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Old 03-20-2010, 12:43 PM   #16
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I am wondering if solid wastes are being pumped out through the end of one of the drain field lines
Ayuh,... The way septic tanks are built, they can Not pass solids...
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:04 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bondo View Post
Ayuh,... The way septic tanks are built, they can Not pass solids...
By design and when functioning properly. yes. But it could be that the tank is full and is allowing sludge to escape. I have no idea when it was last pumped out. The previous owner let the (fresh water) pipes freeze and burst (but the well pump was off so no major water damage occured) and had to have them all replaced just within the past 6 months. The guy she hired to do the repair ran the water for 45 minutes she told me to make sure there were no leaks (I found a bathroom P-trap that's leaking pretty badly due to lack of teflon tape as well as a toilet supply valve dripping so he didn't do a very good job) but when he did that, he most likely waterlogged the septic tank, possibley causing sludge to escape because the tank hadn't been used at all much in the past year.

Also, it has a new well and the county health told her to put a bottle of bleach into the well pump and run it through the system to get rid of the chemicals normally found within new well system pipes, which basically kills all the good bacteria in a septic system which can make it mess up temporarily. On the plus side though, if the drain field isn't clogged up yet then it may be able to recover.

The toilets and drains are all flowing fine in the house, probably thanks to the lift station pump which forces the excess water out of the septic tank, through the rockbed filter and out to the drain field. But then again, it doesn't *constantly* run, it only runs when so much water flows out of the septic tank and the lift valve floats up high enough in the lift station's pit. But still, once the water fills the lift station so much, it begins forcing the water to the drainfield. If sludge is mixing with the water, it will be forced into the drain field.

First thing Monday morning, I will be calling up a septic pumping company to come have a look at the situation and possibly have them pump out the tank for good measure.
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:10 PM   #18
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maybe I'm misunderstanding something here but isn't a rock bed filtration system an open system i.e. you could not pressurize the effluent beyond the rock bed?

If you have plants growing from the rock bed system, they have to be subjected to the effluent somehow and since they do grow up above the bed,that part of the system could not be sealed. I would suspect that if you were pumping solids into the system beyond the tank, your first sign of problems would be at your rock bed system.
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:35 PM   #19
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I don't know... I really don't know. If that's the case then where did the big mess of poop come from and why does it just so happen to be right in the general area of where the ends of the drainfields would be located? Unless of course... it is from cows and was purposely dumped there. I don't see how else to explain it's source.

I'm not fully moved into the house yet, I still have until the 31st to be out of this rental house since I closed part way into the month, but now I'm fearful about even using the system until I get it checked out.

And again, I may just go ahead and pay to get the tank pumped out for good measure since it's unknown when it was last pumped and that's THE most important thing you can do for the septic system on a house you just bought with no septic maintenance records available. $200-400 is a small price to pay vs having a new system put in from an overflowing septic tank with it's non-water contents ending up in the yard.
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:06 PM   #20
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=Cubey;417327]I don't know... I really don't know. If that's the case then where did the big mess of poop come from and why does it just so happen to be right in the general area of where the ends of the drainfields would be located? Unless of course... it is from cows and was purposely dumped there. I don't see how else to explain it's source
.I'm not sure but I bet before all this is over you will be able to identify the difference between cow and human poo

maybe this is the time to get acquainted with the neighbor. He might be able to discern which it is. By doing that, if it is cow poo, he will realize he has a runoff problem he needs to remedy. (not saying he will remedy the problem but that there is a problem that needs attention).

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I'm not fully moved into the house yet, I still have until the 31st to be out of this rental house since I closed part way into the month, but now I'm fearful about even using the system until I get it checked out.
If you are a single person, I would suggest very limited usage will not cause any more harm in the very short term. If there is a problem, you, by yourself, using care to not use any unnecessary water won't add much more to an already damaged system.

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And again, I may just go ahead and pay to get the tank pumped out for good measure since it's unknown when it was last pumped and that's THE most important thing you can do for the septic system on a house you just bought with no septic maintenance records available. $200-400 is a small price to pay vs having a new system put in from an overflowing septic tank with it's non-water contents ending up in the yard.
In my area (and maybe even the state) it is a requirement to have the tank pumped when a home is sold. I have always thought it to be a good idea just so you get off to a fresh start, so to speak. If you have no idea how long it has been, I would definitely get the tank pumped. Be sure you do not just have a guy come and pump the tank. What is in there (how full the tank is with solids) must be determined before it is pumped for it to mean anything. If you do not speak with the pumper before hand, they may very well just pump the tank without taking a measurement.
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