06:25AM | 01/19/03
Member Since: 01/18/03
3 lifetime posts
I just bought my first house in August. I love it. All the little fix-it projects are actually fun, well except for the toilet... One problem I have. There was, repeat WAS, in in ground pool. The previous owner filled it in with "dirt" and laid sod over the top. Well, as the summer wore on, the ground started sinking. At first, I thought "a little settling." No big deal. Now it is. Over the course of the fall, I ended up pulling the sod off (it hadn't taken root yet) and watering the heck out of the "dirt". I started getting MAJOR sink-holes. One was 18" in dia. and 4' deep. I back filled into the hole and kept watering. The "dirt" the previous owner used is mostly clay. Nice, clean, brickmaking clay. The stuff is DENSE. Well, now as spring is approaching, I want to finish off the project. From the top edge of the "lip" of the pool, I've gotten the clay to sink about 12-18". I'm just wondering if there's anything more I should do. I'm worried that it's going to keep sinking and anything landscaping I do is a waste if is sinks further. Should I bite the bullet and dig down a couple of feet and "start over" or empty the whole thing out, or??? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

[This message has been edited by tneasham (edited January 19, 2003).]


06:32AM | 01/20/03
Member Since: 01/14/03
264 lifetime posts
If you've gotten clay that dense to consolidate 12"-18", then I'd be looking for further into where it's going. Clay will not normally consolidate that much, even when wet. It usually turns to soup. In-ground pools sometimes have drain lines in addition to the recirculation lines for the filter system. And the volume of soil that could be trapped in that system wouldn't be the volume you've lost. If your lot is near a slope, or if there's a municipal drain nearby, you might look to see if there's a drain line daylighting in the slope, or if there's evidence of siltation in a big way in the nearby municipal system. It would be pretty obvious if you've lost that much soil.

I wouldn't go forward with too much more in the pool area until you either find the culprit outlet where the earth is going, or see further evidence that the consolidation that has happened thus far is it.


08:15AM | 01/20/03
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
If the clay was just dumped in the hole and not compated this is normal. There are a lot of spaces between the chunks and the water has settled it. I think you have just about reached the limit. I would not expect much more settling.
I have seen this many time when sewer were dug up for service. The pile of dirt was 2 feet highter after the work. Water it for a couple of weeks and settles almost back to normal.


02:44PM | 01/20/03
Member Since: 01/18/03
3 lifetime posts
Forgot to mention the 12-18" of settling is in the deep end. Over on the shallow end it's only dropped about 4-6" so I think the degree of settling is directly linked to the volume of dirt over a particular area. There's no municial drain anywhere around so I don't *think* I'm losing any dirt that way. I guess I'll just keep watering it. I've been using a "piercing" nozzle (ala hydraulic drilling under a sidewalk) to burrow holes down into the clay to make sure I'm getting good saturation and weakening any pockets. I'm worried the clay is just going to hold any rainwater etc in. Should I do anything at this point to try and improve drainage?


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