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Unearthing the cover on my septic tank. Is it OK to use the backhoe?

Discussion in 'Tractor/Loader/Backhoes' started by emmett518, Sep 27, 2021.

  1. skyking1

    skyking1 Senior Member

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    My last "backup" was caused by the filter sock on the outlet of the first tank. if I had just dug that end up and pulled the outlet baffle plug, cleaned it and put it back we would have been fine. There was nothing bad in the pump tank.
    Now I have a plastic box over the baffles so I can clean that filter periodically.
    We had been at least 10 years since the last pumping and it was not otherwise full. We have been here 26 years and two pumpings.
     
  2. JL Sargent

    JL Sargent Senior Member

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    One other point I should make is that I have a separate field line just for the washing machine. That is a big part of it I suspect. The septic system never sees all that soap/bleach.
     
    Tags likes this.
  3. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    Here at least, old timers worried about what Mrs. Smith might use for laundry. Laundry & kitchen sink, even bath tub grey water did NOT go to septic. No one in my neighborhood put that in the septic tank. Everyone had a separate drywell.
    My drywell was an 8 foot deep hole. A ring of giant boulders were arranged, then smaller boulders to a height 18" below grade. Rail road rails supported the lid which in my case was an antique iron lid from a charcoal kiln.

    That worked fine 25 years until an addition on the house forced me to move it.
     
  4. NH575E

    NH575E Senior Member

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    I let the pump guys dig it. I know where the tank is but they do this every day and know how to find the access cover. They usually dig out a 2 square foot hole and are right on the money.

    They aren't going to give you a discount for having it open.
     
    Tinkerer likes this.
  5. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer Senior Member

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    A good metal detector was time saver for me.
     
  6. skata

    skata Senior Member

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    Isn't it standard practice to have a pipe riser? I'm surprised to hear many tanks don't.
     
  7. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    Never had one anywhere I've lived.
     
  8. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer Senior Member

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    I have never seen one on any of the tanks I worked around.
     
  9. skata

    skata Senior Member

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    Ok. Actually had to look up a riser meaning. Those seem to be a big diameter opening. I have a couple properties with septic, and they have 4 inch pvc pipe sticking up above ground, so we can pump out the tank if needed.
     
  10. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Wow Wille - I just thought I was an Appalachian Engineer!:p

    24" manhole type risers are required in my area by code now, not so much in the past. All new septic installs have to have 2 accessible MH lids, most are the green plastic types. The tank pre-casters supply them.
     
    Tags likes this.
  11. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

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    We dug up one like that, but it was the hood off a car.
     
    skyking1 likes this.
  12. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    Some use the whole car. Saabs are a favorite. Put them upside down, they work quite a number of years.
     
  13. emmett518

    emmett518 Senior Member

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    Alright septic gurus, what should not be dumped down the drain? No antibiotics. Check. No bleach. Check. No antibacterial soaps or cleaners. Got it. Limit fats. No garbage disposals.
     
  14. emmett518

    emmett518 Senior Member

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    I don't mind pumping, but I don't want to have to spend money when I don't have to.

    My tank has rectangular openings, about four feet long, and about two feet wide. Can you get rectangular risers?
     
  15. emmett518

    emmett518 Senior Member

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    Those Swedes really knew sewerage technology!!!
     
  16. JL Sargent

    JL Sargent Senior Member

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    Where does your clothes washing machine water go? That's what can really kill those desirable enzymes in the septic system.
     
  17. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer Senior Member

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    The top part of a blue plastic barrel with a lid that is removable ??????
    It would require sawing the concrete ones that are on it to accommodate the circular form of the barrel.
    Easy job if you have a concrete saw like my Stihl TS420.
     
    Steve Favia likes this.
  18. Billrog

    Billrog Senior Member

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    emmett518 I've had new re-enforced tops made for a few older tanks like that which I replaced for customers. They come with plastic inserts right in the with lids but you have to buy the risers to accommodate the depth of your tank. You'd probably be looking at 3 or $400 to go that route. Your slabs may be at the end of their life span so it may be money well spent if that's the case.
     
  19. Steve Favia

    Steve Favia Well-Known Member

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    Washing machine water goes into tank/field add bacteria a few times a year.
     
  20. Billrog

    Billrog Senior Member

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    Additives of any kind are not recommended , the enzymes from your stomach are all that's necessary.
     
    Delmer likes this.