+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Septic tank-sink hole developing

    Hello,

    I've recently noticed that a small sink hole is developing about 3 feet away from our septic tanks. it is over the direction where the field drain would go. The grass grows great there, but is sinking. I dug it up over the weekend, but don't really know what I am looking at. The field drain was replaced about 10 years ago. The house was built in 1962. Let me know what you think is happening and how expensive of a repair it might be.

    Thanks, Dot

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: Septic tank-sink hole developing

    What did you dig up and what did you see? Was the dirt you were digging up soaking wet and smelly?

    There should be a pipe coming from the septic tank leading to the drainfield.

    Maybe the pipe and septic tank are not connected and septic water is leaking there? If you have it dug up already, that is usually the hard part.

    A description or picture of what you dug up is the first place to start.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Septic tank-sink hole developing

    Quote Originally Posted by bp21901 View Post
    What did you dig up and what did you see? Was the dirt you were digging up soaking wet and smelly?

    There should be a pipe coming from the septic tank leading to the drainfield.

    Maybe the pipe and septic tank are not connected and septic water is leaking there? If you have it dug up already, that is usually the hard part.

    A description or picture of what you dug up is the first place to start.
    I only dug out a small hole where it was sinking the most. It was a little damp, but not until you went at least a foot and a half down. I went in the house and flushed the toilet closest to the tank and I did see some (a small amount) water run through the hole. I stuck a pvc pipe further down the hole which was much wetter. Also not smelling fresh as a daisy. Closer to the top of the hole it seemed like there were 2 pipes that may have met at one time, but were capped off now. Like I said this is not my area of speciality, so I wasn't really sure what I was looking at. I do have a friend/plumber coming over to look at it, but was curious what you "mr. Fix-it's" thought it could be. Thanks for your help.

    Dot

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: Septic tank-sink hole developing

    Only guessing from here of course....


    The two pipes that seemed like they used to meet; could one be the old drain field pipe and the other be the pipe that goes to (or went to) the septic tank . You should not see any water flowing in the hole when you flush, but I guess that is kinda obvious.

    There should be a drain field pipe that is connected to the septic tank. How that connection is made depends on the code for your area when the drain field was installed. You may have a single pipe running from the single drain field to the septic tank.

    OR...

    Some areas require basically two drain fields to be dug and pipes run to each. The flow from the septic tank is diverted to one pipe or the other by a valve. A single pipe runs from the septic tank to this valve. Our valve has a 3" PVC pipe running vertically to the surface so it can be switched without digging. Our county "suggests" these but does not require them.

    If you can, dig deeper (or wider) to find the exit pipe from the tank. Then flush again to see if the water is coming from around the pipe at the tank or if more digging is necessary. In my opinion, the hard part is the digging to find the pipe and where the leaks originates. Fixing it is relatively easy.

    To help find the end of the septic tank where the exit pipe should be....

    If you have a thin rod, you may be able to tap it into the ground until you hit the top of the tank and mark the ground level on the rod. Start in the middle of the area where you think your tank is located. Then keep moving toward the leak area tapping the rod into the ground until you don't hit the tank at the ground level marked on the rod. This will give you an approx location of the edge of the tank.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Septic tank-sink hole developing

    Quote Originally Posted by bp21901 View Post
    Only guessing from here of course....


    The two pipes that seemed like they used to meet; could one be the old drain field pipe and the other be the pipe that goes to (or went to) the septic tank . You should not see any water flowing in the hole when you flush, but I guess that is kinda obvious.

    There should be a drain field pipe that is connected to the septic tank. How that connection is made depends on the code for your area when the drain field was installed. You may have a single pipe running from the single drain field to the septic tank.

    OR...

    Some areas require basically two drain fields to be dug and pipes run to each. The flow from the septic tank is diverted to one pipe or the other by a valve. A single pipe runs from the septic tank to this valve. Our valve has a 3" PVC pipe running vertically to the surface so it can be switched without digging. Our county "suggests" these but does not require them.

    If you can, dig deeper (or wider) to find the exit pipe from the tank. Then flush again to see if the water is coming from around the pipe at the tank or if more digging is necessary. In my opinion, the hard part is the digging to find the pipe and where the leaks originates. Fixing it is relatively easy.

    To help find the end of the septic tank where the exit pipe should be....

    If you have a thin rod, you may be able to tap it into the ground until you hit the top of the tank and mark the ground level on the rod. Start in the middle of the area where you think your tank is located. Then keep moving toward the leak area tapping the rod into the ground until you don't hit the tank at the ground level marked on the rod. This will give you an approx location of the edge of the tank.

    Thank you so much for all of the information. I will try the above suggestions, but might not get to it until the weekend due to my hours at work. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Thanks again,

    Dot


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •