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Old 05-04-2016, 12:03 PM   #1
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Could use advice on re-using a leech field at a slightly higher elevation


A co-worker told me about this site. I'll try to keep this succinct since time is money for a lot of you.

I have some land I plan to build a small structure on. It has a septic system in place that was there when I bought the property. There was a trailer 3-4 years ago. I had the tank inspected last summer and they said it was in good condition (concrete tank). The leech field has clearly been driven on and compacted over time. The records for the system I got from DEQ show the system was installed in early 2000.

The area I plan to build is a clearing with a slightly higher side on the west. Probably 10 - 12 inches (I may be estimating a bit high) in the highest area. Looking at the drawing the leech field is entirely on the lower portion with 600 feet of lateral line.

I want to bring in dirt and add to the lower side. My goal isn't to make it 100% level. There will be a slope. I just don't want as much of a difference as there is now. This is where my question comes in. I will be adding almost a foot of dirt on top of this leech field that is already 8 - 14 inches underground. So the leech field will need to be raised no matter what.

What I want to do is replace the entire septic system and upgrade to a 1500 tank. I want the new tank to be opposite of where the current tank is because the current tank sits near the property line on the west. Moving it opposite to the east would allow me to build a house if I wanted in the future and tie into it. Plus My structure will only have plumbing on one end and I'd like that end to be on the east side. having the tank over there would make things easy on me. Plus I could angle the lateral line going west keeping more of the East clear to park on.

My problem is I don't know the rules on this. I'm trying to research and get numbers of who to call and ask. I don't know if this technically counts as reusing the same leech field since the leech field will actually be sitting higher and with new dirt around it. I don't know how replacing a septic system is classified either. This would be a replacement, so I'm scared they'll say I can't re-use the leech field. (But I'm almost positive the field would be dried up after 4 years of not being in use.) I don't know if I can just classify this as making repairs and under that guise replace it.

The leech field needs dug up and repaired regardless. I know dirt is compacted into the lines and the header is slightly too far back to allow me to build. So it'd need to come forward a bit.

I'm just looking for advice on how to tackle this - what to know / research, what order to do it in, what to ask, what to look for, etc.

Should I just start by having a new perc test done? The last perc test was in 2000 obviously. The dirt on the ground seems to have gotten pretty hard over the years from being driven and parked on. Should I add new dirt before the test? Would that even give better results? Seems a shame to waste money if it won't make a difference. I'm scared to death it won't perc.

My ideal way of doing this would be to just get the leech field dug out, dirt added and the elevation I want reached, then just have the whole system installed. It'd be so much easier to work on the lot without having to worry about adding the dirt and then ripping out the old field 2 feet down.

Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2016, 12:59 PM   #2
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Re: Could use advice on re-using a leech field at a slightly higher elevation


With no location in your profile where going to have to guess what your local rules will be.
Around here you need to contact a soil scientist to come out and do soil samples and draw up the plans.
Then the county has to approve the plans, once that's done you can start calling local sewer company's for bids on the job.
No way around here can it even be repaired DIY or you'll get up to a $5000.00 fine.
I have not see anyone around here do a perc test in at least 10 years.
They do core samples instead to figure out what type soil you have.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:05 PM   #3
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Re: Could use advice on re-using a leech field at a slightly higher elevation


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
With no location in your profile where going to have to guess what your local rules will be.
I thought I had written it. Northeast OK

Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
No way around here can it even be repaired DIY or you'll get up to a $5000.00 fine.
I'm not talking about doing it myself. I'm looking for the best way to go about my particular issues / project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Around here you need to contact a soil scientist to come out and do soil samples and draw up the plans.
As far as plans and approval. Yep. Typically how it's done. But I'm more focused on what to know when it comes to replacing an old system with a new using the area the old one is in. Such as, can a leechfield be used as long as it has been dried for so many years. Things like that.

As far as drawing up plans and having someone come out. That's kind of jumping the gun. I'd rather do some research first. Plus I have to get the ground how I need it. And that's what I'm asking. If I can remove the current leech field, get the elevation raised, and add a new field later . Obviously after the soil has been tested, plans have been drawn. etc, etc. I can't make changes without a permit anyway I'm sure because it is hazmat. And these records are submitted to DEQ here so they'd be pretty curious where a leech field they have on file vanished to when submitting my new documents.

I'm basically compartmentalizing it to explain it better here. If I start bogging it down with every little detail trying to be extra precise people are going to split hairs and say well technically that isn't how that works and so on. What I am asking if what to go through to replace an existing system but after making changes to the surroundings and what order am I limited to doing things in and the better ways to do them.

Thanks for reading.

Edited - spelling

Last edited by billok; 05-04-2016 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:11 PM   #4
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Re: Could use advice on re-using a leech field at a slightly higher elevation


Gary Collins
(405)702-6100

I would suggest you talk to those who will be inspecting you.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:36 PM   #5
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Re: Could use advice on re-using a leech field at a slightly higher elevation


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Originally Posted by Ghostmaker View Post
Gary Collins
(405)702-6100

I would suggest you talk to those who will be inspecting you.
That was the OKC number. I'm over in Tulsa. I just got off the phone with them. They said I can re-used the old field as long as there is adequate room for my lines.

Looking at the DEQ site they do still do perc tests. It says the hole is ten inches. So what does that mean for adding dirt? When i add the dirt the elevation will be ten inches higher. So wouldn't having them do a test now give them a false read?

Last edited by billok; 05-04-2016 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 05-04-2016, 04:13 PM   #6
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Re: Could use advice on re-using a leech field at a slightly higher elevation


You need to discuss the project with the local inspector, as has been mentioned several times. No one on an internet chat forum can possibly know the local regulations that apply to your particular system. No doubt Gary is a wonderful person who will be happy to discuss your specific projects, explain the rules, and go over the options with you.
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Old 05-04-2016, 04:35 PM   #7
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Re: Could use advice on re-using a leech field at a slightly higher elevation


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
You need to discuss the project with the local inspector, as has been mentioned several times. No one on an internet chat forum can possibly know the local regulations that apply to your particular system. No doubt Gary is a wonderful person who will be happy to discuss your specific projects, explain the rules, and go over the options with you.
You must not have read all of the posts. Gary is in OKC and I am in Tulsa. If you go back you can see i got a hold of someone.

You also missed that I'm also asking what to look into and where to look. See I'm not asking for set in stone answers, but more, other people's experience / similar projects, what to look into and where to find answers, etc.

Thing is, I like to research on my own first and then gauge what people tell me. Maybe someone has been through something similar and can tell me how they did it. Never hurts to ask. It does hurt to encourage people not to ask though.

And as far as local regulations. That's fine. I don't care so much about those just yet. See, I'm asking for ways to go about this and about the elevation. I'm pretty sure someone on the internet knows how soil tests work. To say they don't is kind of presumptuous.

All the local inspector will tell me is get a soil test, get a design, get permits. He will go on and on about what people do when installing a new system but won't go over things specific to my situation because it is a bit out of the ordinary. They aren't going to walk me through different methodologies of doing this and explain what I need to know about soil tests. Just wanted to see how others may have handled it and where to look for options.

I think you're kind of fixating everything on the initial post rather than going along with the discussion.


Thanks. Hope your day gets better.

Last edited by billok; 05-04-2016 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:07 PM   #8
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Re: Could use advice on re-using a leech field at a slightly higher elevation


Quote:
What I want to do is replace the entire septic system and upgrade to a 1500 tank. I want the new tank to be opposite of where the current tank is because the current tank sits near the property line on the west.
Ayuh,.... So Abandon the system that's there,.... Forgetaboutit,....
It'll be pitched the wrong way anyways,....

Reshape the land to how ya want the grades/ cuts/ fills, whatever ya want,....
At that point, Start fresh, with the perk tests, design, 'n pitches,....
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