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septic field chambers

567 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  AllanJ
Hey all,

I noticed on a septic map of my backyard that the county had on file there is a drawing...the field snakes off in the backyard, and there are what appear to be sections. There is a line from the tank to the first field section - it shows 4' to the first section, then that section is marked with a 5. Then there is 16' to a second section, and that is marked with a 17. Then the line makes a U-turn into a third section marked with an 8.

This is a photocopy, but it looks like there are segments within each section. Are those some sort of chambers or something? 5, 17, and 8 chambered sections?

Next - we have an issue that seems to happen just once or twice a year - during both heavy rain and heavy water use, the basement toilet won't flush. We wait a few hours and everything works fine for the rest of the year. If we added another one of these sections to the end of this drain field - could we pick up 25%+ imrpovement in the ability for the field to purge liquids?

I ask because we have 3 really young kids now and their water use is light. But when they get bigger/older - our water use will go up quite a bit I suspect.
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The sections are groups of buried nearly horizontal perforated pipes, built in a manner similar to French drains except that the liquid from the septic tank is supposed to go down the pipes and dissipate into the soil along the way.

Under normal operation, the septic tank remains about 85% full. Then for each new gallon of sewage arriving in the septic tank from the house, a gallon of liquid is supposed to exit the other end of the septic tank on an ongoing basis.

When the ground around the perforated pipes is saturated with rain water, or with fine particulate matter (in sludge) from an improperly maintaind septic tank, or with grease (in scum) from an improperly maintained septic tank then the water will dissipate (purge) so slowly that plumbing in your house backs up. For the second two reasons the pipes have to be dug up and the soil around them carted out and new carted in, or new perforated pipes laid elsewhere as a new section.
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