facing due west. The new septic tank is (i'm guessing), between this and the house, which is a span of about 20ft to the edge of the brick.

    Would you just fill this in? I have the dirt piles to do it. That standing water in the pics, is our water table basically.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMAG1276.jpg IMAG1275.jpg IMAG1272.jpg
    Last edited by SRG; 05-15-2019 at 09:12 PM.
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    I would probably get an excavator over there and do some digging an figure out if it is still connected to something.
    Then I would deal with that, then have him bust up the concrete top, grub out as much as I could, have him haul it away, then fill it in with dirt. I hate leaving buried junk. It seems like it always haunts you later when you try to dig a post hole or bury a wire.

    There is usually a clean out just before you leave a building. There should be inspection pipes or hatches in the septic tank. You will want to find it for sure....they aren’t exactly maintenance free
    Last edited by arlen; 05-15-2019 at 09:34 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlen View Post
    I hate leaving buried junk. It seems like it always haunts you later when you try to dig a post hole or bury a wire.
    Amen to that.

    Seems the PO of our place thought old brick was good "filler". I tried to dig a hole to plant a shrub for the wife and extracted a half dozen bricks in the process.
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    It appears that you have a pretty straight forward filling process
    Section 905
    f) Abandoned Treatment Units. Septic tanks, cesspools, pit privies, aerobic treatment plants and seepage pits that are no longer in use shall be completely pumped. The floor and walls shall be cracked or crumbled so that the tank will not hold water, and the tank shall be filled with sand or soil. If the tank is removed from the ground, the excavation shall be filled with soil.

    Some county public health office have a form to fill out to confirm it's decommissioned correctly. Here's the form from Boone County.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRG View Post
    The house has a septic system now, installed when my neighbors mother lived here. It's apparently pretty close to the house I guess, because the 4" PVC clean out pipe/stack, is about 30" from the foundation. My neighbor, couldn't recall exactly how far out from the house, that the tank is buried. Anyone have any insight on how a clean out pipe is laid out, in relation to the actual tank itself? Like, would it be straight down to the tank, or would/could there be a run of pipe, parallel to the ground, then in to the tank, would there be any reason to do that?
    I doubt the clean out location has any significant relationship to the actual tank location. My septic tank is ~30' straight out in front of my house and I have a cleanout inside the house and one about 2' from the foundation on the outside of the house. The outside one is connected to a lateral line to the tank with a Y connector.

    Would there be any reason that the exit (liquid overflow) of this Cesspool, would be tied into the newer septic system?
    There would be no good reason to do that and a lot of good reasons NOT to do it. The last thing you'd want would be for teh septic tank to back up into an abandoned cesspool hole.

    Would you just fill this in? I have the dirt piles to do it. That standing water in the pics, is our water table basically.
    I'd fill it in but I wouldn't use soil. I'd fill it with sand.
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    ...at this point nothing flows into ...or out of it(other than ground water)....so it must be fuctionally disconnected...

    if i were still worried i would put a cement plug in the entrance and exit......take i picture of the system....and measurements of the entrance and exit from a known structure like the house so if you ever needed to find it exactly you could...then i would fill it with whatever you have for fill .....i would probably either remove the top totally or crush it into 6-8" chunks and put it in the fill ...i would also probably knock the walls down a couple of feet ....fill it ...let it settle ...or run a lot of water on it to help it settle ....refill the top and plant grass ...

    or use the hole for something else...
    Last edited by ttazzman; 05-16-2019 at 12:13 AM.
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    Not at all what I was expecting.
    Read the title and assumed thread was about Minneapolistan.
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    SRG
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    Found the septic tank on the plot survey map (unfortunately, it doesn't show the leach field), it's about 12-14ft north of the brick cesspool, which puts it about 20-22ft Northeast of the house. Previous owners used that 4x5 concrete cover that my neighbor moved for me, to mark the septic tank access. I'm gonna come up with some other way to mark it, that is less obtrusive to the yard. Ideas? Maybe just leave it bare and grass covered, since I know the location of it?

    I was thinking of breaking up both concrete pads that are on top of the cesspool, and knocking down the brick wall some, then burying it all inside it. Except that steel lid, I can use that for something ;) I'll have to look around my county website for some info, on their required procedures.
    Last edited by SRG; 05-16-2019 at 04:34 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRG View Post
    Found the septic tank on the plot survey map (unfortunately, it doesn't show the leach field), it's about 12-14ft north of the brick cesspool, which puts it about 20-22ft Northeast of the house. Previous owners used that 4x5 concrete cover that my neighbor moved for me, to mark the septic tank access. I'm gonna come up with some other way to mark it, that is less obtrusive to the yard. Ideas? Maybe just leave it bare and grass covered, since I know the location of it?
    Most people around here just grab a 12' x 12" cement paver at a big box store and set that in the ground over the access cover and then let the grass grow around it. If you set it low enough you can go right over it with the mower. I set our birdbath on top of my paver.
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    Make sure the tank was not "re-purposed" as a cistern to capture down spout rain water run off,,,
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