septic problems

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by nwilder, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. nwilder

    nwilder Active Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    We have lived here 3 1/2 years and never had the septic pumped (new house, new septic). There is a place in the backyard that stands in water. Around 20 feet long. It is really bad right now and man, it stinks. So we took the lid off and its to the top. Is it time to have it pumped? The grass has always been greener and really thick on the wet spot. Always. What is the problem? If this is just the way it is supposed to be, can I put rocks on it? Like a rock garden? Something so the kids won't run through it. I know nothing can be planted on it but I got to do something. It bogs down the mower. Thanks.
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    We get ours pumped every 3 years so I'd say sure its time. If its a big system designed for 6 people and there's only 2 usign it then you could probably wait. Yes you should be able to build a rock garden on the wet spot if the ground is solid enough and you don't drive anything heavier than a lawn tractor over it. (tracked equipment is another story) You wouldn't want to till the soil over a tile bed but you can put raised boxes over it. I have several on the outer parimeter of mine.

  3. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    The lid you took off is the septic tank lid. The septic tank is always full to the top (unless of course you just had it pumped in which case it will take only a few days to refill it to the top).

    Your wet area is over the drainfield. It is wet because more water is going out to the drainfield than what the soil can absorb. This wetness problem is somewhat common in the spring when soils have to abasorb the addtional load of snowmelt and spring rains. All I can say is, try to use less water when this wetness appears. Make sure you spread clothes washing out over the entire week...don't do all the washing on one day.

    The only other problem that I can think of is that your distribution box has settled in such a fashion that all of your wastewater is being discharged to only one drainfield trench.
  4. doc623

    doc623 Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    It might help to know what type of septic system you have.
    Had similar problems in similar situation.
    The water out of the leach bed - which was then discharged- was not draining as designed.
    Discovered that the leach bed was filled with gravel of a size mandated
    in the installation specs was plugging the holes in the discharge pipe
    of the leach bed/tank - that which is after the septic tank.
    Replaced with a larger size gravel that did not clog the holes in
    the discharge pipe. Works fine now.
    May help. May be something to be checked into.
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    Check for leaks in the house, put some food coloring in each water closet on the toilets and watch and see if the water in the bowl changes color to match the food coloring. A bad leak will saturate any drain/leech field to where it give the symptoms you are experiencing.
  6. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2002
    South West MI
    I don't believe in pumping tanks as long as nothing too strange gets put in on a regular basis. Pumping every three years is a waste of money. Maybe every 10. My last house i pumped it after 15+ years just to get info for the sale no problem about 4" of sluge.Now if you lived near a beach or was a dirty dirty farmer or something like that it could add up faster.