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Stagnant water and sludge

dbhattukdbhattuk London Posts: 41
I am working on a very neglected back of the garden. Done lot of clearing, with support and help from this forum. I still have a issue with the Laurel tree, it’s way over-grown, trying to source a local tree surgeon but no results so far. Anyway, the bit I am dreading so much. There is a large black water container almost under the Laurel, it’s been there for many many years, collecting water and fallen leaves, twigs and branches from a nearby fern tree. The container is half full, no way I can move it in anyway. Weight of water and sludge is way beyond me. Plus I am sure the water is toxic and dare not try emptying it with a bucket. So pondering what to do?. Plus I am not sure if the water should be poured (if I tried) into ground, considering it’s most likely very toxic. The container is 75 cm diameter and 60cm deep and half full with stagnant water and sludge. Any ideas welcomed. Thank you. 
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  • bcpathomebcpathome Buckinghamshire Posts: 538
    What makes you think the water is toxic and not just stagnant .
  • dbhattukdbhattuk London Posts: 41
    Ohhh I have no idea, just thinking standing water (over 10-15years) with all sorts of (live and otherwise) debris falling in would mean a degree of toxicity but then I could be totally wrong. I’ve grandchildren who love the garden, I have restricted access to very back of garden, safety is of course paramount. 
  • dbhattukdbhattuk London Posts: 41
    forgot to add, the container does smell a lot. 
  • bcpathomebcpathome Buckinghamshire Posts: 538
    I don’t think it’s toxic just old stagnant and probably a bit smelly .Do you have an unused corner of the garden where you could put it?
    Just get yourself some rubber gloves and an old bottle ….lemonade or whatever bottle ,cut the top off to make a container and decant it gradually into the unused corner of the garden . I’m sure it’ll be fine .
  • dbhattukdbhattuk London Posts: 41
    @bcpathome, thank you. I am sure you are right, it’s not toxic, just me being paranoid but the thought of emptying the container feels hard for me. Hey maybe a dose of courage is needed. Perhaps I can use those rubbish pick-up probs. Thanks again. 
  • bcpathomebcpathome Buckinghamshire Posts: 538
    You’re welcome,good luck. Just do it gradually…….all will be well I’m sure.😊
  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 1,139
    It’s highly unlikely to be anything other than smelly and stagnant. It won’t do any harm to the ground if you just empty it out. Alternatively if you have a hose pipe, just pop it in and leave it running for half an hour so it overflows whilst diluting the mucky water and you will find it full of far less pungent water to empty out 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,707
    It looks like you could lever it up with a rock and a stick and tip it over.
  • dbhattukdbhattuk London Posts: 41
    @Jellyfire, thank you. Yes good idea. Maybe I will try that. As I said, just worried about harmful bugs, legionella, e-coli and other harmful bacteria maybe toxic is not the right word. 

    @Fire, thanks, I tried that. The container would not lift an inch. It’s half full of water and sludge. I tried to get some sludge out with a fork but it was very hard work. Being a pensioner, my back is not so good. I did try though. Thanks
  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 1,139
    I don’t believe legionnaires and evolution etc can survive out of water for very long, I think if you get rid of it and just stay clear of that soil for a day or so It would be fine. If the grandchildren are young enough to get some of the soil in their mouth then just keep your exclusion zone in place for a bit and I’m sure it would be fine 
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