Septic System Problem

bill18163September 4, 2011

This is a new house my wife and I are living in. We had the home built and it is 3.5 years old. Just the two of us. Septic system is a 1000gal tank that has two chambers. This tank discharges to a 500gal dozing tank and then the fluid is pumped into a mound. Today we discovered that sewage had backed up into our cellar through two drains in the cellar floor. Opened up the clean out in the line to the septic tank and there was no fluid visible but you could see that it had been there. Went out and checked the dozing tank and it had a lot of fluid in it but not high enough to activate the pump. This dozing tank has an alarm system on it and it has never gone off. Opened up the septic tank lids. The second chamber looked OK as far as I could tell. Mostly fluid with a small amount of solids on surface and actively working. The first chamber is another story. Heavy amount of solids on surface. Completely covered with solids. In the area of the inlet baffel the solids were a couple inches thick and kind of dry when I used a rake to move it around. I broke up the solids floating on the surface as best I could and then had my wife flush a toilet. You could not hear any water coming into the tank at all. I took a garden hose and turned on the water and shoved it down the pipe to the tank from inside the house and it went freely for about 15-20 feet and then felt like it hit something. It would not go any farther. That where I'm at.

I have a 1000 gal round septic tank at a camp I own. When you look into that tank you can see the inlet. There is no baffel. You can hear the water coming if the toilet is flushed. You can see it rush out of the inlet pipe into the tank. There is a baffel around the outlet which makes sense. I'm just making a comparison here.

Some questions. Why is there a baffel at the inlet to the septic tank at my home? Why would you need one? To me it seems like a trap for solids and toilet paper. There is a baffel on the outlet going to the second chamber. There is also a baffel at the inlet to the second chamber and of course a baffel at the exit of the second chamber. Why do you think I could not hear water entering the tank when a toilet was flushed? I'm pretty sure the pipe is blocked but no fully blocked. You still would think you would hear water trickeling into the tank. Does this sound like the inlet to the tank is covered with fluid?

Anyone have any comments that might be helpfull?

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Have the tanks pumped out by a licensed septage contractor. You then can run water from the house to observe what is happening. It sounds like the baffle between tank is plugged. If everything is working properly there should NEVER be any solids in the second tank before it goes to the field or is pumped up to field. Your "Field" is probably an engineered septic field.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 8:23PM
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