Author Topic: How to kill a septic system  (Read 57218 times)

Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 513
  • Karma: 27
How to kill a septic system
« on: July 22, 2009, 09:51:42 AM »
I was doing laundry and about to replace my lint strainer on my drain line and thought how many people are moving into the country with possibly their first septic system. Let this be a warning or heads up. Do not let your washing machine drain into you septic system or lines without filtering it. Today washers do catch all the lint and then pump it down the drain. You would be surprised how much that is. I use a women’s knee high over the outlet and run it into a wash basin. If things go bad you don’t want to be without a septic system

Offline CTF250

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: 28
  • OATH KEEPER
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2009, 10:36:38 AM »
Actually thats a good recommendation to first time sepitc owners.  If your having a septic system for the first time, you should be AWARE that they work well WHEN the are maintained and operated properly. 

Simple dos and donts (SEPTIC 101) on septic use include the long list of stuff not to put into the septic.  Its not like the city sewer system you may be accustoimed to where anything and "everything" that can fit into the discharge pipe will disappear  and never return to give you problems. 

Septic systems are actually little biological mixing tanks.  Organic material enters the system where grease and oils rise to the surface, the solids settle to the bottom and the runoff, the "gray water"  flows out of the septic tank into a distribution or leaching field where it slowly returns back to the ground water. 

The solids in the tank are attacked by microbial "bugs" which break them down.  If managed preperly the bugs eat the solids and maintain the tank with minimal maintenance.  On average a family of 4 using a 1000 gallon tank should have it maintained around every 5 years.  This "pumpout" removes the accumulation of top floating grease and bottom sludge along with any other solid matter and allows the tank to flow and process waste again. 

When a homeowner uses a septic, dumping alot of stuff, like soild food scrapes, "yes a sink grinder is a no no" chemicals and certain cleaning agents, any haz waste materials like anti freeze, waste oil etc, will kill off the bugs and create a sludge formation within the tank.  Adding inert solids like plastic milk caps, tapon applicators, cigarette butts, and condoms will settle to the bottom of the tank and create blockage layers within the sludge

Over time this sludge fills up the tank creating blockage for the gray water to seperate out and flow to the leaching field.  This is where you get the backup into the house and the fun begins.  Waste water will either back up into the house or overflow and dischage all over the yard.

Some time if its a simple fix all it needs is a good pump out and cleaning.  This usually gets the system back together and the process begins all over again.  Really messed up or neglected systems would require the pumpout/cleaning and a potential cleaning or repair to the leaching field.  This is BIG BIG bucks.

If you new to a sepitc system, its a good idea to learn about it and how to maintain it. 

Heres a link on how a septic system works
http://www.broward.org/environment/pub_water_5.pdf
 
 

Offline ncjeeper

  • Most Noble Order of the Garter Snake
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 4595
  • Karma: 124
  • Oooops!
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2009, 03:07:59 PM »
Adding a box of bacteria every so often like you buy at wal-mart beneficial?

Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 513
  • Karma: 27
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2009, 06:56:18 PM »
Yes it does seem to help. Its a lot cheaper to do this than not.

Offline CTF250

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: 28
  • OATH KEEPER
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2009, 07:36:20 PM »
Adding a product like Ridex will support bio bug growth and their endurance but its only temporary.  Read the box, application is recommended every month...

If you take care of the system it will support itself fine.  By limiting what goes in such as plastic, raw food, harsh chemicals, excessive debris such as lint etc, the system will support its own breakdown activity.   Another great killer to a system is the inhome water softner systems.  The
backwash feature of a water softner adds the remnents of the hard water ions which really slows down bio digest of the bugs.

The real key is the pump out maintenance you need every 4-5 years or so, depending on its usage.  A family of 4 will begin to tax the system in 5 years.  Theres no getting away from that.  Sooner or later it will need to be cleaned.  Its cheaper to clean out the box then rebuild the entire leaching field due to neglect.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 07:40:35 PM by CTF250 »

sage0925

  • Guest
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2009, 12:10:25 AM »
What about products such as Oxy-Clean? I don't use bleach, so I don't kill good organisms, but I'm not sure about this stuff...can anyone tell me anything about it?

Offline bartsdad

  • Scrooge McDuck
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • ******
  • Posts: 4026
  • Karma: 237
  • We're Vikings, we have stubbornness issues.
    • SPAMMY Link
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2009, 01:06:16 AM »
  Another great killer to a system is the inhome water softner systems.  The
backwash feature of a water softner adds the remnents of the hard water ions which really slows down bio digest of the bugs.

The real key is the pump out maintenance you need every 4-5 years or so, depending on its usage.  A family of 4 will begin to tax the system in 5 years.  Theres no getting away from that.  Sooner or later it will need to be cleaned.  Its cheaper to clean out the box then rebuild the entire leaching field due to neglect.

We went with a Kinetco system just for that reason. It's a  non electric, low salt, need base regeneration system. We've been very pleased with it. We use only 1/2 a bag of salt per month. You definitely pay for it upfront, but there is very little monthly upkeep plus it's non electric.

Our township requires pumping regular pumping. Our service sends us out a reminder when its due. One less thing to try to remember( not that it's not on the periodical list of things to do).

Offline fritz_monroe

  • The Defenestrator
  • Administrator
  • Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 8605
  • Karma: 158
    • The Homestead Fritz
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2009, 09:49:25 AM »
Thanks for this thread.  We just moved to our first house with well and septic.

Part of our inspection was to have a through inspection of the septic.  The house was built in 1962, so I was worried that it would not be up to code, that would have been a bad thing since apparently MD doesn't allow sale of a house with a concrete septic tank.

They pumped it out and advised pumping every 2 years.  It was about $300 to be pumped and inspected.  Cheap price to avoid the thousands to have it really worked on.

He also said to avoid those bacteria add in packs.  Said that it is temporary and is just a waste of time.

One question I have for you folks, what do you do with grease???  For instance, when I grill up sausages, I always boil them first, usually in beer, but sometimes just water.  A lot of oils come out, how would I avoid this going into the drain when I dump the pot?  Any suggestions?

Offline ncjeeper

  • Most Noble Order of the Garter Snake
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 4595
  • Karma: 124
  • Oooops!
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2009, 01:30:37 PM »
Moved into our house with a septic system back in 1996. Its just me and the wife. We have never had it serviced or any problems with it. From what you are saying its past due to have someone come out and pump it clean?

Offline CTF250

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: 28
  • OATH KEEPER
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2009, 03:18:41 PM »

One question I have for you folks, what do you do with grease???  For instance, when I grill up sausages, I always boil them first, usually in beer, but sometimes just water.  A lot of oils come out, how would I avoid this going into the drain when I dump the pot?  Any suggestions?

Personally we collect our grease in a empty coffee can.  Have one for pork and one for beef grease.  From time to time wife will use some of this for flavor in other dishes.  I got to admit, her bacon flavored homefries are good!

When the can gets full it either gets tossed and start all over.

There are other things to use it for out there, just cant remember the specifics.

Offline JeanetteW

  • TSP Posse Boss
  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
  • Karma: 29
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2009, 03:27:03 PM »
It's important to realize that your septic system is more like a pet than a city service.

Would you feed a pet bleach? Ammonia? Detergent? Probably not - so you don't want to feed these poisons to you septic pals. Most sink, laundry, and shower wastes can be easily directed into a gray water system and it takes a LOT of strain off the septic. If you're only putting toilet wastes down the septic, you're tank pals will thank you and you will have far less trouble.

Be careful with the toilet paper you select - one ply, septic safe only please. And get in the habbit of tossing non-toilet use tissues into the waste paper basket for the burn pile rather than taxing your little "buds in the suds"
 --
Jeanette


Offline CTF250

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: 28
  • OATH KEEPER
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2009, 03:36:05 PM »
Moved into our house with a septic system back in 1996. Its just me and the wife. We have never had it serviced or any problems with it. From what you are saying its past due to have someone come out and pump it clean?

Jeeper:
Sounds like a good idea,  If you can watch it being done suggest you watch and take a look see inside your tank (Maybe a few photos of the process to share would be good too!  Something to post here or on the brigade forum!). 

Theres no BIG mystery about a pump out.  Just a little smelly but while watching, but you can actually see the whole settling operation.  You can see all the crap (no pun intended) that isnt suppose to be there along with the grease and sludge layer.  By seeing it "operate" it will give you a better respect for what you put into it.

Sorry if I sound like the septic professsor, just had alot of first hand experience in the whole design/use thing earlier in life.  One last item to say and then Ill quit, having a septic and a well on the same property is a good thing.  It returns water back to the aquifer from your use with the well.  Homes/neighborhoods that have a well and city sewer run a tendency to create water droughts during high consumption times such as summer. 

Every household is sucking on their well for water but there is no return from the gray water waste.  A few communities here on the shoreline in Ct have experienced this in the past after allowing large scale residential development and installing municipal swers.  The groundwater from the aquifer is on a one way use from well to use to disposal someplace other than the local septic. 

This can place a strain on the aquifer to solely rely on replenishment from rainwater and snow load.  Have a light weather season and you can experience water supply issues.  A septic just completes the circle.

And by the way, Jeanette, I like your Pet comparison!  Lets all support our septic Pals!!!!

Offline ncjeeper

  • Most Noble Order of the Garter Snake
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 4595
  • Karma: 124
  • Oooops!
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2009, 09:45:31 AM »
Called around and the going price seems to be $275 for a residential pumping. Going to make an appointment and take that day off of work to watch. :o

Offline bartsdad

  • Scrooge McDuck
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • ******
  • Posts: 4026
  • Karma: 237
  • We're Vikings, we have stubbornness issues.
    • SPAMMY Link
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2009, 10:03:03 AM »
Called around and the going price seems to be $275 for a residential pumping. Going to make an appointment and take that day off of work to watch. :o
Livin' the good life. ;)

Another note: They used to be able to suck out the tanks via the vents, now (here in MN at least)  they need to remove the inspection covers when doing service. Most older systems have their covers buried. I had to dig mine out and put extension tubes on to get the covers to the surface. Mine were easy being only down 18", I've heard of others being down 6' or more. They also need to know if it is a single or dual chamber tank. Your local city/township office should have this info if you don't.

Offline vicious

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 383
  • Karma: 9
  • Building a better future
    • Payne Country
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2009, 11:40:51 AM »
This is probably a stupid question, but what if I don't have a tank? I know I'm on a septic system, but I don't have any place that I can imagine they could "pump" it out at. Are there tankless systems that would have been installed in the 80's or 90's?

Thanks!

Offline Jason from PA

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 152
  • Karma: 3
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2009, 03:06:42 PM »
Question....

Would it not make sense, if money wasn't an issue, to build two different septics?  One that receives only dark water (toilets). And a second that receives more of the gray water (dish water, shower, sinks, etc.)

Would seem like such would enable a very protected system for the heavy waste treatment. And the second system, which might be more prone to receive an unacceptable chemical or such on occasion, would also have less waste. So if the biological culture was damaged, it would have less work to process before rebuilding.

Offline wcff3431

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 162
  • Karma: 8
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2009, 03:31:27 PM »
This is probably a stupid question, but what if I don't have a tank? I know I'm on a septic system, but I don't have any place that I can imagine they could "pump" it out at. Are there tankless systems that would have been installed in the 80's or 90's?

Thanks!

i don't know about a tankless system, but there is a way to find out.i would say 90% of all city's or towns have a CCTV for inspection of there sewer services. you might want to talk to them and check and see if they would come camera you line for you or if not you might be able to rent it from them. while the camera is in the line you could use a locate and find the tank that way if there is one. in the town i work for we sometimes rent ours out, or we go and help them out but either way it would answer your questions.

sage0925

  • Guest
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2009, 09:23:00 PM »
What about products such as Oxy-Clean? I don't use bleach, so I don't kill good organisms, but I'm not sure about this stuff...can anyone tell me anything about it?

I asked this earlier and got no response...any takers yet?

Offline vicious

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 383
  • Karma: 9
  • Building a better future
    • Payne Country
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2009, 07:10:33 AM »
i don't know about a tankless system, but there is a way to find out.i would say 90% of all city's or towns have a CCTV for inspection of there sewer services. you might want to talk to them and check and see if they would come camera you line for you or if not you might be able to rent it from them. while the camera is in the line you could use a locate and find the tank that way if there is one. in the town i work for we sometimes rent ours out, or we go and help them out but either way it would answer your questions.

Thanks! I'm gonna check into it and see what I have.

Offline Cacinok

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 396
  • Karma: 6
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2009, 10:10:13 AM »
This is probably a stupid question, but what if I don't have a tank? I know I'm on a septic system, but I don't have any place that I can imagine they could "pump" it out at. Are there tankless systems that would have been installed in the 80's or 90's?

Thanks!

in all likelihood, you have a tank.  it'll be buried and hopefully trees and bushes have not grown up over the tank.  outside your house you  should have a clean out (just a pvc pipe about 3"-4" diameter w/ a rubber cap on it).  pull the cap and you'll be able to see what direction the pipe runs.  also, notice how deep down the pipe is.  here in OK, it only goes about a foot down.  you'll have to follow that pipe out until you find the lid of the tank.  generally they are buried a foot or so down, but i have heard of tanks being buried 2'-3' down.  if you're pipe is not to deep you can get a thin, but stiff metal rod and start poking it into the ground following your pipe and hopefully, you'll run into the lid.  if the pipe is too deep, you'll have to make an educated guess as to tank location to find the lid.  if you know where your drain field is, it may help you find your tank as well. 

as an example, at my current place, the pipe runs due north downhill away from the house.  about 100' out, there is a patch of grass/weeds/sunflowers that always starts growing sooner, continues growing later and stays greener during dry months than the surrounding grass/weeds.  so i know where the drain field is.  the tank, which i have to track down is somewhere btwn the house and that drainage field.

many septic companies will charge less if you find and dig up the tank lid yourself.  one company around here charged $150 less if they only had to show up, open the tank and pump it. 

Offline ebonearth

  • TSP Bunny Rabbit Wrangler
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1497
  • Karma: 71
  • Plant a Revolution!
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2009, 01:30:35 AM »
many septic companies will charge less if you find and dig up the tank lid yourself.  one company around here charged $150 less if they only had to show up, open the tank and pump it.

Great tip! I'll have to make sure to ask around for that option when I hunt for quotes. i know we had an inspection when we purchased this past April but I'm not sure of the condition of our septic. I do avoid pouring a lot of waste down the drain but some grease does get down there, although we do not have a garbage disposal and have no intentions of installing one. I know I have been looking into composting toilets and feeding a lot more of my waste into my restarted compost but how does everyone manage their grease/fat? Is Rid-X really that much of a waste of money? I keep hearing conflicting arguments. Thanks!

Offline CTF250

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: 28
  • OATH KEEPER
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2009, 04:38:18 AM »
Well, if you operate your septic under normal conditions and pump it out every five years it should serve you well. 

Regarding the rid-x, a monthly treatment at $5.00 a box times sixty months equals $300.00.

Operating the septic and pumping it out every five years at $150-$200, you do the math...

By dumping a dose of Rid-x every once in a while wont hurt the system, doing it as the manufacturer suggests does seem like a waste of money that could be spent on other more important things.  Especially since you still need to pump it out anyway

In response to the poster who didnt think they had a septic tank, dont worry, you have to have something out there to collect the solids.  cCheck with a pump out contractor, they can find it for you.

Offline shadowalker_returns

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 275
  • Karma: 16
  • MSB Member
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2009, 11:27:44 AM »
Incinolet cure for the common septic. Had one onboard a boat. It worked fine and no holding tank issues....
http://www.incinolet.com/

The only real long term solution to human biowaste is composting. Everything else requires that all infrastructure be in place. Even tank pump-out requires there be someplace to dump the receiving tanks output... http://weblife.org/humanure/default.html

Regards,
Shadowalker

Offline Mr. Bill

  • Like a hot cocoa mojito
  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 15220
  • Karma: 1873
  • Trained Attack Sheepdog/Troll hunter
    • Website Maintenance and Online Presence Management by Mr. Bill
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2009, 04:45:24 PM »
Grr, the Water Gods won't let us get through two Decembers in a row without some sort of problem.  This year it's the septic system.

We have a complex system.  The septic tank drains into another tank, which has a sump pump to send the liquid uphill to the drainfield.

Well, it started backing up a few weeks ago -- toilets wouldn't flush, gas bubbled up through drains.  Got it pumped.  Got the second tank pumped too.  Got the filter between the main and secondary tanks all cleaned off.

It took us about 10 days to fill up all the tanks again, during which we had exceptionally cold weather.

And when it came time for that sump pump to do its job -- nope.

Tomorrow morning we find out why.  It's possible that the pipe going up to the drainfield is frozen solid.  That would be a bad thing.

Anyway, the take-home lesson: try to avoid getting your septic tank pumped just before sub-freezing weather.  And that goes quadruple if you've got a pump like ours or some other weird design.

Offline Who...me?

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 524
  • Karma: 19
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2009, 08:32:57 PM »
This is probably a stupid question, but what if I don't have a tank? I know I'm on a septic system, but I don't have any place that I can imagine they could "pump" it out at. Are there tankless systems that would have been installed in the 80's or 90's?

Thanks!

Yes you do have a tank...any luck finding it?  Most of the older systems are completely buried and can be hard to locate.  Look at where the drain line leaves the house and look directly along that vector.  It is rare for lines that run to tanks to have bends in them and some places it won't pass inspection if it does.

They recently passed an ordnance here that requires that the tank be inspected when it is pumped.  So we had a lot of work digging up the lids and installing extensions so next time the lid is only a little way down instead of 3 or 4 feet. As far as we could determine it served no real purpose except to make the township more money because of course there is an inspection fee.

We ran across a  few poor individuals that found out metal tanks are now not allowed.  They were fine until we exposed the tank and the guy showed up to inspect it and said "oh sorry that is illegal and you must have it removed and replaced with concrete."

Dirt bags...

Offline Mr. Bill

  • Like a hot cocoa mojito
  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 15220
  • Karma: 1873
  • Trained Attack Sheepdog/Troll hunter
    • Website Maintenance and Online Presence Management by Mr. Bill
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2009, 09:34:13 PM »
...Look at where the drain line leaves the house and look directly along that vector.  It is rare for lines that run to tanks to have bends in them and some places it won't pass inspection if it does. ...

An exception might be if the home is on its second septic system.  We bought an old house in 1990 and had to install a new septic system almost immediately.  In order to comply with all the modern regulations, the new system ended up wrapping all around the house.  The drain line exited the back of the house, and made four 45-degree right turns to reach the tank which was installed on the side of the house.  The new drainfield went in the front yard!

I've been thinking about our preps for the current interruption in septic availability.  (Honestly, this is not a scenario that I was specifically planning for!  Does anybody?)

So.  PREVENTION: poor.  Tank not pumped for 7+ years.  To be fair, the pumping guy said it could have gone even longer (there's only two of us living here).  But the filter between the tank and the pump was clogged.  Our real problem was that we had no idea this filter even existed.

ALTERNATE WASTE DISPOSAL: not too bad.  We can send a little water down the drain -- the tank should hold another 50 gallons at least.  So, solid wastes go to a camping portapotty with kitty litter.  Liquids to the regular toilet, add a little Clorox for odor control, flush only once a day.  Minor water use e.g. for handwashing goes down the drain.  Showers: plug the drain, afterwards bail out the tub with a bucket and dump it outside.  (I'm going to have a sore back from this; not so good.)  Laundry and dishwasher delayed -- if necessary, these can be drained into a 15-gallon bucket, but it will be clumsy to set up.

It would be nice on general principles to have a convenient way to utilize greywater from showers and laundry rather than wasting it, and this would have been very convenient during the current crisis and last year's water pipe break.  I already own a nifty little submersible electric pump which would be ideal for transferring greywater from bathtubs and big buckets -- if only I'd thought to buy the few little plumbing parts I need to hook up a garden hose to it!

Offline Who...me?

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 524
  • Karma: 19
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2009, 11:51:21 PM »
That is weird Mr. Bill.  Was there a reason they didn't drain and dig out the old tanks?  There is no problem if the pipe that leads from the tank to the drain field has bends...it's just water at that point.  The problem lies with solid waste products getting caught up in those corners and building up clogging the pipe.

Offline vicious

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 383
  • Karma: 9
  • Building a better future
    • Payne Country
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2009, 06:58:59 AM »
I still haven't found anything. That is aside from what I believe to be a main field in front of my house. There is an area roughly 30x100 that is much more green than the rest of the yard. The reason I believe this may be a field is that it is pretty close to square and it seems as though it has parallel lines running through it. It's more clear in the summer months when the rest of the yard is settling in due to heat issues. So far whatever system I have has held up well to the abuse of my family. We do the regular rid-x treatments and keep what we flush to a minimum. I'm going to have some plumbing work done next summer some time so I'll have them give it a once over and let me know if they see anything. The house was built in 1990, but I'm not entirely sure they paid much attention to code when they built it. We've been dealing with other issues for the past 4 years and will continue to do so as they arise. It's a great place, but as with all other homes, it needs constant maintenance.

Offline Mr. Bill

  • Like a hot cocoa mojito
  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 15220
  • Karma: 1873
  • Trained Attack Sheepdog/Troll hunter
    • Website Maintenance and Online Presence Management by Mr. Bill
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2009, 11:46:52 AM »
That is weird Mr. Bill.  Was there a reason they didn't drain and dig out the old tanks?  There is no problem if the pipe that leads from the tank to the drain field has bends...it's just water at that point.  The problem lies with solid waste products getting caught up in those corners and building up clogging the pipe.

The pipe with all the angles was required to have 2 or 3 cleanouts along its length, and the inspector checked the slope carefully and ordered one fix of an almost-imperceptible dip.  Never had any problems with it, and I think that was due to the excellent construction.

The main cause of all this weirdness was an old, old unused water well located almost in the center of the property.  The new tank had to be X feet from the well, the drainfield had to be even further, and there were minimum clearences from the house, property line, road, driveway, water pipes... it was quite a challenge to make everything fit.

I still haven't found anything. That is aside from what I believe to be a main field in front of my house. There is an area roughly 30x100 that is much more green than the rest of the yard. ...

That does sound like a drainfield.  So the likely location for your septic tank would be between the house and one end of that drainfield.  If it hasn't been dug up since 1990, I would expect to see nothing at all visible on the surface -- probably just lawn or garden.

If you can find where the wastewater leaves the house, that should give you another location clue.  (A good guess would be near the toilet that's closest to the drainfield.)

Offline willille

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 87
  • Karma: 0
Re: How to kill a septic system
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2009, 02:20:05 PM »
Septic tanks should be pumped as regular maintenance. The time frame depends on the size of the tank. I have mine done every five years. I also have two separate systems One for the bathroom sink and toilet.(This is the one I have pumped) A second one for for liquid only. Wash machine, kitchen sink and shower. I have had mine since 1976 and no problems other than the five year pumping.