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  • Leach Field help

    Here’s my situation:
    We bought a house about a year ago, it’s 20 yearsold. The property has a high watertable, and as such the septic tank has a pump which sends effluent up to aleach field. About 3 months after webought the house I noticed water (effluent) seeping up through the ground. I found the as builts, and dug up what turnedout to be the diverted box. From the box1 50’ line runs out, and another line runs about 10’ downhill to a 90, and thesecond 50’ line (per as builts). The box was clogged full of roots, I removed themand called a plumber. A guy came out and said that all leach linesare clogged with roots and that the roots weren’t my problem. He did try to clean out the line running downto the second leach line of roots, but wasn’t very successful. He told me I should cut a hole in the top ofthe second line, put a hose in it and see if it would take water (below wherehe thought it could be clogged). I didthis, and it didn’t take water.
    Any suggestions on what to do / try before I go drop $10kon a new leach field?
    Thanks,
    Dan

  • #2
    Re: Leach Field help

    Clearing the pipes would be only the tip of the problem. If you have that many roots, so that the leach bed is severely compromised then really the only alternative is to:

    - Cut down or otherwise remove the offending root-makers
    - Remove and replace the leach field system

    Jetting and cutting can clear the pipes. Chemicals can be used to kill the root systems but to have the field function as new wont happen. The roots will take a decade or more to rot out from the bed system.
    ~~

    ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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    • #3
      Re: Leach Field help

      The field is under a natural grass area in our front yard. The diverter box is located about 10' from a hydrangia (which is where I believe the rest of the roots are coming from). The rest of the field is under open ground (except for the natural grass growing above). I wonder if the hydrangia roots grew down into the pipes from the diverter, maybe they don't go all the way through the leach lines? Can these lines be cleaned? The kid who came out seemed to think roots couldn't block drain lines, seemed wierd to me?

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      • #4
        Re: Leach Field help

        Hire a plumber with a see-snake and do a video inspection. Then you can determine your next course of action w/o scratching your head.

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        • #5
          Re: Leach Field help

          A camera system may help if the mechanical snake can make its way thru first.

          IF the septic tank wasnt pumped as often as it should have been the solids may have reached the other lines.

          Since there is little vegetation over the lines and the bed is free of much of the large vegetation problems I would suggest a heavy jetting - Plumber Rick has much knowledge in these procedures. Also, in my area, we use caustic powder, sodium hydroxide i think it is, in the lines after the jetting is complete. This caustic seeps down the distribution lines to help break down any solids that may have clogged the bed.

          If you water table is very high all the time the bad may be too saturated to allow any more flow.

          Roots can completely close off and choke pipes. I've seen standard 4" perforated lines that look like solid logs when cut in half. You may get lucky, the jetter should cut the roots and they can be pulled out in a wad.
          Last edited by Plumber Punky; 11-28-2012, 09:39 PM. Reason: forgot
          ~~

          ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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