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.
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
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
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...
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.
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.
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....
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