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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

septic tank leach bed woes

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ericy

05-03-2013 21:11:17
64.12.116.200



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Im nedding some advice please. I just had my tank pumped out that was not to bad at $225 but now comes the woes and I dont know what to do.I mowed the place this week for the 1st time this year, and I noticed a WET spot in the yard .That spot has NEVER been wet in the 13 years that Ive been here. The pump guy asked about the heavy rain that we had ,4 " in the last 3 weeks . yes I under stand that the ground is wet but what about the big wet spot . The guy says to cut down on a lot of water use and let the ground dry up for at least 3 weeks and then "TRY IT" ---I dug up a small hole in the yard so I can at least keep an eye on things but Im getting upset that I will have to PAY the man to dig up the place and jump the hoops with the folks in town to keep things on the up an up it should be .BUT what should I do. My job has slowed down to 4 days a week and Im just keeping the bills paid I dont have any rich uncles around any more .

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buickanddeere

05-04-2013 09:08:50
184.151.61.132



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
Only item that should be on a septic is the toilet. Disinfectant hand soap, dishwasher detergent, chlorine laundry bleach and water softener brine . They all inhibit or kill septic tank bacteria. The soap scum and fat from dishes are a problem too. Run a separate grey water drain.



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Texasmark1

05-04-2013 05:53:43
184.21.28.126



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
If water is coming up from the bottom and down from the top (rain) what can you expect? Yes added fill helps but again you are applying water from 2 directions and it has no place to go.

On washing machine discharge, if you can find a safe place to drain it, it will no doubt do wonders for the septic

My system was 30 years old and I had the drain field relocated. Helped a lot.

Mark



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Texasmark1

05-05-2013 06:33:23
184.21.28.126



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to Texasmark1, 05-04-2013 05:53:43  
My field problem was two fold. First of all the guy installing it 35 years ago came out with one line and ran it 400'. The correct way would have been to make a fish bone with one short straight run and many offshoots to the side which is the way it was done down in the Houston area.

The second problem is that he used the thin wall, black, corrugated, drain pipe that you could crush with your bare hands. I don't doubt that it didn't get crushed in the initial dirt fill over it.

The replacement was, at my direction a fishbone as I stated above. Second he used PVC drain pipe that I could jump up and down on and it wouldn't crack and collapse, and third, he covered the rock with a plastic sheet rather than hay to keep the dirt out of the rocks.

Mark

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showcrop

05-04-2013 14:31:45
75.67.231.80



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to Texasmark1, 05-04-2013 05:53:43  
Around here you used to be able to run your washer to a dry well, but they outlawed it about twenty years ago. I once expanded a weak system with a trench filled with stone. It worked, but don't get caught doing it now. I used to pick up the bleach that I sold at a packing plant. I used to see septic tank pumpers picking up concentrated hydrogen peroxide. I asked one of them about it, and he told me that they dump it in to the field at the D-box to burn out the solids that got into the field because the tank didn't get pumped. It is good advice to dig up your D-box and check it because it is possible that it settled to one side, and only half your field is getting used. Most likely your field is done and will need to be replaced, unless your neighbors are a long way off. I have seen (and smelled) leachate running down the roadside for years and nothing being done, but not so likely these days.

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Andy C

05-04-2013 05:36:10
173.49.228.211



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
See a lot of septic systems in my line of work(excavating) I would suggest to first verify that no toilets or faucets are dripping. A small drip 24/7/365 really adds up and will easily overload a system. Got a water conditioner? can you put that water somewhere else? These are another hidden leaker. Don't know your soil types but look at the drainage on the surface to make sure it is not directed right over the field. Getting rid of the grey water in a separate field is a good idea if you determine that is necessary. Not to code in most areas but that is what I have had to do here at our house as it is < 1/4 acre and we do not have the setbacks to do it right. I did put a small tank (100 gallons) and a filter to reduce the buildup in the bed. What clogs up beds is usually what they call a biomat. It is a layer of solids on the bottom of the bed which becomes impermeable over time. reducing the water load allows it to break down and breath.
One other method you might investigate is fracking your bed. This is ok with the powers that be in this municipality. It basically is a process in which they have a big compressor and stick a probe below the bed and give bursts of air. This breaks up the biomat and you are back in business.
Hope this helps,
Andy

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ss55

05-04-2013 06:26:29
173.19.101.220



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to Andy C, 05-04-2013 05:36:10  
Does grey water mean water from:
showers and bathtubs;
bathroom sinks; clothes washer;
dish washer;
utility sinks;
sump pump;
and maybe a kitchen sink without a garbage disposal?

Would the remaining brown water that still needs to go through a septic tank then just be:
all toilets;
and kitchen garbage disposal?



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John T

05-04-2013 05:33:27
216.249.82.117



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
On order that soap and lint (2 bad things for a septic system) to NOT enter the septic system, I knew this "Dude" who runs his kitchen sink and clothes washer drain seperately way down over a hill in the middle of 40 acres farrrrrrr away from any neighbors property. Seemed to help his system work n last longer???

Id wait for the rain to stop n have her pumped maybe then one last time n see what happens if it were mine

Nuff said

John T

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jbp

05-04-2013 07:38:48
64.57.160.249



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to John T, 05-04-2013 05:33:27  
John T, we must both know the same Dude. Joe



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John T

05-04-2013 07:55:23
216.249.82.117



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to jbp, 05-04-2013 07:38:48  
Yep and he sounds like a real ornery scoundrel to me lol

John T



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Dean Olson

05-04-2013 05:22:17
166.137.116.25



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
How old is the system? In our gumbo clay if its much over 20 years its time to replace. Our County mandates aerobic systems now. In the mean time conserve water. Install water saving aerators, shower heads, and toilets. That will help extend the inevitable by several years.



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El Toro

05-04-2013 04:13:08
108.3.218.181



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
Your drain fields are probably failing. Hal



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don t. - 9n180179

05-04-2013 03:17:42
75.205.34.178



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
Maybe its erosion(sp?) of your top soil. I live on a hill, not a big one, but it is a hill.
15 years ago, new septic when I bought the house.
Bout 5 years later, had a wet spot.
Called installer, who claimed all is well and I needed some fill.
About every 5 years or so, I add 3 yds of dirt to fill in the wet. YMMV...don t. ...



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36 COUPE

05-04-2013 03:16:46
69.49.147.185



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
Many systems get over loaded in May.I notice the pumper trucks are around a lot during April and May.A lot of early systems had steel tanks that failed when automatic washers came into use.I live in a rural village where all the steel tanks have been replaced.At least 20 systems close to me have been replaced because they failed.Fellow bought a house across the road from me.There was no trouble for 30 years.He had a lot of homeless relatives that moved in on him.The must have been 8 or 10 living there.The old steel tank system failed.He asked me what to do.I told him to open the tank a have it pumped and see if the bottom was ok.It had holes in it so a new system was put in.You are in a tough spot but it will cost money to fix it.I know a fellow who put in his septic system with a wheel barrow.He followed the plan and it passed inspection .The reason for permits is to keep faulty systems with their problems from being used.I did building inspection for 15 years here.Plumbing and septic were not part of my job but I had to have a septic plan to look at before I could issue a building permit.You can still use an out house here but you must have a site evaluators plan.Ive heard of an old milk cooler being used.One fellow used 2 wooden potato barrels as a tank.Its best to have a seperate dry well for washers and bath and sink water .The best thing for a drain field is a good grass cover.Dont mow the grass so short that it dies.I know a bit about septic systems.All learned the hard way.A frozen tank is the worst problem .I know how to fix that, just hope you never get that problem.

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nys

05-04-2013 03:10:09
98.15.254.212



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
Could be a problem at distribution box so more water goes to one run of pipe, they make discs to go into pipes to even them out. Also Gemplers sells bacteria for septic systems and manure pits that may help clean up your system.



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Traditional Farmer

05-04-2013 02:56:56
67.233.75.46



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
Put some yeast down the toilet once a month it'll get your system 'cooking' again.



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Tony S.

05-03-2013 23:37:15
173.84.219.224



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
We have renters in a house, too many people for the system. I just dug a hole to the bottom of the drain field and put in a sump pump that takes the water off to a weed patch. It's their fault so I plug it in to their house. It takes all winter to fill up, dries up all summer.



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LOU from Wi.

05-03-2013 23:29:56
174.124.45.209



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
What kills the drain field is BLEACH and SOAP from the washer going into the septic tank killing the bacteria that breaks down the waste. Using YEAST flushed down the toilet helps but NO SOAP AND BLEACH should ever inter the septic tank. Having the tank pumped regularly helps but becomes expensive. There should be a separate tank for washer and dish washer and bath water , Otherwise it"s just a matter of time before the Field is ruined. I"m sure that suggesting another tank for soap and bleach contaminated water will meet with resistance here but thats how we did ours. Over 20 years and pumped every 5 years makes our drain Fields operable and in great shape. Take a look down the vent pipe at the end of the field to see if it"s water logged. Indication the field is saturated. Hope this information helps. LOU

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37Chief

05-03-2013 21:48:30
68.8.206.100



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
Just be carefull what goed down the drain. If you have a dish washer plumb it to a seperate hole. I made a hole and lined it with blocks and gravel. The washer pump will pump it out with no problems. I used one inch pvc. My clothes washer goes out to some trees. I think the stuff they sell that you flush down the toilet some good also. Stan



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hrRoss

05-03-2013 21:45:04
70.194.128.212



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
make sure you dont pump your sumpump out into the septic tank. some systems are set up that way.that would save a lot of water going into the septic system



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JD Seller

05-03-2013 21:24:36
208.126.196.144



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to ericy, 05-03-2013 21:11:17  
I would just be patient for a while. Your system could be fine and the wet weather just is over loading the ability of the soil to absorb the water. When it is real wet I have a spot in the yard that gets soft and my system is fine. It just can only handle so much water.

Also if your house sets much higher than the septic field it will force the water out to the top. So for now you can just let it be until you have money/time to repair it.

It makes a difference if you are in town, on a small lot or on an acreage. If you are not close to anyone and there are no water ways close then just let it perk to the top and evaporate for now.

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Spook

05-04-2013 04:47:57
99.25.81.12



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 Re: septic tank leach bed woes in reply to JD Seller, 05-03-2013 21:24:36  
How much attention you get from neighbors is important. I dug mine up, not all the way, and trenched in lines between the existing lines. I had pea gravel delivered, layed sock tile in a bed of gravel, covered that up with more gravel, then put the dirt back. That was at least 10 years ago, hasn't "burped" yet. I get it pumped every 3 or 4 years, and there is just 2 of us here.



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