Restoring Old Septic System

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Verwandeln, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. Verwandeln

    Verwandeln New Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    My wife and I recently purchased and old 7-cabin resort at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. The cabins have been abandoned for 3-4 years and were abused prior to that. There are several septic tanks on the property and I have no clue about their condition (I know now I should have had an inspection before I signed on the dotted line. But a deal is a deal)

    Does anyone have any suggestions on restoring these systems or should we simply plan on having new put in?
  2. Stush

    Stush Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    I wouldn't necessarily plan on putting new ones in. Pay to have someone reputable inspect them. They may only need to be pumped.

  3. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2002
    South West MI
    Use them is the best way to find out. Find the one connected yo the house put root killer in and enjoy 4 years isn't long. If you have a problem then get it pumped.

  4. Nette

    Nette Well-Known Member Supporter

    Aug 17, 2003
    Use it--That's what I did with my old farmhouse that I renovated this spring. I was worried about the septic, but so far, so good.
  5. Wiscontessa

    Wiscontessa Well-Known Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Mikell, what is and where do find Root Killer? I've had to have the pipe roto~rooted because of birch trees. Wondering if it's cheaper to go your 'root'. ;)
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    1) Cut the vegetation off over the drain fields and grow only grass there
    2) Hire each tank pumped
    3) Flush each toilet while the pump person has the lid open and determine the inflow is unimpeded.
    4) Get some bakers yeast at a local bakery and flush a few ounces into each tank
    5) Avoid all other additives
    6) Put the tanks into service and expect good perfomance
  7. Personally, I wouldn't go looking for trouble. If there are no back-up problems then the septic systems are probably fine. There is nothing in your post that indicates to me that you should have a problem.

    Several previous posts suggest just using the systems, and I have to agree. If there is a problem you will know soon enough. I think you have a very good chance that everything is fine.

  8. The biggest problem would be with the local athourities. Most locations are requiring 'to code' septics every time land changes hands.

    I suspect your options are to use them as is, or start from scratch.

    I would have them pumped. Spetic tanks accumulate soil, grease, lint, fiber, and other odd bits that will _not_ decompose inside of them. Eventually any septic tank will fill up with such, and then the crud runs out into your leach field, which ruins it. There is no simple way to clean a leach field, end up digging new most of the time. Now some tanks need pumping almost every year, and some can go 20 years - depends on their size, & who, how many, & to what care they are being used.

    You just do not want them to get overfull. Since you don't know their history, getting them pumped is a real good idea.

    Other than that, if they were working in the past, and they meet whatever govt codes are in your area, there is no reason they shouldn't work fine in the future with very little issue.

    I'd really suggest getting them pumped.....