Septic Tank knowledge.

We recently purchased a new house, with some land.  Momzoo has posted a lot about the changes that we have made to the new house, and some of the challenges we have had to overcome.

The big one that I had to worry about, besides having no propane when we moved in, would be servicing the septic tank.  Momzoo and I both have had no or little experience with a septic tank.  So we did not give it much of a thought we we purchased the house.

We have had some problems with the toilets flushing since we purchased the house and thought it might be due to the septic tank being full or close to full.  But we have since found out that they used 2 inch pipe instead of 4 inch pipe for the toilet drains.  (I know, not code, and you would of thought, but hey, this is the new house.)

So, to see if that was the problem we needed to find the septic tank access hatch so we could see the level, and then get it pumped.   Problem, where is the hatch?   We looked and looked, and a local company told us to call the County Department of Health, because they document every septic tank in the county.  So I called, and within minutes they emailed me the lot plan with the location of the septic tank.  One problem, it said the hatch was 1 foot under the final grade.  Final grade?  What was the final grade when they inspected it.  Well, the final grade is (as we know now) a good 8 feed under the current grade of the back yard.

Yes, the lid for the septic tank has been buried 8 feet under our back yard.  So the work started.  Our friend and contractor has a mini-ex, so he loaned it to me for a weekend, and I started digging.  With his help, I found the septic tank right where it should be, but instead of 12 inches under ground, it was now 8 feet under ground. IMG_3365
I found the hatch 8 feet under ground. And we now have the issue of raising the hatch so that we can have it serviced and make it easily accessible in the future.

IMG_3333This gives you a little bit of a perspective of how far below ground it really is.  I am 6 foot 3 and this is what I look like in the hole.

So we have a 8 foot 18 inch concrete pipe purchased and delivered to the property.  We then used the mini-ex and a suburban as counter weight to slowly move it into position.

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We slowly moved it into place and then stood it upright.  With a little effort we were able to get it to set into the other pipe.

IMG_3410 IMG_3412 IMG_3426

Then we cut the top off and put the lid back on.


As a bonus, the end we cut was then moved to another location and we now have a fire pit.  We burned stuff in the fire pit the following weekend.

Moral to the story, when you buy a house, make sure you know where the septic tank is, and have it serviced as part of the pre-contract purchase.  Or, if you are as lucky as we are, you can spend two days digging a hole and installing a new raiser for the tank.  And since the Richards are our friends the cost was minimal.

The next day we had a septic tank company suck out the tank, and we should be in business for at least a couple of years.  A family of 9 will fill a 1750 gallon tank in about 2.5 years, well at least that is what the Internet tells me.

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