Since moving into our new house, which is 350 years old, we've been aware of
problems of sewage backing up and the septic tank outflow chamber never
properly emptying. Previous owner for 20 years tells me it never properly
emptied for them!!!
Tank will be at least 40 years old, may be a lot older. The outflow chamber
is connected to a 110' long outflow pipe laid in 1" gravel parallel to, but
not connecting with, a ditch. The pipes are about 1' long, laid end to end
but not sealed or cemented together in any way. They are grooved on the
outside, and look as if they are porous rather than glazed, so presumably
the waste water is meant to pass through their walls as well as down them,
into the gravel and thence into the ground and eventually the ditch.
Rodding indicated a blockage a about 60 feet. We were enormously lucky to
find the far end of the pipe when we were digging rather randomly where we
thought the end might be, and rodding upwards indicated a blockage at
exactly the same place, so we knew where to dig. What we found strange was
that the far end of the outflow just seemed to end in the ground, with no
pipe work across to the ditch or anything like that, and not even any trace
of a soakaway. The hole we dug to expose it has filled with water and
Digging at the site of the blockage we have managed to expose the pipe and
lift one section. Again, very luckily, we managed to open up the channel
above the blockage so at least the water can get away no, and seem to be
soaking away into the ground very easily. Our next task is to try and sort
out the blockage.
Is it possible that if the pipe was originally porous it may have lost its
porosity because it has been sludged up for perhaps 20 years +? And if so,
is there anything we can do about it (e.g. send a chimney brush down on the
rods)? Do we need to do anything about it? We're planning to put an
inspection chamber where we've opened the pipe to make it easier to rod if
it gets blocked again. Should we dig a new soakaway at the bottom, and if
so, how big? Are there any other observations people might have as to how
to get a more satisfactory result from rather an antiquated system?
- posted 12 years ago