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Question DetailsAsked on 3/11/2012

I have a sunken area in my yard where the water goes into the house and where the sewer drain comes out. What kind of contractor do I need

It looks like the ground is sinking where there are underground water and sewer lines. I need to know if it is from broken tiles underground and what kind of contractor would I call.

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3 Answers


You need a contractor who specializes in underground services. Depending on where you live, there will be a named organization whose primary function is to notify homeowners/contractors (before underground work begins) regarding the placement of these various underground services (water, sewer, electric, sprinkler systems, etc..).

They will come out and do an underground reading with a hand-held piece of equipment that will locate the various underground raceways. They will mark them with colored flagging that your contractor will be able to identify and this should make the discovery of which utility is the problem.

At that point, you and your contractor will need to decide on a plan of action - taking all the variables into consideration.

Answered 8 years ago by Labour of Love


It seems like you may have 1 or 2 problems.

1 - Drainage- When French drains are put too close to a homes foundation it can cause water to seep underneath.

2- Spetic issues- I don't know how old your home is but sometimes the sewer line can rupture or leak, which can cause sinking.

When calling for estimate make sure you explain your site fully and meet with both types of contractors.

Good Luck

Answered 8 years ago by Dallas Curb Appeal


If you have a french drain system along your foundation and a pipe breaks or the filter gravel or pipe drain holes are improperly sized, it can cause settlement like this as dirt filters into the pipe. However, because it is happening where the sewer and water enter/leave the house, that would be quite a coincidence for it to happen at just that point.

A water leak can, in some soils, wash away enough fine material to cause this kind of settlement/sinkhole - easily determined by turning off all water in the house, including circulating pumps and sump pumps, and then listening with ear against pipes for a leak - you can hear even a tiny pinhole leak. If you hear something and are not sure if it is pilot lights on water heater and furnace, you may have to turn them off to tell, or get a METAL stethoscope (about $10 at drugstore/pharmacy) and track from the furnace/water heater toward the sinkhole area to hear if what sound you hear is a leak or just the pilot lights burning.

Probably about 25:1 odds it is a sewer pipe broken or joint pulled apart - this is probably the most common place for a sewer pipe failure to occur, because the house commonly settles over time due to inadequate compaction under the footers but the pipe in the ground right outside the house does not, so you get a break or disconnection right at that interface. Typically about $150-200 repair cost by a plumber or sewer and drain contractor, PLUS about $150-600 to dig it up if you do not do that yourself, depending on depth of sewer burial in your area - typically at 1-2 feet below normal frost penetration depth, 2 feet or so below top of basement slab, or minimum 3 feet, whichever is deeper. THose costs does NOT include any landscaping or lawn repair - typically about $300-400 for simple lawn repair on up for fancier plantings or landscaping.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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