Septic Drain Field Trouble


Water from the washing machine splashed back recently, so, I took that as a sign that the septic tank needed to be emptied. I was right. Been there for 30 years without ever having been cleaned.
When we pulled the lid off, the level was up over the entry pipe to the drain field, indicating the drain field is not draining. Probably clogged with sludge.
So, looks like I have two choices; spend a ton of money on a new drain field, or try to salvage the drain field in place. The economy has been rough on me and I haven't had much work this year. Funds are low.
I need ideas and suggestions as to what I can do to get this drain field draining again, without totally replacing it.
One plan is to expose the ends of the drain pipes, dig a large hole and dump rock in it to creat more drainage. I'm wondering if I can also run a snake or waterhose into the existing drain pipe to get it working a llittle better.
Any advice?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Has it been raining a lot? Here we get waterlogged if it rains for 2 weeks straight, it doesn't happen often, but when it does the drain field just shuts down. A couple of days after the sun comes out it all goes back to normal. Mine must be bigger or in better shape than my neighbors, hers shuts down after 1/2 the rain mine will tolerate. There is an attachment for a pressure washer, just a metal ball with lots of holes that you can snake down a drain to wash it out. I have one that came with the trailer mounted pressure washer, never tried it, but it looks like it could work, it is attached to a fairly rigid hose.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jungle Man wrote:

Tank has to be pumped and septic guy should be able to clear clogged pipe. Not to smart never to have pumped tank.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jungle Man wrote:

I had a distribution box lid collapse & fill with dirt.
MikeB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BQ340 posted for all of us...

DAZ NIZE go away
--
Tekkie Don\'t bother to thank me, I do this as a public service.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The problem was, when the washing machine would drain the tub for the spin cycle, the water would backup and shoot out of the drain pipe.
I dug up the distribution box and found the dist. box full of mud and sludge... mostly mud.
The idiots who installed the septic system 30 years ago busted the 4" PVC connecting the tank to the dist. box. So, sand, dirt and what little sludge made it to the dist. box filled it up to the top.
I replaced the busted PVC pipe, shovled out the mud/sludge, sprayed out the drain field entries to clear the mud, threw some copper oxide (or, whatever that stuff was) and covered it all back up.
Draining like a champ now, and I suspect is will, for many, many years to come...
JM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That is good -- but are you obliged (by local regulations) to drain clothes or dish washers into the septic tank? No health or sanitary features oblige this.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

around here ALL drain must go in the tank even washing machines. local laws vary widely
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well...Is doing somthing like that "legal" ??? Here in Maine it is VERY illegal....Seems disturbing soil around a septic leak requires Maine Department of Enviromental Protection personal in spacesuits to remove said soil to be transported to a "special" disposal site...Cost about 200.00 bucks a yard to dispose of it...Cheaper to cap the old system and go new which is the point , I guess...That's what I did...So FIRST I would inquire what the law is in YOUR state , county , ect. and make your decision from threre...Here just pulling the permit for doing it means you LOSE anything that's grandfathered and EVERTHING has to be up to current codes....If you do try to "fix" it yourself without permits , ect. be very carefull...Beware nosy neighbors who mighted be upset that your "hurting the enviroment" or pissed cause they had to fork out the big bucks for their repairs...Try to make it look as though you're planting trees or some such thing and do it when the neighbors aren't down wind of you...LOL...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yep, same here in Northern Illinois. Gone are the days when you could do it yourself with a shovel. I used to live in an area where there was a layer of clay under the topsoil. When it rained heavy for a few days, the soil would bccome saturated above that clay and there was nowhere for the field tile to drain to. Present house is topsoil and then several feet of sand and gravel. I know because I just hired a contractor to build a road down the hill in front of my place to the river and rip/rap the bank. He owned the five acres on the other side of my property and he "borrowed" the fill and some gravel from that land.
Tom G

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

That's unfortunate but you are right for him to ask about local codes. Pulling a permit to make *repairs* does not in any area I've heard of before you, mandate total upgrade. That doesnt mean an unscrupulous contractor might not lie about that though.
Had that happen to me when trying to fix renters damage. Fortunately I know enough to not be taken in. I also used a different *honest* company for the work that didnt tell lies like that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Nope any work on the septic system outside means it WILL be brought up to current codes....I just wanted to change out the tank , but no the CEO said it must be brought up to code and showed me the law in the book when I went to get the 100.00 plumbing permit...Maine has adopted all of Cali. codes and made some worse...No garage drains , no grey water discharge..ie. Your washer must be piped into septic as well as water softener/filter system backwash....We lead the way in Green Moonbatism...LOL....
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.