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Old 06-25-2012, 03:44 PM   #1
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Septic Tank Drain Pipe


Hi Everyone,

I've been working on an issue with my septic tank and part of the problem fixed. At least it's draining now like it's supposed to.

But this raised two questions.

Here's my setup. Coming out of the concrete tank, is a PVC pipe. That connects to a four way. Going to the sky is what is left of an inspection tube broken by a lawn mower. Going down about six inches, is just another pipe that acts like a well. And then there's the drain pipe. Four way has to be replaced.

1) Is the pipe that runs into the tank somehow secured other than just a tight fitting or will it simply pull out when I cut the four way out?

2) Is the well supposed to act as a chlorinator? I know in the marine sanitation device on my work boat, we have chlorine baskets that "sanitizes" the outgoing liquids.

Thanks,
Timothy

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Old 06-25-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
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Septic Tank Drain Pipe


Not sure how anyone here is going to be able to tell you how your system works. There's dozens of differant systems out there.

As a general rule older systems had a septic tank where the solids settled to the bottom, the liquids over flowed once they filled the tank out to a distrbution tank so they could flow out to the leach field. A leach field is PVC pipes sitting in stone with holes in the pipes to allow the liquids to flow out into the ground.

There is no clorine treatment, and there is no inspection pipe as you suggest.
It's a good policy to have your septic tank pumped out about every 5 years to prevent sewer back ups.

http://www.septicsystem101.com/

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Old 06-25-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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Septic Tank Drain Pipe


JoeCaption,

Thanks for the response. I appreciate it.

I already understood how a septic tank works. I wasn't suggesting anything either. I have (or rather had) an inspection pipe that is connected just off the septic tank. The septic tank is just barely out of frame on the right side. That pipe going left goes all the way to the ditch.



So considering your response and the fact that I have a pipe to the drainage ditch, do I need the inspection pipe? Branching off of that, do I need that "well" on the downside of the 4way?

Thanks,
Timothy
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:16 PM   #4
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Septic Tank Drain Pipe


That sure looks like some DIY deal.
That could have been what someone thought would work as a clean out to a plug drain line.
May be time to call ina pro septic guy.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:20 PM   #5
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I spent several years designing and inspecting septic system in Massachusetts, your setup looks nothing like anything I have ever seen. Every relatively modern system I have seen has a pipe that exits the septic tank, and leads to a distribution box, typically concrete but occasionally plastic. The distribution box has typically a minimum of 2 and generally not more than 8 perforated plastic pipe lines leading from it, which run through stone trenches that treat the effluent. I have never seen an "inspection" port such as you have, and I have never seen a "well" such as you have. I have no idea what their purpose is.

I also have never heard of a system where the outlet pipe from the septic tank leads to a "ditch". Either they build systems very differently in Louisiana than in Massachusetts, or that plastic line leads to a distribution box that you don't know about. In any case, I am very interested in learning exactly how your system is constructed, and how it works.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:46 PM   #6
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I also have never heard of a system where the outlet pipe from the septic tank leads to a "ditch". Either they build systems very differently in Louisiana than in Massachusetts, or that plastic line leads to a distribution box that you don't know about. In any case, I am very interested in learning exactly how your system is constructed, and how it works.
Hi Daniel,

This is the second house I've owned in Louisiana in the last decade that has this exact same setup. The first house was built & bought brand new by me in 2002. This double wide is from 1994. The permit office and health department I talked to today knows what I have and didn't raise any problems with it.

My original problem was my drain pipe was clogged real well. I originally thought I had a drain field. The home inspection told me that, the septic tank inspector told me that. So I spent all morning digging to trace the line from the tank to the field. What I found was a drain line that empties to the ditch.

Other than a 45* elbow, there is nothing between the tank and the exit. That's what has me questioning whether that access was a chlorinator.

Tim
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:13 PM   #7
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Septic Tank Drain Pipe


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Hi Daniel,

This is the second house I've owned in Louisiana in the last decade that has this exact same setup. The first house was built & bought brand new by me in 2002. This double wide is from 1994. The permit office and health department I talked to today knows what I have and didn't raise any problems with it.

My original problem was my drain pipe was clogged real well. I originally thought I had a drain field. The home inspection told me that, the septic tank inspector told me that. So I spent all morning digging to trace the line from the tank to the field. What I found was a drain line that empties to the ditch.

Other than a 45* elbow, there is nothing between the tank and the exit. That's what has me questioning whether that access was a chlorinator.

Tim

So what your saying is your first house had no drain field and the health dept. and the permit office said it's okay with the drain running to a ditch??
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:24 PM   #8
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Neither house had a drain field. Drain pipe went from septic tank output to drainage ditch.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:30 PM   #9
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So you are running raw sewage into a ditch. This sounds like third world technology, something you would find in Haiti, but in the United States? Are there any other places in the U.S. that permit raw sewage to be run into a ditch?
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:51 PM   #10
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Hence the reason I'm asking if that well is supposed to be a chlorinator. It would be no different than the MSD on the work boat if that's the case. Tank would seperate water & solids, hold the solids, chlorinate the liquid, and expel.

But I've already figured to be calling the health department on that one tomorrow.

Thanks for the help.

Does anyone have a clue on the pipe heading into the tank? Is that sealed in somehow?
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:45 PM   #11
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Neither house had a drain field. Drain pipe went from septic tank output to drainage ditch.

Glad i don't live where you do.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:11 AM   #12
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Glad i don't live where you do.

Me too. You wouldn't be a very nice neighbor.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:22 AM   #13
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@ myowneq, The outlet pipe should be grouted into the tank wall. There should also be a vertical baffle pipe inside the tank that connects to that outlet pipe. Best if you cut the pipe outside the tank to make your repair. use "ferco" couplings.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:25 AM   #14
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@ myowneq, The outlet pipe should be grouted into the tank wall. There should also be a vertical baffle pipe inside the tank that connects to that outlet pipe. Best if you cut the pipe outside the tank to make your repair. use "ferco" couplings.

Eplumber, thanks for the professional response. I appreciate it.

It sounds like I might be in trouble with this one then. The four way was fitted so close to the tank, there will be nothing left to glue or hose clamp onto once it is cut off.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:48 AM   #15
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Septic Tank Drain Pipe


I just spoke with the health unit again. Nice gentleman there.

What I have is a residential waste water treatment plant. It has an aerator on it. If the system is functioning properly and not full, the water coming out the end of the drain pipe should be clear. There should be no solids or urine smells coming from the discharge. The tank must be pumped every four years. As my tank was pumped 18 months ago, I'm good for another 2 1/2 years.

So there is no raw sewage being dumped.

I appreciate the help JoeCaption and ePlumber.

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