Home Improvement--General/sewer trench mound


Just had a new sewer line put in and I have attached a photo which looks just like the situation I now have in my back yard. It's a total mess as the plumber just pushed all the dirt back into the trench and this includes broken pipe shards, gravel, and stones, mixed in. I have two other areas close to the mound that are sinking which looks like they might have started a trench line then re-started so I am left with a couple more unwanted ruined sections of the yard.


1) What are my options to get this huge mound of dirt to settle and should I put pressure on the plumber to compact and/or level the dirt?

2) Will all of that broken up debris affect or damage the new sewer line?

3) Should I call Code Enforcement to see if the job was done right?

Sorry to hear about your issue,
The soil should have been slowly placed back in the trench in six to eight inch layers and compacted by a gas powered tamper before the next layer was installed. That is the best way to back fill so you don't have access dirt or have a depression later on as the soil settles. At this point I don’t think the plumber will come back unless you are still holding some money of his. The mound he left is way too much I agree. He could, or should have taken some of it away for you or at the very least mentioned that you were going to have this issue to deal with after he was done.

If you want to speed up the natural compaction process (which is what the plumber is hoping  will happen over years) you can soak the ground with water. That will help a little but will take hundreds of gallons to accomplish.

I think a solution to this is to take some of that dirt away. Then to compact it. Maybe drive over it several times with a heavy vehicle.

The debris he placed into the trench should not hurt the new sewer line. He at least should have taken out the large debris along the way.

Was there an inspection before he backfilled? There should have been one! I don’t see that the inspector can help with this dirt pile issue. The only thing he might be able to say is that the pile is a tripping hazard and that may be a code violation.

Good luck with your Plumber.

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Jay Cipriani


How do I select a professional remodeling contractor? What needs to be in a home improvement contract to protect the home owner? General design and estimating questions. Product selection, analyzation of bad workmanship, and expectations of a remodeling process.


Cipriani Builders, Inc., now Cipriani Remodeling Solutions, is a professional, design-build remodeling firm, founded in 1978. I got into the remodeling business largely because of his father who was also a contractor. Cipriani Builders has serviced over 3,000 homes throughout the South Jersey area. They include kitchens, bathrooms, additions, windows, siding, roofing and much more.

National Association of Home Builders Remodelors Council (NAHB) American Institute of Architects West Jersey (AIA) Better Business Bureau (BBB) Builders League of South Jersey (BLSJ) National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) New Jersey Remodelers Association VP (NJRA) Tri-County Code Association Cherry Hill Chamber of Commerce Greater Woodbury Chamber of Commerce Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Remodelers Advantage IFDA, VP 2008 ASID

I was the former Host, Writer and Producer of "House and Home" show on a local South Jersey Comcast cable station. I was featured in 1998 and 1999 on The Discovery Channel's "Gimme Shelter 2". I was featured on The Discovery Channel's "Home Matters" with Susan Powell. I have written articles for the monthly trade magazine, Builder/Architect. My expertise in historical renovation received recognition through a project featured on the cover of New Jersey Contractor Magazine. I was featured in 2007 and 2008 in a CBS Channel 10 News story on the home remodeling industry as a Home Remodeling expert.

New Jersey University of Medicine and Dentistry National Association of the Remodeling Industry Certified Remodeler Program

Awards and Honors
• 30 years of building and remodeling • Cipriani Builders has been featured in the Courier Post, Gloucester County Times, and Philadelphia Inquirer. • Professional Remodeler magazine ran a feature article on Cipriani Builders. • Cipriani Builders were featured in Design / Build Business. This magazine is used a resource among residential design / build professionals and their customers. • Qualified Remodeler magazine listed Cipriani Builders, Inc. as one of the Top 500 Companies Nationally. We continue to move up each year. • Remodeling Magazine added Cipriani Builders to their Big 50 “Hall of Fame”. • Cipriani Builders received the National Contractor of the Year Award for company image from NARI. • Cipriani Builders was awarded the Valuestar Customer-Rated Gold Seal for consistently delivering high customer satisfaction and for passing the qualification steps of insurance, legal, financial status, and state license requirements.

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Over 3000 clients in the South Jersey area.

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