Septic System Help

I have a house that I think needs to have the septic system replaced. The house is located on a very flat area, and there is a high clay content in the soil, so water tends to lay on the ground if there is heavy rain or a big snow melts. The problem that I'm having is if there is a lot of rain my septic tank will fill up I think due to the ground not being able to absorb the water coming from the leach lines. That being said this has gotten worse over the years, I've lived here about twenty years and the house is about 30 years old. So I assume that there may be some damage to the leach bed area too. So my question is what would probably be the best benefit? Replace the leach lines and the soil around them or convert to an above ground mound system? Also any idea what either of these might cost me?
Thanks Joe
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Clays have a tendency to loose their ability to absorb or pass water due to ionic contaminants. I've seen something as simple as excessive salt from ice removal cause this. An outgrowth of oil drilling exposed a technique for addressing this effectively. Clay soils can be refloculated. I'd suggest a good text on soil chemistry, or perhaps a Google search on clays and ionic contamination. Also look at this web page:
http://www.swopnet.com/engr/Septic_Tanks/Gayman_Soil_Failure.html
and Google on Mary Gayman and look at her company Drayner, Inc., at
http://www.drayner.com /
She has some interesting material that may be of use. Calcium polysulfide isn't an expensive or hazardous material so it may be worth a try. I haven't used this on my septic system, but keep the info handy in case I do need to do something.
Boden
Joe wrote:

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Well I don't know about your neck of the woods, but in mine, you cannot do anything to a leach bed or septic tank without first contacting the health department and then they will tell you what system you are allowed to install. All we can do is repair the old system without calling them. Good luck.
Larry

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<snip>
If you are anywhere near civilization you will likely be mandated into installing a raised, sand-mound sysem. It will be partially raised above the existing ground level and toppe with topsoil and seeded with grass *only*. It allows the effluent from the tank to escape into the sand and, because it is raised, evaporate rather than sagnate. Pretty expensive project. Get ready for sticker shock - sorry.
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The answer to your question depends on two things we don't know:
1 - A percolation test
2 - Local codes
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If you apply for a permit you may be required to install a system that you can't afford. If you live in an area where you don't have nosy neighbors research and do it yourself. Don't get caught, you could be fined and made to undo your work. If you get the authorities to notice you and your problem is very bad they can actually evict you from your home.

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Sucks to need to do things right, doesn't it?
Said "nosy neighbor" may be the poor nosy guy downhill from him. Or all those silly nosy neighbors with well water.
Or all those nosy people who want the nearby streams clean.
Terrible terrible nosy people...
Banty (hates this kind of attitude)
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But the feed lot down the road doesn't affect the well water and the streams, with all the cows shitting all over the place. Where I live there are more animals than people and they can shit wherever they want. Pigs, horses, goats, sheep, and thats just the livestock, what about the wild animals?
I didn't say to do it WRONG, I said research and do it yourself, it isn't rocket science.
I get the permits, and pay the fees and jump through the hoops like I'm supposed to. But when some antisocial official wants to make it difficult for everyone and it costs $200 just to fill out the forms, I wonder why the hell I bother. I know the rules, setbacks, distances from homes and wells. If you just repair an outdated (possibly polluting) system they don't give a damn. But if you want to replace it thus making it better sometimes it doesn't make sense the run around you get.
Banty aparently likes to have the government micro manage his life and probably pays someone to change his lightbulbs.
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Be a grown up, get the permit for something like that. If it's that kind of environment, then it should be easier. But, money being a factor, folks aren't exactly very good at assessing these things with respect to their impacts on others. We're rural around here. But there is groundwater to impact, and more uses than a lot of folks realize.

Lots of presumptions here. You have two assertions - *three* facts are wrong. Can you guess what the third one is?
Banty
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