No Septic Tank?

Page 1 of 2  
I went to my cabin this week to dig up the septic tank cap. I found where the line came out of the house, and followed it for a few feet. It was angled down into the ground at a steep angle, and I did not reach the tank.
I took two metal dowsing rods and located all the branches off the line from the house. It looks like there is a main line from the cabin, a branch off that, and then five lateral lines off that branch. I could not locate a septic tank. We ran a hose down the line from the house, and it went twenty feet straight to a point on the hill where past that, there could not be a tank. And none of the lines hooked into a line coming out of where a tank might be. At bottom is an attempt of what the lines look like.
A friend of mine who is in construction big time suggested that the whole thing was made without a septic tank, as it is a seasonal cabin, and only gets light use.
The only other thing I can do is dig, dig, dig, to see if I can dig down to the suspected branches, or hit the actual tank. But by the looks of the surface located lines, there is no septic tank.
Anyone ever heard of this? What would you do?
_________________________ l l_________________________ l l_________________________ l l_________________________ l l_________________________ l __ l_________________________
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve B wrote:

How could/did you know the hose didn't just go into a tank rather than continuing down a line? (Not saying it didn't, mind you, but don't know from what you've said how you could tell where the end really was, only how much had been played out...)

Pretty reasonable "surmisation" :) I think given the data (assuming there is a way to resolve the possible discrepancy raised above). ...

Sure, lots of folks get by "on the cheap" if they can sneak it by the inspectors or don't bother to get inspected or aren't subject to it.
What to do--how long has it been this way and are there problems at present? If quite a while and no problems (so far), how is the usage you foresee in comparison to previous? If continue light use seasonally, it might just continue to function adequately for quite some time. OTOH, if you become permanent residents, bring in a bunch of kids and/or visitors, it could well fail in a month or two. Do you have to meet a current code for some reason now that wasn't before?
What _ought_ to be done almost certainly of course, is to add a septic tank if it doesn't have one...what you can get away with and for how long is an unanswerable question. Of course, if the laterals are still functioning now and you add the tank, you can probably keep them from clogging w/ solids and not have to replace the drainfield. If you risk over-use and _do_ clog the laterals, then it's the whole system replacement instead of just a tank.
Of course, I've seen some cabins where there was the traditional building w/ a half-moon in the door for that portion of the waste and only "gray water" went down the drains. Mostly in mountains where finding enough soil to make even a minimal rudimentary drainfield was a major problem...
HTH at least some...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dpb wrote:

I've seen where the "tank" was a couple of 55gal drums in series before going to the laterals. Worked fine for a 1 person system for a whole lot of years.
KC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
KC wrote:

Unless they were plastic drums, wouldn't expect that "whole lot" to be more than 20, maybe, before the drums were long gone. Guess if it was rocky soil it could be possible the hole wouldn't collapse in, though...
One can see lots of things if one gets around... :)
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
On Fri, 15 Jun 2007 16:48:53 -0700, "Steve B"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve B wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve B wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve B wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Are the dowsing rods metal, or do they locate metal?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They are made out of rebar tie wire, and they will find any kind of pipe. They will also find metal objects as small as a tin can lid..
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 16 Jun 2007 13:30:39 -0700, "Steve B"

And not a septic?
I almost took you up on the offer to demonstrate within 25 miles :)
BTW, it may not apply in your locatioin, but looking for a septic tank might be as easy as looking for the greenest/better growing lawn grass...
-- Oren
..through the use of electrical or duct tape, achieve the configuration in the photo..
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If the tank is non-metallic, I think you need a crystal pendulum to find it. The good news is that this will also tell you if it is a boy tank or a girl tank.
--
--Tim Smith

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We are leaving for Utah for two weeks in the morning. Any time after that, I would be happy to meet you and give you a demonstration. It is a method that works, and saves a lot of time and money looking for pipes.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What about snipping the ends off the tie-wires?
Anything dramatic, let us know!.
It could put _call_before_you_dig_ out of business.
-- Oren
..through the use of electrical or duct tape, achieve the configuration in the photo..
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The National Ground Water Association dismisses the idea of water dowsing as "totally without scientific merit" and recommends instead "the use of proven hydrogeological and geophysical techniques for groundwater reconnaissance when its presence is not easily recognizable by drilling contractors"
http://www.ngwa.org/ngwainwashington/isswitch.cfm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Ah, yes. Scientific facts that contradict reality. Some people have made careers out of it, like AlGore. It is not difficult to understand how people who are educated beyond their capacity can sit around and write papers on things they don't have a clue about. They're trained to do just that. Or paid for it. Bring me any premise, and I can provide an expert witness to refute it. It happens hundreds of times a day in our legal system. (Remember the "Dream Team"?)
There are MILLIONS of examples of the scientific community taking a stand on something, only to find out they were full of hooey. Or their grants were taken away, then the next year, they came out with a totally different "finding".
Coffee is good for you. Coffee is bad for you. Coffee is good and bad for you. Coffee doesn't make any difference. Which one is it? It depends on the day of the week, and which opinion is popular, and who you pay for the report.
As I said, I offered Oren a free demonstration when I get back in town.
It's kind of like God. You believe in it or you don't.
Who's right?
Everyone.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Never mind Oren -- demonstrate it to James Randi, and win a million dollars. http://randi.org/research/index.html
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 19 Jun 2007 19:32:00 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I would rather sell turnip greens on the side of the road, than fall off the turnip truck <G>
Steve will be at the cabin digging for the septic with a shovel, but the dowsing rods only found the leech <sp> field. Imagine that!! -- Oren
..through the use of electrical or duct tape, achieve the configuration in the photo..
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There must be a tank somewhere. Running laterals like that and no tank, it would clog the laterals in short order.
I had to dig mine out last year. Used dowsing rods and something strange happened. I could trace the line right up to the tank and then nothing and then pick up the line again where it exited the tank. The rods would not show the tank itself.
I wonder about the number of laterals also. My rods work like this:
Walking slowly at right angles: Get indicator (pipe). On the other side get another indicator. That second one is a depth indicator, not a pipe. If I was getting what you show, I would have found 3 laterals, not 6.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.