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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    3

    Unhappy Saturated leach field?

    Can a Saturated leach field be repaired? Recently water started coming to the surface in our leach field. We cannot afford to put in new septic system at a cost of over $6000. We have researched options on internet which involve bacterial/chemical additives (such as Septic Seep) or which modify conventional septic to an aeration type system (such as Septic Genie). Both types claim to restore leach field and have dozens of competing products. Are either of these valid alternatives to full system replacement? A local septic guy told us our only option is to replace. It's hard to know which claims are real. Any help would be appreciated!!! Thank you.

    Background info: The leach field was replaced 10 years ago just before we bought this home. The tank was last pumped two years ago.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Saturated leach field?

    Howdy great time to go on that long vacation so the place dries out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,827

    Default Re: Saturated leach field?

    You don't say where you are located so I can't even guess how much rainfall you've had. The "Septic Seep" is a soil conditioner that helps improve soil peculation. I've not used an aerator so I can't answer to that choice and not sure it will work in a one chamber system. I would be more inclined to think you have been abusing the system to cause a failure in such a short time. Care must be taken in the type of products used in the house, never use a garbage grinder , and never dump harsh chemicals in a septic system.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Saturated leach field?

    Thanks for your replies....

    We live in Illinois, just across the river from St. Louis. We have had alot of rainfall. We have a family of four and I don't think we are abusing our system. The leaking faucets and toilet were fixed months ago when we first started noticing the "squishy spots" in the yard. We do not have a garbage disposal, all food waste goes into the trash or compost. Our washing machine does go into the septic, however. We generally do one load of laundry every other day, sometimes maybe two in one day. We run the dishwasher once every other day. If the septic can't handle this, maybe it was designed wrong in the first place? We usually use Tide, Cascade, and bleach... are these considered "Harsh cleaners?"
    I have been reading a lot about septics this past week. That is why I'm confused about what is the best solution. Every 'expert' has a differing opinion. I was hoping to hear from someone who has had experience with the same situation and who has maybe tried the products. JLMCDANIEL...have you tried Septic Seep, Septic Free F1 Super Strength, or something similar? If we do try one, might it cause more problems than we already have? Or will it just not work and we'll be out the money? What about flushing the lines with hydrogen peroxide? This was another possible fix I read about. The internet has Too Much Information!!!:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,827

    Default Re: Saturated leach field?

    Soil conditioners have been around for years. They are often sold for use on minimum till land to help break up the hard-pan (the compacted area below ground cause by tractor and equipment traffic). It is not heavily relied on though as chisel plowing is quicker and considered more reliable. If your problem is caused by over saturated soil due to rain fall about the only thing you can do is pump the septic tank often. It's is also possible that you do not have a proper perimeter drain around the field. If it is caused by compaction or or hard-pan the chemical may help but I would guess you would have to go with the heaviest application. Although aeration helps with the biological breakdown it is not going to limit the water going through the system or do much for a failing leach field. Our leach field has been in for over 40 years and is still working properly, we have a small septic tank and only have it pumped every 10 years. We do not use bleach in water going into the tank nor do we used anti bacterial soaps which will do more harm than good. We also don't run the discharge from the water softener into the tank even though we don't use salt. There are a lot of biologicals and chemicals sold but I have yet seen one with a real guarantee.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Saturated leach field?

    Well... we decided not to order any 'magic cures' from the internet. We had our tank pumped a few days ago and this gentleman told us to use the 'wait and see' approach. He said that many people in the area have had similar issues and they were mostly due to the excessive rainfall. He also pointed out that when the laterals were installed, they were not mounded up properly which caused settling. The small indents in the yard are, therefore, collecting more water than they should and oversaturating the lines. He also recommended getting a load of dirt to fill in these and the area where the seepage had occurred. This fix should buy us at least another year or two before we know for sure if we have to spend $6000 to replace our system. I'm glad I got a second opinion!

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