Septic System(s) Questions ?

Hello,
Have two questions, please.
Live in a house that has two separate septic systems. They are changed over from one to the other via a small junction box located after the tank where the solid wastes are collected, and pumped out periodically.
a. The system now in use is a "pit," (I don't think that they are in use or approved any more for new construction ?) although I'm sure it has a fancier name. Goes vertically into the ground, is precast concrete I think, and has many holes for the water to leach out. About two years ago it stopped leaching very well, and the contractor that came used a high pressure pump and wand to try and clean out the inside of it. Also many pounds of chemicals. Worked O.K. up until now.
So, since the chemicals and high pressure was didn't work all that well, two years not being a very long time, what should I do now ?
Is there such a thing as a steam cleaning of the inside, assuming that this is where the problem is, or is most likely that the ground around the pit is all clogged up ? I would imagine that a steram cleaning, if there is such a process and treatment, would be much more effectivce.
Or, should I just go to the other system, which is a typical leaching bed.
b. But the other system hasn't been used in probably 10 years by now. I would imagine that the porous pipes are by now all filled with dirt. Is this likely ?
Is the soil "bed" likely to rejuvunate itself after about 10 years ? How should they be cleaned if I do changeover ? Steam, or... ?
Any and all suggestions would be most appreciated.
Much thanks,
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Septic user here: 500 gallon tank, concrete, long runs, leech field about 50' long out back by woods.
Two years isn't necessarily a bad time between cleanouts. Some recommend it be done yearly. You -can- get much longer times between cleanings, but in order to do that, you need to educate yourself on septic tank usage and preventive maintenance, which really is very simply and not more than using the right product now and then. We haven't had to have our tank pumped now going on 11 years. Another way to read that is, since the kids left home <g>!
Go to your favorite search engine site (I use google.com) and do a search for "septic tank operation" (using the quotes), and you'll be able to learn lots about them. Lots of info online about them.
HTH,
Pop

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Three year intervals are required by law around here.

This would be my choice. The pit has nothing going for it and is a throwback to the cesspools of old. Septic fields are a step up.

Not likely at all. Why would it cave in? The leech field is pipe layed on and surrounded by crushed stone of a specified size. It's still there.

No need to rejuvenate. It's the microbes in the tank which do the work. As Pop said, do a little resesarch and get thee an education on the subject. The biggest things to remember are 1) Limit the amount of fats that you allow down the drain. Wipe out pans before washing them. 2) No anti-bacterial soaps and cleansers. They are bad for all of us anyway. 3) As little food as possible in the tank. 4) No harsh chems, like solvents. 5) No sanitary napkins or tampons.

No cleaning necessary

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Robert,
Whether your leach field has sat long enough to be a good filter again really depends on the soil conditions and the amount of rain that you've had. So no one here can give you a good answer. Talk to the local septic guy, the local ag extension guy, the county health guy, et c. Do not tell these folks that you think your system is failing. Remember that if your septic system had multiple problems a rejuvenated leach field does not mean that the system will still work. You mention pumping and cleaning your "pit" but do not explain why it needed this or how this was supposed to rejuvenate it. Since it needs it again you may be dumping solids into the pit which means that you are not pumping your septic tank enough or the chemicals did not do a good job of rejuvenating the soil.
Dave M.
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