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Thread: How to inspect the drain field

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member indika's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Canada
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    Default How to inspect the drain field

    I bought a cottage recently and I was told by the previous owner that the drain field is not working properly and he has never pumped the tank.

    So Igot the tank pumped, how do I find out if my drain field is still working, I dont want to wait till the tank is full again I want to check the field now. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    As far as I know testing the field requires the tank to be full.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
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    Get a copy of the permit for the septic system on your property from the local Health Department (should have a sketch layout on it) to see where the drainfield is located. It should be recorded either in the property owner's name when it was installed, or by the address.
    If there is a problem with the drainfield being clogged up, the effluent will most likely be rising to the surface in spots, instead of being spread out and absorbed into the ground. You can't miss a problem. It will be wet on the surface, stink like a sewer and the grass will be dead or greener.
    You will need a permit to repair the drainfield, if necessary, and the Health Department technician should be able to help you with advice.
    Good Luck!
    Mike

  4. #4

    Smile

    Look up some images of a drainfield and you will more or less see that they are in most cases just some gravel, pvc pipe and soil. If it is now working and you run into a blockage, no worrry. If the piping from the field to the dbox to the tank are intact, you should be ok. If the drainfeild is blocked with biomat(crap that build up over the years and blocks the digestation in the field), use a powerfull additive to eat the sludg buildup. www.ridex.com and www.roebic.com are known for their light maintenance bacterial additives. www.newtechbio.com has heavy duty cleaners that blast through clogged systems. See what happens when it fills up and if it is clogged, you might want to get it scoped(looked at with a little camera) and then apply treatments depending on your blockage.\

    Good luck

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