Apparent sinkhole in Ruskin likely a broken septic tank

10:29 AM, Apr 5, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Apparent sinkhole in Ruskin likely a broken septic tank

First pic sinkhole in Ruskin 10 ft from home. Seems family or responders put table in to mark it.



Ruskin, Florida -- What appeared to be a sinkhole just ten feet from a home is likely a collapsed out-of-service septic tank, investigators said.

A Ruskin family spent the night in a hotel, evacuated from their home on 3rd Ave. N.E. after a 7 foot by 2 foot depression appeared behind their home Thursday night. 

Photos: Sinkhole behind family's home

After sunrise Friday morning, Hillsborough County Code Enforcement Manager Bill Langford returned to the house to inspect the area.

A plastic picnic table had been placed in the hole Thursday night by Code Enforcement workers to measure whether it expanded or changed overnight.

It did not change, Langford said, and there is no evidence of settling in the house.

Langford says it appears to be an old septic tank that wasn't properly put out of service when the neighborhood switched to a sewer system several years ago.

He based that analysis on the solid stability of the surrounding ground, the hole's location in the back yard, and the neighborhood's history of switching from septic tanks to sewer.

The county's sinkhole expert arrived at 8:00 a.m. to double check that assessment.

Langford said he will recommend the family work with their insurance and mortgage companies to make sure they get enough testing to be confident it's taken care of.

Ruskin is about 25 miles from Seffner where a deadly sinkhole opened up more than a month ago.

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