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  1. #21
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    Leach fields can be rejuvenated in some cases with an air injection process to allow drainage. One trade name is Terralift. Another is Earthbuster. Much less expensive that a replacement. A one day process.
    Joe

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  3. #22
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    Thanks. I had never heard that. Luckily momma was never big on fabric softener.

    Dennis

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    Because of variances in state regs, it is impossible to answer cost

    A well designed septic system will last practically forever.

    Interestingly, if you have the need for a pump, it helps longevity, at the cost of occasional repair and complexity.
    The reason many fields fail is the trickle system. The toilet flushes it pumps a couple gallons into the tank, couple gallons come out the other side.

    Over and over

    until that first foot of leach field is dead, clogged.

    then the next foot, then the next foot

    all works fine for 10 or 15 years then blammo, one day it backs up.


    A pump doses the field with 50 or 100 gallons or whatever at a time. Spreads it over the entire field. So the first foot never gets overloaded, never dies, never causes the field to clog.


    Anyway, interesting info if you are making the choice with an engineer, don't fight the pump if it makes sense in your situation

    I think you would be surprised what you can do nowadays with septic systems. The note above about UV system must have been on a lake. I had a recirculating sand filter at my last house. 4 tanks and a pump. Supposed to be clean enough for irrigation. Add a UV to it and you could pretty much dump it in the lake.

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  6. #24
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    Two observations re: gustafson's points

    The system we just had installed utilizes a gravity-fed dosing tank . Basically just a concrete tank with a pvc float assembly. Stores up the sewer liquids (beyond the solid settling tank) flush by flush until it 'trips' and a 500 gallon flow of liquid exits to the leach field. Then slowly refills until it's ready to dose again. 100% passive, no pumps or electricity (we had this flexibility because we're on a slope). Like a giant toilet tank.

    Because of grade issues, my brother's system required a pump. He's screwed when the power goes out and experienced 4 separate back-ups into his basement. Each time an insurance claim, carpets ripped-up, lower drywall removed, and an increasingly more sophisticated system of battery back-ups and secondary sumps. A basement is nowhere to be storing human waste...for me...gravity feed, if at all possible.

    As an aside, one of the reasons I jettisoned the low-ball bidder was he started arguing that the dose tank specified by the county engineer was the cause of the escalation of cost...by $20k. The dose tank cost well under $1k and the excavating for it probably took no more than 1/4 day given all the other digging. That's when I knew I couldn't work with him. Couldn't trust him.

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    Interesting DD, I had never heard of that type system, and although mechanical systems do fail, it is a pretty cool idea. If it has a brand name, mention it so we can refer to it, I would definitely like to ad it to my knowledge base for the future

    As to your brother's system, it is probably a different thing

    He probably has an ejector pump required because the tank needs to be located up hill of where the drain is, which is a different thing.

    My house now has a system with a pump, and it is practically impossible for it to back up into the house. There is also an alarm when the tank is higher than the 'pump' level. I think we had a bad switch once in this house and caused the pump to not run, or the alarm to go off, cannot remember. No flood. Another time a biblical rain caused water to enter the septic tank and overwhelm the pump, again, alarm, but no other issue. If your brother's system has no alarm, it was installed by boobs. If he continues to use the system when the alarm goes off, or defeated it, well , that is on him.


    My previous house also had the sand filter with a pump, tank was 15 feet below the house, so no flood possible there.

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  9. #26
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    Oh, as an aside, I have a pump here at work, installed because the floor is wildly thick. Pump has gone once after about 10 years, and while usage is lowish compared to a house, we do things like let tiny tumbler stones go down the drain and hear them go tinging down the pipe.

    I would use one of these for a weird bathroom location or slop sink any time, really can simplify how you can plumb things, especially if you were in a condo or some other situation where you couldn't work outside your walls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dumpster_diving View Post
    The system we just had installed utilizes a gravity-fed dosing tank . Basically just a concrete tank with a pvc float assembly. Stores up the sewer liquids (beyond the solid settling tank) flush by flush until it 'trips' and a 500 gallon flow of liquid exits to the leach field. Then slowly refills until it's ready to dose again. 100% passive, no pumps or electricity (we had this flexibility because we're on a slope). Like a giant toilet tank.
    I second gustafson's request for more info on this dosing tank.

  11. #28
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    Be sure to investigate infiltrator chambers. They are amazingly easy to install and cheap. I replaced two drain fields at two separate houses on my property within the last 5 years with the infiltrator system. One was a total of $400 and the other was $500. Total. The system can be routed around trees, requires no gravel and only has to be reasonably level. I used my backhoe and it only took me one day per system. The old drain field was terra-cotta and gravel. I just stayed away from the old lines and ran the new "field". There are charts to tell you how many feet of chamber you need for a certain amount of bedrooms (not bathrooms...go figure). Again, it was amazingly cheap and easy.

  12. #29
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    Agree completely about my brother's system. Pump was for an ejector. And the original installer was a dope for not installing an alarm. And the second installer was a dope for not installing a battery-powered alarm. And the third installer was a dope for not installing a battery-backup alarm and a sump pump. And the forth installer was a dope for not installing a battery-backup alarm and a battery-backup sump pump. Wait a minute...maybe it wasn't the installers who were the dopes...Seriously, though, this stuff can be tough to manage for harry homeowners who aren't mechanically inclined nor interested in how things work.

    But to your question...the county engineer on my installation specified 'a flout dose tank to provide 240 gallon dose located to provide a minimum of 2 feet of elevation difference between inlet and outlet of the tank'. My septic contractor (the one I ultimately used whom I liked) installed a '500gl dose tank set up with a 240 gl dose' which portion of his overall contract was $2k (dose tank and installation of dose tank only) part of the larger septic system installation. Don't have any more specifics but if you Google flout dose you'll see a bunch of tanks/flappers very similar to this:

    Flout Chamber 80-420 gallon | Richard Septic Systems, Inc.

  13. #30
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    Around here, you must have a lot size with identified suitable soil area to replicate the drain-field of any installed system. And there is a 2/3 acre minimum lot size. If you have perkable soil, the you might have 2/3 acre, if not, it might take 5 acres to find perkable sites, or maybe no perkable sites. I heard that the county does not allow any more "alternative" systems, just conventional gravity-fed systems (large diameter pipe, gravity fed ~2' underground), or low-pressure systems where the soil is not so good (large array of pressure-fed pipe close to the 8" below ground). The county no longer does soil analysis (since they got in the middle of liability for failed systems), but will provide an "opinion". There is a lot of clay around here, which is OK as long as it doesn't have "hardpan" or rock underneath that prevents percolation. One initial test for this is if you dig down a couple of feet and the clay is red, it's probably OK, if gray or white it's bad, since the gray/white indicates the iron-oxide has leached out of the clay due to saturation a good bit of the time.
    Quite a few years ago, some developers had put in "community" septic systems for multiple houses, and when they failed, it was a big legal mess, the houses basically had to be abandoned--not allowed any more.

    I don't know anything about what folks do up in the "cold country" where the frost-line is feet versus < a foot here.

    I had a friend that lived near the big lake used for Raleigh's drinking water, on a huge lot that he had to have a big low-pressure septic system installed for. His saying was "...I always flush twice because Raleigh needs the drinking water....".

  14. #31
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    We have dry well which is just a 35 to 60 ft hole lined with blocks.

    Septic tank outflow into drywell.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  15. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dumpster_diving View Post
    Agree completely about my brother's system. Pump was for an ejector. And the original installer was a dope for not installing an alarm. And the second installer was a dope for not installing a battery-powered alarm. And the third installer was a dope for not installing a battery-backup alarm and a sump pump. And the forth installer was a dope for not installing a battery-backup alarm and a battery-backup sump pump. Wait a minute...maybe it wasn't the installers who were the dopes...Seriously, though, this stuff can be tough to manage for harry homeowners who aren't mechanically inclined nor interested in how things work.

    But to your question...the county engineer on my installation specified 'a flout dose tank to provide 240 gallon dose located to provide a minimum of 2 feet of elevation difference between inlet and outlet of the tank'. My septic contractor (the one I ultimately used whom I liked) installed a '500gl dose tank set up with a 240 gl dose' which portion of his overall contract was $2k (dose tank and installation of dose tank only) part of the larger septic system installation. Don't have any more specifics but if you Google flout dose you'll see a bunch of tanks/flappers very similar to this:

    Flout Chamber 80-420 gallon | Richard Septic Systems, Inc.


    I am not going to argue too hard about ejector pumps for whole houses, they suck, but it is a situation not of the installers making

    And, too some extent, yeah, it is the owners fault. You don't have power, you don't have septic. My house, without power, I don't have a well, so it wouldn't be an issue. Repeated pump failures are from buying cheap pumps, I do recall having a conversation with the installer of my sand filter, about quality of pumps.

    Flout appears to be the brand name

    pretty cool

    YouTube

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  17. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by car2 View Post
    Around here, you must have a lot size with identified suitable soil area to replicate the drain-field of any installed system. And there is a 2/3 acre minimum lot size. If you have perkable soil, the you might have 2/3 acre, if not, it might take 5 acres to find perkable sites, or maybe no perkable sites. I heard that the county does not allow any more "alternative" systems, just conventional gravity-fed systems (large diameter pipe, gravity fed ~2' underground), or low-pressure systems where the soil is not so good (large array of pressure-fed pipe close to the 8" below ground). The county no longer does soil analysis (since they got in the middle of liability for failed systems), but will provide an "opinion". There is a lot of clay around here, which is OK as long as it doesn't have "hardpan" or rock underneath that prevents percolation. One initial test for this is if you dig down a couple of feet and the clay is red, it's probably OK, if gray or white it's bad, since the gray/white indicates the iron-oxide has leached out of the clay due to saturation a good bit of the time.
    Quite a few years ago, some developers had put in "community" septic systems for multiple houses, and when they failed, it was a big legal mess, the houses basically had to be abandoned--not allowed any more.

    I don't know anything about what folks do up in the "cold country" where the frost-line is feet versus < a foot here.

    I had a friend that lived near the big lake used for Raleigh's drinking water, on a huge lot that he had to have a big low-pressure septic system installed for. His saying was "...I always flush twice because Raleigh needs the drinking water....".
    Here in Mass, you hire a private soil evaluator.

    The engineer decides what needs to be done, based on soil type distance to groundwater

    Leach field doesn't need to be below frost depth, have feeling it don't freeze too easy

    My sand filter was an early trial back in 96, they actually simplified them later because the recirculating type I had were overkill

    Basically if you have an alternative you need to have a guy come out every year and look at it. So much cheaper than sewer, I don't complain.


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