Are yard depressions a problem?

Sometimes during our inspections, we see a yard depression. Is this a problem? Well, it depends.

As inspectors a few scenarios go through our minds, some with more important implications than others.

Is it a functioning or an abandoned cesspool? Cesspools often get abandoned which entails filling in the old cesspool with soil. The soil may have settled over the years leaving a depression in the yard. It could also be an abandoned cesspool that never got filled in. Is it a working cesspool that is in a deteriorated condition? Is the depression from a tree that got removed? Is it an oil tank? Is it a broken sewer line washing out the soil? Is it a sinkhole?

All these scenarios have different implications. Based on what was discovered during the inspection, the recommendation may be to do nothing, or it may be to contact a sewage company and/or an oil tank specialist for further evaluation. If a deteriorated cesspool is suspected, it should be dealt with quickly due to safety concerns.

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