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Rats and my decision to replace or repair a catch basin

Posted by darren72 (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 4, 13 at 19:37

I live in a 100+ year old house in Chicago. We've recently discovered that we have some rats in our backyard that seem to have dug some tunnels into our catch basin.

We hadn't previously paid much attention to the catch basin (in fact, we thought it wasn't in use anymore). It is fed by three downspouts and by kitchen/laundry waste water. Turns out that the basin is full of rocks and dirt, making it a good home to the rats. There are a lot of cracks/holes in the sides.

It seems that my choices are to remove the catch basin entirely. A reputable local plumbing company quoted me about $4200 to replace the catch basin and reroute the downspouts and kitchen/laundry water pipes directly to the city sewage. He would also clean out the main sewage line since it is likely full of dirt too. This would be best long-term solution.

But I only plan to stay in the house 5-7 years. Another option is to just clean out the catch basin and reseal the inside. The plumber said that he could do this for $2200, but that there are other companies that specialize in this and could probably do it for less. This solution would save money in the short run, but may not be best solution.

Any thoughts from people who have experience with this?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Rats and my decision to replace or repair a catch basin

I think you problem is more about the rats than the catch basin. Your neighbors probably have burrows, too, if you're homes are attached. Deal with the rats first. Bait the burrows, etc.

The catch basin can come later, or not at all. I'd probably mortar the holes from the outside. You can't actually get into yours, can you? How big is the access plate? This thing is holding liquid, right, or just a bunch of debris?


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RE: Rats and my decision to replace or repair a catch basin

I smell a rat if the plumber says he wants to route surface runoff (rain water) into city sewer. You should call to ask the city yourself if it is allowed. Around here the plumber and home owner could be fined and home owner would foot the bill for correcting it.


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RE: Rats and my decision to replace or repair a catch basin

I'll second what Klem wrote.


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RE: Rats and my decision to replace or repair a catch basin

Thanks for the replies.

"The catch basin can come later, or not at all. I'd probably mortar the holes from the outside. You can't actually get into yours, can you? How big is the access plate? This thing is holding liquid, right, or just a bunch of debris?"

The access plate is about the size of a manhole cover - maybe 2 feet across, give or take a little.

It *should* be holding three feet of liquid, but there is so much debris in there that there isn't any standing water. So, if we continue to use it, we have to remove the debris and let it fill up with water again.

"I smell a rat if the plumber says he wants to route surface runoff (rain water) into city sewer. You should call to ask the city yourself if it is allowed. Around here the plumber and home owner could be fined and home owner would foot the bill for correcting it."

The rainwater goes into the sewer right now (from the downspouts, underground into the catch basin, and from there into the sewer). My understanding is that this is how it was done 100 years ago and the city allows existing piping to remain, but new construction can't do this.


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