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Thread: Health department contacted me - HELP PLEASE

  1. #1

    Default Health department contacted me - HELP PLEASE

    When it rains, sewage water is saturating our back yard. It smells, so I guess one of our neighbors called the health department.

    They guy from the depatment said it sounds like the pump in the septic tank is pumping too hard. I don't know much at all about septic systems and I don't have any idea how to adjust the pump to flow less.

    There is a foot and a half diameter plastic cap on top of the tank and I am guessing that is where the pump is accessed. Am I most likely right?

    Can someone please post a good diagram showing and describing the operation of a residential septic system?

    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    You don't sound like you've done a lot of plumbing. If the Health Dept. is involved you might be better served by finding a plumber.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  3. #3
    Customer Service Manager Plumbing Wholesale Peanut9199's Avatar
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    i haven't heard of a pump, pumping too hard. The pump would stop pumping once the float reaches it's turn off level.
    If you are getting too much sewage being pump into the leaching bed you may have too much solid sewage in your septic tank, when was the last time you had it out?
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  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default sewage

    His diagnosis it somewhat simplistic, since pumps do not "pump too hard". You need a professional to determine what the problem, if any, is with the tank. HOWEVER, rain can saturate the ground making it impossible for the tank discharge to be absorbed into the ground, in which case it could accumulate in a low area. If that is the only cause of you problem, the only solution may be revising the septic tank's effluent system.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by klopper22 View Post
    When it rains, sewage water is saturating our back yard. It smells, so I guess one of our neighbors called the health department.

    They guy from the depatment said it sounds like the pump in the septic tank is pumping too hard. I don't know much at all about septic systems and I don't have any idea how to adjust the pump to flow less.

    There is a foot and a half diameter plastic cap on top of the tank and I am guessing that is where the pump is accessed. Am I most likely right?

    Can someone please post a good diagram showing and describing the operation of a residential septic system?

    Thanks!!!
    I feel so bad for you. It isn't bad enough that you got some kind of problem in the yard but to have such uncaring neighbors just adds to me, insult to injury.

    I really wish people could or would care more about each other. That neighbor should had come over or called and offered some help other than calling the health officials in.

    I find this happening in my life all the time, and I am the nicest person, I would help anyone without much thinking.

    Just the other day, I am outside cutting my grass by hand with a push mower and then, lost the gas cap to the lawn mower. I live on a road where people walk it for their health all the time, and a couple I know well, came by, just mentioning, kind of being funny that it is about time, I mowed the grass, and of course, I laughed; and I mentioned about losing the cap but, I wasn't surprised when they kept walking, not stopping for even a moment to " walk" around my yard giving me a hand to find that missing cap.

    Yet, these are the same people who sit in the church every Sunday listening to sermons about being neighborly and such. Now, don't make the mistake of even thinking this was an oversite on their part in offering to help because I found when diagnosed with illnesses and the death of my husband 4 years ago, the 22nd of this May they " ran" not walked in the other direction as well as so many others.

    Just so you know, that if I were your neighbor, I would had come over, and helped you find out why you were having that problem, not called the officials to make things even harder for you.

    People are so shameful.

  6. #6
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    Just so you know, that if I were your neighbor, I would had come over, and helped you find out why you were having that problem, not called the officials to make things even harder for you.
    Exposed sewage can be a real health concern besides smelling unpleasantly, if it was something that was obviously not going to be fixed the health dept. needed to step in to force the issue so it gets its proper attention. It sounds nice to help out but the health of myself (as the breadwinner) and my family comes before any neighborly love.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  7. #7

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    Did I say that?? NO...ooooo, what I said was to care, just to care.

    YOU can care and go over, or call, help to find the solution if that party is uncooperative, then, you can call the health officials in, and they can do their part, too.

    Wow, this is one mean world we are living in, sharing our lives in, and raising our kids in. Sure, makes it worthwhile. eh.
    Praise the Lord. ooops, forgot the best half for some, pass the ammo...

    yes, brotherly love/neighborly love, God's love, being nice.

    Klopper, I still would had walked over, talked to you, and asked if I could help with the problem, even if my kids were smelling your stench, lol. That is being a human being.
    Last edited by Cookie; 05-20-2009 at 12:07 PM.

  8. #8
    In the Trades kordts's Avatar
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    It's harder for a rich man to get to heaven than for a neighbor to call the health department for a poo filled backyard. Cookie, maybe this has been ongoing, or there are factors we don't know about. Jesus said don't judge lest ye be judges. You are judging the neighbor awful hard. Paul said don't bring accusations with out witnesses. So, let's wait till the neighbor weighs in with his side before throwing stones at his glass house.

  9. #9

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    He called the health dept before approaching his neighbor, that is obvious by his post. Besides, I was addressing the OP.
    So, please take the rock you just flung at me and put it back in your yard.
    Last edited by Cookie; 05-20-2009 at 09:05 PM.

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default dilemma

    It has obviously been going on for some time, so the owner SHOULD already have been apprised of the problem, and had done nothing to cure or ameliorate it. THAT is why the neighbor called the health department, not because it had just started to occur.

  11. #11
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    I'd call the health Dept too unless I really knew my neigbhor
    You never know what nut out there will decide to shoot you for "causing" them a problem
    My last house at least 2 neighbor's were idiots
    So much so that the dog catcher was on speed dial
    I'd have callled the Health Dept right off the bat with either of them
    Crazy world we live in
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  12. #12
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    In any case help is not to be found in a forum on the web.
    There is little you can do yourself as septic systems are not a DIYer project and the health department is looking for results. Work on septic systems require licensing and certifications along with engineered plans for remediation of the problem.

    A good place to start is with a tank cleaning and inspection. Call a local septic cleaning service to start the ball rolling.

  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    The usual causes of this type problem is a broken/leaking line in or out of the tank but much more common is a blocked drain field causing the tank to fill up which usually causes slow flushing/draining.

    If the septic guy opens the tank and water comes out or is right up to the lid, the line out of the tank or most likely the field is blocked up. A blocked field can get every expensive to fix.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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  14. #14
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    While it is pretty obvious there is a problem with communication skills, the basic fact is there is a serious sewage problem. As Redwood points out, this is not a DIY job, and professionals need to be called ASAP to determine not only the cause, but the solution. Whether the complaining neighbor acted hastily or not is another question.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanut9199 View Post
    i haven't heard of a pump, pumping too hard. The pump would stop pumping once the float reaches it's turn off level.
    If you are getting too much sewage being pump into the leaching bed you may have too much solid sewage in your septic tank, when was the last time you had it out?
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    Never been cleaned out. I have lived here for 4 years.

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