Sinkhole

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  1. Incredible sinkholes around the world
  2. Sinkholes: When the Earth Opens Up
  3. Sinkhole appears near bridge in Klang | The Star Online
  4. Time Needed

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Log In. Definition of sinkhole. Examples of sinkhole in a Sentence Recent Examples on the Web The recovery effort was being hampered by the structural damage to the buildings and what authorities believe is a sinkhole forming in the street. First Known Use of sinkhole 15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1. Keep scrolling for more. Learn More about sinkhole. Time Traveler for sinkhole The first known use of sinkhole was in the 15th century See more words from the same century. Dictionary Entries near sinkhole sinker wood sinkfield sinkhead sinkhole sink in sinking feeling sinking fund See More Nearby Entries.

Sinkholes under sidewalks or walkways.

Incredible sinkholes around the world

Sometimes depressions or holes can form under sidewalks or other walkways, with uneven concrete slabs creating a trip hazard. There are two possible solutions. There are many reasons for sink holes occurring in the yard. It is important to determine the cause; that will determine the steps needed to fix the situation. Buried, rotting debris. Often a sinkhole develops in a large open area of a lawn or garden.

A common cause of this is buried brush, stumps or debris from past construction or other activities. Over several years, the brush and debris settle or decompose, leaving an underground void. The ground surface settles into the void, causing a depression on the surface.

Remnants of the debris will often be evident with a little digging. Tree Stumps Not Removed. Tree stumps that are left in the ground after a tree is cut down can rot and cause a sinkhole to form. Portions of the rotting stump may be found in the hole, or rot patterns on the surface may indicate the presence of an old stump. Large Rocks in the Yard Fill. During home construction, when the yard is graded and compacted to its final shape, large rocks may be buried in the soil.

Rocks prevent even compaction of the yard. The soil next to the rocks will be shielded from the compacting force of heavy machinery and remain lighter and less dense than the surrounding soil. Over time, this poorly compacted soil can become a preferred conduit for water which can scour out cavities and lead to a depression. A sinkhole may occur near a buried stormwater, drinking water, or wastewater line, either because of poorly compacted soil or because of a leaking underground pipe.

Sinkholes: When the Earth Opens Up

Poorly compacted soil around buried drainage pipes, water or sewer lines. Depressions sometimes develop in utility easements, such as water and sewer lines, or stormwater drainage pipes. This usually occurs when the soil fill over the buried pipes was not properly placed and compacted. The poorly compacted soil settles over several years, causing a hole or shallow, linear trench on the ground surface. Use a plat to see if there are easements on your property. The plat of your lot will indicate the presence of any easements on your property. The pipes running through easements generally serve multiple residences.

Sinkhole appears near bridge in Klang | The Star Online

Copies of plats are often included in residential loan closing documents. Not all plats are available from the County. If the County does not have a copy of your plat, contact the lending institution from which the mortgage was obtained. The conservation district can also help you determine if you have an easement on your property.

If the sinkhole is in an easement, who do you call? Knowing the locations and types of pipes and easements will help you determine if the pipes are indeed responsible for the depression, and if they are, who is responsible for repairing the damage. If the pipe is in an easement, the County or a utility company may be responsible for fixing the damage, although you may still be charged for some repairs.

Is the sinkhole near a private line? Lines serving individual homes are generally not situated in an easement and will not appear on a plat. Leaking sewer or water pipes. On rare occasions, leaking sewer or water lines cause surface depressions.

Time Needed

If you think there may be a leak in the water line but there is no evidence of flowing water, check your recent water bills to see if there is an unusual increase. You can also use a plat to see if there are easements on your property. In either case, do not try to make repairs yourself.


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Sometimes running water can be heard in a sink hole. If a sewer or water pipe leak is not suspected, the water is likely from an underground spring that is uphill from the depression. It has eroded away soil under the surface causing an underground cavity.

The ground surface settles into the cavity causing the depression. Controlling an Underground Spring. In these cases, the water flow cannot be stopped, but it can be controlled. Installing a small French drain or catch basin and pipe uphill of the erosion site to capture the flow and replacing the eroded area with fill soil can solve the problem. In some cases, the flow can be captured and used as a source of water for irrigation or other purposes.

The flow should be routed carefully to a suitable area so as to not cause erosion and flooding elsewhere. If the affected area is large, you may want to hire a landscaping or drainage company to do the work. This case is the least common and also the most dangerous. Homes were built in some areas before public utilities were provided, so the owners had wells, septic systems, cisterns and buried fuel oil tanks which were left unused when public utilities came to the area. Abandoned wells and cisterns were sometimes backfilled before they were abandoned.

Without maintenance, these former utilities can deteriorate and collapse, causing a sinkhole. It usually is not possible to determine the exact cause without excavation, but pieces of the old utility are sometimes visible within the sink hole. A ring of bricks is often indicative of an old well; rusting metal can be a remnant of a cistern or fuel tank. The cavity caused by any of these can be hazardous, particularly for a child.

Sinkholes are caused by erosion. They may appear suddenly and have devastating consequences.

It may be large, collapse easily, and it could contain rusted metal or contaminants such as fuel. If the collapse of one of these structures is suspected, you should get professional assistance. If you believe there is an abandoned well or cistern on your property, call the County Health Department at , TTY For fuel tanks or other potentially contaminated sites, you may call the Health Department to see if any help is available, but you will likely need to contact an environmental remediation company.