Old septic tank safely removed from St. Pete yard after tow truck driver crushed it, tried to fill hole with dirt

Better Call Behnken

State regulations require a permit and a licensed contractor to abandon a septic tank safely

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Annette Botham can finally stop worrying about a dangerous hole in her front yard, caused by a tow truck driver who ran over an old septic tank.

She made one call to Better Call Behnken and the problem was fixed the next day.

“Thank you,” Botham said. “I can’t even say it enough, how happy I am today. So thank, thank you.”

Workers from Mullen Septic & Drainfield Service drained out the nasty water, crushed the concrete and leveled the area. The tow truck driver’s employer, Sarasota-based Upman’s Towing Service, paid for the work.

“It just takes one more thing off my list because right now that was consuming me,” he said. “Every time I would pull in, every time I would leave, during the night, it was… is something gonna happen, was somebody going to fall in… or you know.”

The tow truck from Upman’s was delivering a car to a neighbor’s home. The driver backed up and over, crushing the concrete cover of an old septic tank in Bothham’s yard.

“I didn’t even know that was there and I’ve lived here 30 years,” Botham said.

Since July 7, she’s covered the hole with boards and a tarp. She said the tow truck company initially sent the driver back out to fix the hole but he just dumped a truckload of dirt in the hole.

Rain and settlement made it worse – and when she turned to Investigator Shannon Behnken, it was a stinky mess.

She said Upman’s Towing said they would send the driver back with more dirt, but he never showed up.

Better Call Behnken discovered there’s a specific protocol for abandoning an old septic tank – and pouring dirt in the hole isn’t it. So 8 On Your Side had a little chat with the county healthy department and the owner of Upman’s Towing, who agreed to make it right.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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