Kate M
Kate M
  • Hometalker
  • Saint Augustine, FL
Asked on Mar 14, 2012

Anybody ever repair or replace their own septic system?

Ana MKMS WoodworksKate M
+4

Answered

7 answers
  • Miriam I
    on Mar 15, 2012

    I most definitely haven't. Can you describe what the problem is?

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Mar 15, 2012

    This type of install requires a "license" from the local heath inspector types...its not rocket science...but going through the whole process just adds another layer of complexity. I am planning to do the bulk of this type of work when we build our larger home at our ranch...whether I go through the entire process is still up in the air...I may just get the "engineering part" farmed out and do the "grunt" work my self. Moving tons and tons of dirt and digging really big holes will require the use of a backhoe / loader type rig. Ain't nobody gonna hand dig that... I plan to purchase a smallish tractor / loader/ backhoe rig for general excavation and road maintenance . I figure rather than pay someone 10 to 20 K to do all of the work...I can put that money into a rig that I then can keep to do other projects and such.

  • Kate M
    on Mar 16, 2012

    I have been hand digging because it is all basically sand here (no. Florida)and easy to dig but still a lot. I figure I can at least expose all I can to see if there are roots going through the septic tank or what. I know I will need a pro eventually just have no funds at present. I have had to reroute the waste thru 3 wide PVC pipes (@10' long) down a trench & then into a deep hole that I dug. Fortunately, I live next to a woodsy area & can get away with this...for now. I am also the only one living here. Previously, my daughter & 2 grandkids were here and it backed up and was pooling in the back yard...very bad. Hence, my temporary solution.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Mar 16, 2012

    So this new work is downstream of the septic "tank" and more of a "leach field" problem?

  • Kate M
    on Mar 16, 2012

    Not sure. When I had the tank pumped out it filled right back up again, so that is the leach field. But I need to find out if the tank is bad too.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Mar 17, 2012

    Of course the tank will fill back up again...that is how they are designed. The tanks acts as the "bio-reactor" where the bulk of the biological decomposition takes place ( this is an anaerobic step)...the hundreds and hundreds of gallons of water used every day flow "through" the tank and are then "distributed" over a larger area know as the leach or drain field. The leach field is where additional decon takes place and often transfers to an aerobic process. The tank will have a sludge layer at the bottom where solids are digested....a middle layer that is mostly water ( inlets and outlets are located here).. on top of the whole shebang is the scum layer...fats and oils as such are located here and slowly degrade as well. The leach field can be damaged by influx of sludge or scum as it can "clog" the porosity of the gravel bed. This is why it is important to have you tank pumped now and then...it removes the accumulated sludge and scum and brings the system back into balance.

  • Ana M
    on Mar 18, 2012

    I think it's very labor intensive. You would need to dig to get to the septic tank and then to repair/replace it could be a multi person job. Lots could go wrong and if it did it might come back into your house in the form of backup sewer into your toilets, plumbing and could end up with a sewage flood if not done right. I would not tackle this. Beware and make sure before calling a professional you get recommendations of who to use. We had some shady ones work on ours (the workers were shady- the owner of company rectified what they did wrong) but I was out there the entire time watching them and right in front of my eyes they broke the septic cement cover and were trying to close up he tank without a cover, luckily I'm not stupid and was not looking the other way and stopped them in their tracks and called the owner and asked them to leave my property until the owner came out and rectified the problem.

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