Pooling in yard - Old tank caved in?

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-07-14, 01:51 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Unhappy Pooling in yard - Old tank caved in?

There are descriptions in the pictures, but I'll include the limited amount that I know here.

House was built in the 40's. Purchased about 8 years ago. I call someone out to pump the tank once every year or two. What I do know is that the house feeds into a staging tank (which presumably catches the solids) - then overflows into a much larger tank. From there, I've always assumed that it then feeds into some kind of leaching field setup. I wish I knew more.

To my knowledge there is no pump. This is attached to one house, 2 residents.

Here is an album, with descriptions, of what I'm dealing with. The plan is to grab a shovel and start digging - then figure out where to go from there. Any help would be appreciated!

I'll answer any question that I possibly can.

Album of images with descriptions
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-07-14, 04:42 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,965
Received 6 Votes on 6 Posts
When it was pumped, did they pump both tanks? Does the secondary tank have lids? From what you are describing you may have a full tank, BUT that may be caused by a congested leach field.
 
  #3  
Old 06-07-14, 05:52 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes - when it was pumped, both tanks were pumped. The larger tank also has a lid (pictured in new album below). (The lids are covered with a tarp, soil, and marked by those pavers so we remember their location). I may be underestimating the sheer size of the large tank - but could it be THAT far away from those lids?

New album showing location of lids and distance to the wet spot
 

Last edited by septicsaturday; 06-07-14 at 08:20 PM.
  #4  
Old 06-07-14, 08:44 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,523
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
Not a pro on this topic, but when I lived in NJ they used a traditional solid tank which fed into a seepage tank instead of what we think of as a leach field. I know my backdoor neighbor with a large family had added two additional seepage tanks in series as the previous ones failed. They just punched a hole out the back side and ran a pipe to the next tank. So the broken concrete you are seeing may be an old tank or a new one added to the end of the line.

In any case it all needs to be pumped and a determination made as to what is actually there. Then another determination as to what needs to be done to repair the system. IMO, this process requires permits and inspections along with an approved septic design.

If any of the previous work was done with permits there should be a design on file at the town office. That's a good place to start.

Bud
 
  #5  
Old 06-07-14, 09:50 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Are you saying that there's a better chance that I'm looking at a seepage pit system, and not a leach field setup?

Makes me wonder why there's no evidence of an inspection pipe or some kind of access to it. Damn. This is starting to sound expensive.
 
Attached Images  

Last edited by septicsaturday; 06-07-14 at 11:57 PM.
  #6  
Old 06-08-14, 02:18 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,523
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
The NJ area I lived in had/has very sandy soils which I was told was the reason for the seepage pits vs the leach fields, plus my lot was only 1/4 acre, with some as small as 50' x 100'.

What you have, I have no idea, just offering some information. That is a field I try to keep my hands out of, literally.

Bud
 
  #7  
Old 06-09-14, 09:56 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well, I was able to dig out a bit of the top of the structure and get a better view of what was going on.

I uploaded a new gallery (imgur wasn't working for some reason) to give an idea of what's going on.

There's a picture of the piece of broken lid, and the (roughly) 2' x 4' opening that it covered.

There's also a picture of a broken PVC pipe that an inch or so away from that rectangular opening.

Does this configuration look familiar to anyone? Have the odds that this is a seepage pit gone up?

Gallery link
 
  #8  
Old 06-10-14, 12:53 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well, we had a pro come out and give us a consultation. I'd love an opinion as to what he has proposed.

The hole is not the top of a seepage pit, but the junction of a leach field. From his evaluation, the leach field is clogged with biomass, and the only thing that will help it is a couple years of not being used. He proposed building a second leach field going the opposite direction (with a quote of up to 5k), that can be used til the old one "dries out."

The picture shows the current system. The yellow dot (yellow dot) is the subject of the last few albums, and the blue lines represent where the clogged leach field is apparently located.

I'm going to get a second opinion, with a separate bid, just to see if they agree with the problem and/or course of action.

I'd love a little unbiased input from somebody in the forum.
 
Attached Images  
  #9  
Old 06-10-14, 01:22 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,142
Received 60 Votes on 52 Posts
That is your distribution box. Have a new one installed and fix all pipes going to it. Have the lines jetted and treat with aid ox according to instructions...

(They may only be clogged with dirt from the failed lid)






Aid ox.. You need 4 jugs

Cloroben Aid-Ox® | Drain & Waste System Cleaners | Hercules

Cloroben - Aid-Ox at Menards

If it does not work you would still need to do the above. to keep that field intact and mechanically sound.

Then install another field the proper size. No temporary one. Have a bull run valve installed. It will be the last money you will spend on field issues in your lifetime..

http://www.americanonsite.com/american/catalog/brv.html

You will need to let the old field rest for three years before alternating them..

Last if that is a dual chamber tank it may be a good idea to aerate the second chamber. but thats best for another thread....
 
  #10  
Old 06-10-14, 01:36 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,523
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
When you said 2' x 4' a distribution box is what came to mind, not big enough for a seepage pit. Do wait for one of the pros as I'm just a few bad septic systems ahead of you. You learn each time.

My question would be, why the new one would be intended to last just until the old one dried out. Recovery of the old one is never guaranteed and a new leach field should (depending upon soils) last up to 20 years. It looks like you have plenty of property so anything less than a full size leach field shouldn't be permitted and I assume he will be pulling a permit. That price however looks low so perhaps he is trying to do something temporary.

However you resolve this, your next step will be to modify your waste water generation. There is a whole list of due's and don'ts to make a system last longer.

Bud
I am slow . Thanks lawrosa, I like your reply better than mine.
 
  #11  
Old 08-08-14, 01:16 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Okay - first and foremost, thanks for your help!

Getting a 2nd opinion turned out to be a good call. Instead of creating a 2nd drainfield for 5k - we were able to have it jetted out (and basically snaked). Water flow is good, a lot of sediment (dirt and some really thin roots from a nearby tree) came out.

Now I'm left with a lid-less distribution box, and need to figure out a way to cover it.

Here's what she looks like now, without the lid!

The box outer dimensions measure 23" X 33".

I went to a metal shop to get a steel lid (with a 3" lip around it to prevent sediment from flowing in), and the price was kind of nuts.

Anyone have a suggestion on how to best cover this thing?

Any ideas would be appreciated!
 
  #12  
Old 08-08-14, 02:38 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
You could make up a form and pour a concrete lid to use. You could make a wood lid and cover with two or three layers of fiberglass cloth and resin.
 
  #13  
Old 08-08-14, 03:05 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Oooh.. that's a new idea - I immediately disqualified wood in my head because the moisture would rot it out. I wonder how much resin would be needed to seal a lid.
 
  #14  
Old 08-08-14, 06:49 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,142
Received 60 Votes on 52 Posts
You could make a wood lid and cover with two or three layers of fiberglass cloth and resin.
Very good ray!!!!!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 
  #15  
Old 08-08-14, 08:35 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: usa
Posts: 278
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
call a scrap yard and price a steel plate to cover.

call a concrete septic tank company and ask about a slab(cover....lid) the size you need.

call a concrete precast company and ask about a cover of the size you need.
 
  #16  
Old 08-09-14, 06:00 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,965
Received 6 Votes on 6 Posts
Precasting your own concrete lid with rebar reinforcement would probably be cheaper than fiberglas resin. Plus it would be heavy enough to stay in place. Make it slightly wider and longer than the outside of the pit encasement.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: