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Old 09-18-2010, 10:28 PM   #16
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Full Septic or Clog?


B-4 I installed my septic system I had all trees removed.. Tree Roots are bad news for feild lines

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Old 09-19-2010, 04:02 PM   #17
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A septic tank is always full....of water!

A septic tank needs to be emptied when the compost solids at the bottom come half way up the tank.

And/or the floating scum/oil/fat/plastic/whatever fill the top third of the tank.

Open the tank and push a 10 foot long pole down through the floating scum and water until it touches the top of the compost.

That will answer, is it full.

The floating scum is a bit harder to measure, you need another pole with a hinged panel that can be pulled up and out at a right angle to the pole.

The pole should have a series of easy to read marks, white bands that will indicate how thick the floating scum is.

You hold the panel in line with the pole and push it down through the scum.

Once it is in clear water, pull the panel up at a right angle and lift back up until it starts to lift the scum, read off the pole how thick the scum is.

Job done.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:15 PM   #18
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Our closest neighbors are way down the street and nowhere near the lake. Basically every house on my block has been foreclosed on. The only neighbors that were left moved out last week, so no one to really ask. Between our property and the line of properties on the next block, there is a sump which leads to the lake. I'm wondering if this is where our drainfield is and we all share it?

We're going to dig up the septic this week and see what we can find out.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:33 PM   #19
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Sure am glad MY week will only be *yuk* drywalling..... still better than septic.....
You have my sympathies.

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Old 09-19-2010, 06:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breakitnmakeit View Post
Between our property and the line of properties on the next block, there is a sump which leads to the lake. I'm wondering if this is where our drainfield is and we all share it?
.
you local department of health, building department, or water and sewer department may be able to help you. If that is a municipal owned lift station, the would likely be able to tell you who is hooked to what.

When you bought this house, what did the disclosure form say as to septic system? Maybe you don't even have a tank but either a municipal or community septic system. Maybe they turned the pump off since nobody lives there anymore

just kidding but there may be a problem with the system that needs attention.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:52 PM   #21
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I found our survey. The drainfield is behind our house on our property and away from the big tree. The septic is a few feet from the back of the house and we've dug most of it up. The problem is that we haven't found any access points... just a big concrete slab with metal ropes on it... Not sure what to do from here. There is also a pvc pipe that runs diagonally over it.. We thought, at first, this was our leech pipe, but it's only about 1.5" thick. We've since figured that it is probably for our irrigation system since it's heading between the system's well and the lake.

But what are we to do with no access points? Where would they be in relation to this giant slab? There's no way we can move the slab.. it's about 4'x8' so far and we haven't found all the edges.
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:40 PM   #22
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the slab?

I would suspect that is the top of your tank. Dig down one side a bit to see if that is true.


I can't say I am familiar with a no opening tank (other than a huge slab on top) but who knows.

If it were me, I would clear off the entire top and look for the lids. Are you sure the wire ropes aren't embedded in a lid and not meant for the lift point for the entire tank?
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:28 PM   #23
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I realize you are tight on money, but now would be a very good time to call in a professional inspector who can locate the tank, the field, and the distribution box, and check on how well each is operating. I am a bit surprised you did not need a septic inspection prior to buying the house, where I live you cannot get a mortgage unless there is a professional inspection certifying that the system is OK, but maybe you paid cash, or live in an area where there are no rules.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:15 PM   #24
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We found the openings! There are two of them. The slab I mentioned is indeed the septic tank and 2 of the 8 metal ropes turned out to be openings. They were flush with the top so we have to brush away the excess dirt to find it. We opened up one side and the water is all the way up to the top. We dipped a pvc pipe covered with white fabric on it all the way down and hit the very bottom and pulled it back up but there is no dirt on it at all except maybe a couple inches. There isn't even much scum on the top. It's all water. We even tapped the pipe that comes into the tank, but it's under water so we can't see it.

What does this mean? I'm assuming it shouldn't be that full of water, right?
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:41 PM   #25
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It will be full up to the inlet and outlet level which should be at the same level. The scum floats on top and the sludge sinks to the bottom. They typically have one large opening used for cleaning which you found and one or two smaller openings by the inlet and outlets for local maintenance. It sounds like yours is in good shape from what you describe. It is probably a good idea to have it pumped while you have it opened up. Also a good idea to buy a concrete riser from a local concrete company which will go over the opening. They also sell a lid for the riser and that becomes your new cleanout lid. This will save you a lot of digging the next time you have it pumped. You should plan a riser and lid total height that will give you at least 6 inches of topsoil over the riser lid.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:49 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
I realize you are tight on money, but now would be a very good time to call in a professional inspector who can locate the tank, the field, and the distribution box, and check on how well each is operating. I am a bit surprised you did not need a septic inspection prior to buying the house, where I live you cannot get a mortgage unless there is a professional inspection certifying that the system is OK, but maybe you paid cash, or live in an area where there are no rules.

We had our septic inspected as part of the home inspection and this was all that was required. Basically, he ran all of the water lines for nearly 2 hours and checked for any slow drains or backing up and also checked outside for any wetness or softness. There was none. There is also an alarm on the side of the house connected to the septic and it would not go off, so he did say we may want to have it inspected and pumped in the near future to get the alarm working, but other than that, everything was working fine and well for the first 3 or so weeks of us living here.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:50 PM   #27
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You should plan a riser and lid total height that will give you at least 6 inches of topsoil over the riser lid.
The entire tank is only about 6 inches under the ground.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:17 PM   #28
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The entire tank is only about 6 inches under the ground.


How can that be ? The tank itself deeper than 6'' unless it sticks out of the ground
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:52 PM   #29
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The entire tank is only about 6 inches under the ground.
I guess you don't have to worry about the riser. Mine was 2-3 feet underground so it got a riser and lid.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:17 PM   #30
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I want to hear more about your alarm. Is this hooked to your septic tank?
Did it go off when you first backed up?

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