Septic system saveable or destined for city sewer?
(Warning this is fairly long ...)
We are doing some research about our septic system to see if it is salvageable or if we are destined for city sewer?
Ten years ago dh and I bought a house with a septic system. Did some research on how to treat a septic system and immediately told the family, there may be a garbage disposal, but WE are not going to use it.
Septic tank finally rises to #1 on the to-do list and had it pumped. No real problems with the septic system and the company did not say anything except where the leach field was located.
1) No city sewer when house was built.
2) Previous owners (at least wife) didn't realize they had a septic system, never had it pumped, and used a garbage disposal. I'm sure it was horrible abused. Red flag #1.
3) Found out when I had the septic tank pumped that the original owner had the leach field put in the back of the lot amongst trees. Red flag #2. From my previous research, I knew that was not good. Still no real problems. Maybe I misunderstood what I read. "Professionals" installed it there.
4) Original owner installed a pool and then concreted over the septic tank leaving just a small clean out cap and pipe to bottom of tank. Should have been red flag #3, but I didn't know any better.
5) Noticed when I was adding to my compost pile that a geyser was gushing from the ground. Definitely red flag #4. "That looks expensive."
After 1st company came to look at geyser:
1) Found the distribution box was completely clogged with roots. Huge alarms going off now, not just raised flags.
2) Distribution box has one inlet pipe (2.5") and one outlet pipe (3.5"). (One outlet pipe seems like not enough.) The outlet pipe has roots coming out. The geyser was fluid being pumped from the pump gushing out beneath the concrete lid. Probably has been going on for awhile, but we didn't notice because it was so far from the house and amongst trees and brush.
3) Since covering of septic tank with concrete, it has probably never been fully and properly emptied and now has hardened sludge.
4) We can't physically repair or replace or relocate the leach field without calling health department out to inspect.
After 2nd company came:
1) Same as first company except to blatantly say the health department will force us onto city sewer.
After more research on our part:
1) $4000 for city to install tap to hook up to the line installed in front of the house about 12 years ago.
2) Recommends, but doesn't mandate, the septic tank be filled with sand. Um, no, it's under concrete; don't want to do that.
3) $???? for plumber to dig trench, lay pipe etc. to the tap.
After days and days of research ... this is what I found.
We can TRY to save our septic system since there is no backing into the house ... yet ... by doing the following. (Okay, okay, I should have followed up on my research 7 years ago when the red flags started going up.)
1) Use RootX to kill roots in pipes from distribution box and and in leach field. It kills on contact and then has an agent to help biodegrade the roots. I know ... it will not be a quick fix (probably a year, maybe more) and will require multiple treatments. http://www.rootx.com/
2) After (if) leach field is saved, turn my attention to the septic tank. I've found a product that SUPPOSEDLY (and it does seem to have a good reputation) for breaking up hardened sludge etc. http://www.rex-bac-t.com/p-21-biomat-x-ultimate-septic-tank-cleaner.aspx
Does this sound like a plan that has a snowball's chance of working? Or should we just gulp hard and hook up to city sewer ... which is totally grating on dh. Not the $, but that they can even force him to do something he might not want to do.
Robin in NC