septic problems might be from neighbors?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mountainwmn, May 28, 2012.

  1. mountainwmn

    mountainwmn Well-Known Member

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    I notice that I can hear water trickling into my septic tank for a few days after a hard rain. It is a sand mound system, and it comes from the tank with the pump. I'm still waiting for the septic people to come out and tell me why...they want it to dry up a bit first. Now we do have a lot of water here, when it rains pretty good springs come up out of the ground all over the place.
    I havent heard this for the last 2 years, but my neighbors just tore down their mobile and put up a doublewide with a foundation. And they have this black flexible pipe that water pours out of when it rains and flows into the base of my sand mound. Enough that there is a swamp there for a few days after it rains, but in all honesty that isn't the only swamp here after it rains. But it didn't used to pool there before they ran their run off there.
    So any ideas what might cause this? And is it possible it is their fault? And how do I handle it if it is without getting myself in trouble and having the epa or township decide I need a new $15k septic?
     
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  2. littlebitfarm

    littlebitfarm Scotties rule! Supporter

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    Easiest, quickest way would be to extend neighbor's pipe past your system. Would be nice if you could get them to point it a different direction.

    Kathie
     

  3. PNWest

    PNWest Well-Known Member

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    Most areas have laws that require a homeowner/business contain ALL the water that is created on that property,...on that property.

    Get a copy of the sewer regs for your county/city. Are you city, urban or country? It makes a difference.

    Basically, your neighbors cannot drain onto your property.
    Are they approachable?

    Document with pictures.
    1. picture of area dry.
    2. picture of pipe with flowing water/during a rainstorm.
    3. Make sure the time and date stamp on the camera is correct, to document to officials that it is recent/actual rain storm that happened.

    If the people catch you taking pictures, that may make them nervous enough to pipe the water elsewhere.

    If you get into the problem...both of you may have to create better drainage, as it sounds like the low spot is on your property. Can you put up a berm that would turn the water back onto their place?
     
  4. mountainwmn

    mountainwmn Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they are uphill, I'm country-ish, and they are not people I would want to talk to. The man is nasty and the woman doesn't speak english. And they fought with the guy that lived her before non stop for years.
     
  5. Catalpa

    Catalpa Well-Known Member

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    Is the trickling sound coming from your septic tank, or your pump tank? If the pump tank, it could be that your sand mound is so saturated that when the pump sends a dose of effluent out to the field, it can't soak in properly, so the discharge line gets back-pressure. There is probably a weep hole in an elbow of the discharge line inside the pump tank that allows the line to drain so it won't freeze. It would normally trickle only until the discharge line is emptied, but it's possible that it keeps going because the discharge line is actually draining back more effluent from the distribution lines. Have you noticed your pump kicking on more often than normal?

    The problem could very well be coming from the new discharge from the neighbors. It won't get better until that line is re-directed, and if they're not willing to work with you, you may have to go to the authorities for help. Problem is you may fall through the cracks, since the drain commission doesn't usually deal with small basement or foundation drains, and the sewage code will likely only address how you handle runoff on your own property, and may not have a way to force the neighbor to change.

    Do lots of research, read the local codes, and ask questions. Is there any way you could build a berm on your property to turn the water back on him? If he already is a pain, hurt feelings won't matter, and it may be easier and cheaper to do it that way in the long run, rather than plod through government agencies.

    Good luck!
     
  6. davel745

    davel745 Well-Known Member

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    If you hear water trickling into the septic tank maybe one or both of the pipes at either end are not sealed properly and the water is seeping by and into the tank. If you can open the tank and try to look and see if you can see the water running into the tank. Then you can dig down and expose the pipe and use hydraulic cement and reseal the pipe to the tank.
     
  7. ronbre

    ronbre Brenda Groth Supporter

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    it isn't legal for them to dump water on your property
     
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  8. I know nothing about a sand mound system but I can't imagine the water from your neighbors pouring into it being a good thing . If it was me I'd do my best to somehow eliminate that happening .
     
  9. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Even though its a REAL BAD idea for your neighbors to discharge water at the base of your mound, I doubt that this discharge is causing the trickling sound in your pump tank. Since you hear the sound after very heavy rains, I'm inclined to think that the watertable has risen significantly and grounwater is leaking into the septic tank or pump tank. As davel745 mentioned, groundwater could be leaking through one of the pipe openings in the tank. Or, it could be one of the tanks is cracked which would also allow groundwater to seep in.
     
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  10. mountainwmn

    mountainwmn Well-Known Member

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    I pulled off the lid and looked. I got 3 tanks in a row, the last one gets pumped into the mound. It lookss like it is coming in around the pipe that lets the water in from the second tank. The mound is only a few feet from the property line, but I'm thinking a small berm might be the way to go. I really wouldn't care about the water if it was going 20' farther down.
     
  11. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    If the water is coming into Tank 3 when no one is using water, then you either have a leaky toliet or Tank 1 or Tank 2 is NOT watertight and is letting in groundwater.

    Edited to add: I reread you post, if water is coming in around the pipe - and not through the pipe - then it is groundwater coming through the hole in the side of the tank made for the pipe. This area should be resealed or it could result in flooding your mound with excess water.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
    al likes this.