Leach field problem?

wingo_43June 1, 2009

A few days ago, I noticed a mysterious pool of clear water at the back corner of my house. As for drinking water, there's not a supply line anywhere near this area. My first thought, and greatest fear, since my house is on a slab, a pipe had sprung a leak somewhere under the slab and this was just where the water had found its way out. But then I noticed whenever I washed a load of clothes, the pool grew and spread across the lawn (this area is on opposite end of house from laundry room). Would this be the leach lines or the septic tank clogged or both? There's also been a good deal of rain lately, and I'm wondering if that could be a factor.

BTW, I've lived in the house 12 years. The septic tank has never been pumped since I've been here, and don't know if the previous owner ever did. I'm a single male, with no kids or females in the house flushing 'undesireables' down the toilet. And the water in the pool smells 'clean', certainly not like anything that came out of a septic tank. All drains and toilets in the house are working normally (no back-ups). Your thoughts?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it could be one of two different things, first with your tank going undrained for 12 years it could certainly be overdue. If it is full the water draining from your washer would be hitting the top of the full septic tank and be flowing straight to the leach field. The second thought is that you have a break in the actual drain line leading to the septic tank. Smaller valumes of water from a toilet, sink, etc might more easily get past the leak and/or sit in the septic tank long enough to mix into the content of the tank. Best guess...full septic tank. For the second time in so many days I had answered a similar question on another website and posted just this morning a blog about when and how to go about diagnosing a full septic tank and how the draining is done. Link to that blog is below or check my profile for the URL to my blogsite itself.

Here is a link that might be useful: My blog on draining a septic tank

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 11:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is it possible that the washer is draining seperately from the septic system? I know that my in-laws did not run their washer into the septic system, just a hose into the garden.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 11:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you have had a lot of rain, another possibility is that your leach field is saturated. In this case, it would need to be rested, since it couldn't absorb the liquid coming into it.

I'd get the system inspected by a reputable septic system company.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 8:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"BTW, I've lived in the house 12 years. The septic tank has never been pumped since I've been here, and don't know if the previous owner ever did.
Your thoughts? "

You are way overdue. $130-180 for a vac truck goes a long way to preventing what you describe. If the floating contents of the tank get into your leach field you have problems at the least. It just gets more expensive from there.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 1:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My husband finally found the septic tank. It is scheduled for a first pumping in 18 yrs. We have religiously used the Septic bacteria cleaner from the beginning. When my husband found the septic tank lid, after 2 days of hunting, he broke the seal on the lid. He did not remove the lid but loosened it. Now sewage water has seeped up above the lid and he is sure it is because the tank is full. Doesn't the water stay full in a tank? And when he loosened the lid, wouldn't that cause the leach lines to push liquid back into the tank and seep out above the lid? We do have a little seepedge at the low part of the leach lines. However, we do not have any backing up in the house or any smells or slow drains. My husband got spooked when he discovered a little seepage. We have had a lot of rain lately and we do have coleegie soils and some clay. What do you think?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 8:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you're going to learn that using using septic bacteria cleaner is a waste of time and money and that not pumping your tank at prescribed intervals will cost you a lot of money.

Septic tanks fill with water only up to the inlet and outlet height of the tank. If you remove the lid and water comes out is because the water can not drain to the leach field. The leach field is either saturated with water, saturated with solids (because the tank was not routinely pumped), or a biomat has formed at the bottom of the leach field preventing the water in the field from seeping into the ground.

If you do not resolve this problem the next symptom will be water backing up from the septic tank into the home.

Get a licensed septic company in there fast.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 10:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Or it could be due to the rain, in which case the level will go down when the ground dries out. I wouldn't panic. Some service companies (septic and others) will take advantage of panicky homeowners.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 9:10PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Undermount sink edge intrudes on cut-out for faucet
15 years ago my kitchen was totally renovated by a...
Fleck 9100 SXT Programming/Settings
I am finally installing my new Fleck 9100 SXT!!! Thanks...
Electric Water Heater Problem
I have an electric water heater; about a month ago...
Kitchen sink faucet lost its water pressure
I did some preventative maintenance this evening by...
Fed up and ready to tackle my well water issues
I've been reading posts trying to educate myself for...
Sponsored Products
Field of Flowers Wrapped Canvas
$99.99 | zulily
Forged Straps Three Arm Foyer Chandelier by Hubbardton Forge
$430.00 | Lumens
Area Rug: Calabasas Brown 7' 6" x 10' 6"
Home Depot
Linon Triena Window Pane Back Folding Dining Chairs - Set of 2 - LHD1297
$242.00 | Hayneedle
Field Dining Table in White
$160.00 | LexMod
Hudson Latte One-Light 120V Fluorescent Mini Pendant with Antique Bronze Canopy
$392.00 | Bellacor
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™