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What Causes Standing Water in a a Fence Post Hole?

Daniel Westlake

Holes are often made in the surface of the ground to secure large fence posts before they are inserted and the fence is built on them. These holes can be made in a number of ways and places, and sometimes standing water will end up in the holes.

In Cement

Holes are often made to secure large fence posts.

Sometimes holes are made to install fences in cement driveways or sidewalks, and between the time the hole is made and the fence is installed, it rains or there is water runoff that will accumulate in the hole itself. This standing water must be removed via siphon or towel, or you will have to wait until it evaporates.

In the Ground

When a fence post hole is made in the ground and standing water remains within it, it means something about the permeability of the ground itself---the ground will not allow the hole to drain. This means the hole is deep enough that it is mostly in clay or the ground is incredibly hard or already saturated with water. There's also a chance that there is water underground, just below the hole made for the fence post hole, and it is seeping up. If this is the case, it may not be the best place to build a fence in general, as the ground may be unstable.

Water Pipes

If a fence post hole is constantly filling and refilling with water regardless of rain or dry spells, and it is beside your house or in a residential area, there is a chance a pipe was damaged or broken when the fence post hole was made in the first place. You will have to figure out what pipe or water line you hit and dig it up to replace the section of pipe you damaged or destroyed. To ensure this doesn't happen in the first place, it is important to look at the blueprint plans of your property, as well as your neighbors' blueprint plans, so you can be sure nothing it broken when you are making fence post holes.