Septic/Drain Field Problems

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    • #280280
      John Katotriatis

      My house will be 5 yrs old in May. Last year we finished the basement (we have a split foyer). In that we added a full bathroom. A few months after everything was finished, the basement toilet started to gurgle, not flush fully, and finally starting overflowing. We got our septic pumped out and were told that we probably had a bad drain field. We hoped not, and hoped that cleaning the septic would solve the problem. A month later the toilet starting acting up again. We had the septic pumped again by another company and they concluded also that our drain field was bad. The septic tank is on the side of our house that slopes downward to the backyard (the septic tank being at the top of the slope). The drain field is in our front yard which is the highest level of our property. My question is: Is the builder in any way responsible for: 1)not placing these items in the correct spot or 2)not digging the drain field low enough? Also our concern is that the drain is not long enough. It is probably a little less than 50 feet long, should there have been two 50 ft. drain fields put in? Any help in this matter will help. Also, may I say that this particular builder has a great record for failing septic systems (which I am now finding out). He has never been responsible because problems do not occur until after 1 yr. when the warranty has expired. Shouldnt he be liable for something? Thanks for your time.

    • #305664
      Jodi Midkiff

      I dont know where you live, but the state where i live the person who puts the system in is not responsible for the grades being wrong. The engineer decides what the grades will be for the field. The only things the contractor is responsible for is making sure the tank is at an elevation that will let the house run into it and let it run to the field, and to put everything in accordng to what is on the plans. everything abouth field is already specified. so if the field is bad you need to find out if it was a faulty design or just not put in to specifications. so first you need to figure out who is to blame before you can worry about liability. I can tell you it will be difficult to get anyone to fix something they did 5 yars ago for free. the good news is that you should be able to get it patched by someone without getting anything engineered.

    • #305665
      Jodi Midkiff

      I dont know where you live, but the state where i live the person who puts the system in is not responsible for the grades being wrong. The engineer decides what the grades will be for the field. The only things the contractor is responsible for is making sure the tank is at an elevation that will let the house run into it and let it run to the field, and to put everything in accordng to what is on the plans. everything abouth field is already specified. so if the field is bad you need to find out if it was a faulty design or just not put in to specifications. so first you need to figure out who is to blame before you can worry about liability. I can tell you it will be difficult to get anyone to fix something they did 5 yars ago for free. the good news is that you should be able to get it patched by someone without getting anything engineered.

    • #305795
      Jodi Midkiff

      : Did you tell the builder you were planning on adding a bathroom, or did you save some money on the initial install?To Lou: yes the builder knew we were going to add a bathroom, he put the rough-in in.

    • #305796
      Jodi Midkiff

      : Did you tell the builder you were planning on adding a bathroom, or did you save some money on the initial install?To Lou: yes the builder knew we were going to add a bathroom, he put the rough-in in.

    • #305797
      Jodi Midkiff

      : I dont know where you live, but the state where i live the person who puts the system in is not responsible for the grades being wrong. The engineer decides what the grades will be for the field. The only things the contractor is responsible for is making sure the tank is at an elevation that will let the house run into it and let it run to the field, and to put everything in accordng to what is on the plans. everything abouth field is already specified. so if the field is bad you need to find out if it was a faulty design or just not put in to specifications. so first you need to figure out who is to blame before you can worry about liability. I can tell you it will be difficult to get anyone to fix something they did 5 yars ago for free. the good news is that you should be able to get it patched by someone without getting anything engineered.Andrew: Thank you for replying. Thats just it, the septic and drain field are uphill from the line that runs from my house. Is that the builder, contractor or who? decides where the items are placed. I live in Calvert County, Southern Maryland. I mean if the drain field is in my front yard and my property slopes (not drastically) downhill from my frontyard to my backyard then shouldnt there be some kind of pump to pump the stuff uphill. Where should I begin to see who is liable/responsible or thats what I want to find out. I know that legally the warranty is over so there may actually not be anyone liable. BUT I want to know if there is something I can do if I find info (which I know unofficially) that the builder(or whoever) doesnt put the items in right and many many of this builders customers have had septic/drain field problems within 5 years of their house being built.

    • #305798
      Jodi Midkiff

      : I dont know where you live, but the state where i live the person who puts the system in is not responsible for the grades being wrong. The engineer decides what the grades will be for the field. The only things the contractor is responsible for is making sure the tank is at an elevation that will let the house run into it and let it run to the field, and to put everything in accordng to what is on the plans. everything abouth field is already specified. so if the field is bad you need to find out if it was a faulty design or just not put in to specifications. so first you need to figure out who is to blame before you can worry about liability. I can tell you it will be difficult to get anyone to fix something they did 5 yars ago for free. the good news is that you should be able to get it patched by someone without getting anything engineered.Andrew: Thank you for replying. Thats just it, the septic and drain field are uphill from the line that runs from my house. Is that the builder, contractor or who? decides where the items are placed. I live in Calvert County, Southern Maryland. I mean if the drain field is in my front yard and my property slopes (not drastically) downhill from my frontyard to my backyard then shouldnt there be some kind of pump to pump the stuff uphill. Where should I begin to see who is liable/responsible or thats what I want to find out. I know that legally the warranty is over so there may actually not be anyone liable. BUT I want to know if there is something I can do if I find info (which I know unofficially) that the builder(or whoever) doesnt put the items in right and many many of this builders customers have had septic/drain field problems within 5 years of their house being built.

    • #307674
      Jodi Midkiff

      I have a septic mound that has water leaking from near the top and wonder how I might be able to stop the leak. I have spread black dirt in the past and grass seed but unfortunately the grass never really gets growing thick enough to stop the leak. If I put CLAY on the leak will that work to stop the leak or will it simply force the problem elsewhere. Would appreciate any assistance you might be able to render. Thank you.

    • #307675
      Jodi Midkiff

      I have a septic mound that has water leaking from near the top and wonder how I might be able to stop the leak. I have spread black dirt in the past and grass seed but unfortunately the grass never really gets growing thick enough to stop the leak. If I put CLAY on the leak will that work to stop the leak or will it simply force the problem elsewhere. Would appreciate any assistance you might be able to render. Thank you.

    • #305652
      Jodi Midkiff

      Did you tell the builder you were planning on adding a bathroom, or did you save some money on the initial install?

    • #305653
      Jodi Midkiff

      Did you tell the builder you were planning on adding a bathroom, or did you save some money on the initial install?

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