Acknowledged by: Princeton, NJ

Engineering-Misc Issue Acknowledged

2 Shirley Ct Princeton, NJ, 08542, USA Show on Map Hide Map
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Civic Points: 395

Issue ID:



Engineering-Misc Issue


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Concerning the new foundation that was just placed at the south corner of Shirley Court and Witherspoon Street, I'm not sure if it 2 Shirley Court, but that is close.

I spoke with the builder and he appeared to be unfamiliar with the water issues we have around here. I told him how I had dug a hole only seven feet deep and a spring had appeared, bubbling water up from who knows where.

Then, upon completion of the pit or foundation hole, and without pouring a slab, they set the foundation on gravel and broken shale, shale that they had broken up with a tractor-mounted jackhammer. Immediately, water rose in the pit and they scooped out a couple of depressions which are now sump pump openings in the concrete they poured after the foundation was set on the gravel.

Okay, what's the problem? The problem is that the water rising in the pit is actually seepage from coffins that were interred decades and centuries before coffin liners were available. It smells terribly of decomposition (human remains), and it is the water itself that carries the smell, so that if it was routed into the storm sewer by a permanent line it would still be a terrible detriment to Shirley Court.

I believe they should finish pouring the floor and then coat the cement floor up to the walls with hot tar. They should then pour another two to four inches of concrete, and when this is sealed with silicon, painted or otherwise covered, then and only then will the smell not penetrate the concrete floor of the basement in years to come.

The walls appear to be okay, and coated with silicon sealant on the outside, so it is only the basement floor that could cause a problem in the coming decades. Of course, the sump pump might be a problem as well, so perhaps a French drain might be constructed somewhere, even on the graveyard grounds, and the water that will rise every year in the broken shale could be pumped there. Of course, the graveyard owners would have to approve, and they would have to be paid, as well.


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