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Old 06-21-2007, 05:52 AM   #1
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septic help needed

I have instituted many water saving rules and installed some water saving devices in my home in the past year because my Leech field is starting to back up right at the leech tank. We moved into this house without kmowing anything about septic tank care as we are all city-folk.

One of my neighbors told me I could get an enzyme based product at the hardware store to pour directly into my leech tank and toilet that might help loosen up my leech field. He didn't know the name of the product except that I should not get Rid-X because it is of lower concentration.

Can somebody here reecommend a product name for me to try?
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:44 AM   #2
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I have used Ridex and a couple other brands I don't recall and doubt that they had any appreciable effect. I noticed no difference in breakdown of solids in the tank. And if no difference in the tank, stands to reason that breakdown in the field would be even less likely.

I am putting up a link to an article from the University of Kentucky, not selling anything, and gives a very good overview of septic systems.

http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/agr/agr166/agr166.htm

When measuring the solids in a tank, I use a wooden stick about 6 ft. long. I put 1 ft. reference marks on the stick. Another stick laid across the opening makes it easy the read the depths.

If you put the stick into the tank slowly with no push, you can feel some resistance when the stick reaches the solids. Note your depth then push to the bottom of the tank. Difference in measurements will give the amount of solids in your tank. If your tank ever gets full enough of solids, solids can spillover into the leech field piping. This is very bad but will clear up some over a period after tank is pumped.

My tank has 3 compartments and I will always find less depth of solids as you measure toward the leech field outlet. The worst condition is for the last compartment (outlet) to measure a high level of solids.

I totally agree with this article that pumping the septic tank when needed is the most important maintenance item.

If your leech field is in an area that is not well drained, rain and lawn watering can contribute to your problems. I once helped a neighbor with bad drainage. We used 4" corrugated flexible pipe with drainage openings buried about 1 ft. in a bed of gravel. We used it on two sides of the field to direct unwanted water away from the field. This pipe is commonly used as a drain around building foundations. Can be bought in 100 ft rolls at Home Depot.

I've done a lot of talking here but I know what a pain it is when you have problems with your system. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:09 AM   #3
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Rid-X and others need a step they dont tell you about. The septic system needs some airriation. (sp). Without air injection of some sort the little buggers wont grow and break down sludge.

Even simple air injection helps the natural break down of the sludge.

Best is to have the Honey wagon come out.

Leach fields can colapse and loose the bio and become packed. If you have latrial lines they can become packed and nothing will move.

I would get the septic tank serviced. Then go out to where your leach field is and do a perk test.

psy
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:18 PM   #4
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Hi psyshack,

I was wondering if you could elaborate a little?
What is a Honey Wagon?

what does "If you have latrial lines they can become packed and nothing will move." mean exactly? Do you mean lateral? as in a lateral pass?

"I would get the septic tank serviced" I would assume you mean emptied?

What is a "perk test"?

Sorry for all the questions but I am still quite new to septic systems and would like to avoid $10,000 repair bill...

Thanx
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:43 PM   #5
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we got ours emptied when it was being like yours. its works fine now
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:01 PM   #6
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Had it emptied every summer so far, just in case. It keeps coming back though.
This time a little worse than others.
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:03 PM   #7
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how long ago did you start with all the water saving stuff
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:07 PM   #8
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It's been a fight with the kids but I started to get serious a few months ago. As soon as I noticed water near the Leech tank.
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:10 PM   #9
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yeah that should help if you do it over a whoal year if ya can keep it up that long. how much in water heating cost has that saved you?
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:12 PM   #10
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Everything in my house is electric so it's hard to tell but I figured about $30/ Mo.
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