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Old 01-08-2010, 08:49 AM   #1
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Dry sump pump pit/failing septic system


Can someone please advise? Our home is a bi-level, built in 1972. In the 10 years we have been here, the sump pump pit was always full and the pump ran several times a day, even during dry periods. Suddenly, last August, the pit dried up and no water has entered it since. Now, we are being told our septic field is failing, as the tank overflowed, was pumped, and overflowed again. Could the two possibly be related? Is there anything we can try before spending several thousand dollars on a new field? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!

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Old 01-08-2010, 09:15 AM   #2
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Dry sump pump pit/failing septic system


is it a sump or sewage ejector pit? does the lid bolt down and there is more than 1 pipe exiting it?did the septic and pit problems happen at the same time?

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Old 01-08-2010, 09:23 AM   #3
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Dry sump pump pit/failing septic system


The ejector pump and pit seem to be working okay, sewage is not backing up into the house, the external septic tank is what is overflowing. The sump pump is unusually dry, no water has been in it since August, which is extremely rare for our house. The septic problems were first noticed in early December.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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Dry sump pump pit/failing septic system


I don't put much stock in enzymes, some do, but you could try them to clean out your leeching fields. You probably need to cut your water use down, go to the laundry mat to wash clothes. Leeching fields aren't cheap as you say, but when they clog up not much to do but replace them. As for the sump pit, I'm not sure they are connected, maybe the water somehow worked its way into the fields, hard to say with ground water. My 19 years on septic were not pleasent, back to city sewer for me.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:01 PM   #5
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Dry sump pump pit/failing septic system


It could be more than a coincidence.

A crack or other leak letting ground water into (as opposed to letting sewage out of) your septic system may have developed.

Then your leach field may be overloaded as opposed to failed from all the ground water that used to end up in your sump pump pit now going into the septic tank (not supposed to).

You might be able to observe (and prove/disprove) this by uncovering the junction box where the septic tank outlet meets the leach field and seeing what kind of flow is coming down from the tank (and for how long) while nobody is using water in the house.

The normal level of water (not counting floating grease foam (scum) in a septic tank is a little less than a foot below the top when nobody is using water. Pumping a septic tank a second or third time in quick succession changes the role of the tank for septic to holding; all that does is (cost money and) buy you time until you can find and fix problems with the leach field. No water will exit the tank until the level gets back up to the 9 inches or so below the top where the outlet pipe is.

While you are at it, do all the normal checks for wet basement problems such as being sure that water from gutter downspouts does not pond up near the foundation.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 01-08-2010 at 09:12 PM.
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