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  #1  
Old 02/25/07, 02:36 PM
r.h. in okla.
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Need help with sewer leach line installation.

What is the procedure with installing new leach lines on a existing septic system. My leach lines are some 35 years old and in need of replacement and extended. The original lines aren't very long. We don't even have all the house hooked up to it due to not having enough leach line to take on the extra water usage. When the house was built it was only designed for 1 bathroom and a kitchen sink. Since then, we have added a utility room with a washer and since the original leach line is only about 20 - 30 ft. we figure it wouldn't handle all the extra water we use in the washer. So ever since we have had the washer and the kitchen sink drain out back directly onto the ground.

The septic tank is plenty big enough, I'm just needing to replace the existing clay pipe with new and make the drainage ditch some 300' long so I can hook the washer, kitchen sink, and hopefully a new bathroom addition some day.

I was going to have this done by a professional but after 2 months of promises I'm giving up hope on him. I'm thinking since I glue a lot of pvc together in my electrical trade then the task should be quit similar. As far as the gluing peaces together. But just what is the procedure? Does the ditch need to be at least 2 feet deep, or deeper? How many inches of rock gravel do I place in the bottom of the ditch? After placing the leach lines on top of the gravel, do I place something on top of the lines before filling in with dirt?

Any help will be appreciated. Thankyou.

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Old 02/25/07, 03:08 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: southern Michigan
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well theres two kinds of PVC, the ones you use in the house and the ones you bury. the leach lines are lined with polypropolene and are resitant to acids and such. the plan it sounds like is to extend what you have, sounds easy enough. if you don't have protocals issued by a heath dept. then you have a few ways to do this. the easiest of which is a trenched line buried in pea gravel or the prefered float stone. my field is 12 runs 44' long and it has line run every 4' apart. its got a 10" base of float stone over 48" of coarse sand. then after the lines are layed out they need to drain which is 1/8"-1/4"(of fall) over 10' for every run of pipe. you do not want fluid backing up. and if by chance any solids get by the tank they should flow to the far end of the field or trench. once eveything is set to be buried then cover the pipe with another 10" or so of gravel. now you can use soil cloth for gardening to cover the field and then bury it or in my case I used about 3"(compressed) of saltmarsh hay. it last for years and lets the air out of the field easy. by the way the stores like lowes & home depot carry drain pipe. its black on the inside like I explained earlier, but it comes as solid or perferated where it has rows of hole off center down each side. the holes go on the lower side. they only need a small run of fluid in the middle to promote flow so its not very wide between the holes. it sound like you should remove all the old pipe on the outlet side of the tank and start new. don't forget to redue the drop in the tank if it needs it. in most places its a 4" dia piece of the pvc set with a T fitting and it hangs down into the tank about 24" with the top left open on the T fitting. that way it pulls fluid from lower in the tank and prevents floaters from going out to the field. have fun.

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Old 02/25/07, 03:14 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: southern Michigan
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I almost forgot, for the trench you discribe, it should be 36" to 48" wide for an individual run. then it should have 10" of gravel with another 10" over the pipe. if you have good sand then I wouldn't worry much. but dig down another 48" or so to make darn sure. you may need to bring in sand to help dispurse fluid if the theres only a thin layer.

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Old 02/25/07, 05:05 PM
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Location: Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
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After your septic tank, does the effluent flow by gravity or is it pumped? If you have a gravity system, the depth of your septic tank will at least partially dictate the depth of the perforated PVC distribution lines. IN Minnesota, the minimum distances starting from the surface are as follows:

6" topsoil
geotextile fabric
2"rock
4" distribution line (encased in rock, of course)
6" to 24" of rock below the distribution pipe

The width of the trench is dictated by the width of the back hoe.

The necessary square feet of trench bottom area is determined by the number of bedrooms in the house, the soil type and the depth of rock below the distribution pipe.

The maximum depth of the trench is 48".

If it were me, and I was doing it myself, I'd use Infiltrator chambers instead of using drainfield rock.

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Old 02/25/07, 05:25 PM
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Location: AR
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cf i think that stuff is the best however i couldnt get it from the co. had to be a distributor and all them were instalers so they wouldnt sell it without doing the job

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Old 02/25/07, 06:05 PM
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I had an Infiltrator-type system put in about 7 years ago to extend my system. They are great, and real easy to have put in.

The cost of the chambers was about the same as perforated drain line and gravel, so there was no cost saving there, but man it goes in fast. The only thing that remotely requires skill, is getting the grade of the trench bottom correct.

They say that because of the greater contact with the soil, these systems are less prone to clog up over time.

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Old 02/25/07, 07:31 PM
 
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Location: Zone 7
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I second the infiltrator system especially for an extension on an existing service.

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Old 02/25/07, 07:49 PM
 
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Let me third the infiltrator system if it’s what I think it is (we knew it as Biodiffuser – brand name?). We put it in a few years ago. Basically a dome shape with the entire bottom open to the dirt. Can’t plug up with roots like the holes in PVC. Doesn’t require as much length. Don’t have to mess with gravel.

Yes, getting the grade right is the key. Neighbor last year sold his place and had to get the septic inspected and fixed. Found out the end of the drain field was 6 inches higher than where it exited the septic tank. He then realized why they’d had so many problems over the years. Apparently the professionals who installed it did not know water only runs downhill.

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Old 02/25/07, 09:16 PM
r.h. in okla.
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Thanks everyone. I seem to recall hearing about those infiltrator systems now that it's mentioned. I just done a google search to find out more about it and I might just be interested in doing that instead. According to what I just read you can use 40 percent less ditch and a lot less labor. I believe with proper planning I could probably have mine done in one day.

If I remember right, here in Oklahoma you have to have at least 100 ft. of leach line per bedroom. 300' for a 3 bedroom house. So 40 percent less would mean I would just have to place 180' of the infiltrator system in the ground.

Thanks everyone, if I can find the infiltrator parts I believe I'll just be doing that myself. Then will only have to pay for the backhoe labor. Should save me a chunk of money.

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Old 02/26/07, 10:32 PM
r.h. in okla.
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Well, I went to my local Lowe's this morning to buy material for a job I'm doing and decided to check out their septic supplies. Found out that they have never even heard of the Infiltration System. So now I am at a dead end. Anyone know of who else may carry the Infiltration System?

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  #11  
Old 02/27/07, 12:00 PM
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Zone 7
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Home Depot owns a plumbing supply group known as Hughes. Hughes carries the infiltrator components. Any reliable plumbing supply that caters to plumbers should have the systems.

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