Bleach in Septic Drain Field?

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On Sat, 21 Apr 2007 20:57:19 -0400, "Frank from Deeetroit"

That's what I figured. Poor construction. Septic fields shouldn't fail.
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I'd agree, for a "normal" type of soil. What we have here is far from normal.
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On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 01:53:02 -0600, "James \\"Cubby\\" Culbertson"

I hear you.
You have too much ribbonning....
http://empiretribune.com/articles/2007/04/23/news/news03.txt
That's a very good article on a guy with a dirty job.
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Unfortunately I can't view the article (asking for member ID). What's ribboning?
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On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 21:08:22 -0600, "James \\"Cubby\\" Culbertson"

Here you go: ========Septic expert goes where the waters dont flow
By MORGAN CHRISTENSEN Texan News Service Monday, April 23, 2007 12:56 PM CDT
Anyone who has ever played poker knows a full house beats a flush. But for Audie Wienecke, whos been in the septic business for more than a decade, a good flush always beats a full house.
On a recent spring day, the smell of raw sewage filled the air as Wienecke and his crew worked on a septic system. Sewage water flowed onto the ground from pipes that had unearthed themselves as settlement clogged the lines. Despite the dreadful smell, three men toiled inside a giant rectangle carved into the red and yellow earth.
Their lateral lines were sitting in clay and the water was coming to the top. You have to replace the system if your lines fail, Wienecke said.
Being foreman or top dawg, as Wienecke calls himself, of Ace Pumping & Septic Services, Inc., can be a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Wienecke figures it might as well be him.
On a typical day he pumps about 8,000 gallons of raw sewage, exposing himself to deadly pathogens and disease-causing organisms, especially E.coli. He said hes never gotten sick from the job, but he takes precautions and tries to keep himself and his workers as sanitary as possible.
Youre going to get it on you. Theres no keeping it off, Wienecke said. All my guys are required to wear gloves and use a disinfectant hand wash. All the trucks carry rinse water so they can go to the truck and wash themselves off in case they are exposed to sewage.
Wienecke is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each call must be responded to within 48 hours, but most calls are handled within 12 hours of the time they were reported.
When septic problems happen, I got work to do, said Wienecke, a man with salt-and-pepper hair and a slow Texas drawl.
Installing septic systems involves more science than many people might think. It begins with a soil evaluation test at the customers site.
Wienecke kneels down, takes a pinch of fresh soil and rubs it between his thumb and index finger. This is the best type of soil. It just crumbles, he said. But when you get into the yellow looking clay over there? You can put that in a ball and it will start ribboning.
Ribboning is a technique used to determine soil texture. For example, when clay is pinched between the fingers, it ribbons out before breaking off from its own weight. How long the soil will ribbon helps determine its classification.
If the soil evaluated is porous and does not ribbon well, a conventional septic system can be installed because treated water from the settlement tank will soak quickly into the soil.
In a conventional system, two tanks made of either steel or concrete are used. Wastewater, or sewage, flows from the sewer pipes inside the home into the trash tank. There, the solids separate from the liquids and fall to the bottom of the tank. Then, the water freely flows into a settlement tank.
The second tank is on there so that your settlements dont go out into your pipe and gravel field and clog it up, Wienecke said.
Soils rated Class 3 and higher, however, require an aerobic system to chlorinate the water, purifying it enough to disperse on top of the ground.
Aerobic systems are like a mini-sewer plant with three tanks instead of two. The sewage enters the trash tank through the sewer pipes, and separates into solids and liquids, like it does in a conventional system. The settlements and water then enter the aeration tank, where the solids break down. From the aeration tank, water flows into the pump tank to be chlorinated and purified for dispersal.
Wienecke warned that septic systems are like houses. If you dont maintain a house and do a little work on it, the house will just run down and youll have problems with it, he said.
He recommended that septic tanks be pumped every three to five years, depending on the number of people in a household. Preventing sludge build-up is impossible, of course, because certain matter will not decay. Simply put, the more toilet traffic, the more often a septic system must be pumped.
Most homes have two 500-gallon tanks, but tanks can hold from 250 to 6,000 gallons and more. To pump 1,000 gallons of sewage from start to finish takes roughly 45 minutes to an hour.
On his busiest day, Wienecke pumped over 18,000 gallons of sewage.
A wet situation, he called it.
Disposing of 72 tons of wastewater can be done two ways. It can be dumped at a city sewer, the closest one being in Fort Worth. Or, with a beneficial land application permit, wastewater can be treated with a high concentration of lime to balance the pH for dispersal onto the ground.
It makes great fertilizer, Wiencke said. Human waste is the highest concentrated fertilizer there is because of the bacteria, potassium, methane gas, nitrogen, and so on.
Wieneck has found some surprising items when hes pumped the tanks on some septic systems. He recalled his most memorable job, one that hed rather forget.
It took us six hours to pump that tank, and we had a five-gallon bucket full of toys, small bottles of baby powder, golf balls, Wienecke said. Every time it stopped up we would have to break a hose down, wash it out, find the thing and start over, he said. That had to be one of the worst experiences.
As the wind gusted, stench swept through the air. Stagnant green water from the trash tank rippled as mosquito larvae bathed in it. The smell didnt seem to bother Wienecke. He said he grew accustomed to it years ago.
You got to have a strong stomach, he said. And a great understanding.
The Texan News Service is a project of the Tarleton State University journalism program. ========
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wrote:

Thanks!
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wrote:

Actually, per the article, I have virtually no ribboning. I have sand which doesn't stick together. Cheers, cc
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James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:

Soil that's too porous is just as bad as clay.... Septic systems depend on water and time to break down solids. If the soil is too porous, the water drains too quickly, leaving the solids on top of the sand. What you have is a very efficient filter, which, unfortunately, will blind fairly quickly.
Not sure what you can do about it, especially if the 'sand' is actually powdered limestone, which is what yours sounds like....
Your local septic permitting agency should have some good information.
--Yan
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Hypochlorite bleach will break down biomat and sludge so if the drainfield is locked due to this, it might work. But if the field is locked due to re minerialization of limestone or caliche, it does nothing. Sodium hypochlor ite can sodium lock clays causing a mineral gel so only calcium hypochlorit e which is safer. Use tablets in tge distribution box, not the septic tank . It will reduce beneficial microbes so dont use often.
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James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:

If your local codes allow it, use this stuff next time:
http://www.ads-pipe.com/en/product.asp?productID#7
You can even put in a clean out on the far end (an access door big enough to drop a sump pump through) and clean it out...
Not sure if it will help your soil conditions, but it typically has an area 2.5x bigger per foot of run than a conventional gravel field, so it should last 2.5x longer before it plugs up....
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