Sewage/Water in Crawlspace

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    • #273468
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      Hi,
      We have a sewage?/water problem in our crawlspace and have tried everything to
      find the problem. We live in the Atlanta, GA area Our house is 28 years old.
      We have lived in this house since 1989. Two adults live in the house, and we
      have a 1000 gallon septic tank in the back yard. We put in new drainfield lines
      in 1/94. We discovered this sewage/water problem last year in September. We
      never had this problem before, although when we discovered it, we noticed
      trenches had been dug in the crawlspace by either the builder or previous
      owners, exactly where the water/sewage is coming up from under the ground. We
      had our septic tank pumped in 10/99, all baffles checked, and the drainfield
      lines jetted. Everything worked fine. However, that did not solve the problem.
      We had a number of plumbing and septic tank companies to come out to try to
      decipher the problem. They tested the septic tank system with flushing of all
      toilets and washer machine and dishwasher all running !
      at the same time. The drainfields did not flood, the grass was completely dry,
      nor did anything back up in the house. We kept using a sump pump to drain the
      water? from the crawlspace and by December, we no longer had any water in the
      crawlspace. We thought the problem had been resolved since some people,
      including people from the county told us it might be underground springs.
      However, the problem came back this August. Initially we found out that our
      kitchen sink was clogged and the plumber cleaned out the drain line, which
      helped on that side of the crawlspace. However, we still have a problem with
      water/sewage coming up from under the ground halfway down the crawlspace on both
      sides of the house. It smells like sewage and last year the county tested it
      and said it was sewage. Other contractors said it didn’t smell like sewage and
      probably was water– maybe an underground spring. We did notice the other day
      that after a heavy rain, there was a lot of water/sewage? i!
      n the crawlspace, the day after we had pumped it out. We relandscaped in April
      1994, but as previously mentioned, did not have any type of problem until last
      summer. We have checked the property for proper sloping of landscaping from the
      house. We also checked with the water department and we don’t have any water
      line leaks. Thus, we don’t know what else to do. One contractor mentioned that
      there could be a crack in the main drain pipe that is underneath the cement slab
      in the house that leads out of the house to the septic tank. We have 3 drain
      pipes that connect into this main pipe before it leaves the house. Of course,
      there is not way to find this out. We tried to explore the leak detection
      companies that will put a camera in the drain pipes in the house to see if there
      is a leak. Do these techniques really work? We are concerned about having to
      tear up the entire slab in our den to possibly find out there was no leak after
      all. We still don’t have any firm veri!
      fication of whether it is sewage or water. Is there anything else that it could
      be. Any suggestions of anything else we might do? Please help. Thanks.

    • #287758

      You could install a test plug at the septic tank inlet, then fill the drain line up to the lowest fixture in the house and see if the water level holds steady. If the level drops you have a drain pipe leak. if it holds steady it is probably a surface water problem.

    • #287759

      You could install a test plug at the septic tank inlet, then fill the drain line up to the lowest fixture in the house and see if the water level holds steady. If the level drops you have a drain pipe leak. if it holds steady it is probably a surface water problem.

    • #287760

      Video inspections DO WORK and with the locator located in the Camera head Most plumbers can pin point the exact spot the split is.

      For example my MicroEngineering Camera and locator has taken me to with in 2″ of the exact spot the sewer line was broken under ground 6 feet below grade

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