steamup wrote:Pretty much every thing is correct. The pump out intervals should not be a big deal. Properly installed risers should be easy to scrape the dirt off and open. It cost me $260 last time to pump a 1500 gallon tank. Over a three year period that is cheap maintenance.
Pumping the tank may not be necessary on a three year or so basis, but changing the oil in your car may not need to be done regularly either. Since there is not odometer on your septic system, how far are you willing to go to save a few dollars and risk the damage?
Yanche wrote:Check the second link in my post on septic systems in a previous thread.
See: Garbage Disposal And Septic Systems
The link is repeated here:
http://www.carrollhealthdepartment.dhmh ... anual.html
It's from my local county health department. Gives illustrations of several septic system and describes how they work. Towards the end it describes how to make tools to check if your system needs pumping. I've copied that portion below:
How to Check Your Septic Tank
This can be done with improvised tools, one for checking sludge depth and one for checking scum level.
To check sludge depth, use a pole or 2x2 inch stud about eight feet long. Bind rough Turkish toweling around the pole for three feet from one end. Remove the manhole cover or clean-out hole cover nearest the outlet pipe. Break a hole in the scum layer with the pole. Press the towel end of the pole down through the liquid until resistance is felt. This is the sludge layer. Press the pole down through the sludge until the pole reaches the bottom of the tank. If the sludge depth is one-third or more of the liquid depth, cleaning is needed. Some authorities recommend cleaning when the sludge becomes one foot deep.
To check the scum level, use another pole or 2x2 stud about eight feet long. Nail a flat board about four inches square to one end. (The pole with the board attached should look like the letter "T".) Push the end with the board attached through the scum layer and move it to one side into an undisturbed scum area. Lift the pole slowly until resistance is felt from the square board contacting the bottom of the scum. Put a mark on the pole even with the top of the access hole. Next move the pole until you locate the bottom of the outlet pipe or baffle. Lift the pole so the square board hooks onto the bottom of the pipe or baffle. Again mark the pole even with the top of the access hole. The mark showing the bottom of the scum should always be above the mark showing the bottom of the outlet pipe or baffle. Cleaning is needed before the scum becomes deep enough to go under the outlet pipe or baffle.
markviii wrote:Mike, is it possible to dig out the old leachfield soil and haul in fresh gravel? It seems like a little excavator work is worth not having to install a "pumped" system.
As for the tank options, I have never seen a septic system with multiple tanks, but it sounds like a great way to bump up the system capacity and have some redundancy.
I already said my piece about the drywell…that needs to happen once everyone that “knows better” has moved on to the next job.
steamup wrote:My recommendation is to contact your county health department immediately and review the options with the person in charge of septic system inspections. They offer advice for free and have the ultimate say in the installation.
Note that the Health department on this end of the state will no longer allow anything less than a 1500 gallon septic tank to be buried for new installations. No written documentation on this but all installations are subject to the Local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). They should let you supplement your existing tank with a smaller one.
By the way, the cost difference between a 1000 and a 1500 gallon concrete tank on this end of the state is only about $300.00 the last time I checked (its been a few years). Labor and excavation to install is about the same.
Don't get hung up on the softner. The PPM of salt in the water should not be that concrentrated to cause septic problems. If it is, then you would be going through tons of salt and you probably have a softner problem also.(my $.02).
My orginal septic system when I moved into my house was a home made septic tank of about 300 gallons and a pipe to a ditch for a leach system. The tank had never been pumped in it's life and the grass was very green around the ditch. Good thing I didn't have many neighbors.
In NYS, the engineer's plan in a replacement situation can override the "authorities" and the rules if situational circumstances prevent following the rules.
Local rules can be more strict but not less strict than the state law.
The engineer gave me the option of supplementing the existing tank with a 750 gallon tank.