Groove in the garden

Hi,
This isn't a post on dancing but a house I'm looking at buying! viewed the property but noticed a "groove" in the middle of the lawn It stems from the edge of the slabs along the lawn, in a straight line to the garage at the end. It's about 15 foot long.
Could this be a natural thing or is it likely something has been du up/put down?
Thanks for your help
-- TedTrippin
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Could there have been a fence there at one time? Another thought is that someone dug a trench for drainage. Marilyn

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By groove I am assuming you mean a settling or trenching of the surface ground. How old is this place? Could be a collapsed drain field or one poorly installed. Check to see if you can line up either end of the trench to a building to see if it lines up with a down spout or the like. What kind of septic system does this place have? Where are the sewer or septic tank lines? Find out where the waste line leaves the house and see if that lines up with this trench in anyway. A collapsing sewer line isn't fun to reinstall. If there's a septic system it could be part of that drain field. Not good. Where does the water service line go into the house? It's not all that unusual for patios, sidewalks and garages to be built over sewer or water lines, especially if the home is of any age. If there is a break in that line you can get surface trenching from the erosion going on below. This is all worse case scenario but the costliest if you get stuck with repairs.
I'd make sure that you put in a subject to inspection clause specifically about this trenching and make sure you have it inspected by a licensed, bonded, insured inspector. Point out the trench to the inspector and if he passes it off casually as "oh that's just yadda yadda"...fire him and get one that will really find out what it is. If it could possibly be any kind of waste line you either need to have somebody run a camera down the lines or dig down in the middle of this 'groove' and find out what's under there.....a few hundred investigating dollars now could save you many thousands in repairs and headaches later. The trench just might be where a fence or garden bed had been and ground has settled or is some attempt at surface water management. If it's there to control run off I'd find out why, where it's coming from and how much. I wouldn't take the word of the realty agent or homeowner. Look for the worst and hope for the best.
Val
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How about a underground electric line.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
http://community.webtv.net/MelKelly/TheKids
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Most likely, it's where some past owner installed a buried water or power line to the garage. Less likely, an underground land drain to remove excess water. When you dig out a trench and fill it back in level with the rest, the line of disturbed earth settles with time and the level sinks leaving a dip. It's easy to fill in later.
Janet.
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