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Thread: failing leachfield

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member ricardoesq's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default failing leachfield

    Hello, (1st post) for a few years now my leechfield (mainly in a 30' length area) has been failing to the point of soggy ground with the water rising to the surface (low point?). I was under the impression i could replace some of the area with the infiltratior systems, but then read here that is not recommended for any clay-type soil and I believe I have sandy loam. I am currently greywatering to another area with the exception of two toilets and a shower but still have a visible problem.
    I am on a slght slope and according to county records have (3) 80' lines (1970) and just found one of the distribution boxes and greywater started flowing out of it as I was uncovering it. I plan to find the other box upslope of the one I uncovered. My question is how do I tell if all 3 lines are being utilized? Do all the lines need to be level? Is there anyway to avoid the high cost of replacing the septic lines? I have potential access to city sewer if I run a new line about 500' to the street and use a pump, but then monthly fees are expensive!
    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    200 miles south of Little Rock
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ricardoesq View Post
    My question is how do I tell if all 3 lines are being utilized?
    Just like you are doing: Find each and see whether they are merely damp or filled and not draining.

    Quote Originally Posted by ricardoesq View Post
    Do all the lines need to be level?
    As long as they do not run uphill, water can get to the end and use the entire line.

    Quote Originally Posted by ricardoesq View Post
    Is there anyway to avoid the high cost of replacing the septic lines?
    There is where you get estimates and quotes and hope to be able to afford whatever might be best.

    Quote Originally Posted by ricardoesq View Post
    I have potential access to city sewer if I run a new line about 500' to the street and use a pump, but then monthly fees are expensive!
    Yep, and then there is the matter of maintaining the pump and powering it. Personally, I prefer gravity over a pump.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  3. #3
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    northfork, california
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    shifted D boxes are a classic destroyer of a septic field. Should only be one, however. Open them up and get the water level down, and see if you have a toilet leak first.

    Have to get everything going equally into each pipe.

    If you have a garbage disposal, and have not pumped the tank every 3 to 6 years, you likely killed the field with solids, but replacement is cheaper than going into the hands of the governor. But if you ask, they might make you tie in.

    Santa Rosa is quite dry, so you must have a clogged field. Roots?

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