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Septic Tank
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Jim(MO)    Posted 06-03-2003 at 12:31:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
As a first time owner/user of a septic tank would appreciate any hints, tips and no, no's. It's about 75' to the 1000 gal. tank and about the same to daylight using natural slope. Pipe is about 2' deep and about the same on top of the tank. As it will see minimal use for a couple of years the plumber suggested we fill it with water right away to keep it from floating up in our heavy clay subsoil and run plenty of water when it is used to keep pipe from clogging. Sure using a lot expensive rural water at the moment!

terry    Posted 02-24-2004 at 09:41:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
is it an aerobic system? - no one seems to ask that question here they just assume its a traditional one. Most of Texas requires aerobic due to the clay soil (black gumbo).

Lazy Al    Posted 06-03-2003 at 13:45:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
Right up above click on view archives and go to page 141 there's a lot of discussion on septic systems
It doesn't take a long time of useing it to fill
up the tank and from then on it stays full and
what water goes in drains out the other end at the same time . You will always see a layer of sludge on top , then water , then on the bottom is
the sludge that you have to worry about, when it builds up to where it goes out in your leach field then its to late . that is why they get pumped ever so often depending on useage and
wether you put bleach a other stuff in it that kills the bacteria

buck    Posted 06-03-2003 at 13:41:39       [Reply]  [No Email]

As I take your post you are starting with an empty tank and need to fill it with water to prevent it from floating out of the ground when the surrounding ground is saturated. Could be true and since it is once filled it will remain full unless there is some problem with the tank so the 1000 gal of water is small insurance and during normal use It will not take long to fill it . Another part of your post interest me in that you said "to daylight". Does this mean that you have a line that leaves the tank and is simply discharges onto the surface and do not have a drainfield. Should this be the case all you have to do is check the outlet end and see if the system is working bu the presence of fluid and odor. As far as problems from the house to the tank goes you will notice a sluggish flow or blockage if things are not going right in the tank.

Jim(MO)    Posted 06-03-2003 at 15:08:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yes it goes right to the surface. In this part of the state anyway this is legal as long as its over 100' from a public roadway ditch or natural stream. My outlet is over 100 yards from the road. Some folks don't even bother with the tank, just straight out into the field some distance from the house.

Hal/WA    Posted 06-04-2003 at 17:40:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
Even if it is legal to drain effluent to the surface, I would install a drainfield. With the currently available perforated plastic pipe that joins together, it is easy to do. And if you are that loosely restricted, you should not have to worry about permits and inspections, which is the real hassle in my area. Almost all the drainfields that have been built around here in the last 20 years have been required to be pressure mounds--built up piles of gravel and membranes that require a pump to work and sometimes cost as much as $20K!

I would put in the drainfield to deal with the mess and smell that the effluent will certainly cause if you just let it run on the surface. And while it may not be required now, unless you are REALLY remote, I would expect that a drainfield would be mandated in the future, especially if you ever plan to sell the property.

The tank is the major expense. All you need now is some plastic pipe, a bunch of large gravel, some of that landscape fabric and the use of a backhoe. With someone who knows how to operate a backhoe pretty well, it shouldn't be much of a trick to put in a drainfield in a day.

The advice to fill the tank with water is probably based on experience in the area. I would fill it right away. Unless you are hauling it, a septic tank full shouldn't cost much and might save you a lot of trouble if tanks really can float out if they are empty.

By the way, why is your septic tank so far from the waste source? It might be a problem to you unless you use lots of water occasionally and your pipe has just the right slant down so it cleans itself well. Waste pipes can plug up and cleaning them out after they have plugged is a very awful icky job....Been there and done that. You might want to consider adding cleanout ports to the waste line before the soil settles and while you still know precisely where the waste line is. With those capped ports, it is possible to run a snake through the waste line to clear it. Much easier than having to dig it up when it plugs. Good luck.

buck    Posted 06-03-2003 at 15:44:17       [Reply]  [No Email]

That used to be quite common in this area of VA. but no more. Permit and inspection required for new and repaired systems. I personally think that if one can meet the requirements that you mentioned then that is an excellent system. Fear of drainfield failure is probably the worst part of these systems. Your system should be almost maintenance free for many years.

Clipper    Posted 06-03-2003 at 12:47:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Prior ta putting her to real use fer your house have her pumped-while the tank is open throw in 2lbs of bakers yeast....been doing my septic sytem that way for over 20 years. Pump out every 3 years and treat with the yeast. Mah 2cents only.

walt    Posted 06-03-2003 at 13:10:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
Bakers Yeast, dead cats, chickens. This is all wives' tale. Bacteria grows at a specific rate and no additive to your septic will change the growth rate. The fact your pumping every 3yrs is why you have had no problems. Just tell everyone in the house, no plastic, cig butts, etc.

Ludwig    Posted 06-03-2003 at 12:56:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
3 years is pretty frequent lots of people can go 10 years or more.
Still, if your happy with it, its great...

My parents have a small tank and lousy soil so they only get 1-2 years. Town is supposed to run sewer this year, they're some excited.

Ron/PA    Posted 06-04-2003 at 05:07:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ten year pumps are the reason that Pa. is now requiring an approved septic site, and an alternative septic site, in some areas. Going 10 years between pumpings is just too long, and will eventually begin to clog your leach field. 3 years is optimum, and 5 years should be maximum.
As for floating a 1000 gal. concrete tank, it will happen overnight! BTDTBTTS,, and I've seen lots of other non-believers do the same.

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