Septic System

Septic System

PostBy: chemung On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 10:05 am

Do any of you with septic systems use any additives like Rid-X? I read on the internet that additives should not be used that the tank should be pumped out semi-annually instead. Have you ever heard of NT-MAX? Not to be confused with the GPS system. :) Looking for opinions (info) from more experienced rural people.

Re: Septic System

PostBy: Blackdiamonddoug On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 10:21 am

baker yeast will grow the backtiera in the septic tank and make it work great.
If you like smoke and mirros pay big bucks for backteria
Not a bad idear to have your tank pumped empty on a 24 month cycle
After the pump add baker yeast to the toilet

Root growth is another thing the chemical that kill tree roots will kill the bactieria.
If you have root problem treat it and have the tank pumped after
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Re: Septic System

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 10:36 am

My thoughts: (assuming you have a some where near proper septic system) The only reason to pump a tank is to make sure solids do not enter the leach field. There's no way you'll get that many solids in the tank in less than 5 years. Rid ex should not be needed, but I do use it because my washing machine goes into my septic tank...the worst thing you can do. I believe we just don't generate enough poop to make enough bacteria to overcome the soap so I add Ric-ex or similar every 6 months or so. Keep your eye out and you'll find it on sale now & then. Yeast works as well I'm sure, but the proper amount is about the same price as Rid ex. I think you get more than one flavor of germ in Rid ex.
Check the tank now & then. You should find an inch or three of scum on top, and solids on the bottom. Yu can feel the solids with a shovel, you can assume there's semi-solids a foot or so above the solids. Pump the tank befoe the semi-solids get to the top. You should also check to make sure the baffle on the outlet is OK. Some new ones have a cleanable filter. Keep it clear.
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Septic System

PostBy: chemung On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 11:12 am

Freddy wrote:(assuming you have a some where near proper septic system)

It's a sand mound system eleven years old but used for only six of those years. The first five years by two people then it sat for six years. We bought the property last August. Four live here now.

There is a 1500 gal tank outside the home then it runs about 800 feet to another tank. From there it is pumped up to the sand mound.

Re: Septic System

PostBy: Sting On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 11:14 am

Sometimes its the trees that block the view of the forest....

I just discovered that I have a 25 year old black walnut growing at the end of my drain field. Nice tree - grows well there - 40 feet tall at least..

But not the best location if I wish to keep using the facilities. This year its been wet enough that the grass in the area is still growing well but last season when the grass went dormant it still grew nice and green over the three legs of the drain field so I assume it all is still working.

I assume the drain field pitches away from the tank so if I add a large dose of Ridex after removing the tree -- this weekend. -- directly into the stand pipe at the end of the field.

Should I still need to pump the tank?

How much water should I add to flush the Ridex into the system? How much can I safely use? or is more better :oops:

Its only me and the dog there on weekends. He doesn't use put much of a load on the system. He is more of a call to nature in the field boy! I had it pumped two years ago and the guy said it was working just fine. He called this spring and I told him that I no longer rented the house so he said there was no need to pump with the occasional weekend use it now sees.
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: Septic System

PostBy: stoker-man On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 11:16 am

Additives are a waste of money. If you aren't putting excessive harsh chemicals down the drain, you will have no worries at all. Tanks should be pumped out about every 3-4 years, depending upon how large your family is. It is never a good idea to put fat down the drains. Fat and soap will eventually fill the distribution box.

My neighbor has lived in his house, with 5 kids, since 1963, and has never, not even once, pumped out his tank.
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: Septic System

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 11:20 am

Our septic system is 22 years old and it just past inspection a year an a half ago. The old owners told us that they never put anything in the tank only pumped it out every 2-3 years. We do know they left their old washing machine and dryer here and there was always a lot of lint in the dryer and on the clothes when they came out of the washing machine. We just replaced our washing machine and have noticed that there is now no lint on our clothes before they go into the dryer and there is very little lint to be cleaned out of the dryer lint box now. So I would have to assume that with the new washing machine with it's built in lint box that we must have very little if any lint going into our septic tank any more, which should greatly improve the health of our tank.

I wouldn't waste any money putting additives in your septic tank, if you want to cut down on the amount of stuff going into it then setup a gray water recovery system to your plumbing. Just make sure the top of your septic tank gets lots of sunlight and the grass is always cut and what ever you do don't do what a guy did here in town and put a swimming pool on top of his brand new septic tank and kill the darn thing within the first 5 years of it being installed :roll2:
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Re: Septic System

PostBy: szembek On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 11:39 am

I've been wondering the same thing. I think I'll just let it be until the sh1t backs up, then I'll have it pumped.
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Re: Septic System

PostBy: BugsyR On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 11:40 am

chemung wrote: ... Looking for opinions (info) from more experienced rural people.

I have a sand mound...rough local estimate of a sand mound replacement in my area is over 10 I'll ask the $10,000 dollar you want opinions from septic system owners or do you think you should be asking the experts that clean, inspect, and install septic systems?

Reason...My opinion is... do not put anything into your septic system except what the septic system is designed to have put in it....such as gray water and sewage. No additives needed or required. Buy septic safe toilet paper only. Other than human waste septic safe toilet paper is the only other man made thing that should be flushed into your system (other than the soaps that are present in the gray water). Use powder laundry detergent only...liquid laundry detergent is not septic safe. I have my tanks pumped and inspected every 3 years because it is me and 3 women in the house. The last time it was pumped and inspected he said I could have gone longer but keep up what we are doing....charge was $260....a lot less than $10,000.

If you like to wash grease down your sink with dirty dishes you're on your way to that big septic system replacement bill.

Less people in the house is less strain on the system. Freddy is right in a way yet wrong in another. A septic system in PA is designed in size by the # of Bedrooms (1.5 people per bedroom) and the PERC. The smallest septic system in PA is based on 3 bedrooms. Acceptable PERC means 3 bedroom system. Can never be smaller but will be bigger if it is a slow PERC or more bedrooms. Where Freddy is somewhat right is that you could be safe for 5 years being that it is for example, 3 bedroom home x 1.5 people = no more than 4 people living in the house and you are careful with your system. If you are living in an over crowded 3 bedroom home (or you expanded your home in order to house more kids)...I wouldn't wait 5 years to have it inspected.

One friend hasn't had his system pumped or inspected in 9 years...he uses an additive that says if you use our product you'll never have to pump your system....I don't have $10 grand laying around to fix my system if they are lying.

Rid-X is recommended by some but experts will tell you it is not necessary. My opinion is ask your local experts if you should be putting additives into your local expert will actually go to people's houses just to educate them on their no charge with no sales pitch. Took his lesson to my Sewage Enforcement Officer and asked his opinion...same answers. No yeast, No Rid-X, no additives, pump and inspect every 3 to 5 depending on how hard the system is used. 2 local experts...companies that pump and inspect...ask the same questions to both notes.

These are my opinions and I am not an expert at septic systems. :)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker

Re: Septic System

PostBy: BugsyR On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 12:33 pm

MORE.... :)

Lint actually isn't bad for the tank but it is very bad for Sand Mounds. I believe it is polyester lint that is the worst because it is not bio-degradable...if it is extreme it will clog your sand filter which then = sand filter replacement. Like Freddy the solids tank/s you basically have floating crap and sinking crap with gray water in between...the lint neither sinks or floats it does all of the above so lint will make it to your drain field/sand mound...stop buying the additives (Rid-X) and put that money towards a lint filter for your washing machine.

szembek wrote:I've been wondering the same thing. I think I'll just let it be until the sh1t backs up, then I'll have it pumped.

This cracked me up because it really is funny....only thing is...if you wait until it backs up, how much sh1t got into your dosing tank and how much solids got pumped to your drain field? Also...from what I understand from friends that had septic problems, when the sh1t backed was not pretty... :lol:
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Re: Septic System

PostBy: BugsyR On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 12:38 pm

Some Good Advice:

Have your tank pumped every 3-5 years. An experienced septic bumper will check the depth of the sludge in your tank and make pumping schedule recommendations. Depending on your wastewater usage, pumping may be necessary more or less frequently.
How long your absorption field lasts is basically a function of the volume and strength of water you put into the system. You should make a considerable effort to conserve water at every step. Hydraulic overloading is a main cause of early system failure. Install low flow shower heads, toilets and washing machines. Don't use a garbage disposal (or use it rarely).
Don't use system additives (chemical or biological)
Don't construct pools or other structures over any part of your system
Don't flush anything that won't quickly decompose
Don't plant trees or bushes in the area of your tank or absorption field
Don't run clear water drains (i.e. foundation / basement drains) into your septic system
Don't discharge your water softener to your septic system. Sodium can corrode concrete and may interfere with the soil's structure and its ability to absorb water. If the softener must discharge to your septic system, set it to cycle less frequently. This will minimize the amount of sodium going to your septic.
The use of antibacterial products (including soaps) may adversely effect your system.

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Re: Septic System

PostBy: coalkirk On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 12:41 pm

If you didn't eat it or drink it, and it's not toilet paper, it should not be in your septic system! That includes Rid-Ex which temporarily breaks down solids so they can flow into your leaching fields and clog them up. It's a band-aid. I also agree that laundry water is not good for the system. That's why after I had a new system installed 15 years ago, as soon as the county inspector left, a separate drain field and a tandem axle of stone went in to handle only laundry water.
Pumping AND inspection of your system on a 2-3 year time table is important. If the baffles break off, which they do even in modern concrete tanks, there is nothing to stop solids from entering the leaching fields. That's bad news. I just have to laugh when I hear stories like "my neighbor hasn't had his pumped since 1963."
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1981 EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: anthracite/rice coal

Re: Septic System

PostBy: Devil505 On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 1:46 pm

I also have our laundry running into a separate dry well & that makes all the difference! (the only additive I put into the septic tank is spoiled milk, cream..and dairy. Helps the bacteria grow I guess)
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Re: Septic System

PostBy: spc On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 1:55 pm

Effluent filter. Keeps solids from entering field. ... ilters.asp
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Re: Septic System

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue. Aug. 19, 2008 2:11 pm

szembek wrote:I've been wondering the same thing. I think I'll just let it be until the sh1t backs up, then I'll have it pumped.

You may need a new leaching field with that process, cheaper to pump the tank.
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