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Septic question
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Good Lord!    Posted 01-22-2003 at 09:55:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've owned our little ranch for 9 years and I figured we were overdue for a septic pumping. The pump driver says he can tell the tank has never been opened (because of some pouring plate or something). This means the system has been in use for about 30 years without a pumping. Am I in deep poop? How can I tell if the system is ok? Anything I can do, like a tank additive or something?

Good Lord!    Posted 01-23-2003 at 00:44:32       [Reply]  [No Email]

Ludwig    Posted 01-22-2003 at 16:56:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
The others are right on, you're probably fine.

Tom A    Posted 01-22-2003 at 16:35:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The link below is to probably the best information site for septic tanks there is. It contains a chart showing how often your tank should be pumped, based on size of tank and how many folks in the household...under some conditions 30 years is just fine!

This link and the main page that you can access from the page I've linked contains all the info you need to understand and take care of your system.

One thing--don't use those products that are supposed to super-power your septic tank. They are, at best, a waste of money and at worst can actually damage your tank and/or drain field.

take care,
Tom A

Nathan(GA)    Posted 01-22-2003 at 11:21:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
A "properly working" septic system shouldn't need pumping for many years. The one we use hasn't been pumped since it was put in during the early '70's. My Grandmothers old system has never been pumped.

TB    Posted 01-22-2003 at 10:31:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Put a garden hose in the leach field pipe if it doesn't back up right away your in good shape. All you should have to is reestablish your bacteria colony and you should be in good to go. I have seen some systems that went longer and are still good.

Salmoneye    Posted 01-22-2003 at 10:19:27       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Did you have it pumped?

If it has really been in use without a pumping in that amount of time, I would say that it is working fine...

Red Dave    Posted 01-22-2003 at 10:18:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well, it's not a good thing.
The reason for pumping out the tank is to remove the solids that are settled there. If those solids get deep enough in the tank to run out into the drainfield, they will clog up and ruin the drainfield.
It depends on how heavy the use of it has been and whether solids have washed into the drainfield. The liquid from the tank will have to go somewhere and a clogged drainfield will often show up as a soft, spongy spot in the yard where the liquid accumulates. Do you have anyplace where the grass grows really, really good?

countrymaritimer    Posted 01-23-2003 at 07:06:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
You hit the nail on the head. There are many factors which come into play. How big is your tank? Steel or concrete? Likely steel. It may need to be replaced at some point. Are the baffles big enough, are they even there? They prevent the scum layer from draining out and clogging things up. Depth of solids as earlier discussed? If you can establish that the tank is functional what about the you have a field, where is it draining, proximity to waterwell, is there bacteria in water? Depending on the subsoils, you may be fine. My house sits on sand and gravel anyway, thick deposits, clean, perfect for filtering what may not get picked up in field. The septic guy can tell you about your tank's health. Do not....Do not put any of that septic stuff down there, there is no need to add or try to cultivate that which should grow naturally (bacteria). I also would not advise running water backwards thru system, but I am no expert. If it ain't broke... Good luck

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