Okay, I inherited the home after a prolonged period of watching my parents (Stroke and Dementia for the horribly depressing win). Because I was unable to work during this period, a lot of maintenance slipped. Now, our septic system started to back up-- the water is flowing very slowly in the toilets, unable to remove solids down the pipe. I had a septic service come in and pump the tank-- I didn't have the money to have them dig down, and they gave me a discount for using the two access points (six inch pipes) to get to the tank. In passing, I want to mention that the pumper was up front that this wasn't as good as taking the lid off, but at the time we honestly didn't have the money to pay the extra. Right now, I'm slowly workging to uncover the entire tank. It worked for about two days, but then same result-- and I found a bad valve that was dumping water into the tank from my toilet. Replaced it. I've been tossing bacterial additives into it, mainly because a few neighbors have had good results, and at this point mos of the soild waste should be out of it due to the pump. BUT, this still leaves me with annoyed family members who want their toilets working, and a freind who works over at UCR said that presuming the stuff works at all (you know biologists and professors, they don't really like to say: it will, or it won't, unless they KNOW), it's likely to be several weeks, because well, in his words, "bacteria isn't Alien acid." So, on to my thoughts. I'm thinking that we could have several problems and I want to try and narrow it down so that if I do call a plumber, I can at least rule some things out to start. 1. Blockage in the pipe running to the tank. We're digging it up closely (did I mention that dad hd the pipe installed by non-contractor labor recommended by a friend?) and it looks like in places it's bowed downward. Combined with the fact that while the tank levels look high, it's not overflowed at all and there are no wet spots in the yard, we could just have roots or a blockage and if it's bowed, allthe additives and augering in the wrold isn't going to beat gravity. 2. Blockage going out to the drainfield. Second possibility: the drain field box has roots, is tilted or is blocked. Again, since we're getting some outglow it isn't total, but that's the thought especially since I can't see and didn't see when the tank was pumped, any roots in the tank itself. 3. Dead or dying leachfield. Apparently something called biomat could be causing a problem, especially since the tank wasn't pumped for at least 15 years. Lot's of additives claim to fix it, but I don't know-- I do know we can't afford to have it dug up but evidently there are treatments that don't require it to be dug up. Anyon ehave any other suggestions or thoughts? I'd love to be able to get a plumber in to just "fix it" but we're short of money have been since the Great Recession started and that doesn't look to be changing anytime soon-- so while I may have to call a plumber, I'd like to ensure that I've done everything possible to narrow it down first, before going that route. Thanks for your time!