PVC in footer trench - Help


Old 04-29-00, 10:02 PM
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In digging my footer today I found a surprise of 6" PVC pice at a 20" depth in one of the trenches. This pipe is tinted blue and appears to run parallel to the rear wall of the house. I am on septic but this pipe does not run in the direction on the tank unless it makes some strange turns along the way. Now my questions:
1. Anyway to figure out what this pipe is for without uneathing more? (maybe just a scrap piece from constuction)
2. Can this remain in the trench and encased in concrete when I pour? (I think not but thought I'd ask)
Any help would be appreciated.....
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Old 04-30-00, 07:35 AM
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It seems to me as though this COULD be a french drain for your yard-house foundation or it may be your sanitary sewer-(if you are located in a mild climate where the frost line doesn't go down below 18").
A couple of issues are unclear to me--- Is the pipe fully 6" in diameter? (French drain piping is generally 4"). Did you uncover any gravel or stone around the pipe when you uncovered it? Does the land behind your house slope into the house or away from the house? Does this pipe have any holes in it? To find out if this is a french drain-
!Carefully! dig by hand 'ALL THE WAY AROUND' the pipe and see if you can locate any holes in the pipe--- even on the bottom side. (French drain piping has holes in it-generally located on the bottom side).

If it is not a french drain, it's probably your house sanitary sewer. To determine if this is so, take a small hose (any old piece of garden type hose will work).
Have someone inside your house flush a toilet while you listen with the hose placed on the pipe.

Regarding your question as to encasing this pipe into your footer, (depending upon what the purpose of this pipe is), this is done everyday. You may want to consult your local Building Inspection Department of their structural requirements to solve this issue. More than likely, your excavation will be inspected prior to the pouring of any concrete by these folks anyway--

My only concern in this issue is that this pipe could be a gas/water main-- but it is highly unlikely to be so at the BACK of the house.

Keep me informed of your progress...

[This message has been edited by [email protected] (edited April 30, 2000).]
Old 05-01-00, 07:46 AM
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Thanks John,
A little more detail. The house is 2 years old in Anne Arundel Co. MD. The soil is heavy, and I do mean heavy, clay. The land has all been graded to slope away from the house although in this area of the lot it is pretty flat. The house does have underground storm water drains (downspouts all run underground to drywells in yard) why ....I could not tell you for certain.
I have not had a chance to completely excavate this trench yet but I can say that this did not appear to be an area with any rock or gravel back filled in for a french drain. I know where the gas and water hook ups are and this is not them. Finally the size of the pipe is 4" rather than 6". I am going to call down to the county now to get their take on the issue. Thank again. As this deck is on a tight time line (only 19 days left) I'm sure I will be back in touch...

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