The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,496 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do I ever need to get my system pumped out or have any maintenance done. This property is not my primary residence and is mostly used for hunting and several weekends throughout the year. I have not done anything since I purchased the property 7 years ago.

The system does not have a sand mound. There are two holding tanks before going to a leach field.

To date, I have not had any issues but just want to be on top of things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,980 Posts
My local SEO told me you shouldn't need pumped but every 6 years or so for a full time residence. SO since you only use it a couple times a year, I'd guess your fine. He explained that most people pump way too often. By pumping you are taking out all the beneficial bacteria that breaks down your waste. As long as your baffles are in good shape you should be just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,190 Posts
If it were mine, I would open the access lid, stick a broom handle sized stick into the tank, and determine the contents. If there is no sludge, just total dark brown liquid, then your system is working fine, and doesn't need pumped. The idea behind pumping is to remove any sludge from the bottom of the tank before the sludge gets into the line(s) from the tank to the distribution box / septic field, and creates a clog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,558 Posts
We bought our camp back in 1992, the owners before us never had it pumped. We had it pumped last year, because it was flushing slow and it seemed to be clogged. Since we never had it pumped we assumed that was the problem. We called and had it pumped, the cost was 480.00.

As it turned out the next week it was doing the same thing, we called ,they came back out and dug up the piping and found some roots had made their way into the pipes over the years. Another 400.00 and it was fixed.

The guy told us not to flush Ridex when we close up, because it kills a lot of the good bacteria that is needed in a septec but to flush some raw meat, but no bones. So now I save a pound or two of deer ground meat and flush it down when we close up for the winter.

We use our camp Quite a bit from April to Oct. So to answer your question I would think your septic is fine, if you see a problem then get it looked at. Our saying at camp is ....If it's yellow let it mellow...If it's brown flush it down... To save the septic from filling up from too many flushes....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
SlickShot said:
We bought our camp back in 1992, the owners before us never had it pumped. We had it pumped last year, because it was flushing slow and it seemed to be clogged. Since we never had it pumped we assumed that was the problem. We called and had it pumped, the cost was 480.00.

As it turned out the next week it was doing the same thing, we called ,they came back out and dug up the piping and found some roots had made their way into the pipes over the years. Another 400.00 and it was fixed.

The guy told us not to flush Ridex when we close up, because it kills a lot of the good bacteria that is needed in a septec but to flush some raw meat, but no bones. So now I save a pound or two of deer ground meat and flush it down when we close up for the winter.

We use our camp Quite a bit from April to Oct. So to answer your question I would think your septic is fine, if you see a problem then get it looked at. Our saying at camp is ....If it's yellow let it mellow...If it's brown flush it down... To save the septic from filling up from too many flushes....
Deer meat? Say it ain't so! That stuff is too precious around here no matter how many I kill. Beef pork chicken, neighbors cat....anything but deer meat!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
Do you know if it is just the septic tank and then the sandmound? If it is just a tank and you are only using it seasonally, you should be in business. You could check the tank and verify there is no sludge. Yeast or Ridex occasionally is also a good investment. But pumping shouldn't be needed if working correctly.

Reason I ask, it's more and more common to have some type of sand filter also. The way that typically looks is 1) the tank is buried
2) there is another compartment (looks like a holding tank) in the yard with a cement access lid on it
3) Another lid over a dousing compartment further away. It has a pump in it that then pumps the waste water up to the sandmound.

You can verify if you have this type of system by pulling off one of the cement covers (looks like a manhole cover) and taking a look. If you do have the sandfilter, you do need to take a rake and rake that sand filter once or twice a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,566 Posts
A standard proper sized septic system, if not abused, can go 20 years with out problems. Our old system had never been pumped and was 60 years old. BUT, no dishwasher or garbage disposal. We never flushed harsh chemicals etc down the drains. Had neighbors that screwed their system up the first month from all the chlorine bleach and cleaners they used when the cleaned to move in. They killed the bacteria in the system. We built a new house and installed a completely new system. I specified that the system be built for a 5 bedroom house although the house is only three. Back in the 1960's and early 1970's a great many undersized and jury rigged systems were installed. They are constant problems. Saw one that was two 50 gallon drums piped together and a 15 foot piece of 4 inch pipe with holes in it was the drain field. Needless to say, the place needed a 15K replacement system.

Our new system has no sand. It does have a 18 x 65 foot gravel leach field that is two feet deep, covered with landscape cloth and is 3 feet underground. (I actually helped install it.) The SEO said it was good for at least a century if cared for. Most "overbuilt" system he had seen.

Out township has a state mandated every 5 year septic pumping requirement. Many residents have no clue where their systems are, or even if they have one. I am good for another 5 years till it needs pumped.

I am also aware that some sand mounds put in service back in the 1990's have failed because of chemicals etc washed down the drain. I am glad we have an "at grade system" No unsightly hill in the yard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,330 Posts
When you look into the holding tank, you want to look for a layer of grease on the top of the liquids. If there is one, then you should get it Pumped ASAP. Grease entering your leach fields is one of the major causes of failure. Make sure your dishwashers are extra carefull about putting grease down the drains.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,327 Posts
I was actually told by my honey dipper not to use products like ridex. Best thing you can do for bacteria is put a dead mouse, or some spoiled meat down your toilet every month. I swear to god he told me that! Older fella that lives down the lane told me he hasn't had his pumped in 35 years. Also told me he hasn't flushed a single piece of toilet paper down it in that long either. He says all his paper goes in a small wastebasket beside the toilet and every 3 days it gets burned. He swears that's why he has no problems. I think I'll get mine pumped!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,514 Posts
btbowhunter56 said:
SlickShot said:
We bought our camp back in 1992, the owners before us never had it pumped. We had it pumped last year, because it was flushing slow and it seemed to be clogged. Since we never had it pumped we assumed that was the problem. We called and had it pumped, the cost was 480.00.

As it turned out the next week it was doing the same thing, we called ,they came back out and dug up the piping and found some roots had made their way into the pipes over the years. Another 400.00 and it was fixed.

The guy told us not to flush Ridex when we close up, because it kills a lot of the good bacteria that is needed in a septec but to flush some raw meat, but no bones. So now I save a pound or two of deer ground meat and flush it down when we close up for the winter.

We use our camp Quite a bit from April to Oct. So to answer your question I would think your septic is fine, if you see a problem then get it looked at. Our saying at camp is ....If it's yellow let it mellow...If it's brown flush it down... To save the septic from filling up from too many flushes....
Deer meat? Say it ain't so! That stuff is too precious around here no matter how many I kill. Beef pork chicken, neighbors cat....anything but deer meat!!!
That's great stuff Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,885 Posts
Seo''s are usually people in the trades who couldn't hack it in the real contractor world and now have the power and authority trip to make ex competing contractors do what they want. Take their advice with a grain of salt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,255 Posts
When I built my house I had local contractors do my well and septic system.
With a 1000 gal tank and sandmound system I was told with 6 people I should be good for 5 years between pumpouts.
Shortly after our township made law everyone needed it done every 3rd year with the pumper filing paperwork with the tax office.
If you miss the pump deadline you get a substantial fine and they have someone do it for you.

If your going to have it done get a reputable company, not just a guy with a shop vac on a pickup truck.
It cost me 350.00 but they check baffles test overflow alarm and switch, check for signs of runoff intrusion into holding tank, check connections on float switch and puts some enzymes that help produce bacteria. Not sure it is needed since they allow around 4"to stay on bottom of holding tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,255 Posts
Our township has a list of pumping contractors we need to use, but most are businesses within our township.

I think the 3 year rule are for the townships to keep from being forced by the counties to install centralized sewer and treatment systems.
This cost would bankrupt most townships and triple property taxes.
To keep my high taxes what they are what breaks down to [email protected] year is a cheap investment.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top