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Of Septic Tank Cleaning Problems

A little over 2 years ago, when we first moved into our house, we had a new septic system installed and the drain field was also re-done. It was quite a project and I was excited to see how it was all done as I had never lived on a property with its own septic system.

But — septic systems have to be cleaned every 2-3 years (in our county). So, being the dutiful citizen that I am, I called a sewer company to come clean it out.

The man reminded me of Gomer Pyle. hahahaha  His talking and motions were slower than Pyle’s but they were somewhat comical to me. But he was so good and explained everything he was doing in detail. My kind of guy!

We have two holding tanks and one pump station. The waste goes into the first holding tank then on to the second which has a filter. The waste is then filtered out so only the liquid goes to the pump station which sends it on to the drain field. Whew! Quite a process.

The cover of the first holding tank was taken off.

1st Septic Holding Tank

1st Septic Holding Tank

Yewwwwww!!! This is nasty looking! The sewer guy said “I see you have a problem already. Your tank is too full.” Wait. What? There’s only 2 people living in a 4 bedroom house and I’m cleaning my tanks out early. How can we have a problem?

On to the second holding tank.

2nd Septic Holding Tank

2nd Septic Holding Tank

“The water level in this is also too high” the sewer guy explained. See that square thing in the picture? The sewer man took out the effluent filter and it was filthy.

Septic Effluent Filter

Septic Effluent Filter

“The filter is too clogged to allow the water to go to the pump lift station,” the sewer guy explained. Okaaayyyy.

Lastly, we opened up the pump lift station cover. Not too bad.

Septic Lift Station

Septic Lift Station

Our system also has a warning system that was not working. When the holding tanks are as high as they are the yellow warning light is supposed to come on but that never happened.

So — what is the source of the problem you ask? It’s the effluent filter. The sewer guy explained that they have had problems with these smaller filters and that some people are either 1) removing them or 2) replacing them with a larger one. Unfortunately, the larger ones will not fit in our tank so we have to go with option 1 — removing the filter.

The sewer guy will be returning to take out the effluent filter and rewiring the tank so it doesn’t go to the alarm as the alarm will no longer be needed.

Our sewer guy was really good. He called the gentleman who installed the system and discussed the situation with him.

But — I’ll be checking the holding tanks once a quarter just to “make sure” everything is flowing properly. I’m glad I decided to have the tanks cleaned after 2 years instead of 3 or we might have had sewage backing up into our house. Bleh! That would not have been pretty.

 

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