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Septic problems
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Brian    Posted 02-09-2001 at 07:41:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
To make a long story short now that the snow is melting and we have some rain falling my septic system is overloaded. As in the toilet flushes REALLY SLOW and doesn't even flush completely. There is a ton of water sitting around. So now what? I put a new leach field in last spring, old clay field tile finally gave out. so I put in three runs of 70' of pvc drainage tile. each run has approx. 18" of #6 stone below the tubes. I can't even think of doing laundry at times like this!! It really drives my wife and I crazy. The actual septic tank is VERY small as in two seperate round tanks about 36" in diameter and 4-5' deep. could this be a major factor? any ideas? Thanks as always :( Brian

Jim    Posted 06-18-2002 at 10:04:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Brian, your post has been here a while, but I just ran into this problem and thought I could help, or help someone who is having this problem.
I had the same trouble with drainage from my toilet, so I had my septic pumped. The guy dug the opening up and noticed that the inlet was pointing upward in the tank. It was probably caused by the spring rains, which were massive. You described alot of rain prior to the problems you've been having. Anyway, the ground became so saturated that the pvc pipe sunk further into the ground right before it runs into the tank's inlet, and that is why it is pointing upward inside the tank and not allowing proper drainage into the tank. You need to dig that pipe up. You might have to replace a small section, but you might also be able to just re-set it and angle it the way it should be to allow the proper drainage. Hope this helped.

johnk    Posted 02-12-2001 at 05:39:51       [Reply]  [No Email]

If this problem started just since it warmed up and ground is saturated with water your drain field is likely flooded with the ground water (snow melt and rain) Ohter posts are correct about evaporation getting rid of water, although it does all drain into ground in winter in northern areas. I would check my tanks, see if they need pumping also if they are ful of ground water. then check distribution box(beyond tank where line from tank splits into your drain field pipes see if it is flooded. If so you need toput ina tile drain and or swail(berm) to divert surace water and ground water away from your septic system.Also check inlet and outlet baffles in your tanks to see if they have failed or are obstructed. It sounds like you should replace your tank asap .I agree with other postsit sounds inadequate.

Hilltopper    Posted 02-11-2001 at 09:32:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
You need to put two 500 gallon tanks (or larger) in series. The first one will digest most of the solids and the second one will drain into your leach field. (or pumped if your leach field is up hill) The solids have to remain in the tank long enough for the anaerobic bacteria to break the solids down. I would rent a honey tank and pump some of your waste into it until it was fixed. When it dries up this spring haul a couple hundred tons of top soil and spread it over your leach area. 280 feet of leach pipe may not be enough. It is determined, in most states, by the number of bedrooms in your house and soil type. Your tanks are not big enough. (Yes, I did work in a sewer plant firing boilers. The plant handled 200 million gallons of waste a day! yuk.)Good luck!

chief613    Posted 02-10-2001 at 03:29:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
sounds like to much surface water, ur tank is probably full of water, as well as ur lines, when u flush ur forcing water out of the tank which is under presure from all the surroundin water. This could also mean that solids are goin into ur drainage field, which could clog it. Hopefuly u can make it through the thaw. I would suggest that u do some gradin aound ur system when things dry up so ground water run off is shed away. Most designs around here call for a berm on the up hill side to shed water away. For now u might be able to dig a hole through the snow to allow some of the water to run off ur system. Good luck

Fred Tx    Posted 02-09-2001 at 18:55:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
What Hank said. For now run the wash water out on the ground away from the drain field. Take short showers. When using the potty: If its yellow let it mellow. If its brown flush it down.

Alvin    Posted 02-09-2001 at 18:51:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
When was the last time the septic tanks were pumped out? They might be filled up with solids.

Spencer Greely    Posted 02-09-2001 at 17:17:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm no expert but from what I read of this is that the MI that did the approval and recommendation for fill volumes for the bed should have calculated that in as a percolation factor.
For instance, if the field is sitting in a
valley, and he does the percolation test, after
he's through he should have added the flooding
factor, and any other factor for your locale.
It seems to me there should have been a compensation factor worked in as a standard. Check it out with your municipal ordinance, and
if it mentions that, take em to court.

My 2 cents

IHank    Posted 02-09-2001 at 09:15:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Brian- I did a new home in the country about 25 years ago...

County sanitarian explained to me that most of the water from the leach field is gotten rid of my evaporating up and being pulled up by the sod over it. Water soaking into the ground apparently is a huge variable.

The guy that did my system put in a huge twin chamber tank and three 100' laterals. Each lateral was laid in a trench about 5' deep and 3' wide, then back filled with 1" rock to about 1' below grade level, covered with some kinda porus material to keep dirt from trickling down into the rock bed, then covered with topsoil.

The gimmick is that the rock bed provides a huge storage area for the water while it waits to be evaporated upward.

My trick was to run the washing machine drain and the basement floor drain into the under floor and footing perimeter drain system, which ran out into an existing field drain tile system.

Yes, I had a sump pump & pit in that system and it only had to work one spring, when we had a sudden thaw and the subsoil stayed frozen.

Annual plants are OK over the leach field. Do not have any trees, bushes, shrubs, etc. anywhere near the leach field! They will load the system up with their roots and you gotta start all over.

If you can and can get away with it, suggest run only the toilet into the septic tank system and run all the "grey water" out as grass and garden water. I remember once seeing a recycle system where the grey water was pumped up to a tank in the attic for use to flush the toilet.

Good luck and I hope you won't need it, IHank

Odie    Posted 06-10-2001 at 18:35:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]
When it rains allot the septic backs up into the
main bathroom. What is the problem? Thatnks, Odie

sara schulte    Posted 02-15-2002 at 13:29:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have an above ground septic system. (its a huge hill in my backyard) well, there is water coming up out of one pretty big area, making a huge puddle of water, is this a big problem what could this be. Is it something to be worried about, my hubby is out to sea and I have no idea what to do.

kim    Posted 05-18-2002 at 08:39:01       [Reply]  [Send Email]
When it rains a lot septic water also backs up into our downstairs bathroom. What can I do to stop it?

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