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team VTX cafe physician
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Discussion Starter #1
we moved in 23 years ago.....from Philly....never had a septic system....I guess it's just one of those things you never think about.....this summer, I noticed water near it that shouldnt have been...I knew it was from the system, but I never really looked into it cause we had landscaped around it years ago and it was covered with poison ivy......when it got colder, about a month ago, I started to remove the vegetation so I could look at the system.....finally, a few days ago, I had a guy stop by.....we found that since it has never been pumped out, the solids had overflowed into the final tank and clogged up the pump and shut it off...so the water was an overflow of water going into the ground around the tank instead of the leach field.......it got pumped out today and will get new pumps this week!! just wanted to share this with you guys!!
 

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Darkside Pastor & Addict
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thanks for sharing doc.:nope:

Pdave:patriot:
 

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I'm new to septic systems as well. I knew that they had to be pumped but thought that there was some way of knowing that it needed to be done. My wife had to deal with septic systems growing up so I pretty much leave it to her to deal with since she knows more than me on it. Glad to hear it wasn't a catastrophic failure.
 

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What are the pumps for, I don't have any in mine. We only use it 5 months out of the year and use Ridx once a month to help break down the waste. I do needto find the top cap on the tank so I can check it once in awhile and have it pumped as needed. Thanks for the reminder.
 

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Epi, I'd say you have had great luck if you've never touched it in 23 years. At least your getting off fairly cheap, pumps cost way less than installing a new leach field.

The time needed between having the tank pumped out all depends on the size of the tank (or tanks) how many people are using the system, along with what else is plumed into the tank that kills the bacteria that helps keep the system working like a dishwasher, washing machines etc. For a family of 4 or 5 they say it should be pumped out every 5 years, with just two people it can be as long as 10 + years if you have good bacteria doing it's job.
(It also never hurts to pour in some additive once a month to keep your s**t happy :icon_susp)

Jerry, Pumps are only needed if your leach field is higher than your tank, when possible the field is always installed lower than the tank but it all depends on the layout of the property and how the land perked when the house was built.
 

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Thanks Doug now I understand the need for pumps. My field perked fine naturally no need for an engineered field. I had a 1,000 gallon concrete tank installed for fear the plastic one would raise out of the ground in the spring. Since it's not used 7 months a year and it's my first septic tank I opted for safety. I still have no idea how it works but it does the job.
 

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I still have no idea how it works but it does the job.
It's really pretty basic, all the lets say "solids..." sink to the bottom of the tank and with a healthy system the bacteria slowly eats away at it helping to keep the levels down. As all that goes on the liquids flow out of the tank and into the leach field and are absorbed into the surrounding ground. Chemicals such as soaps and harsh cleaning supplies will kill the bacteria which leads to an unhealthy and backed up system.

The leach field works like a giant soaker hose, it's just a network of pipe that has holes in it to let the fluids be spread over a large area. The unknown part is as time goes by the leach feild is always in a failing mode. Meaning that when new the fluids flow out at the header of the system, then as the silt builds up the fluid has to travel farther the find a spot where it can be absorbed. Once the field is silted up all the way to the footer it's time for a new leach field. They say most natural systems with good perking ground will last 15 to 30+ years depending on soil conditions. An engineered field should last a lot longer because it's basically just a big sand box and will work for many many years.

The funny part is sometimes having some "crappy" knowledge can be a good thing. When I had my excavating business going I would only do new system installs, needless to say I always forwarded the calls for a system repairs to a local plumber I knew for obvious reasons...
 

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SorryEpi but I'm getting an education here and I would hope thers are too. If the washing machine and dishwasher have to go to the drain and are harmful to it I have a couple questions. Why do you have to drain them into the septic and how do you counter act the effects of them in the field? Is this what the Rid-X is for and are monthly doses of it a good schedule? My field is mostly sand, it poured when it was open for the inspection. I'm talking abour 5" of rain in a few hours and it was gone from the hole in less than a half hour. I have 5 rows of 7 tiles as required by code, o me that's a big area. I'm a city raised person so I have trust people are doing the correct thing and that the inspectors will catch any errors. I never want the horrors I've seen on TV in my backyard.
 

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team VTX cafe physician
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Discussion Starter #12
bear, dont apologize.......this site is for education...I was hoping someone might chime in and educate us on the joys of septic tank living! thanks to doug!! the rid-x is to replenish the bacteria used to "eat" the debris in the holding tank......just like in your own GI tract, bacteria is used to digest the waste......because so many of us use all sorts of chemicals to clean, etc, it's good to use it once a month........the pumping out process is no big deal..they come in a large truck and suck out and clean all the system......that's why there's lids on it......now that I'm more aware, I'm gonna pay attention to mine more!!
 

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Jerry, It sounds like you have great ground there, so you shouldn't have to worry much about it.

It's required by code to plumb all waste water coming from your house into the septic system, even if it's not good for it long term. In the days before these codes people used to just run a drain line for washers, tubs & sinks etc. to the county ditches or just to a low area on their property. Which personally I see no harm in as long as it's nothing toxic... (it's been know to still happen at times after the final inspection are done)
 

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Here in Texas if you live on anything less than 10 acres and are not on a public sewer system you are required by the TCEQ (Texas Commision on Enviornmental Quality) to have an "Aerobic Sewage System". Its like 3-4 septic tanks in a series with a pump on a float valve. By the time your black/gray water gets to the final tank they say it is almost safe to drink, no thanks. Then the water goes out to a sprinkler system that leaves your lawn looking nice and green. There is also a place to dump about 1 gal of bleach each month that slowly drips into the system.

Aint Texas grand?
 

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Here in Texas if you live on anything less than 10 acres and are not on a public sewer system you are required by the TCEQ (Texas Commision on Enviornmental Quality) to have an "Aerobic Sewage System". Its like 3-4 septic tanks in a series with a pump on a float valve. By the time your black/gray water gets to the final tank they say it is almost safe to drink, no thanks. Then the water goes out to a sprinkler system that leaves your lawn looking nice and green. There is also a place to dump about 1 gal of bleach each month that slowly drips into the system.

Aint Texas grand?
Yea I've heard the'ol you can drink it when it comes out story, funny though it seems none of the salesman will drink any...
I've never dealt with anything on that one, but they do have that system in use here in MI to but it's usually only in real swampy areas. I've heard rumors that their trying to get the votes to make it a requirement for all new homes.

IMO I think it's just some more big brother crap looking out for some company (or their brother-n-law) who put a bunch of money in their personal pockets to say it's a better way.
 

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dang EPI,
HOLY CRAP,,,,,I really hate to hear bout all the sh1t ya been goin' through........lmao

IT'S REALLY A FLUSH OF SH1T..........
 

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This Sh1t is getting deep.

"Been there done that" if I have anything to do with it, I will never again live in a home with a septic tank.

I remember saying the same thing when I was young about an outhouse.
I'm going to have to move on to another post before someone makes a wave.
 

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I've lived in homes with septic tanks for many years. About 35 years total. I've never had a septic tank problem. All I ever did was have the solids pumped.

A properly sized septic tanks does not need any special attention other than pumping out the solids. Talk with a local septic tank pumping contractor about when it should be pumped. You should be safe pumping it out after 5 years the first time. At that time the contractor can tell you if it should be OK to switch to 10 or 15 year intervals.

Washing machine and dishwasher discharge is diluted by the other waste and should not require any special attention.

Geezer
 
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