Forum Title: Septic System Issues
1. Septic Tank periodically overflows through the inspection ports (seems to be mainly the inlet side) 2. ALL house drains/lines periodically back up and snaking appears to help alleviate the problem for a few days Tank was pumped about 5 or 6 weeks ago, no drain backup was noted at the time. Now the laundry room line needs to be snaked every 3-4 days and standing water appears above the tank regularly. We are a family of 5 and I know we're putting 100-150 gallons of water down the drain lines every day. Washer drain line is separate and doesn't go to the tank. Basically - where's the clog? This map isn't to scale. I can get 50' of auger down the laundry room line and that definitely makes it to the main T-out - but which way does it go from there? I mean, does it turn out the septic or go on towards the main bath line? I'm at a loss here. Pumping the tank is not cheap (we live in the boonies), should I head to Home Depot and invest in different auger cutter tips? Like I said, running the snake a few times tends to clear the lines for a few days, but the problem always comes back. Thanks in advance for any help. -Jonathan
Category: Plumber Post By: KELLY BELL (Minnetonka, MN), 04/07/2016

As johnjh2o wrote, you most likely have a problem with the leach field. Backups of toilet paper and sewage in the drain lines before the septic tank are commonly caused by the septic tank being flooded, which is commonly caused by water being unable to get out of the tank and be absorbed into the ground in the leach field. If your leach field is old, or marginal, those problems are frequently worse in wet weather. Your large number of users doesn't help! Assuming your septic tank has two access ports, take a look at the secondary (outlet) side: Is there water up to or over the outlet? That is a pretty clear indication of leach field problems. Depending on your soil, vegetation and other factors, the most common way to fix this is to rebuild the leach field. That either requires digging up and replacing the old failed field (piping, gravel, and what ever else your local codes require) or if you have the space, building a new field. About the same cost. As to your unclogging the lines, that is really a very temporary solution. As soon as the septic tank outlet becomes flooded (water over the outlet pipe), the paper and other waste will once again be unable to exit the plumbing. Pumping the tank is also a very temporary solution: As soon as the tank becomes full again, you are right back to lots of clogs. IMO, the septic pumping service should have inspected the lines that go to the leach field and advised as to their condition. I have lived with a septic system for over 30 years. Only had the tank pumped one time, and even then there was only a small amount of solids in the bottom of the tank. In our case, we are planning to put in a new leach field next spring, as we are experiencing occasional backups as you originally described.

- EDUARDO MANNING (Modesto, CA), 09/07/2017

Sounds like you have a problem with the drain field.

- CHRISTINA HOWARD (Union City, CA), 09/29/2017

Companies around where I am, when they pump they also power wash the tank and inspect incoming and outgoing lines

- Matthew Russo (Charlotte, NC), 10/10/2017

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