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Hole Made Whole

By DIYnot on Dec 21, 2011

For several weeks, we had this mess in our front yard:


When we had our natural gas fireplace/heater installed, we said goodbye to the hulking oil furnace formerly occupying about 12 precious square feet out of the total 840 in our little house.  We also said goodbye to the underground oil tank in our front yard.  It was hardly noticeable from the surface, but legally we had to decommission it since we weren’t using it anymore.  

Unfortunately, upon removal of the tank, it was discovered that some heating oil had leaked out into the soil.  The contractors had to come back later and dig an even bigger hole to get rid of the soil with the highest level of contamination.  While doing that, the main water line to our house was hit with some piece of digging equipment and dented.  It might not have been a problem, but we insisted it be fixed by a plumber while the ground was still open.  That ended up taking a while to coordinate.  When the plumber finally came, he said he wouldn’t do the work until the contractor filled up the hole most of the way up to where the water line was.  I guess he didn’t want to get in and out of a 6-foot hole.  So the contractors came back again.


They put in some perforated PVC pipes in the bottom of the hole with a vertical PVC pipe sticking up.  Later, they would pump some bioremediation solution into that pipe, I think three different times over the course of about two months.


The yellow pipe you see is our natural gas line.  Fortunately that was not damaged during the digging.  They did know about the water pipe and the natural gas pipe before work began.  Once the PVC pipes were in place, they started filling up the hole with gravel.  And check out how they got the gravel into the hole - by launching it off the end of a conveyor belt from a truck parked on the street.  I took some video of this process.

Gravel launched from conveyor belt into hole from Kelly & Matt on Vimeo.

After that, the plumber came back and fixed the pipe, and later the same day the contractor returned the fill in the top foot or so with clean soil.  Yay!



It still doesn’t look great, I mean it’s a large area of bare dirt in our yard.  But the fact that it is level with the rest of the ground and lacks orange fencing, plastic sheeting, and plywood is such a huge improvement that it looks gorgeous to us.


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