Problem AFTER pumping

Discussion in 'Septic Tanks' started by hawkhunter, Oct 12, 2018.

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  1. Oct 12, 2018 #1

    hawkhunter

    hawkhunter

    hawkhunter

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    We live in a mandatory pump area. Every 3 years we get inspected and pumped. It's part of our tax bill. My septic was pumped mid September. Water levels were right on, inspect report stated 'no problems'. I was having no issues with the system. I live in a a subdivision that has no perc issues, lots of gravel. No neighbors have had any septic work to my knowledge.

    First week of October, I'm working outside and notice a sewer smell only to discover effluent on top of my concrete tank lids that are only covered by a thin layer of dirt. I'm like WTF? I call the pumper, he sends someone out, I was still working outside. The pumper goes to the tank, is there for a couple of minutes and walks back to the truck and drives off! I use the email address given on the inspection report completed in September and get a response from the owner.

    So the owner goes on the defensive contradicting the inspection report and outright lying stating the water level was high, water was noticed in drainfield, etc. He fired off everything he could think of like a boilerplate response letter. None of it being true. We went back and forth and I got absolutely nowhere. He threatened to report my septic system to the county! Anyway it's been a few days and the tank level is still an issue.

    What could have happened? Why won't this municipal contractor take the time to correct this? What can I do aside from pay someone else to fix the problem? Any ideas?
     
  2. Oct 12, 2018 #2

    Diehard

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    Well I'm far from an expert on septic systems but here's my take on this.
    First off it doesn't make sense for the pumping company to change their story on the inspection, assuming all they do is observe the level in the tank before pumping it to verify it's not backing up from the leaching field. Things can change in a few weeks.

    Now the question is, could the backing up from the leaching field have any connection to the recent pumping? I suppose it's possible that they didn't pump it out completely and left a lot of that floating caked up soap/grease stuff. So when the tank refilled some chunks found their way to below the baffle(if it has one rather than a submerged pipe.) and into the exit pipe. Maybe somewhat remote but possible in my mind.
    Being that the backing up could be from a failed or failing septic system leaching field or a plugged pipe going to it, I would think, it would make sense to make sure the pipe(s) is clear first. The type and/or arrangement of the system, of course, makes a difference on the approach.

    If by some chance it was found that the line leaving the tank was plugged, well I think I'd have something to say to the pumping company.

    You ask, "Why won't this municipal contractor take the time to correct this?" The question may be, why would he? Unless they caused the problem and from the sounds of it they're already on the defensive by lying about it.

    Better call Saul!
     
    Jamesplumbing06 likes this.
  3. Oct 12, 2018 #3

    hawkhunter

    hawkhunter

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  4. Oct 12, 2018 #4

    Diehard

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    That's exactly correct. The purpose of pumping is to get out the solids that sink to the bottom before they build up so high that they enter the exit pipe. And as you say, to break up the soap cakes that float on top before they get so deep as to find their way down to enter the exit pipe.

    I'd say they should at least attempt to make a determination as to what the problem is. But I suppose that could be time consuming.

    Good luck on getting this resolved. Please let use know how it goes.
     
  5. Oct 12, 2018 #5

    hawkhunter

    hawkhunter

    hawkhunter

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    Apparently something they did plugged it up. Unfortunately the owner of the pumping business does not make me very optimistic. All he did was lie and deny. Got a call into my township hall, voicemail of course. Ridiculous.
     
  6. Oct 12, 2018 #6

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    Yeah, it is very coincidental for a system that is pumped every 3 years.

    I actually stand over the guy when they're pumping my tank out.;)
     
  7. Oct 12, 2018 #7

    hawkhunter

    hawkhunter

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    lesson learned. I was lucky to there at all. All you get is a card in the mail telling you they are pumping soon, no appointment or anything like that. I was there when he opened it up. I did note the fluid level was right where it should be. He had no other tools aside from the suction hose so he was done in maybe 20 minutes.
     
  8. Oct 12, 2018 #8

    Diehard

    Diehard

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    BTW hawkhunter, you're not by ant chance a Birder?
     
  9. Oct 13, 2018 #9

    chiraldude

    chiraldude

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    How old is your tank and drainfield? I had an old tank once with baffles that weren't very sturdy. They both eventually fell off inside the tank.
    It is possible they damaged the outflow baffle when they pumped the tank or it could just be a coincidence that it failed right after pumping.
     

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