Septic tank and seepage pit help advice.

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  #81  
Old 01-16-13, 01:40 PM
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Here are the photos of my upgraded Septic Tank.

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Septic Risers. It used to require digging 12 inches deep and 2 men with 6 foot crowbars to open the tank before. Now servicing the tank is FAST and EASY.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]7968[/ATTACH]
The Quad Air Bubbler is under the 1st riser to aerate the tank.


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Septic Effluent Filter With Fill Pipe for Oxy-Septic/Water mix just in case the septic leach field clogs up again. This will make it easy to pour Oxy-Septic into the leach field.

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Septic Safety Cover to help keep nosey children out. This is in addition to the cover where both are screwed down for double protection.

Here are the complete details on how I rejuvenated my septic field and upgraded my septic tank:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...Z14c2rps/edit#
My Septic leach field has been operating perfectly for over 1 month so far. Water now pours freely into the leach field with no delays, where before, it was clogged up so bad that no water could enter the field. Sodium Percarbonate was the miracle fix for my clogged up leach field. The Septic Guys wanted $5,000 to dig up the sand, gravel & pipes in my leach field. I'll update this message thread again in 1 year.

Any questions?
Grizz
 
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Last edited by Grizz1943; 01-16-13 at 01:58 PM.
  #82  
Old 01-16-13, 02:35 PM
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Nice...... That link is public searchable I see?

No blogs allowed here. I will have to research that link before I may need to delete it....

I would like to keep it but need to follow the rules. It may be allowed because its significant information as far as I am concerned.


Give me some time to research.

Very well done restore project... You out shined my pitiful project....
 
  #83  
Old 03-11-13, 09:57 AM
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looking for AidOx advice

We have been reading your process for restoring a seepage pit by changing over to an aerobic system. We are looking to try this as our seepage pit is not draining and we are looking to avoid a new system...

We had our septic system (including seepage pit) pumped a few weeks ago and it is now almost completely full again... We want to try adding Aid Ox and then adding an aeration pump and CessFlo... we have apprx. 4000 gallons of water in the pit right now. How much AidOx would you recommend adding? Also, I understand that AidOx will kill whatever bacteria is down there, and hopefully break away some biomat that may be clogging the seepage pit... How long do you let the AidOx work before adding Cessflo? From what I was reading, you want to allow the system time to neutralize the NaOH before you start adding Cessflo and start aeration? Dont want to pour it down and just have it die, but dont want to wait to long either...

I appreciate any guidance you can give...

Kim
 
  #84  
Old 03-11-13, 10:06 AM
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How much AidOx would you recommend adding?
Follow the instructions on the bottle... Its very expensive though...


I would aerate ASAP and just add some cess flow to start. Cess flow is just aeobic bacterial to get you going.

Your goal is to turn the pit aerobic...This may be a long process.


Mine is doing well. I will dip and take pics later.....

have apprx. 4000 gallons of water in the pit right now.
How big is the pit?


 
  #85  
Old 03-11-13, 03:58 PM
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Looks nice Griz1943

KandE You may find it takes quite a while to get the system working and draining again. I'm not trying to rain on your parade. I tried this last summer when my seepage pits were acting up. I ran the aerator for a couple of months . I had some success early on then it stopped working. So I decided to put in a new seepage pit. The old ones are still in place They are now last in line so they do not see any effluent in them. Hope they will regenerate themselves in a couple of years. Lawrosa had good luck with his. I hope you & griz fare better than I did. I'm going to open up one of my old seepage pits in Spring. If it has effluent in it I plan on running the aerator again. I'm hoping the new seepage has worked well enough that effluent never makes it there.

ETA: One thing I should mention. I'm really not sure why my early success stopped. One thought does come to mind though. When I initially started aerating I used bleeder valves to bleed of some off the air pressure. I felt that the effluent in the tank was churning too much. Sometime I would see solids rooling arpoud in the water. About 1 month in I decided to close the air bleeders and let the system get lots of air. After that, progress stopped. Since Winter was coming I wanted the system fixed so I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore. Looking back I think I should have left the air bleeders in place. Again, this is just a seat of the pants observation. YMMV
 

Last edited by TimH; 03-11-13 at 04:14 PM.
  #86  
Old 03-17-13, 09:05 PM
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OK so to revisit..... I decided summer is on its way I would dip the tank...

Its been 1 yr and1 month since areating.... I have been at the 15" mark for some time.... The past two dips I am at 10"... Thats great IMO. The summer should be better with the evaporation from the soil...

I did add that hydrogen peroxide pool stuff some time ago... Not sure if that did anything.... It was 27% stuff but in 120 gallons of water its diluted......

Im not sure gow big my tank is now that I think of it... 10x6x4???? 250 gallons? sounds small IMO....

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  #87  
Old 04-19-13, 05:36 PM
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I got 2 emails telling me Mark28 replied to this thread. I don't see a post by him though. Are they being deleted?
 
  #88  
Old 04-19-13, 05:59 PM
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Mark28 actually was asking a new question and hijacked your thread!
It was just moved to it's own thread.
When members get notices, the automation just notifies them that a reply was posted, it doesn't know if it was a spammer, or a mistake or whatever.
 
  #89  
Old 04-19-13, 06:06 PM
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Thanks for the insight Shadeladie
 
  #90  
Old 04-19-13, 06:20 PM
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  #91  
Old 04-19-13, 06:28 PM
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Thanks, I just started reading it.
 
  #92  
Old 05-06-13, 11:57 AM
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Mike,
Just as you have mentioned in your earlier posts, aerators cause problems in a standard septic tank.

* Problems with my aerator
* Aerator stirring up sludge sending it out to the Septic Field
* Aerators cause the septic field to clog up again

It is May and I am updating my septic tank report that I made Jan 16th. The aerator that I added to my tank stirred up the sludge in my tank so badly that sludge was eventually forced right through my 6 inch dia effluent filter, sending THICK, BLACK SLUDGE right into my leach field. I have a single chamber tank with the aerator located on the input side. After only 3 months of perfect operation, my tank water started rising and I could see a thick black mud in my exit pipe. There was also too much air being pushed through the aerator causing violent bubbles that set up a clockwise water current in the tank that stirred up the old sludge, and recirculated new sludge. Yes, my septic field had clogged up again, and I had to clear it up again using Sodium Perchlorate mixed with water. Horrors ! Adding an aerator to a conventional septic tank causes problems that no one talks about. They sell the aerators, but they do not discuss the problems !

I really want to make this aerator work properly in my tank, without stirring up the sludge and without damaging the scum layer. Here are photos of the device I built to contain the aerator.

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Pipe for adding sodium percarbonate and inspecting liquid leaving the tank

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View of the bubbler inside the aeration pipe. Pop rivets can be seen securing standard aluminum 4" Dia. pipe sections together.

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View of the pop rivets & recirculation vent holes. Pipe rises above the scum layer to prevent bubbles from interfering with the scum.

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Close up view of the water exit holes.

I'm going to limit the air flowing into the aerator to provide small, fine bubbles. This aeration pipe "should" recirculate water vertically and prevent disturbing the scum and sludge layers. Yet aerated water should still fill the tank. Fingers crossed & hope this works. Any other ideas to improve this aeration pipe? If this doesn't work, I'll have give up on aeration & go back to the old anaerobic tank.

Grizz
 
  #93  
Old 05-06-13, 12:54 PM
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Well grizz from what I read the bubbler should be on the outlet side.

I believe you need a fine filter for the outlet. I am not sure what brand you have. Since I am aerating my pit and not the tank I do not have the issue your having.

I use a bristle brush type filter for mine. I get from gag-simtech. I know they have the sloth type. Is that what you have?

Here is what I have.

Gravity Filters

http://gag-simtech.com/Brochures/STF...202%20page.pdf


Additionally I am not sure the CFM your pump produces. I use a fine bubbley stick with a hakko 25l. Pumps abot 1 cfm. The air stick is matched with the air flow.


HAKKO HK-25L Air Pump - Hakko Air Pumps and Kits

And this air stick.

12 inch Air Stick Diffuser - Self Weight | Aeration Pumps
 
  #94  
Old 05-07-13, 04:21 AM
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Mike,
To answer your questions:

My air pump & bubbler are a matched pair from SepticAirAid, the Quad Diffuser kit: septic - Purchase
Their website says this was designed for septic tanks, and they have a great website. Unfortunately, they do not discuss the problems of the bubbler stirring of all the sludge and sending it out to the septic field. No one discusses this problem except here in this thread.

This is my effluent filter, the 6 inch tuff-tite model.
Tuf-Tite 6 in. Effluent Filter, Housing and Bushing Combo for Septic Tanks-EF-6 COMBO at The Home Depot

My custom made aluminum bubbler pipe is going into test, and I will be reporting on how effective it is to stop the aerator from stirring up the sludge in my septic tank.. Fingers crossed.

Grizz
 
  #95  
Old 05-07-13, 07:09 AM
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I think your fiter is good at 1/16" capture.

I believe your issue is that quad bubbler. Like I said I studied all this and the effects and thats why I went with the air stick.

Here is a demo for example only. I think that other brand has a float that keeps the air stick in between both scum and sludge layer. I feel you should change your diffuser.....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1tiEUWWhyaQ#!
 
  #96  
Old 05-07-13, 08:47 AM
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Grizz I think you will need to put a cinderblock in there to hold your tube down. I believe I have seen where people do this with 12" PVC.

I am curious to see how well it works...

Geez you could probably make something and patent it and be rich....LOL


I am not moving off the 9" mark. Back in December I was at the 16" mark or so. So I am makeing progress IMO.

I started aeration Jan of 2012. So its been a little over a 13 months. I believe my level is now at the very bottom of the first side holes is my tank. I assume these tanks do not perc well from just the bottom area.


Here is my tank with where I think I am at the 9" level because the side holes dictate that. This is a old pic of when I had the tank originally exposed.



Here is what I dipped at today. Again 9". Took two showers this morning, so I think the water is just going right out the side discharge holes and my clogged rocks around the pit are now aerobic and cleared.

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Again I did add the 27% hydrogen peroxide from the pool store. A gallon last week.

This comes wrapped in plastic. The ingredients are 27% peroxide. Its cheap.

Aqua Silk Chlorine-Free Shock Oxidizer | Chlorine Alternatives | Leslie's Swimming Pool Supplies, the world leader in residential and commercial pool supplies.

Also I was using the cess flo on occasion which is sold at the home stores. Its a bit more expensive and I believe its the same stuff. Comes wrapped in plastic also.


I believe the ingredients are the same... I have to check again what that bottle says....

Products

Grizz I think what your spending on that oxy stuff 27% liguid may produce better results.

But to go back to my week three of aeration I was down to 3" or so. This is baffling to me why I raise back up to the 9" mark? Im not complaining just wondering....

This pic is from week 3 of my aeration process back in feb 2012. I went from 18" to this mark in 3 weeks.....

 
  #97  
Old 05-17-13, 08:35 AM
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Hi all.

I thought I’d give you the benefit (!) of my experiences having followed some of the suggestions and experiments on this very useful thread. I’m based in Ireland but for convenience I’ll use mostly US references/conversions. My report is long and may not interest any of you, but here goes anyway.

My septic tank is concrete, two-chamber, with capacity of 1300 gallons. It serves five people (three teenagers!), with no separate disposal for “grey water”. There’s no run-off from roofs or yard going to the tank and we have no garbage disposal unit or power showers fitted. Based on typical water usage in this part of the world, I estimate about 200 gallons per day goes to the tank.

My drain field was installed in early 2011 as the very bad-quality original had failed and there was rising effluent in the garden. Properly-drilled 4” PVC was laid in ¾” washed gravel in three 18” trenches giving me 150 feet of field. (Ideally, the drains should be bigger but space is scarce- I could squeeze another 50 feet in at a push and I might do that yet). A textile cover was put over the gravel to prevent soil infiltration. A distribution box was installed and is readily accessible. Unfortunately, no filter was put in the outlet at this stage- they’re not common here yet.

Everything worked well for about a year and a half, with no obvious back-up at the distribution box or tank. I noticed that I was starting to see high water in the box in mid-2012, and when the tank was pumped then there was some water coming back from the field. With no real understanding, I did not investigate further at the time.

By November, the drainage from the house was very slow and I had to call the pumper again. The system was completely backed up and there was a surge of material from the pipe into the tank as well as significant run-back from the field. 2012 was a very wet year here and this did not help, but I knew I was in trouble.

To add to the problem, we have had to register our septic tanks and an inspection regime will be in place in the near future. The inspections will target vulnerable groundwater areas initially, as water supplies, particularly wells, are being affected. Luckily, there are no wells or water abstraction points around here, so I am not expecting an inspection for some time. But I wanted to get things working properly anyhow.

We were away for a couple of days in early December and I noticed there was a slight fall in levels in the tank, so there was some percolation; but clearly not sufficient to cope with daily demand. So after a lot of reading about septic aeration and related products and using the advice on this site and others, I decided to try to retrofit an aeration system just before Christmas. Over here, there appears to be little or no market for the add-on aeration systems widely on sale in the US, and I could not source anything locally. I didn’t try importing one due to different voltages and high postage and customs charges. As I’m reasonably handy, don’t mind getting dirty and relished the challenge, I opted for a home-made solution.

Firstly, I cleaned the drainage ditch that runs alongside my garden and removed a lot of leaf debris to get a decent flow going. This had the effect of dropping the level in the ditch (and presumably the water table around me) by about four inches in a couple of days. Then, I bought and fitted a bristle filter for the tank’s outlet tee. Next, I purchased a 25 litre/min air pump (just under one cubic ft/min) with airline and two air stones. I purchased additional air stones separately as the pump manifold can supply six lines. I ran the cable for the pump underground from my shed to the tank (in heavy-duty plastic protective pipe) and wired it up to include a switch and circuit breaker as recommended. The 20 watt pump runs permanently.

On start-up, I had good movement in the outlet chamber and after a day or so a three- or four-inch layer of white bubbles which soon reduced. There was a smell which got less noticeable over a few days. We changed our water usage habits to avoid overloading the system, particularly on laundry days. But after a couple of weeks I was not seeing any fall in levels and I was forced to drain off some effluent to the nearby ditch (on several occasions) to avoid backing up again. Obviously, I was not happy to do this but I could not afford to get it pumped again.

Over the next few weeks, I worked on my system on a trial-and-error basis to try to get better results quickly. I flushed the lines with the garden hose and got out a lot of standing foul water and slimy black floating material (bio mat?). I moved the air stones about in the tank to the best location to avoid stirring things up too much and to get the best distribution of air bubbles. I put in a couple of 4”, 90˚ bends in series below the outlet to act as a sort of “settling chamber” for the effluent about to leave the tank. I placed a small rubber fine-bubble diffuser directly in the D-box to give a ”final” blast of oxygen to the effluent (but this blocked quickly and was later removed).

Eventually, after about five or six weeks, I had some progress. The level in the D-box would drop about an inch overnight and I did not have to release effluent to the drainage ditch nearly as often. I tried replacing the air stones with lengths of ¾” PVC pipe with multiple 0.4mm holes drilled in them, but this was not a success. In the end, I purchased two 12” rubber diffusers which I set up horizontally in the tank. These are much more effective at producing small bubbles and less likely to get blocked and easier to clean even if they do.

Now, five months after I started, the effluent is clearly soaking away and most mornings it’s near the bottom of the outlet pipes in the D-box. Long-term, I’m confident the drain field will be fully restored. I’m still wondering if I undersized the pump a little and might get a higher output one on replacement, but I think nothing much bigger is required once you get good levels of small bubbles forming. I’ve replaced both crumbling concrete covers over the tank with galvanised ones, and made up a chamber with an old sewer box and a plastic bucket that allowed me to put the pump below ground level so everything is nice and flat in the garden.

As of now, I’m a believer- restoring a failed drain field by aeration does work. It takes time but it absolutely does work.

I hope this helps someone out there.
 
  #98  
Old 05-17-13, 08:15 PM
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Magilla Gorilla Thanks for your post. I don't if you have read my experience but I wish I had more time to experiment with my system. I think I was on the right track but just wasn't patient enough. I hope you continue to see improvement in your system
 
  #99  
Old 07-04-13, 03:01 AM
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Mike,
Here we are in July, and it is time to update my continuing horror story. In message #81, and # 92,
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/we...ml#post2107140
I posted photos of my aerator pipe assembly, designed to prevent aerated water circulation from stirring up sludge, scum & new solids into SEPTIC SOUP, which had clogged up my effluent filter & septic field with thick black sludge. I used a air bleed valve to reduce turbulence & provide finer bubbles. In theory this sounded great. Unfortunately, it also resulted in sludge getting into my effluent filter, and clogging up my septic field again. Sodium Percarbonate to the rescue once again ! Then I added a bunch of aerobic bacteria to my tank to no avail, another clogged up field, this time I used a Lime-Sulfur solution to clear the field.

I have abandoned the aerator for my single chamber septic tank
and going back to anaerobic that worked so well for over 20 years. IMO, there is no way to aerate a single chamber tank without suffering serious problems. Sludge in a septic tank is like silt on the bottom of the ocean, it is stirred up by the slightest of water movement. This link explains my problems perfectly:
“... Gravity fed septic tank and gravity fed drain field are not designed or recommended for aftermarket aeration systems. Converting gravity fed septic system with an aftermarket aeration system can cause more harm than you are currently experiencing with your gravity fed system. Converting a conventional gravity fed septic system to an aeration system pump can stir up solid waste found in the solid side of the tank forcing undigested sludge into the drain field, making a preexisting bio-mat problem worse further damaging your drain field.”
Drain field restoration

Adding bacteria to a septic tank proven to be useless
in this research on 48 tanks, and in my own experience above:
http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/pdf/WW/publi...ter/SFNs99.pdf

Aerate a Dual Chamber Tank?
Perhaps a aerator will work in a dual chamber tank, and it would be nice to hear of more reports. Message #97 was refreshing to hear about aerating a dual chamber tank.

CHEAP & PURE SODIUM PERCARBONATE from SoapGoods:
Proven to rejuvenate a clogged up septic field:50 lbs only $64
Sodium Percarbonate FB

Another approach to rejuvenating the Septic Field
was discovered at another message board:
Septic Seep was reported to be successful, but VERY expensive. He did the research to find the ingredients are inexpensive:
10% Triton X-100 Surfactant to penetrate clay soils & release sodium bonded clays
index
Triton®-X 100 Concentrate - SPI Supplies
90% Lime-Sulfur liquid, 5 gallon jugs of Lime-Sulfur for only $68 at my local Farmer's Co-Op; Miller Chemicals #45512. (not available on the internet)

My next report by year end. Does rejuvenating the septic field last? Which works best, the Sodium Percarbonate or the Lime-Sulfur. I had used the Lime-Sulfur to rejuvenate my field again just after scrapping my aerator. I have also collect samples of effluent going to my drain field in Mason Jars to see what is happening. I'll report on samples before & after going back to anaerobic.

Grizz
 
  #100  
Old 07-04-13, 11:22 AM
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Magilla Gorilla,
Thank you so much for your report, and I am thrilled to hear it is working for you.

Having been through an aeration NIGHTMARE with my own single chamber tank, and I should mention what I have been through. The output chamber of a dual chamber tank still has some smallish amount of scum and sludge, not nearly as much as the input chamber. Any aerator placed in the output chamber will stir up this sludge & scum into Septic Soup that will eventually clog your output filter, and then water pressure will force this slimy sludge right through your filter into your septic field. This sludge is like jelly that will squeeze through the smallest of filter holes and get concentrated into thick black MUD in the tank exit pipe. I know it sounds impossible, but I have seen it with my own eyes. I have a vertical 4 inch inspection pipe coming up into my riser from between the filter & exit pipe. See photos in my previous posts, #81 & #92. IMO, the only solution to prevent this horrible event is to install a settling chamber between your septic tank & the D-Box, or else eliminate the aerator.

To prove what I am saying, I think you should examine your effluent filter every month ( even sooner) to clean it, because water pressure WILL force the sludge right through the filter into your field. You might want to keep records on how sludged up your filter is with the aerator running and then shut your aerator off to see how sludged up it gets. I'll wager that you will be shocked at the difference. IMO, for your dual chamber tank, it should take a LONG TIME to see sludge in your filter. Please report your findings back here. I am looking forward to your testing with bated breath.

PS) My tank has now been running for 2 weeks in Anaerobic Mode, and not a single spec of sludge to be seen on my effluent filter. When the aerator was running, there was already sludge collecting on the effluent filter in only 2 weeks !

Best to you,
Grizz
 

Last edited by Grizz1943; 07-04-13 at 12:19 PM.
  #101  
Old 07-04-13, 01:06 PM
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On a different subject - THE Input Baffle:

It is my opinion since suffering through my Septic Tank nightmare that the "standard input baffle" with the 4 inch "T" and 4 inch pipes going vertically is BIG TROUBLE. When the toilet is flushed, a BIG BLAST of water is sent DOWN to stir up the sludge. This stirred up sludge can enter the Exit "T" clogging up the effluent filter and then sending sludge to the leach field.

I have modified my tank so the input "T" baffle goes horizontally across the top of the water. Now with this arrangement, the BLAST of toilet water is dissipated along the surface of the tank. If I have any problems from this arrangement, it is easy to modify since I have an input riser. As a last resort, I'll install a 8/4/8 Tee vertically with a plate sized baffle suspended below the "T" with stainless wires.

My Brother In Law has a MUCH IMPROVED input baffle that is 18 inches in diameter, and the BLAST of toilet water swirls around the 18 inch pipe instead of shooting down into the sludge layer.

The only reason for the input baffle is to prevent the scum layer from clogging the input pipe and to insure solids go down below the scum layer.

Since my septic tank horrors, I have become overly concerned about controlling water currents in the septic tank. ZERO water current across the sludge layer is ideal. We need every particle of that sludge to settle to the bottom of the tank as God intended. IMO, if we do this right, the effluent filter will not get loaded with sludge.

Grizz
 
  #102  
Old 07-04-13, 03:07 PM
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Grizz... sorry I did not remove that link to the You tube vid. When you tube removes it then it will be gone. Until then I see nothing wrong with it and see no addition of water...

Let your guy know... I belive this tank action to be true my self and possibly your guy should change his design...

Last on your issue possible the other design will work better for you.

Also I may suggest adding a small tank after your main septic but before the d box for aeration.

300 Gallon Below Ground Septic Pump Tank Sphere | eBay
 
  #103  
Old 07-11-13, 05:57 AM
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Grizz1943,

I have been following your exploits on this thread and your Google page- sorry to hear you've been having such bad luck.

In my case, it's steady-as-she-goes. I've had no back up for some time and the drain field is just about able to cope with the volumes. I haven't had to drain off any effluent either.

I agree about aeration stirring things up. I can see this clearly in my second (aeration) chamber. What I've done is to add a U-bend to the bottom of the filter pipe/outlet and brought a 4" pipe up to above the waterline. I drilled a few holes at the waterline in one location so the effluent can get away. By careful placement of the diffuser, the air bubbles rising force any larger material away from the holes, but water pressure allows effluent in as needs be. Obviously, very fine material can still get in with the effluent but the filter will catch much of this.

Samples I take are free of large floating matter, but occasionally I might see one or two very small bits. The effluent is not crystal clear, but is off-white or slightly cloudy- definitely not brown or darker.

We were away last weekend so there was only one person in the house- when I checked the D-box on my return, the effluent was right at the bottom of the drain field pipes- this is a first for me. We're having a bit of a heatwave which helps I'm sure, but it suggests my system is well restored and I need a bit more field rather than anything else.

I did reintroduce a bubbler in the D-box and this is helping in my opinion. I reckon it keeps the effluent "aerated" if flows to the field are a bit slow due to sheer volume. I think I will need to get a bigger air pump, as the current one struggles to sufficiently aerate when there is a surge due to dishwasher/laundry/showers (which I try to avoid but three teenagers....).

I checked the filter yesterday and it was not clogged at all, but I am familiar with your description as I was experiencing the same thing in earlier versions of my project.

Ideally, I would increase my field size and install a separate aeration chamber, but for the monent, it's going well. I'll update this in a couple of months.
 
  #104  
Old 07-12-13, 03:23 PM
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Magilla,

I LOVE your idea of aerating the D-Box ! As the water level rises, the aeration becomes more effective. Aeration bubbles go right up into the septic tank exit pipe to thoroughly aerate the effluent water as it rises. IMO, this is even better than adding sodium percarbonate into the leach field.

I also want to add a settling tank between the septic tank and the D-Box for aeration.

Grizz
 
  #105  
Old 07-14-13, 05:49 PM
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Grizz I have read your adventure with Aerator and you leach field. I am in a similar situation, I would like to try putting Sodium Percarbonate in the field. But without the Aerator. I am unable to find my D-box and I have a 2 chamber tank. I was thinking of just putting the Sodium Percarbonate into the exit chamber of the tank and manually running the sump pump to push it out to the field. Do you think that this would work and kick start my field again?

Thanks Terry.
 
  #106  
Old 07-15-13, 09:20 AM
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Terry,

That won't work. Sodium Percarbonate is a MIRACLE to rejuvenate the septic field. However once it is mixed with water, it must be used immediately to pour into the septic field. After a few hours, it loses its excess oxygen potency and won't work anymore. It will also kill off your anaerobic bacteria in the tank. By pouring it into the septic tank, you will be wasting a valuable costly product.

It goes to work immediately when poured in. You will see bubbles boiling up out of your access pipe. Pour 36 lbs mixed with water over 4 days, 9 lbs a day. Best prices here at SoapGoods.

I suggest you add "T" with a vertical pipe coming up into your tank riser from your tank exit pipe, then pour the water+sodium percarbonate into this pipe. You will need this special tool to prevent the mixture from entering your tank.
REX-BAC-T.com - Sim/Tech STF-130 Maintenance Sleeve | Effluent Filter Accessories
Put this into your exit baffle "T" to seal off the exit pipe and prevents chemical from falling into your tank.

See photo & details here. I hold the 4 inch pipe components together with stainless steel screws instead of gluing them, this makes it easy to make improvements when needed.

Congrats on not aerating your tank. IMO, an aerator will just send the sludge & scum right through your effluent filter into your septic field and make it worse.
Reasons for this are here.
If you don't have an effluent filter, now is the time to add one, or install a better one. Also now is the best time to add a riser if you don't already have one.

The key is to make maintenance easy in the future as well as for now.

Best to you,
Grizz
 

Last edited by Grizz1943; 07-15-13 at 09:49 AM.
  #107  
Old 07-22-13, 06:40 PM
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Filter Sock on diffuser

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I put a filer sock over the stick diffuser and a small bubblier under the effluent filter so far so good. When I had my tank pumped the guy told me that my inlet Tee was too long and would slow the water down. My uncle is a plumber and told me to make it just below the baffle.

I have had it that way for two years after a winter back up from floating paper, the inlet pipe just came in on the one side of the tank no T-Y and it had no effluent filter as well. Now it has both I also jetted the fields and all dry now. Just a thought with a filter on the diffuser, all I did was cut about a 3 foot piece of this stuff Drain-Sleeve 4 in. x 10 ft. Filter Sock-04010-12 at The Home Depot make a knot on the bottom and a hose clamp on the top coming out of the water.

Adding the sock to a stick diffuser seams to slow up the bubbling so not to stir things up. I'll let you know in a year how it looks. If it doesn't work l will shut the red valve and put the diffuser in the first D-box I also have the air bleed valve open just a little now.

Thanks for all the good advice
 

Last edited by woodheat-nooil; 07-22-13 at 08:01 PM.
  #108  
Old 07-23-13, 03:23 AM
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Observations and questions

Overall, I have to say I’m a bit confused about how the whole settling/clarification is supposed to work. When my system is working well, sample effluent from my tank post-aeration is very slightly milky or cloudy. There is a comparison picture on the Sabre Septic website showing the results of their process compared to another- my sample looks like the “organic-laden” one on the left. My samples are not clear after 24 or even 48 hours standing in a jar. I understand this is because of the size of the suspended particles, which can take weeks to settle. I wonder therefore how the Sabre Septic system can produce clear particle-free effluent suitable for pumping to the drain field after allowing the aerated sewage to settle for as little as 45 minutes?

I’m not having a go at the Sabre Septic guys- they are industry professionals and seem to know their stuff. Also, none of the other aeration kit suppliers even refer to the suspended solids issue as Grizz rightly points out. But they appear to use fairly standard air pumps and diffusers and the unique selling point seems to be the inclusion of a submersible pump coupled with timers to remove settled/clarified effluent out of the tank at specified intervals. So how is the effluent ready to go in just 45 minutes? Even the purpose-built ATUs out there have settling chambers which, to my mind, can only ever allow minimal settling of the aerated affluent before incoming waste water forces it out for disposal.

Maybe I’m missing something obvious as these processes are standard in the wider industry- can anyone suggest how it works in practice? My set-up would allow me to add a submersible pump and timers for it and the air pump very simply, so I’m very interested if anyone can explain the process.
 
  #109  
Old 07-25-13, 11:28 AM
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dilution amount?

I am about to pump Sodium Percarbonate crystals into my septic field lines with a sump pump directly into the leech lines. I am not completely convinced that the feild is just not simply saturated due to the amount of rainfall we have had this july, however, the leaking effluent is driving my wife crazy!


My question is : how much water do i mix to the 10 lbs of Sodium Percarbonate each day , and is it ok to add the crystals to the water or the other way around...... i have a 50 lb bag and will use approx 1/4 per day for 4 days, also, if the feild is simply full of rainwater will the sodium percarb work less effectively?


I do think my problem is bio mat, i added aerobic bacteria to the primary side of my 2 chamber tank a couple months ago to no avail. when the pump out runs, it makes the ground over 2 (6' long) areas of 2 of the 4 leech lines float like as if you are standing on peat moss with no bottom to the water ... very wet and soft this year and seemingly getting worse over the past couple of years

I will add an air pump into the secondary side of the tank soon, but nearly fainted when a local septic dude quoted me $25000.00 to do the aeration bit for me! and yes the amount of zeros is correct!
 
  #110  
Old 08-03-13, 03:06 AM
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@@ Keven,

You need to mix your sodium percarbonate & hot water into a 5 gal bucket. It takes a lot of stirring to dissolve all the powder. However you should know that sodium percarbonate will only dissolve the biomat, it will do nothing for the hardpan which is formed by sodium from your washing machine & water softener & diswasher. For hardpan, you need a chemical called Septic Seep(tm) or equivalent. Note that sodium percarbonate may contributes to hardpan, so it should not be be used more than once or twice.

I suggest that you do not aerate your existing tank. All it will do is mix up the sludge & scum into Septic Soup and then water pressure will force this right through your effluent filter right into your septic field, to clog it up. If you insist on aeration, then I suggest aerating your D-Box or else add a new tank between your old tank and the D-Box. And use this new tank as a settling tank, then aerate the output chamber of your old tank. This may be what your septic plumber had in mind.

@@ Magilla,
IMO, there is just NO WAY to get effluent water that clean from shutting off the aerator for 1 day. I have effluent water samples in mason jars sitting on my desk for 6 weeks that are STILL a light brown color. "BUYER BEWARE is ESPECIALLY true for the septic industry. IMO, I suspect they took that water sample on a freshly pumped out tank that was full of clean water. (Pssst - I have a bargain price for the Brooklyn Bridge)

A NEW IDEA for an aerator ! This looks really good to this grizzled & shell shocked skeptic of aeration. Prior to seeing this idea, I thought it was mission impossible to aerate a standard tank. A 1/2 inch PVC pipe is drilled full of tiny holes to aerate the water. This pipe is placed inside a 4 inch pipe. Both pipes are about 4 feet long, and suspended just below the water surface between the input man-hole & the output man hole with stainless steel wires. Obviously aerated water will hug the surface, and there will minimal to no water disturbance below the surface. The secret to success is that facultative bacteria will multiply & thrive at the surface, but will SPREAD ALL AROUND THE TANK !

There might be some disturbance to the scum layer, but I think it will just float right back to the top, and not go down deep enough to get into the output baffle. Does anyone see anything wrong with this idea? I'm tempted to try it.

PS) I might add that a major brand of aerator installs it bubbler into the INPUT chamber and uses the OUTPUT chamber as a "Settling Tank" for a dual chamber tank. IMO, this means that all of the scum, sludge & new solids are stirred up into septic soup in the input chamber and moved into the output chamber. Since the output chamber is so much smaller than the input chamber, then pumping may need to be done more frequently.

Best to all,
Grizz
 

Last edited by Grizz1943; 08-03-13 at 03:21 AM.
  #111  
Old 08-17-13, 07:31 AM
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Looks like I put the air diffuser in the wrong place

"Put all your air as close to the inlet tee as possible and aerate as long as possible in the tank. Hope that helps."

I will be adding another air diffuser on the inlet soon. I don't want to dig up the pipe I put in and I will just leave it. Inside where the pipe comes thru the block wall I will add a tee and ball valves so I could aerate the inlet or outlet. Wish I put it in the right place to begin with.
 
  #112  
Old 08-20-13, 03:34 PM
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Leech tanks woes

Hello Everyone,

First of all, I wanted to say THANK YOU for this wonderful, incredibly informative thread. I never thought I'd become so curious about how septic systems worth. It is actually pretty interested

Anyway, here is my situation in case anyone has dealt with this before and wouldn't mind sharing some info on what they did. I have a property in western Massachusetts that I am planning to sell. I had a voluntary Title V done and it failed because one of the leach tanks had liquid above the inlet pipe. The inspection guy was quick, spent about 30 min there, failed it, and proceeded to say how it'd cost $25k to replace the system and wanted to recommend a company that could do it. We preferred to do more research instead of taking his word for it.

Anyway, the system is about 25 years old, anaerobic, made of concrete, the holding tank is 1250 gallons, and the leech tanks are 750 gal each. The first tank (tank A) had 30" of liquid in it (it's the one that failed), and the second (working one), had about 21" but fluctuates. We are assuming that it is the only one that does the work lately. The system has been pumped every 3 years and there have never been backups, odors, wet areas in the yard, etc.

Anyway, we tried the 'special' expensive bacterial treatment which did not work (luckily, it comes with a refund). After reading through this forum multiple times, we added Oxi-clean to it which seemed to work like a miracle. Over a 4 day period, Tank A drained down to 19". Tank B had 0 liquid in it after about 3 days. We were so happy!

The area is sandy, so we thought that we'd play it by ear to see if Septic Seep (for hardpan) would be necessary or not. We let the tanks rest for about 2 days, and when we checked again, Tank A had 30" of water back in it again! And tank B had 19" The water was not very brown anymore though, it had more of a whitish 'clean' look to it.

My question is, has anyone had this experience after using oxi-clean? We raked some of the rocks and it drained about 1 1/4" after the raking within an hour. We are thinking of trying the Septic Seep to see if that will help...fingers crossed. We figured that with a sandy area (and New England tends to have more acidic soild), that hardpan wouldn't be a big issue, but perhaps that assumption is inaccurate...

Also, while we were raking, we noticed that there is sand in the tank. Is it normal to have sand AND rock? Or is it possible that the sand somehow got in through the holes or that the oxi-clean disintegrated the rocks into smaller pieces? Just wondering if the sand needs to be cleaned out and whether it's causing the clogs...

Any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully I provided enough info, if not I'd be happy to provide day-by-day experience with the oxi-clean treatment as we kept close records.

Thanks!
 
  #113  
Old 08-20-13, 05:42 PM
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If you read this thread best bet is to pump both leach tanks... Power wash/jet the sides... Aerate both tanks... treat with aid ox or any other hydrogen peroxide based product.. add filter to septic tank outlet....


Thats the best you can do IMO...


and proceeded to say how it'd cost $25k to replace the system
For what??? All you would need worst case is a new field... The septic tank is good right???
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 08-20-13 at 09:18 PM.
  #114  
Old 08-20-13, 08:36 PM
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Hello,

Yes, the septic tank works fine, no issues there. The level stays consistent in the septic tank which is apparently a good thing. From what I understand, it is the one leech tank that caused the inspection failure since the liquid was above the inlet pipe in that particular tank (tank A).

I wonder what could have caused the tanks to fill up so fast after only 2 days. It was amazing how quickly the Oxy-clean got them to drain though prior to that! We thought we had it fixed. We pondered whether to use more oxi-clean, but we may just try the Septic Seep to see if we're possibly dealing with hardpan. The sand in there leaves me a bit stumped.

Does anyone know whether leech tanks are only supposed to have rocks in them, or do they usually have sand too? All the diagrams I've seen so far don't mention sand, just rocks. I am wondering whether the sand is causing blockage and whether it should be cleaned out. Lawrosa, by pumping both tanks, do you also mean having the sand pumped out as well, or just the liquid?

Thank you so much. I'm so grateful for the interwebs and this forum
 
  #115  
Old 08-20-13, 09:31 PM
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but we may just try the Septic Seep to see if we're possibly dealing with hardpan.
Save your money... That stuff dont work...It will make your pits a white milky sticky mess... Really bad... That stuff was made to treat soil that had oil spills in Alaska...

You need to make the tanks aerobic by aeration. You issue is biomat...

Second tank was probably added if its hooked in series, and thats why its flowing better then the first...

You need to drain the tanks and expose the holes on the sides and suck/scrap the bottom hard bio mat crust... Then when the tanks fill with water add the aid ox, cess flow, or 27% peroxide from the pool store.....with aeration...

After cleaning tanks should be full of water when chemical is added so it treats on opens up the surrounding soil... Then the aerobic bacteria from aeration will get in there and eat the bio mat...

Sure I say great results too in my first weeks of treatment.... Levels did rise after like yours, but my aeration has taken over...

I am holding my own.. I been aerating 15 months I believe... I dont add anything any more... Well sometimes I will through some cess flw in there if I am at the home store and have an extra $25 bucks...
 
  #116  
Old 09-14-13, 06:04 PM
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Well, I'm late to the party as usual....but when we lived in CA, we had an above ground septic tank with only 35 L/F of drain field......covered over with bamboo. It was originally designed as anarobic with water circulating overhead and dripping down on.......redwood bark. Worked good for 10 years. Then I heard about aerobic system by Pirana (maybe changed later to Piranha....can't tell).

Anyway, it was our same tank, modified with an air pump that blew air thru their bacteria stick, underwater, to keep the waste water clean. Worked great. No odor. We kept goldfish and mosquito fish in the tank for a long time. On day the power went off and the circuit breaker did not reset. No oxygen...and fish died. Fixed it with a light bulb above tank to tell me when power was off.

They did their air pumps mainly in below ground tanks. They are in Sebastopol, Ca,,,****************************
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 09-14-13 at 06:07 PM. Reason: Removed phone #.
  #117  
Old 11-26-13, 09:06 AM
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An update

The problem!

Well, not long after my last update in July, I had to concede to the same problems as Grizz. The effluent filter was getting clogged very quickly and the material on the filter was being forced out to the D-box bit by bit. If I kept cleaning the filter every few days the process worked but obviously this was not a long-term solution. Not cleaning the filter caused the system to back up fairly quickly as the flow was too restricted.

I think this happened because as the amount of solids in the tank built up over time, they moved into the bottom of the second chamber. Once in there, they become agitated by the aeration process and are free to exit through the filter. A just-emptied tank does not have this problem and I think that was why I had my earlier success. Emptying the tank would help as I would have no solids in the second chamber to stir up, but again, this does not seem like a sustainable plan for the future…..


A solution?

My next experiment was to try to create a completely separate aeration chamber within my tank (like Grizz tried, but a bit differently). After a number of failed attempts using 4” pipes, I bought a 210 litre/45 gallon plastic water butt and anchored it to the top of the tank using plastic covered wire (an old clothes line!). In reality, the tank is quite buoyant and more or less floats steadily in there, but I have secured it to the internal piping with screws/ties where required.

I cut out openings on either side of the top of the barrel and used 40mm/1½” piping to connect it up as follows-

• 4” “feed” pipe (with filter) inserted into short 4” pipe with 1 ½” “T” outlet
• 1 ½” pipe into water butt from “T” outlet of 4” feed
• vigorous aeration
• 1 ½” pipe out of barrel into 4” outlet pipe via 1 ½” “T”
• Out to D-box (more aeration)
• Out to drain field

While this set-up meant no disturbance of the tank contents, it also meant there was only 45 gallons being aerated at any one time and for very short periods if flows were high. It has been reasonably successful but I was still not happy..

So I changed things around again. I now use the water butt as a settling chamber and am aerating the main tank again. There is no disturbance in the setting chamber (other than the flow through it) and the settled material still has to go through the effluent filter, which is now in the settling chamber.

I put a pump in to the D-box which pumps back to one of the old drain lines if the D-box level gets too high- this means less water going to the main drainfield in busy periods.

The attached (half-baked) drawing shows my current set-up.

Finally, I bought a bigger pump as planned (Medo LA60B) and this works really well. The pump is easily able to drive two 12” diffusers as well as the air stone in the D-box
 
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  #118  
Old 04-29-14, 04:16 PM
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Question Leach field clogged!

First of all I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this thread, it has been very informative.

I have a place in the Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, which is the same stretch of islands that make up the San Juan islands in Washington state.

My problem is this ...

I have (had) a 600 gallon, single chamber, poured-in-place concrete tank that was completely full (my fault, I know, I should have pumped it when I bought it 5yrs ago), and the lid had partially caved in. I am thankful that no one (or their pet) had fallen in, so I got lucky there. I should note that I have tenants there, ranging from a single lady, to a family of 3, now a family of 2. Now when I say the tank was full, I mean it was full. Like 95%+ full. Anyway, after some panic moments, I was able to get a new 900 gallon, 2 chamber tank put it in, along with a new D-box (the original concrete one had disintegrated to nothing) within a few days. I should also note that septic installers now have to be certified (read: the scope of work hasn't changed, but the price has), and there are only 2 that serve this particular island. The septic guy figures the lines are clogged with solids (4 lines @ 40ft each), and gave me an estimate of over $11k to replace them. This was after the new tank and D-box already cost me around $6k.

After seeing the post of using sodium percarbonate to free up clogged lines, I did manage to find a chemical company in Canada what will sell it to me (approx 55lbs for $115 plus shipping). I also read that 27% hydrogen peroxide will also work, but have not sourced it from a pool supply place yet.

My question is this - which would be more effective for what are likely severely clogged lines? If the costs are similar, I would give the better option a shot before replacing the field.

Also, there seem to be a number of bacterial "shock" products on the market here as well, is that something I should consider as well?

Finally, there are lime sulfur products available here which seem to be similar to Septic Seep too.


Thanks in advance for any and all responses!!!
 
  #119  
Old 05-05-14, 02:03 PM
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Thanks for all the hard work!

You have saved me a bunch here on crap talk!
I will give you the long story. I bought a house in Duarte in 82.
I was told it's on a septic system and not to use bleach. No problem for a single guy. I was also told the sewer line was in the street and I could hook up for about 10K. That was a none starter because the house cost 62.5K. About 10 years later I got married, we stared to have issues in the early spring. It would drain slowly. I had to ask the lady next door where I might find the septic system. I dug up the hatch and called the honey wagon. The guy tells me it looks like it had never been pumped (we are talking about 1952 construction). He also indicates that there is another hatch about 4 ft to the west. I did it up. It was full of solids as well. He instructs me to dig up the sepe well. He takes a look and says it's OK.
Fast forward to 2011, I have moved, My sister is living there with her family of 3-4. After about 6 months, she is have drainage issues. No problem, I get it pumped. About a year later, the same thing, this time I did up the well, and the septic tanks, the fluid level in the well is above the top.
This time the guy tells me that I am bordering on a failed system. He recommends that I put on a grey water system reroute the wash water away form the septic system. I get it added over the next few weeks. The third year same issue, I get it pumped in Dec. snaked a month later. Due to the extreme conservative use of water, the drain gets plugged with paper!
 

Last edited by karlow; 05-05-14 at 04:02 PM.
  #120  
Old 05-11-14, 08:47 AM
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Just an update. I had my septic tank pumped after 4 yrs. After it was pumped I added two bottles of cessflo from the home store to the seepage pit...

Here are the results of the depth. I have been well below the 2 ft level since I started this aeraating test. This measurment was 2 weeks ago..

I have to note upon pulling up the hose with the air stick I developed a leak in the line. Seems the hose that sits in the pipe gets dry rotted somewhat and brittle.. I had to cut both ends clean and add a barb fitting to rejoin. I almost lost the air stick down the tank.

I will go out and measure again in a moment.

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