Occasionally, septic system components need to be replaced due to aging, corrosion and settling. Replacing broken and worn out components is crucial to keeping your system working properly. Our repair services include:
- Repair broken inlet and outlet baffles
- Replacement of cracked or broken lids
- Replacement of broken inspection ports
- Repair broken or settled inlet and outlet pipes
- Install risers to bring access lids to grade
- Replacement of Effluent Pump and Floats
Less common, are the more major septic system repairs detailed below:
Septic Tank Replacement
While concrete septic tanks are said to have a 50 year life and are preferred over plastic tanks for their durability and strength, we experience the phenomenon of corrosion in a few instances, which results in a softening of the concrete and eventual collapse of the tank. The corrosion occurs at the outlet end of the tank and affects the top of the tank around the access lid, as well as the outlet end wall. As the corrosion progresses, the edge of the access lid opening softens and the lid falls into the tank. In the worst case, the entire 4” thickness of the tank wall softens and a rod can be pushed through into the dirt; the entire outlet top of the tank can collapse into the tank, along with the dirt on top. If the tank is located near the house, safety dictates replacing the tank. The process involves backhoe excavating a hole in the ground for the new tank; placing of the tank; pump-out, demolishing and backfilling the old tank; re-routing and connecting the sewer line inflow from the building and outflow to the field; a health department inspection; and recovering of the tank and placement of risers and lids to grade for easy access. It takes approx. 2 days and does not interrupt the usage of the system. We will compact the backfill around and over the tank, and leave the soil mounded to allow for 10%-15% settling over time. Usually, there is no excess soil left over, as the backfilling of the old tank consumes the soil excavated for the volume of the new tank.
Drain Field Replacement
There are various warning signs that indicate when a leach field has failed and is no longer able to disperse the effluent from the tank at a rate equal to the flow from the house. See “Signs of Leach Field Failure” under Troubleshooting. If a new leach field has to be installed, the failed field may be able to be used again after 1-2 years of rest, by alternating the flow between the new and old fields by means of a diverter valve. Before installing a new field a repair permit from the health department and a soils test is required. The soils test takes from 10 to 30 days from order to written report, depending on which engineering firm you choose and how busy they are. Please go to our resources page for a list of engineering firms. If the soils have too slow a percolation rate, or if there are shallow sandstone or clay stone bedrock conditions, you may need an engineered system. Engineered system designs can be prepared by these soils engineering firms. Once you have the written soil test report or design letter please fax or mail a copy to us. We are happy to give you a prompt estimate for the repair. The cost of construction varies greatly, depending on the size and type of system required.
In some cases, we can add a product called Septic Scrub to in an attempt to extend the life of a drainfield if a customer’s budget wont allow immediate repairs but most of the time is only a temporary fix. Septic Scrub is a chemical treatment to oxidize the sulfides and release oxygen into the drainfield. This is essentially the same way that letting the system rest does, except much faster. The product is added between the septic tank and the drainfield. The use of the system does not need to be restricted during the treatment. However for best results the drainfield should be dewatered down to the soil interface either by resting or by pumping the drainfield. It is also environmentally friendly and does not add any materials to the environment which are not naturally present.