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Old 01-09-2010, 10:34 AM   #1
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Septic Efluent Leach Field


I would like to know how long a leach field needs to stay unused to become to near new condition? I have heard that after a year of dormancy the biomass layer dies off, all turns to dirt, and system is usable again.

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Old 01-09-2010, 11:55 AM   #2
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Septic Efluent Leach Field


Ayuh,... Some used up leech fields Never come back,...
Especially if the owners had a garbage disposal, or dumped Grease down the drains...

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Old 01-09-2010, 01:16 PM   #3
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Septic Efluent Leach Field


If you live in a state that allows the terralift mecheain this would fix problem same day. If not you could try and have lines sucked out and then add alot of liquid bactira to the lines. like 5 gals. per lines. this mite hurry up restoring time.

If you system is saturated, Check you toilets for the flapper leaking, or water softner. To check the toilet take 1pk of koolaid and dump in tank of toilet let set 10-15mins. if color comes into bowl of toilet the flapper is leaking or water level is sat to high running over, overflow tube. Just one toilet leaking 24/7 365 aday,you would flood you system. Its sounds like a small leak, but it aint the size its the constant flow. your septic system became a creek. stop the flow up stream and down stream will dry up. (drain bed)
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:50 PM   #4
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Septic Efluent Leach Field


My experience with failed septic fields is that they will not magically rejuvenate themselves even if left dormant forever. There are a number of proprietary systems which purport to rejuvenate failed fields. Some use harsh chemicals like peroxides, some claim to use bacteria, others use undefined processes. They all claim to be successful at least part of the time, however the devil is in the details, since "success" is hard to define, and there are very few scientific studies to prove their efficacy.

The first step to determining if a field can be rejuventated would be to determine the cause of the failure. Typical failure causes include:

1. Field too close to the seasonal high water table. No fix here except to replace the system at a higher elevation or in a new location.

2. Field built on poorly percolating soil. No fix here except to replace the field in a new location on suitable soil.

3. Collapsed pipes or pipes filled with debris or solidified effluent. As long as the soil in the field is OK, the solution is to replace the damaged pipes.

4. Field filled with organic material due to excessive loading. This could be a candidate for bacterial remediation, depends on the material. Alternative fix would be to replace the ruined soil.

Determination of the cause of failure is not normally a DIY project, unless you have specific experience in the design and cause of failure of septic systems. I recommend you hire an engineer or qualified septic installer to perform tests on the system, including groundwater level, percolation rate of the soil, and soil loading analysis.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for assistance in this matter. Food color placed in toilet tank. We will soon see if it leaks.

Water level in septic tank has gone down to proper level after we cut back water usage early 2009. That would seem to indicate that with minimal usage ( no more super long showers, and alternate days for laundry loads) the field biomass should dry up, thus allowing aerobic bacteria to start doing their job.

I need to get the the biomass layer to die off & turn to dust/dirt thus allowing water to drain through it.

Last edited by Docfletcher; 01-09-2010 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:09 PM   #6
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If you find something leaking,and you can fix it. give your system 3wks and it will dry up. I see this all the time and save ppl 1000s of dollards. You dont have to worry about biomat. (black soil under stone.) To help save your system check in about having a zable filter installed on outlet side of tank. fyi.

And if you want to see if its from HIGH WATER TABLE" take a digging bar and probe outside of drain bed as deep as you can,Below you drianbed if you can and about 3-4ft away. If you got water on your bar when you bring it out of hole, then water table is high. You just save and engineer from coming out to tell you the samething.

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Thanks for assistance in this matter. Food color placed in toilet tank. We will soon see if it leaks.

Water level in septic tank has gone down to proper level after we cut back water usage. That would seem to indicate that with minimal usage the field should dry up, thus allowing aerobic bacteria to start doing their job.

I need to get the the biomass layer to die off & turn to dust/dirt thus allowing water to drain through it.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:46 PM   #7
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Septic Efluent Leach Field


Coachwert, No leaks.

Had slow field issue in spring 2009, gradually it has been getting better. I believe it is fixing itself.

The biomass I spoke of is a semi clear slime which coats the gravel. When it becomes too thick water will not permeate through it. That's when the water can surface over leech field. Lucky I am that I have not had that problem. As long as the field does not get saturated aerobic bacteria will be able to do their job eating.

I could be waiting a long time for the biomass to die off. so I was hoping someone here would have some experience with similar situations.

Last edited by Docfletcher; 01-09-2010 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:56 PM   #8
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Bondo, Just think of all the folks who have dishwashers with garbage disposals built in. They are not even aware of the problems that can cause.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:20 AM   #9
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>>> not even aware

If you don't use the garbage disposal (and also scrape most of the waste food off the dishes) you won't have the problem down in the septic system.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docfletcher View Post
Bondo, Just think of all the folks who have dishwashers with garbage disposals built in. They are not even aware of the problems that can cause.
Ayuh,... Even worse are the folks who use massive amounts of Bleach in the laundry,+ toliet cleanin'....

The Rule #1 in my house is,... If it didn't pass Through You,...
It don't belong goin' down the drain...

Laundry waste goes to a drywell, not the septic....

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