Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

    Here’s the details, 17 yr old septic mound system at lake cabin in Michigan, 2 tanks, 1-1000, 1-500(lift station for mound). Lift pump failed sometime last year, no backup yet, but both tanks near full. Had both tanks pumped for the first time. I know now it should be done every 5 or so years. Cabin is used on weekends and a couple weeks over the summer, less that 100 days a year. No washing machine so only water is sink/toilet/shower, 1 bathroom.
    Once pumped, I removed the effluent pump. What I have found is a fair amount (4”mat) of roots on the top of the 500 gallon tank and less on the main 1000 tank. All roots appear to have entered thru the covers and not the sides of the tank. 4lbs/year of Copper Sulfate were flushed down toilet for the past 17 years. Here are the questions I have after I cut/remove the roots before I replace the pump:

    1) Should the tank sides be cleaned/pressure washed now that they are empty(it was suggested by septic service as they are coated with black sludge). Should I use something like Simple green with the pressure washer??

    2) Once I remove all the roots and replace the caps, can I pour some copper sulfate xstals around them to prevent root intrusion or will it react with the concrete??

    3) I have strong concerns about roots in the field as there are 2 large(36") willow trees along the side of the mound. I was considering pouring rootX power into the output pipe of the effluent pump while it is removed, and then connect the pump and push some water thru to direct inject my field root-x, is this appropriate??

    Thanks in advance for any and all tips, suggestions, and/or recomendations.

    Larry
    Last edited by grizz660; 04-20-2010, 03:40 PM. Reason: additional info

  • #2
    Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

    The sludge issue is due to lack of bacteria breaking down the solids in the tank. If I where to guess it may have something to do with all the copper sulfate that has been put in the tank for years. DON"T USE COPPER SULFATE IN SEPTIC TANKS! You can use RootX it will not harm the bacteria in the tank. If you do use RootX do not apply RootX through the outlet pipe. Apply the RootX directly on the roots from the lid. You need to apply 8lbs for the 1000 gallon tank and 4 lbs for the 500 gallon tank. Once applied agitated the powder buy spraying it with a garden hose this will cause it to foam and stay on top of the water in the tank.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

      Thanks for the quick reply Dan. A couple ?'s on the rootx application. Since the tanks are now empty, should I wait until they are up to their normal levels before adding the rootx?? How long will the rootx remain on the surface of the water?? The idea of adding it to the output pipe to the field was to ensure as much as possible went out to the field to kill/prevent roots in the leach lines. Not a good idea?? I have not dug up any of the ends yet to examing them for roots. Will adding something like ridx directly to the tank and mixing it in with a garden hose help "The sludge issue is due to lack of bacteria breaking down the solids in the tank."??
      Last edited by grizz660; 04-20-2010, 04:36 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

        If I understand you correctly your wanting to apply RootX through the outlet pipe my guess is from a cleanout from the dosing chamber? If that is the case RootX will foam up in the area of which it is applied and stay there and it won't travel uphill. If you apply it to the out let line it won't make it to the leachfield. If there is a clean out then you can apply RootX to the leachfield that way or if there is a distribution box depending on the kind of mound/sandfilter system you have.

        Since the tanks are now empty, should I wait until they are up to their normal levels before adding the rootx?
        Depends on where the roots are coming in from. If they are coming in from the top or the lid then apply it when the roots are at water level. If it is possible with no water to apply RootX right on the roots then great do it. Just apply the powder on the roots and lightly spray it with some water. You might need to check it every few weeks and have a rake handy with you to pull out the dead roots. You said they where pretty thick they will take a long time to break down in the tank. I would just pull them out so there is no chance of them clogging the outlet.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

          Get rid of the trees. They will infest your drainfield if they haven't already. Probably the only saving grace is that you don't use the system much. If the pumper did a good job of emptying the septic tank there should be no reason to wash the walls of the tank. I've never seen one in 20 years that needed the walls pressure washed. I have seen them with a thick sludge layer on bottom that resembles clay that is a nightmare to get out.

          I'm not very familiar with mound systems as we don't have them here but if it has a pressure distribution system with access for flushing the lines, you should have that done. If you don't the lines could be plugged up, not allowing the efluent (water from the pump) to drain out evenly. This could cause the mound to fail during high volume use.
          www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

            Originally posted by DanLawrence View Post
            If I understand you correctly your wanting to apply RootX through the outlet pipe my guess is from a cleanout from the dosing chamber? If that is the case RootX will foam up in the area of which it is applied and stay there and it won't travel uphill. If you apply it to the out let line it won't make it to the leachfield. If there is a clean out then you can apply RootX to the leachfield that way or if there is a distribution box depending on the kind of mound/sandfilter system you have.



            Depends on where the roots are coming in from. If they are coming in from the top or the lid then apply it when the roots are at water level. If it is possible with no water to apply RootX right on the roots then great do it. Just apply the powder on the roots and lightly spray it with some water. You might need to check it every few weeks and have a rake handy with you to pull out the dead roots. You said they where pretty thick they will take a long time to break down in the tank. I would just pull them out so there is no chance of them clogging the outlet.
            Just keep in mind that it may take several months for those roots to fall off due to their size.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

              Dan, what I am considering doing is to add the rootx powder to the discharge line from the effluent pump, it is open now since I had to cut it to remove the pump. It is a 2" line that goes directly to the filed. This is to kill any roots in the leach field pipes due to the willow trees being so close. Pipe is dry now since tank is empty and pump is removed. Then when water is pumped by the effluent, water would mix with powder in 2" line, foam, and carry out to the leach field pipes. Sorry if I am not explaining this clearly, I am not well versed in septic systems.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

                Originally posted by DanLawrence View Post
                Just keep in mind that it may take several months for those roots to fall off due to their size.
                Since they all originated thru the caps, I plan on cutting and removing them all from the tanks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

                  Originally posted by grizz660 View Post
                  Since they all originated thru the caps, I plan on cutting and removing them all from the tanks.
                  That's the best plan. Get them out of the system right now. You especially don't want them near the pump again!
                  www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

                    Originally posted by DanLawrence View Post
                    Just keep in mind that it may take several months for those roots to fall off due to their size.
                    Originally posted by Trent2 View Post
                    Get rid of the trees. They will infest your drainfield if they haven't already. Probably the only saving grace is that you don't use the system much. If the pumper did a good job of emptying the septic tank there should be no reason to wash the walls of the tank. I've never seen one in 20 years that needed the walls pressure washed. I have seen them with a thick sludge layer on bottom that resembles clay that is a nightmare to get out.

                    I'm not very familiar with mound systems as we don't have them here but if it has a pressure distribution system with access for flushing the lines, you should have that done. If you don't the lines could be plugged up, not allowing the efluent (water from the pump) to drain out evenly. This could cause the mound to fail during high volume use.
                    Trent2: The walls are totally covered with BLACK sludge, that was my reason for considering power washing all the sludge to the bottom of the tank and possibly adding some bacteria to the sludge to "get it working". If it's not necessary, I will save myself the work. What the pumper did is pump down to the black sludge, pull back some of the pumpout to mix it around, and suck it a 2nd time. That was it. Walls were still coated in the black stuff. The way I understand the mound is set up, there is a 1000 gallon main tank that overflows via a baffle into a 500 gallon lift station tank, and then the effluent from this tank is pumped via a 2" line to the leach field. This is necessary due to the high water table being near a lake and having sandy soil.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

                      Originally posted by Trent2 View Post
                      That's the best plan. Get them out of the system right now. You especially don't want them near the pump again!

                      I agree just them out from there and make sure you get them out of the tank.

                      As far as treating the leachlines with the way your proposing it. It might work if you are applying the powder and the water is forcing up the lines. We have never tested it that way so I couldn't tell you if that would work for sure or not. I guess it would have to depend on the pump and how the water is being delivered to the field....ie gpm ect.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

                        The walls of the septic tank and pump tank will look black. The cement gets stained. This is normal.

                        As far as your mound goes, I'm guessing you don't have any ispection/cleanout ports in the top or you would have mentioned them. I'm left to guess that either they weren't installed or the pump delivers the water to the top of the system and lets gravity take over from there.

                        If you don't have an "as built" set of drawings of the system as it was installed, I would go to the local regulating agency and get them. This will tell you how your mound was constructed (if the plans are drawn correctly).


                        As an aside, step up to the 700 Grizzly with power steering! It's a nice machine!
                        www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

                          Originally posted by DanLawrence View Post
                          I agree just them out from there and make sure you get them out of the tank.

                          As far as treating the leachlines with the way your proposing it. It might work if you are applying the powder and the water is forcing up the lines. We have never tested it that way so I couldn't tell you if that would work for sure or not. I guess it would have to depend on the pump and how the water is being delivered to the field....ie gpm ect.
                          Dan, What I am proposing is to add 2lbs of the powder to the 2" line connected to the field feed line, then connect a pipe and pump to this line, and pump 3-4 gallons of water from a 5 gallon bucket thru it. Repeat with an additional 2lbs and 4 gallons. This would give me control over the water to powder mix recomended on the website. I have no cleanouts in the system so this was a method to directly get the rootx to the field lines. Another option would be to put the rootx in a 5 gallon bucket that contains a pump connected to the line, turn pump on and add water. I have never used rootx before so I do not know what to expect with it's foam expansion rate or if a effluent pump will pump it when the rootx is in it's foaming state??

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

                            Originally posted by Trent2 View Post
                            The walls of the septic tank and pump tank will look black. The cement gets stained. This is normal.

                            As far as your mound goes, I'm guessing you don't have any ispection/cleanout ports in the top or you would have mentioned them. I'm left to guess that either they weren't installed or the pump delivers the water to the top of the system and lets gravity take over from there.

                            If you don't have an "as built" set of drawings of the system as it was installed, I would go to the local regulating agency and get them. This will tell you how your mound was constructed (if the plans are drawn correctly).


                            As an aside, step up to the 700 Grizzly with power steering! It's a nice machine!
                            Trent2, you are correct, no cleanouts or access to the field lines, and yes the pump delivers the water to the high point of the field lines and gravity takes over. I was told this is system is called a "Wisconsin Mound" system. I did some googling and found this: http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/pdf/WW/publi...ne/PL_SU99.pdf
                            From the pictures and the layout in my yard, I believe this is exactly what I have.

                            As for the power steering, what would riding a quad be without sore arms from twisting and turning thru the trails all day!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Septic full, roots, failed Effluent pump

                              That is exactly how I pictured your system. I used to install sand filter systems that are kind of similar to that concept.

                              Here is what to expect when you apply RootX. It takes about two seconds to start foaming and once it does one two lb jar will create 15 gallons of foam. So if you dumped a two lb jar in a five gallon bucket lol, it would do two things one foam three times the bucket and be a lot of fun to watch ......
                              If your going to do the application you need to do all the product at once. The problem with doing two applications one after the other is that the second dose of water with pressure coming from behind it with the pump may dissipate the foam from the first application. How every if your just doing five gallons of water it may create two slugs of foam combining and pushing the product the full distance. So two things could happen, if it is possible I would do all the product in one application.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X