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Old 05-29-2008, 02:51 PM   #1
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


We just recently bought a new home and we are new to septic tanks.
We currently have a 46"H PVC pipe in the middle of our yard (looks like a candy cane).
We are told (not sure)that this is the vent pipe for the leaching field of the septic system.

We would like to minimize the appearance of this pipe. We do not want to compromise the septic system in doing so.

Can this pipe be cut down to 23" or lower? Can we cut this down and extended it to the property edge?

We are just looking for something to do with this, as it is a real eye sore..

Thanks,

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Old 05-29-2008, 06:46 PM   #2
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


I have seen these before, but do not know what they do. may I suggest to paint it a camouflage color or maybe lawn green?

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Old 05-29-2008, 07:44 PM   #3
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


Never seen one, my leach field does not have one, if plumbing is properly vented I do not know why the leach field would need a vent.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:50 PM   #4
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


Not the leach field, the septic tank. I figure it allows for expansion maybe
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:20 PM   #5
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


Our home has been on a septic system for more than 32 years and I have been a rural real estate broker for more than 21 years.
I have never seen a septic tank or drain field "vented" like that. I've heard that those are for "inspections", which sounds like hogwash to me. A septic system (or sewer system hookup for that matter) is vented through the code-required drain-waste-vent system of a house (out through the roof), and no vent is required elsewhere.
Check with your Health Department for the purpose or legal requirment if any for this "vent" (I highly doubt that it is required).
If it isn't, dig down below ground level, cut and cap it off and forget about it.
Good luck!
Mike
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mike Swearingen View Post
Our home has been on a septic system for more than 32 years and I have been a rural real estate broker for more than 21 years.
I have never seen a septic tank or drain field "vented" like that. I've heard that those are for "inspections", which sounds like hogwash to me. A septic system (or sewer system hookup for that matter) is vented through the code-required drain-waste-vent system of a house (out through the roof), and no vent is required elsewhere.
Check with your Health Department for the purpose or legal requirment if any for this "vent" (I highly doubt that it is required).
If it isn't, dig down below ground level, cut and cap it off and forget about it.
Good luck!
Mike
I'm no septic expert, but I agree here. I've actually SEEN "vents" inside of septic tanks where they use a sanitary tee instead of a 1/4 bend to dump down into the tank. As previously stated, i'm not sure what use that is, since the house in theory should be properly vented, and therefore, the tank shouldn't need it's own vent.


Now, if it's a sewer basin with a pump....... that's a different story.
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:58 PM   #7
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


I have seen pipes on the tank itself and it is used for pumping the tank. My mother has one and broke the cover with the lawn mower. After a major rain storm, the tank filled and had to be pumped.

Hers is only about 8"above the ground.
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Old 05-30-2008, 12:38 AM   #8
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


I've been told by septic system people that those T's inside the septic tank on the house discharge main drain pipe and on the septic tank outflow pipe to the distribution box (most important) are on those lines simply to prevent floating sludge, grease and other solids from entering and clogging the house discharge and more importantly, the drain field.
The T's allow the tank liquid to rise into and flow out of the tank, trapping the floating solids inside the tank to be pumped out later with the sludge that has sunken to the bottom. (Mine only has a T on the discharge side.)
NC State University has done extensive research on septic systems over the years, and two of the most important things that I've read from all of these studies are (A) the only routine maintenance septic systems need is that the tanks should be pumped out at least every five years and (B) all of those septic system "additives" are worthless and a waste of money.
On the first note, I have our tank pumped in every year that ends in a five or a zero ("idiot proofing" for me...LOL). On the latter note, normal usage simply adds all of the bacteria needed for a septic system to function properly. All of that "additive" stuff is just a rip-off based on NCSU research (my description, not theirs).
Also. since we have a lot of shrubbery and trees planted near and in some cases, over our drain field, I flush a cup or two of copper sulphate crystals down about three times a year just to keep the roots knocked back.
Mike

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Old 05-30-2008, 07:41 AM   #9
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


You didn't say what the diameter of the pipe was, but in my area it was pretty common at one time to see a vent on the line going into the tank. They normally had a mushroom cap on them. The idea was to allow the air in the line to escape ahead of any moving liquid coming down the pipe. Clean outs are more common and have a plug in them. They are required by code in some places. What I would do is to temporarily seal the pipe with some plastic and duct tape. Check to see that everything flushes and drains properly. If all is well, then cut the pipe down to ground level and install a female coupling and a plug. Cut it so that you can mow over it. Make a note where it is for the future. If you ever start having problems, you can always remove the plug and put a vent cap back on it. I cut the clean outs on mine below ground level so I could mow over them, but took a picture first so I would know where to look for them if I ever had an issue.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:05 AM   #10
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Swearingen View Post
(Mine only has a T on the discharge side.)
The ones i've seen are on the inlet side. What you say, however makes sense.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:24 AM   #11
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


Thanks for the responses.

I will try and contact the local Department Public Health (MA)on information regarding this vent?

I am not sure where the vent actually sits, but it appears it is at the end of my leach field??..i could be wrong. we do have a vent that sits on the top of our roof as well. As you can tell, this is my first home with a septic system.

Dave
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:49 AM   #12
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


I think that I've read that vertical pipes located at the end of drain fields are there to observe if the end of the field is getting "wet" and therefore fully functioning. Don't know. Could be wrong. Your Health Dept. should be able to tell you.
I would like to know what they say the purpose is. Thanks.
Mike
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:39 PM   #13
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


If it's at the end of the leach field, then it's likely to be a clean out for the lateral. You could still cut it down lower, but I wouldn't bury it. You may need it one day.
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:11 PM   #14
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


Update!

I am still waiting for the DPH to give me a call back. However, I did speak with the builder of the home.
He indicated that it is used for "inspecting the system" and it could be cut off...

I a little miffed, because it is not capped (candy cane connector) and there are several other houses in this new development (different builders) and I see the same candy cane vents in some of the yards....

Has anyone heard of this type of pipe to inspect the system? And if we do cut it down, can it be capped? wouldn't 2 vents be better than one???

sorry for my ignorance.

Dave
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:57 AM   #15
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Septic Tank Vent Pipe


I've never seen a vent on a leach bed. I'd cut it down and cap it with a female fitting and a plug. If you ever need a clean out, you'll have one.

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