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Old 07-08-2014, 10:23 AM   #1
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Old Septic Tank


Hello,

I wrote about this before but have new information.
Over the weekend, i looked down the septic vent pipe (orangeburg, that is about 1 foot high in the yard, about 3 feet from an enclosed porch with no foundation). I questioned why they would put the septic tank so close to the porch and was told, the septic tank went in first in the 1940's... then the porch was added later.

Anyways, I looked in the pipe with a flashlight and saw water in there. I put a tape measure in and it went down 4 1/2 feet to the water, then another 6 inches to the bottom. so it's 5 feet deep and has a half a foot of water in there. (this tank has not been used in 40+ years).

The tank is only about 6 inches below the surface of the lawn, and it is not a "tank", but a poured or combination poured/block concrete tank. An sewer pipe ran from the basement into the tank. Then next to the tank, another pipe was put in with holes in it.... and a second "pit" was dug and lined with concrete block with large weep holes in it, (blocks were not butted next to each other).. I was told my dad and uncle built it for fluid overflow then to leach/weep into the yard and dissipate.

We may put a footer on that area as we may expand the porch.. so i want it removed/abandoned. I was told by an excavater that they could open it up, pour stone, soil, etc.... and that it would be safe and done. I was told there is a metal door or metal plate laying on top of both of these.(not safe)...

My question: if they only pour stone in there... ground water will still weep through the second pit and flow back into the pipe into the septic tank , and again, just sit there? Also, i'm sure the water fills the old sewer pipe that runs back to the house as welll? even though that pipe that runs from the basement wall has been cemented over.. I don't want a drywell in my yard that is always holding water..

Should I have them attempt to bust out the concrete at the bottom of the pits and remove the pipes as well?

Thank you.

Dave
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:43 PM   #2
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If the groundwater table rises above the bottom of a filled tank, yes the groundwater will fill the pores in the fill. This is not a problem. The exact same thing happens with soil in your backyard, when the groundwater rises, the pores in the soil fill in with water. There is nothing you can do to prevent this, and it is not a problem. When the groundwater level gets above your basement floor, you get water in your basement, which of course is a big problem, but that is a discussion for a different thread.

The standard technique for handling an abandoned tank is to pump it dry, then fill it with sand, gravel, crushed stone, or in exceptional cases concrete. Pipes are typically removed, but they can be capped and left in place.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:07 PM   #3
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Thank you.
The tank fills with so much ground water that i believe it backflows down the old sewer pipe back to the basement,(although the wall where it once came out has been cemented over.

Didn't want the constant water sitting in that pipe all the time. I think i will have them jack hammer the bottom or lower sides of the concrete tanks , then fill with stone, etc... for structure support, so the ground doesn't cave in when above, and so any groundwater doesn't just sit in the tank.
and have them either remove the pipes if they are accessible of cap off, as you stated.

thanks.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:46 PM   #4
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http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/24...to-septic-tank

This is why all unused septic tanks should be filled to the top.
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