Gross drainage field deposits and smells - help!!!


  #1  
Old 04-02-05, 04:56 AM
Jon Silks
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Unhappy Gross drainage field deposits and smells - help!!!

My septic system drainage field has is covered with gross looking and smelling deposits. It is pitch black semi-solids with black/greenish water mixed in. The smell is horid. I have had the tank pumped with no improvements. Could someone please tell me what on earth is the matter with this and how to fix it? Thank you so much!!!
 
  #2  
Old 04-02-05, 03:45 PM
T
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Sewer drain fields

Drain fields can clog. This may be because the drain field no longer has ideal soil conditions or was build in less than ideal soil conditions such as tight clay with too much vegetation.

Sometimes drain fields receive more liquids than they were designed to receive. For instance, a septic system for a household of four will tend not to handle a household of more people on a regular basis.

If the drain field is too close to the water table, the percolation can raise above ground before it discharges to the ground water.

Thus, septic systems fail when conditions prohibit proper functioning of the tank or drain field. Too much wastewater can cause the septic tank to overflow, discharging undigested solids into the drain field. A large volume of solids can overtax a system as well. Poor soil conditions can decrease the effectiveness of the drain field. If drain field has dense clay it can not proper leach. If too rocky soil will drain too quickly. Periods of rainy weather can keep soil saturated and affect proper operation of drain field. A major concern is the escape of contaminants into to water table, especially if your water source is a spring or well. Typically overflow of sewage above drain field is due to large volume discharges like those caused by washing machines.

Sometimes septic systems must be replaced with a larger system to accommodate the size of the household. Sometimes drain fields have to be replaced.
 
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Old 04-02-05, 04:28 PM
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Wink

If the fields are that bad Id replace them. Then go to a Aerobic septic tank and be done with all that. They work great.

ED
 
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Old 04-02-05, 04:50 PM
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Aerobic systems are not accepted in all areas; check with the local health department.
 
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Old 04-02-05, 09:05 PM
Jon Silks
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We are a family of 8 in a ranch house most likely designed for four. Our water output is very high as you might expect. We have also experienced a period of above average rains for over a year! I have an "exchange box" that allows me to switch between drain fields. Neither seem to be able to handle what we give it. I am going to try to balance the PH with baking soda so that bacteria can thrive and help the problem.
 
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Old 04-03-05, 10:35 AM
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Wink

The best to get a septic tank to cook .1 lb bakers yeast and 1 lb brown sugar mix in warm water . And flush down the drain.


ED
 
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Old 04-07-05, 09:44 AM
Jon Silks
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Red face

I have been looking into this a bit more and have found a product called "Septic Seep". Have you ever heard of this? Also, who do you call to replace a drainfield and how much does it typically cost? Thanks
 
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Old 04-09-05, 01:24 PM
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Type 'septic seep' into your favorite search engine for an internet search. Cost of labor and materials tend to vary from area to area. If not a DIY project, you will need to get 3 or more bids from licensed and insured contractors.
 
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Old 04-10-05, 03:20 PM
J
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grey water tank

if your field is clogged with solids, you cannot do this. the field must be replaced and you'r talking several thousand dollars, a big mess in your yard and the need to landscape afterward. however, if your system simply can't handle the volume of water a gray water tank

"gray" water is anthing that doesn't have human "stuff" in it. (in other words, washing machine water, water from washing hands, etc) washing machine is the biggest volume of water output.

before you do this check with your local codes. it might not be legal.

dig a hole. if septic is in back of house, dig in front or vice versa. hole should be about 6 ft deep, 4 ft or so across. Dump pea gravel in the bottom of the hole. (maybe a ft deep), take a 55 galon plastic barrel and cut the top off. punch a bunch of holes in the sides. make a hole at the top for a 2" pvc pipe.

wrap the barrel with weed cloth like they use to prevent weeds. it's like black cheesecloth. tie the cloth on. put barrel down in the hole with open end down, fill around the barrel with more gravel. run a pvc pipe from your washing machine to the top of the barrel. This line must be sloped down, so depending on height of your house, the barrel may have to be deeper. the pipe must also be at least a foot underground so that will affect the depth of the barrel also. since the discharge water isn't staying in the pipe, it doesn't need to be below the frost line, unless you live somewhere it gets way down below zero. when everything is in place with the proper slope, fill in top of hole with dirt and level off.

grey water from the washing machine is generally the largest culprit to overflowing septics. it simply cannot handle the volume of water. older septics might can handle the poop and stuff, but unless you have elephants living in your house, it should handle it.

remember to check with your local building codes. i doubt if you can get a contractor to do this. it might be legal for you to do it yourself and not the contractor. hey, with eight people in the house, it sounds like you've got plenty of help.
 
  #10  
Old 04-14-05, 06:31 PM
Jon Silks
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Had a guy come out and inspect it. Found the problem - there is only 1/2 to 1" of dirt cover on top of my leach lines. He said the recommended minimum depth is 6". My ground is cracking and when it rains the water goes straight in and floods it out! Have an excavation crew coming in to spread top soil and seed tomorrow!
 
  #11  
Old 04-18-05, 11:37 AM
Jim99
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I wish I'd of been so lucky. Last year we had to have a new field installed. Even using another part of the yard (and not having to remove the old field) the cost was over $10k. But, this also included a lift station (pump) after the septic tank since the new field is a little uphill from the tank.
I'm guessing that our old field was original to the house (maybe 50-60 years old).
 
 

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