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jjrbus 09-05-2009 07:02 AM

septic problem???
I have a small house in FL with septic and a VERY high water table. I have no problems until a heavy rain.
I would guess the septic tank is 500 gallons, I had it pumped in Feb when I purchased house. The leech field (built in 68) is about 8 feet of concrete block laid end to end in gravel, both the tank and leech field are about 1 foot deep.The water table is currently about 8 inchs down!!
The bathroom is located about 6 feet from the tank. First in line is the sink, then toilet, then the shower/tub, then out to the tank.
During heavy rains the toilet flushes very slowly or not at all. Surpriseingly the sink works fine and the tub drains with no problem, I filled the tub when the toilet was malfunctioning and pulled the plug and it drained normal?? The kitchen sink about 10 foot away works with no problem. But the wash machine drain overflows in the garage, which is about 20 foot from the tank??
I have chatted with the neighbors and they have or had the same problem. One neighbor replaced his leech field and said it solved his problem. He is single and never home, so I question his experience.
The other neighbor put in one of the mega $$$$ raised bed leech fields. I understand they are in the $10K area now. I really dont want to go that route. Rumor has it that the pump in this type of system never shuts off when it rains?
All input, suggestions, theorys and wisecracks greatly appreciated. JIm

AllanJ 09-05-2009 07:33 AM

You plumbing system venting (usually a pipe from near the toilet up to the roof) may be clogged. The toilet might seemingly work OK ijn dry weather when there is some air space in the septic tank to compress but when the tank fills up because the leach field is waterlogged, then the toilet doesn't flush right.

If the tub drains normally while the washing machine drain in the garage is overflowing, that does not prove anything new.

It might help if you regrade your land so surface water from your entire yard does not tend to end up over the leach field.

A septic tank normally stays about 85% full of mostly liquid. A septic tank is pumped only to remove solids (seldom needed more often the 3 year intervals) or to change its role from septic tank to holding tank during heavy rain when the leach field is waterlogged (very expensive).

A mound system that really looks like a mound puts the leach lines above normal terrain level so as to be less affected by a high water table, but septic tank liquid (effluent) can ooze out and be visible when the water table is high.

jjrbus 09-09-2009 09:59 PM

Thank you for the response!

Regradeing the yard is not an option. I noticed something on the neighbors roof, on closer examination it is a snake. I would guess they snaked out the vent stack and left the snake on the roof. They are neighbors I really dont want to chat with and ask.

As per your advice I will try snakeing out the vent.

I was thinking along the lines that during a heavy rain, water is filling the leech field and the septic tank and then the line to the house. Causeing the toilet not to flush. Why the tub would still drain has me confused.

Will report back after snakeing the vent.

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