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Old 08-03-2012, 04:02 PM   #1
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Septic Tank Problems


Dug up my tank the other day to check the sludge level. Found a few issues.

This is the setup of my tank:



Found that the outlet pipe is not connected to the drain field:


Looking in, noticed the level is below the inlet baffle so water is dripping onto the surface instead of entering below:


Also, with the outlet inspection plate off, water level is well below the outlet pipe.




SO. I'm guessing that there's a leak/crack in the tank that's not allowing it to get up to level (after checking the morning after, the level had dropped off a bit more). The "soil" in the back is mostly blast rock and sand so I guess that's why nothing's ever shown up (other than the occasional smell when lots of water is used).

I'm not super concerned about it since it's probably been like this for years prior to us moving in 3 years ago. Also, there's not really any way to get machinery into my back yard (very steep slope on the back and the house is in the way in the front). Also, the town is hopefully going to be running sanitary sewer up into our neighborhood within the next 5 years.

So, this is what I'm thinking for a stopgap for now.


- use a flexible fernco fitting to connect the outlet pipe back to the drain field pipe (just in case there's a lot of water used in a short period of time and it does manage to fill up)
- on the inlet side, make my own baffle with 4" ABS (elbow with a straight length down under the surface of the water).


Any thoughts?


Last edited by burnt03; 08-03-2012 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:11 PM   #2
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Septic Tank Problems


Have your tank pumped and inspected

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Old 08-04-2012, 07:42 AM   #3
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Just have it pumped. No need to bring in an inspector.

Jus make sure the T pipes or baffles inside are intact so lincoing liquid does not spread out immediately and exiting liquid is gathered from a small area near the exit pipe. (what you have should be similar to your diagram.)

You can test things yourself. While watching the inlet pipe have someone pour a quantity of water into a toilet, suggest using a large bucket plus a regular flush. Observe that the water comes into the septic tank nicely.

While the tank is still dug up and the hatches are still open, use a garden hose to verify that the outlet pipe in the tank is not clogged

Ideally you want to see that water flows to the leach field smoothly. You would have to find the distribution box and dig that up and remove its lid.

Rejoin the outlet pipe so when the water level gets that high the water overflowing into the outlet pipe will continue to the leach field rather than all leak out next to the septic tank.

It may take a few days for the liquid level in the tank to get back where it was.

[II would not worry about a crack in the tank letting water leak out the bottom.[/I]
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Last edited by AllanJ; 08-04-2012 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:18 AM   #4
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Jus make sure the T pipes or baffles inside are intact so lincoing liquid does not spread out immediately and exiting liquid is gathered from a small area near the exit pipe. (what you have should be similar to your diagram.)
So, as it sits (without inlet baffle extending below the surface), am I right in thinking that all the gases within the tank are directed up through the roof vent? If I extend the inlet baffle down under the water, will that create a trap so the smell stays within the tank?
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnt03 View Post
So, as it sits (without inlet baffle extending below the surface), am I right in thinking that all the gases within the tank are directed up through the roof vent? If I extend the inlet baffle down under the water, will that create a trap so the smell stays within the tank?
If the septic tank is losing water through a crack to the surrounding soil the water level may drop below the baffle or T pipe at either the inlet or the outlet.

Extending the baffle or T pipe down under the water does not create a "trap" to keep smells within the tank becaue the upper end of the T pipe is normally open.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:33 AM   #6
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well I am going to guess on this one ..if you have septic...you also have well water.... if you do...pump tank down and have it inspected...where do you think leaking sewage could end up???????
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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Nope, no well.

Last edited by burnt03; 08-05-2012 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:31 AM   #8
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Nope, no well.
ok ...how about your neighbors......????you get where iam going with this....have the tank pumped and inspected ...proper proceedure....after you find a problem which you have...if I was your plumbing contractor it would be required that I do that for everybodies safety...ben sr..
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:41 AM   #9
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ok ...how about your neighbors......????you get where iam going with this....have the tank pumped and inspected ...proper proceedure....after you find a problem which you have...if I was your plumbing contractor it would be required that I do that for everybodies safety...ben sr..
No, the entire neighborhood is on a municipal water source. While a cross connection with the incoming water line might be possible, the grey water would have to travel about 100' up the hill to the nearest service.

I do see your point though.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:25 AM   #10
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ok ...how about your neighbors......????you get where iam going with this....have the tank pumped and inspected ...proper proceedure....after you find a problem which you have...if I was your plumbing contractor it would be required that I do that for everybodies safety...ben sr..
This person obviously does not understand how the aquifer roots underground, tank needs to be repaired or replaced to be in compliance anything other is just irresponsible.

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