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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default cedar box septic system

    I bought an old cottage. The septic system is a cedar box about 15 feet from the house. I don't have the 10 000 to change it and would like to be able to keep it for another year or two. The water in the toilet slowly turns brown and smells after a flush. The level of the land has sunk about 12 inches over the septic and a gutter had been directed at and has been draining on top of the system. Is it full of water,full of shit, will it dry out? I have a thousand questions about this.

    Kind regards
    Joseph
    Tremblant Quebec Canada

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: cedar box septic system

    Grab a spade....dig out the now completely rotted cedar box.........and replace with a 1949 Chevy coupe. Make sure the windows are rolled up before you backfill. <G>
    Last edited by goldhiller; 10-06-2007 at 09:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: cedar box septic system

    It looks as though I am S.O.L....thanx anyway...how much for the 49 coup?//lol

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: cedar box septic system

    Not a '49 Chevy, a '57 Belvedere!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: cedar box septic system

    That thar is the problem. A '49 chevy coupe is far superior to a '57 Belvedere for this particular application. Any competent plumber would know this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5

    Question Re: cedar box septic system

    How do you know for sure that the cedar box is rotten?? It flushes fine and there is no backup at all.
    Joe

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: cedar box septic system

    Actually you don't want the cedar tank to dry out. I would say the first thing to do is get the tank pumped out. Then if you flush and the water turns dark and smells get your water tested. Divert the downspout away from the tank. Good luck.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: cedar box septic system

    By the way, you might look into these Plastic Septic Tanks or These. If you could use them they are significantly less than concrete tanks.
    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 10-07-2007 at 01:11 AM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: cedar box septic system

    Thanks Jack. I just might have to install a plastic system. I will keep u posted. I have not given up quite yet on the other system.

    Regards
    Joe

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: cedar box septic system

    joseph,

    How do I know the tank is rotted out? I don't. Was just having a little fun suggesting the Chevy coupe as a replacement.

    However, I've never before heard of a wooden septic tank. I know it would never pass code down here and for good reasons.

    JL is right though. First thing to do is to have it pumped and then I'd suggest a visual inspection of the tank interior. Don't stick your head in there and look around unless you're holding your breath. The gases will kill you in very short order. You could perhaps reach in with nothing more than your arm and a dig-cam to take pics and/or take a movie, but you'll likely have to supply some manner of auxilliary lighting to do the latter.

    If the tank is currently full of "material", then pumping it should render some improvement.........in the short term anyway (until you run enough water in it that the tank is once again full). Reason I say that is because if the tank is completely full of solids.....then there's a good chance that the outlet to the drainfields is slugged.......and the drainfields may be suffering (or completely kaputt) from this onslaught of solids where no solids should be going. (Let's hope there is a drainfield of some manner)

    I'd also be suspicious of the drain line from the house out to this tank. Hope it isn't cedar, too. <G> It's likely either orangeberg, clay tile, cast iron or ??????? I'd do some investigating if it was mine and replacing if I found current problems or materials about to become a problem.

    Is this tank or its drainfields situated near a well ? Near a lake?

    Am curious. Must your septic system pass code up there before you can sell it again? Or will this thing simply be "grandfathered"?

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