I think they're called field lines instead of soakaways. It's been many
years since I dealt with a septic system but there are some nice fellows
here with septic system experience who would be glad to tell you what
you need to know. ^_^
On Apr 12, 9:58 pm, The Daring Dufas <the-daring-du...@stinky-
Back to the OP's problem.
How often do you have to have the tank pumped? Is what is pumped out
of the tank sludge or very much liquid? If it is liquid and not
sludge, then the drain fields are probably blocked. How many people
in the house? Are they teenagers? What size tank? Have you added
biotics to help the digestion? What part of the USA are you located,
temperature and slois make a difference. How long have you lived in
the house? Are you the original owners? Give us more info please!!!!!
I am getting old. In my youth they were known as septic beds or weeping beds
or tile beds (because before plastic pipe they used clay pipes called tiles
with spaces between each one foot long length so the water could weep
through the gap), now people refer to them as leach fields.
And a broken tile over the gap to keep the dirt out. In my youth, we had
an old dug well as a septic tank. The overflow ran through tile out into
the neighbor's old, defunct cherry orchard. Since all the floating
solids went out the tile, we had to dig it up and clean it every 3-4
years. I will always remember the smell!!!!
Depending upon where in the US the septic tank owners live, they can be
called 'leach fields', 'leach lines', or if the conversation is about
septic systems in general, just 'fields'.
As an aside, the length of leach fields is determined by the number of
bedrooms, not bathrooms as one might expect, and usually 100' feet per
If it overflows, the soakaway/field drain/leachfield (take your pick)
is likely clogged.
This often arises through bad mantainence/not emptying the septic tank
frequently enough which causes all the crap to overflow into the exit
pipe and hence block the leachfield.
Older septic tanks are prone to this, newer ones are designed to
Once it is blocked you have a major problem. Sometimes a temporary fix
can be done by running a high pressure water jet through the
leachfield pipes if they can be located.
But in the end, the old leachfield/soakaway will have to be abandoned
and a new one dug. This can be major expense and inconvenience.
My system (USA) consists of two interconnected tanks followed by a
leaching field. In 25 years I have had two back-ups. One due to the
interconnecting line between the two tanks being invaded by roots and
the in the second case the same line had pulled away from the first
tank. If the system is properly designed, installed and operated,
routine pumping will not be required.
Prior to my acquiring the home the sometime in the first fifteen years
from building, the entire leaching field was replaced for the pipe (a
composite) was collapsing.
When the tank is emptied, only the solids are removed, the liquid is
returned to the tank. If you are getting sewage backups to the house,
then, yes, the leach-field/drain-field is blocked.
The people that pumped the septic tank should have also inspected the
outflow trap to see if that is blocked. Probably ought to find a
different company to pump and inspect the tank.
What? How does the tank get emptied (pumped) of solids without the water
being pumped out along with the solids? I've had my two tanks pumped
over the years and when looking into the pumped tank the water level was
near the bottom of the tank. The water is replaced when the toilets,
baths or sinks are drained or flushed.
BTW, the old nickname for the septic tank pumpers was 'Honey Dippers".
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