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Old 11-27-2015, 02:34 PM   #1
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Septic Issues


I'm new to the forum. Sorry for the long winded first post.

I had a house built 3 years ago on a 10 acre lot. Unfortunately, in an attempt to save a few bucks my builder did not build my house up high enough and I am now paying the price.

Due to the elevation of my house they were forced to put my septic field in a low area of my property. If my house would have been raised up 12" or so then the septic field could have went in another area less prone to saturated soil.

Any time the soil is saturated, mainly in the spring and fall I have problems with my septic system. The field gets saturated so my septic tank gets overwhelmed and it then clogs the filter and I have to "fish" out the filter and clean it.

The builder knew that the area for the septic field was low because the county required him to put a curtain drain around the perimeter of the field to carry off excess water. It obviously is not adequate.

I've been in contact with the person that installed the septic system and he came out and dug a 500' swale to help redirect surface water from the field. It was less than $1000 and I just paid for this although obviously the builder should have taken care of it. This proved to be somewhat effective as I no longer have standing water around the field except for a couple of hours after a heavy 1.5"+ downpour.

This still is not enough, however, as I still find myself having to clean the septic filter at least monthly in the spring and fall. I talked to the installer again and he told me the next time that it clogs he wants to come out and check things out. I think he wants to just make sure that I'm not abusing my septic system, which I most definitely am not. I am overly cautious and try to minimize water usage during wet times.

He suggested installing a less restrictive filter which is obviously just a bandaid for a bigger problem.

I know I am going to need to lawyer up to get anywhere with this and I'm not looking for legal advice, I was just wondering if anyone has dealt with a similar issue and what the outcome was.

Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:11 PM   #2
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I don't see how high water would make cleaning the filter be required more often.
Perhaps there is an issue with solids getting from the first tank the second tank. The internal divider in that tank could be damaged.
Have you had the tank pumped recently?
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:43 PM   #3
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Thank you for the response. The tank has not been pumped yet. What I think is happening is whenever the field is saturated and cannot take any additional liquid, any waste that is produced in the house cannot flow out to the field so it just overflows in the tank and then clogs the filter.
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:28 PM   #4
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Just not the way it works.
The filter is trying to filter out any solids that have floated to the top of the tank so they do not clog up the lateral lines.
Just a guess got a garbage disposal?
Last thing you want when when you have a septic system.
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Old 11-27-2015, 11:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCLL View Post
Thank you for the response. The tank has not been pumped yet. What I think is happening is whenever the field is saturated and cannot take any additional liquid, any waste that is produced in the house cannot flow out to the field so it just overflows in the tank and then clogs the filter.
Waste should never be flowing out to the field. It should be digesting in the first tank and only liquid flowing from the second tank to the field.
Next time it clogs I would call the installer and let him look at it. He can probably tell by what is clogging it what is going on.
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Old 11-28-2015, 07:01 AM   #6
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I don't mean solid waste going out to the field, only liquid. If the outlet pipe is backed up with liquid from a saturated leach field, then the excess liquid inside the tank has no place to go. Therefore it fills the tank all the way to the point of overflowing which sends solid waste over the top of the filter and clogs it all up. Does that make sense?
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:07 PM   #7
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When was the septic tank last pumped out?

If there is only a small amount of solid material, then it should not get stirred up as more waste comes down from the house, high enough to exit the main septic tank even if the exit and then the main tank fills up due to lack of absorption in the leach field.

If the septic tank fills up because the exit is blocked, perhaps by a backlog of liquid waiting to be absoribed by the saturated leach field, the first and only consequence will be waste unable to exit the house and backing up there.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 11-30-2015 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:32 AM   #8
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Allan, the tank has not been pumped yet. It is right at 3 years old. It's possible the tank is getting close to needing pumped.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:45 AM   #9
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If you don't really have other problems: Can you put in a dose tank?
It'$ ju$t more money for the tank and pump and controller and installation.
With the dose tank, it would allow unrestricted effluent flow to come out of your septic tank and when the dose tank gets full to the 'empty-me' level the pump will pressure out into the drain field.
I think you can add a dose tank to a drainfield that was designed for gravity. You might need to set the floats to pump only 200 gallons at a time instead of 500.
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Old 12-07-2015, 09:24 AM   #10
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That's an idea. Thanks for the suggestion.
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