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?
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:
and Google on Mary Gayman and look at her company Drayner, Inc., at
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.
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
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.
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
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)
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.
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?
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