The long-term stability of deep holes 1.75 inches. (4.4 cm) in diameter by 98.4 feet (30 m) created by cone penetration testing (CPT) was monitored at a site in California underlain by Holocene and Pleistocene age alluvial fan deposits. Portions of the holes remained open both below and above the 28.6-foot (8.7 m)-deep water table for approximately three years, when the experiment was terminated. Hole closure appears to be a very slow process that may take decades in the stiff soils studied here. Other experience suggests holes in softer soils may also remain open. Thus, despite their small diameter, CPT holes may remain open for years and provide paths for rapid migration of contaminants. The observations confirm the need to grout holes created by CPT soundings as well as other direct-push techniques in areas where protection of shallow ground water is important.