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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Dec 2012
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    109
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    Port Crane, NY
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    Ford 1920, JD LT180

    Default New Septic System Troubles

    Hey All,

    I just moved a long way away from home to the Charleston SC area, and bought a new home 2 months ago. The house was finished a few weeks before we moved in, and has city water but a septic system. They built up the land to put the house on, and to bury the septic system (which is good, as we are awfully close to sea level down here). Most of the yard had been sodded with centipede but the area above the septic drain field was left bare (they had grown some rye just to hold the dirt in place). I planted centipede and it has been coming along good. A few weeks ago I noticed that one part of the yard was extremely wet...then it began to open into a small hole, and now it is a large hole, and the hole pumps water up and out whenever I wash dishes or run the dishwasher or washing machine.

    I am guessing that they didn't put enough fill above part of the drain field (the yard is sloping down at this point...and I am guessing the fill dirt got thin). Any chance I am looking at something more expensive here? How much fill should there be over the leach field?

    I am meeting with the septic installers and the builder tomorrow (they happen to be installing another 2 septic systems a short drive from my house). I have some pictures to show them and am hoping they make it right.

    Who is in charge of filling in over the leach field after the system goes in? The GC or the septic company? I hope they don't fight me on this...it wouldn't be the first battle we have had to fight since moving in.

    I would like them to come over, inspect the pipe in that area, the add more fill and grade.

    Any comments? I have never dealt with a septic having issues before (I have lived my whole 29 years in houses with septic systems, and never had a single issue).

    New Septic System Troubles-0824161315-jpg

    New Septic System Troubles-0824161315a-jpg

    Thanks,
    Joe

  2. #2
    Elite Member nybirdman's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    3,393
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    north of upstate ny
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: New Septic System Troubles

    I would separate the dish washer and washing machine from the septic system.I little more work but saves lots of problems down the road.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Wagtail's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
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    4,477
    Location
    St Helens, Tasmania, Australia
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    JD 4105 / JD D110

    Default Re: New Septic System Troubles

    Just to clarify, this is your Grey Water system. Your Septic System is plumbed for human 'waste'.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Rustyiron's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Lakes Region, Maine
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    M 9540 Kubota

    Default Re: New Septic System Troubles

    I'd give these guy's a chance to fix things, but if it get's chitty (sorry couldn't resist) check with the local govt. I believe that most everywhere, there is permitting & inspections, and possibly a license for the contractor involved with a private septic system. To be cautious, get the guys names and who they reppresent that come out to your meeting. The drain fields that I have been involved in are usually perf. pipe (holes down) in a several feet thick gravel bed. Water flows to the least resistance and showing up above the pipe would indicate a big problem to me, but there are many types of drain fields and I do not know what they use in SC, but liquid showing up at grade is not a part of the "plan" for any design. Give the builder & his guy a chance.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Feb 2016
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    2,676
    Location
    Nevada City, CA
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    Mahindra 1538TLB

    Default Re: New Septic System Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyiron View Post
    I'd give these guy's a chance to fix things, but if it get's chitty (sorry couldn't resist) check with the local govt. I believe that most everywhere, there is permitting & inspections, and possibly a license for the contractor involved with a private septic system. To be cautious, get the guys names and who they reppresent that come out to your meeting. The drain fields that I have been involved in are usually perf. pipe (holes down) in a several feet thick gravel bed. Water flows to the least resistance and showing up above the pipe would indicate a big problem to me, but there are many types of drain fields and I do not know what they use in SC, but liquid showing up at grade is not a part of the "plan" for any design. Give the builder & his guy a chance.
    It should be pretty sandy in that area. It was where I lived in SC and he's on the coast in the Charleston area.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Dec 2012
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    Location
    Port Crane, NY
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    Ford 1920, JD LT180

    Default Re: New Septic System Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by Wagtail View Post
    Just to clarify, this is your Grey Water system. Your Septic System is plumbed for human 'waste'.
    Thanks for this...I am hoping they are separate and I had a major brain fart thinking this was the septic!

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Dec 2012
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    Port Crane, NY
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    Ford 1920, JD LT180

    Default Re: New Septic System Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by dickfoster View Post
    It should be pretty sandy in that area. It was where I lived in SC and he's on the coast in the Charleston area.
    Yes, the soil is very sandy and nearly rock free. The exact opposite of the heavy clay with tons of rocks I had in upstate NY...

  8. #8
    Elite Member roadhunter's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
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    Location
    NW Nebraska
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    JCB 212SU

    Default Re: New Septic System Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by nybirdman View Post
    I would separate the dish washer and washing machine from the septic system.I little more work but saves lots of problems down the road.
    If I ever build I am going to do just that. Only toilets need to go to the septic tank.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Deere Dude's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    2,413
    Location
    Hohenwald, TN
    Tractor
    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: New Septic System Troubles

    With a new house and new septic, the plumber who installed it has to fix it. The black and the grey water needs to go into that tank and bed. Just a wild guess, but I think running gray water above ground is illegal and the system should be sized correctly to take it.

    If this house was bought recently by you but is actually an older house the septic system should have been inspected as part of the sale agreement. It does sond like it needs more dirt. I sure hope a pipe isn't plugged up, but the installer should figure it out quickly.
    JD 3720 with R4s and bulldozer capabilities.
    X740

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    May 2016
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    Location
    near Roanoke VA
    Tractor
    584 IH 4WD

    Default Re: New Septic System Troubles

    I just buried one of these 6 foot long, 30" wide septic drain field sections to get rid of rain water run off from a 20X40 roof.



    It was installed last summer. We have had near record rainfalls this summer, even 5" in a half day.

    Calculate how many gallons that thing got rid of,, it is amazing.
    The section cost about $15,,, to be sure you never had an issue, install 2.
    I added a "T" to the 4" pipe feeding the septic section, so overflow would have some place to go.
    The rainfall never even filled the 4" pipe. I plan on eliminating the T, by cutting it off below ground level, and capping it.



    For somewhere between $30 and $100, you may be able to make the problem go away,,
    it would be cheaper than dealing with non-responsive contractors.

    (NOTE: even though it is not recommended, I dug a narrow trench below the unit,
    and dumped about a cubic yard of rocks that I had picked up around the yard.
    It got rid of the stones, and hopefully added some capacity.)

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