Backup after extremely heavy rains a few questions

Discussion in 'Septic Tanks' started by MattB, Oct 3, 2018.

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  1. Oct 3, 2018 #1

    MattB

    MattB

    MattB

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    Hello,

    I have a few questions about septic systems and potentially which backwater valve is better.

    We had extremely heavy rains in Wisconsin and I have lived here about a year and even with moderate rains this has never happened. But after the 14+ inches in 12 hours the septic system started backing up into the house.

    So here are the questions:
    1.) I had septic pumped after this as I had questions and guy that came out thinks maybe the water came through the "risers" on the first or second tanks since the high water alarm in the third tank did not go off so he said the drain-field probably wasn't the issue (I read that the drain field can be over saturated) . Is a backwater valve the best option. He said they could maybe seal each ring in the riser but they would practically have to dig everything up so probably not worth it.

    2.) Does it make sense that only grey water came backup and not actual solid waste? When he was pumping I noticed solid waste was in first tank which is one connected to the house.

    3.) Does anyone have a recommend backwater valve. The local plumber quoted this one : Sioux chief Pro , however I saw this one online and it seems like it would give more access if there is an issue with it : Main-Line full port . Is there a benefit to a normally open valve vs the sioux chief which I think is normally closed but opens to let waste through?

    I have a video if that is of any interest, as I went down there with rubber boots while it was happening and it seems the water just poured out of the drain went to about 3-4 inches in some areas. in retrospect I wish I would have looked in the tanks, but I was a bit stunned as it was happening and trying to make sure as the water encroached that everything was off the ground. The majority of standing water was gone by morning. Obviously the sulfur/sewer smell was not and I had a restoration company come out dry/sanitize everything after I ripped all carpet and 2 feet of drywall out.


    Thanks for any assistance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  2. Oct 3, 2018 #2

    Jamesplumbing06

    Jamesplumbing06

    Jamesplumbing06

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    Well first if you don’t trust your pro? Call another. Local guys know more about normal rain fall for that area. Yes everything needs sealed. 14” in 2 days here would drown us. I would likely have the same diagnosis. Bottom line is , are you going to spend the money on a rainfall prevention that may never happen again? Check with your local “ground water protection agent”. He can come out and test your system as a government employee He does not get a commission so he will tell you truth. Good luck. That’s a lot of rain.
    Call insurance. Let them do the clean up properly. Faster rule for drywall saturation is 4’ so you have less overall cutting and a factory edge to fill in mud and match existing walls without cracks.
     
  3. Oct 3, 2018 #3

    MattB

    MattB

    MattB

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    To be honest about the trust thing I have hard time trusting any pros without a second or third opinion after dealing with many over the years. For example when I moved in I paid to have a septic inspection I was told a valve that was installed was probably not useful anymore and there was not a inspection port on original drain field. Then a year later I have this other company come out to pump and he says oh that valve can switches drain fields the other drain field is still there the "inspection" pipe is right here. The inspection pipes for your current drain field are here and here. I can only assume the first company who did the inspection didn't read the diagram correctly, I had no basis to question them at the time. But that is just one instance of my experience with this type of situation I could go on but... I'm just here for advice. That is why I'm asking about the valves specifically if someone has first had knowledge or experience. I realize my septic system may be unique since from what I can tell after 8 years or so after the house was built the original drain field must have failed as they had the valve put in along with the 2nd,3rd tanks and a new drain field.

    Unfortunately insurance does not cover anything, (apparently there is a septic backup addon, wish they would have told me about that product when I moved in) that is why I'm willing to spend 3k to have a backwater valve installed, because even if this is a once in 10 years kind of event I'm not going to spend 12 k re-doing the basement and then have it happen again. It has already cost me 3.2k just to basically have them sanitize the floor and rent fans for 2 days from the restoration company. (I won't even start on that subject where they tried to add-on things they didn't do)

    My contractor advised 24 1/4 inches so he could cut drywall sheet in half and have the sheets go farther.

    Anyways it sounds like it is entirely possible the water came in as the latest septic person described.

    So I will watch to see if anyone has recommendations on backwater valves.

    Thanks
    Matt
     

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