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Author Topic: Septic failure  (Read 359 times)

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Online deadeye

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Earlier this summer I started seeing signs of my septic system failing.  Things progressively got worse and now it looks like I will need to replace the drain field.  I have a 22 year old "gravel less" system.  These systems are known to fail after 15-25 years.  Basically I have three options (4 if I include digging in an additional drain pipe myself).  Unfortunately all three fixes include bringing the holding tank up to current code. I have a 1000 gallon tank and will have to either replace it with a 1500 gallon tank or add an additional tank to bring it up to 1500 gallons.  After that one option is to replace the existing drain field however that is usually only done if there is no other option as it requires complete removal and filling and then it becomes a class 3 system which would require frequent pumping.  I have enough other space so that's out.  The second and third options are somewhat similar.  One is a simple gravity system (like I have now) however this requires an extensive drain field (2 to 3 times my existing drain field) to meet the current codes.  The second is a pressure system which uses a much smaller drain field by using a pump to spread the liquid out faster.  Of course this also requires power to the pump.  I'm leaning towards adding a 600 gallon tank and putting in a pressure system.  I don't know the costs of either system at this time.  Anyone have any recent experience with septic replacement. 
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Online glenn57

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we redid your up north last year. used a track hoe and dug a new hole!!!!!! :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

seriously, i am guessing its your home in big lake?????????? i know when we sold my inlaws house we had to redo the septic system also, i think it was around 5 grand but not  sure, andwe have city water and sewer in town.
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Online MN RACK ATTACK

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Hey DE, Since I am in the business of selling these sort of products to the contractor, here are my suggestions.
Yes you will have to upsize the tank.
Graveless was good for about 10 years so if you got more than that, good for you.
If you plan on doing it yourself, you will need someone to design a new system, you can install it yourself but you will need to have it inspected by a licensed inspector.
It may be the easiest to work with any excavator buddies you may have.
My personal suggestion would to go with an gravity system and use Infiltrator chambers. No need for a pump that only has a 5 -7 year life span anymore since the manufactures have cheapened them up to keep the cost down. The chambers are put in with no rock.
here is a link on the chambers.
https://www.infiltratorwater.com/products/quick4-high-capacity/
let me know if you have any more suggestions


Online LPS

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My system failed and I got a complete new mound system.  That is required here.  The whole thing with 2 tanks all of the fill needed, pumps etc.  About $8,000.  They did it all.  I had to get an electrician to wire it all up and that was $600.  Ran it on an extension cord for months which worked great until he got here.  The fill settled around the tanks so I brought in more dirt to fill that the next spring.  Just used my little trailer so no charge on that.

Online deadeye

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Correction on tank size.  I looked at the inspection report from when I bought the house and it indicates the tank is 1250 gallons. Of course, like most things in reports who knows if he just took a guess.  A guy from the County zoning told me the codes indicate a minimum of 1000 gallons or 400 gallons per bedroom.  I have a 3 bedroom so that would make 1250 up to code. One thing everyone agrees on is I do need a licensed septic guy to draw up a design that must be supplied with the permit application. 
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Online glenn57

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Good luck with however you proceed deadeye. :happy1: one if my coworkers who lives north of deer river had to deal with that in the dead of winter. He said it wasn't no fun.
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Online Gunner55

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we redid your up north last year. used a track hoe and dug a new hole!!!!!! :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

seriously, i am guessing its your home in big lake?????????? i know when we sold my inlaws house we had to redo the septic system also, i think it was around 5 grand but not  sure, andwe have city water and sewer in town.
  :scratch: Maybe you should've made the new hole bigger, now that your about to be retired? :evil:          ;) :rotflmao: :rotflmao:
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 01:54:08 AM by Gunner55 »
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Online Dotch

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We have a system here exactly like what MN Rack Attack describes. Put in back in '07 or '08 during our remodeling project. No trouble thus far. I was a little surprised that the People's Republic of Steele Co. allowed us to go with a gravity system. I was sure they'd come up with some BS about gleying &/or mottling in the clay subsoil indicating the water table had been that high once upon a time. This in spite of the fact we live on top of a hill. Apparently the terd gods must've been smiling on us the day they did the boring. We'd heard horror stories from others who had similar situations & were forced to install a mound system, on top of a fricking hill no less! :bs: Our system is nearly invisible. The tank is slid into the sidehill and a garden surrounds it. The 3 parallel lines of the chambers down hill from it are hard to see other than the 3 inspection standpipes. Correct that. Standpipe. I blew one of them away shooting striped gophers. Yes, out the window. And I ran over another one with the lawnmower. They gave me a choice of a mound system or a mound system with an electric pump. Told them if the electricity goes off, that's a bad deal for us. If the gravity goes off, that's a bad deal for everyone!  :shocked:   
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Online Jerkbiat

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We have that same system to like you Dotch. Ours was out in 07 when we started building here on the lake. Been good so far. Need oto have our tank pumped again.
Hey look your bobber is up!

Online deadeye

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Update. Well it's been quite a trip so far.  Of the half dozen people I contacted that work in this field, only two called back and came out. One described what and how he would correct the issue.  Very detailed and sounded fine.  He indicated he would be able to do it in late October.  He was going to do the "plan" and then get back to me in a day or two with the details.  After not hearing from him for several days, I contacted his office and his phone multiple times and have never received a call back. WTF.  I then called 3-4 guys recommended by the guy who pumped the septic.  NONE of them returned my repeated calls. WTF.  I called my son (who seems to know someone in ever occupation) and ask if he knew anyone. He gave me a name and number of a guy (I actually know him because he was a friend of my oldest son and was at our house numerous times in the past).  At any rate, he builds houses and uses a licensed guy to do the plan and had a guy that could do the work this fall.  Through discussions with the licensed planner I learned he also installs septic systems and will include a bid with the "septic plan".  When he came out to do soil borings and check the layout for his plan, we also spend 2 hours going over what he would do (put in a second 1500 gal two compartment tank installing it backwards to add 500 gal septic and a separate 1000 gal pump tank for water. Pump set to pump at 300 gallons leaving me a 700 gallon reserve in case of a electrical outage or pump failure.  This also would be a pressure bed train field.   I go his bid and plan later that day and because he said he would do it sometime next week, I decided to go ahead with him rather than starting over with another installer, IF I could even get one to do it this fall.
   :crazy:
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Online LPS

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Ours was done last fall and what a good feeling going into winter having it done.  I got some straw bales and put it on the drain field to help insulate since no grass was there to trap snow.  I won't do that this year cuz the grass is nice and thick and will trap more snow. 

Online glenn57

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Deadeye, guess I'm a bit surprised that there isn't city water and sewer out in your neck of the woods. :moon:
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Online deadeye

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This is out my office window this morning.



***I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.***