Septic system: Is "back pumping" necessary?

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-13-21, 07:02 AM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 14
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Septic system: Is "back pumping" necessary?

I have a 1 compartment 1000 gallon tank in a home I've recently purchased and admittedly am a newbie when it comes to septic systems. I called a company to look at the tank and pump if necessary, and they confirmed the solids are around 40%. They said they noticed some water in the drain field, but I feel that is to be expected since it's been raining every other day for over a month and a lake is literally over 50 ft away so the ground is never bone dry. I expected the system just needed to be pumped since there have been no issues with plumbing in the house, but then they tacked on other things that they claim needed to be done.

Pumping the tank would cost around $400, but they highly suggested "back pumping" which brought the price to $2000. After scratching my head at the cost, they called their manager and was able to bring the cost down to $1500. Not sure it was necessary and wanting to do some research on back pumping, I asked if they could just pump the tank for now, but then they refused to pump without doing the back pumping even though the system was not failing nor showing signs of failing when I asked them. They claimed they could lose their certification if they did not do the whole procedure.

My questions are:
  • What situations warrant back pumping and is it really beneficial in this situation? I've read in some situations back pumping can do more harm than good.
  • Are they just trying to maximize profits before taking a job or do they have to follow certain procedures to keep their certification?
 
  #2  
Old 01-13-21, 09:46 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 24,426
Received 747 Votes on 686 Posts
"Back pumping" isn't a universal term so I'd have them explain the process in detail... then look for a different company.
 
Dorocha voted this post useful.
  #3  
Old 01-13-21, 10:32 AM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 14
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The way they explained back pumping it is that they would suck out the excess water out of the drain field which would dry the pipes out and promote better decomposition in the tank.
 
  #4  
Old 01-13-21, 11:18 AM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,283
Received 109 Votes on 101 Posts
You do not need and you do not want the process described to you as back pumping.

Any water still persisting in the drain pipes will soak down into the ground leaving the pipes empty of water until more water arrives from the septic tank or the sky.

There will be no change in the decomposition in the tank.

Get another company to pump the septic tank only.
 
Dorocha voted this post useful.

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-13-21 at 12:20 PM.
  #5  
Old 01-13-21, 12:08 PM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 6,905
Received 426 Votes on 397 Posts
The way they explained back pumping it is that they would suck out the excess water out of the drain field which would dry the pipes
I've had septic fields for 40 years, 4 houses, many different companies and never heard that term or that process ever.

That would be like pumping the water out of your toliets to eliminate clogs, tell them to take a hike!!
 
Dorocha voted this post useful.
  #6  
Old 01-13-21, 02:20 PM
H
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,934
Received 137 Votes on 119 Posts
Generally, "back pumping" is about as effective as "changing the starter fluid" in a V8 starter motor.

IF you have a broken baffle, and paper solids get into the field, then you MIGHT want to flush/vacuum the distribution lines. FYI you CANNOT "vacuum the drain field" because the adding a vacuum will only pull outside dirt into the distribution pipes.

Septic System Back Pumping will not fix a drain field and is Not recommended (inspectapedia.com)
 
Dorocha voted this post useful.
  #7  
Old 01-13-21, 04:55 PM
L
Member
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 205
Received 8 Votes on 8 Posts
While you are at it, report these guys to your local sanitary regulatory authority.
 
Dorocha voted this post useful.
 

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