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Mark, Union Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 292
Experience:  32 Years Experience in Commercial, Hi-Rise, Residential Construction, 4 years Project Management
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We had a sewage leak under our house for quite some time, and

Resolved Question:

We had a sewage leak under our house for quite some time, and finally noticed because of the smell. We had the broken pipe fixed, and then had someone who specializes in clean up of sewage come out to give us an estimate of 3 or 4K. There was a lot of water and sewage in the crawl space under the house. Since the leak was fixed a week ago, I can no longer smell the sewage under the house, and I'm tempted to do nothing about it at this point, but I'm also worried about mold, contamination, etc. I know that plumbers don't do this kind of clean up, but can you tell me what you think about this? Is it completely naive to think things will just kind of compost in the earth down there? What are the consequences of doing nothing? I am asking this question here because I am wary of taking someone's advice who stands to gain $4K off my accepting it - I want to know what someone would advise their daughter to do if she had this problem.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Mark replied 7 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Mark :

I would get a second opinion from a local reputable septic or outhouse pumping contractor and see if if they'll pump it out for you. I wouldn't leave the sewage untreated under the house for sanitary and health reasons. Is it always wet under the house year round and what state do you live in?

JACUSTOMER-qsnevn5w- :

I live in Austin Texas. I don't think it's always wet down there. We have a pier and beam foundation.

JACUSTOMER-qsnevn5w- :

Since we had the pipe fixed over a week ago, I don't know how much water is down there anymore. Is the sanitary and health concern when there is standing water with sewage in it, or do the health concerns remain after it has "soaked in" to the earth. Can clean up still be done when there is no longer standing water? This might be something I need to ask the septic contractor, but I thought you might have some insight. Also, any tips on finding a reputable company? Thanks for your help.

Mark :

You don't want standing water with sewage in it under your house for health and safety reasons. Once it pumped and dried up, I would recommend laying visqueen down over the dirt to help with any residual methane gas that may enter the home and for condensation reasons. The clean-up quote you received was that for pumping and removal of the contaminated dirt? Was there a toilet upstream of the line that was fixed ? As far as a reputable contractor, check Angie's list, the BBB, or the state contractors board. Let me know.

Expert:  Mark replied 7 years ago.
I switched to Q and A mode for technical reasons. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

The quote was for full remediation, which he said included cleaning, sanitizing - maybe even something with the air - I can't quite remember that part. I am pretty sure one of the toilets is upstream of the line that was fixed. Thank you for the recommendations on searching for a good company!

Expert:  Mark replied 7 years ago.
If there was a toilet upstream, then it needs to be done properly. Good luck and I hope I helped. Thanks,

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