Is this Septic Design Adequate?

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JohnsonB

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The Diagram included shows what was provided during the installation. We just purchased this house 2/20. We requested the tank be pumped and inspected before purchasing. The health inspector did it for some reason, which I just found out. The septic company that did the install, the pump and inspection was cancelled and handed over to the health department. He said when he did a perc test the ground water was 1" down or something like that, so that initiated them installing an ATL above ground leach field and pump tank. As the diagram shows below, The original tank runs to the new pump tank, which runs to the new above-ground leach field. I believe he said the pump tank was 1000 Gallons.

The problem is, If you see the added "thick black" line in the photo that is the existing leach field, the one that was inadequate due to the groundwater being high( He inspected it in January/February when the ground was heavily saturated). The health department said to leave it, and they put a Y pipe. I assume so the original field would work until it flooded then the pump tank would take over. I don't know it's exact location, but that is where the pipe ran towards when they dug up the pipe after the tank.

Basically, what is happening, every time it rains, about 10-12 hours after it stops raining ( you know, like an all day rain) the alarm goes off, the next day, the pump tank is flooded. I look in the C/O in-between the septic and this Y pipe going to both feilds, and the water is running towards the septic tank( It's angled away from the septic tank, and you can see the water sitting right at the C/O right before the Y pipe like it's running from the field to the tank), most of the time when the alarm goes off, no water has been used for hours, and there is clearly no water on the uphill side of the pipe going toward the tank, but rather at the Y where they connect.

When I called them, They said it was probably surface water, A downspout, Maybe where the dirt " settled" around the tank lid etc. Well, that was fixed. Even if, wouldn't that cause immediate problems when it starts raining hard, not like 10-12 hours later? They immediately said it was probably the original septic tank leaking. This is when I found out it wasn't pumped, or inspected, that was canceled and the health department called, for some reason.

It stays wet, even when it's dry out down near where I think that the original field is. I dug a 6" deep hole, near it and it filled up 3/4 of the way with water within seconds, even when it hasn't rained in a week. Is It possible, for the original leach feild to flood, due to the ground water, and back-feed into the new feild? It seems like that would be what is happening, at least from my perspective.


My " clues" that the original tank was never inspected or pumped:

1. There was no loose dirt, or any clear location of where it was dug up to get to the lid to pump/inspect it ( it's under the ground somewhere, I still don't know exactly where)

2. the first time it flooded, I saw a random "sanitary" applicator floating in the 2nd chamber of the new pump tank. My wife has never flushed one( I mean that is really stupid to do), and hers are not this " style" that was floating around.

3. Our realtor, although we asked for documentation it was done several times, just assured us we were waiting on the health department, we never received those documents, only the ones where it needed a new leach field.



After the 2nd flood, The septic company said they never pumped, or inspected the original tank as indicated in our required closing documents, that was canceled and handed to the Health department. We were told it was fine, needed a new leach field that the seller paid for. Now, this time, the NEW leach feild is also backed up, water was filled up to the inspection ports on all of the pipes, and the D box was filled with water, ( clear water). The pump is still going functioning, it's just filling faster than it can pump out ( he said it would do about 10GPM).

For that amount of water to be constantly getting into the system, I DO NOT believe ANY surface water could do that, or am I wrong?

Keep in mind, for the last 4 months with minimal rain, it never even looked like the new pump tank had water going into it ( via the D-box and inspection ports on the field).


So overall, I think the old field is flooding the new, they think that I need to pay for a new septic tank because it's letting ground water in. All I hear is, Money, Money, Money.

Is it absurd to think I could pay someone to pump/inspect the original tank, turn the water off to the house, and see if the septic tank fills up with water ( I know they only pump it like halfway). Wouldn't that also allow the pump tank to catch up? If it didn't, I feel something like this would easily show if it's the tank, or the old leach field flooding the whole system simply by watching which tank fills.

It's a bit of a **** show, Because all the while, I feel like everyone is pointing fingers trying to avoid triggers that would make them liable to pay for it. I just don't want my entire system ruined, house flooded, over this. Obviously if the tank never passed inspected or pumped, which was a requirement on our part in buying the home, I'd go after the seller to pay for it.

I have ran the downspouts on that side of the house about 12-15 ft away, and the sump output so it runs away from the house ( which it already did) and it still does this.


Any insight? Is it possible for the much surface water to do this? What is your opinion? I really need some advice here. thanks!
 

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JohnsonB

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Is it possible for that much surface water to get into the tank? The pump is running constantly now for the last 24 hours and is maintaining the overflowed amount, the alarm has been going off now for 24 hours. He said 10 gallons per minute the pump can do, so that tank is getting 600 gallons of water per hour to maintain it's overflowed position.
 

frodo

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right here right now, over there later on.
what you need to do is hire a 3rd party , A different septic tank company
to give you an evaluation of the complete system. this is going to be pricy,
after you have the 3rd party inspection report you should be able to tell who is lying about what.
get a lawyer, give him the 3rd party report, OR get a lawyer and have him get the report and go after who is responsible v
sounds to me like your leach field is saturated , but i am not onsite
 
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