Drainage Field Uphill from Tank

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    • #278874
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      I am looking into purchasing a home where the septic field is above grade from the septic tank. A pump is used to move the liquid to the drainage area. Are these systems typically reliable? Any things I should be aware of?

    • #299493
      John Aldrich1

      cabaucom, the one thing that we know for sure is that some day the pump will fail. If the system was constructed using top quality materials, and was designed and installed properly, the service life of the pump may be 10 to 15 years.

      I recommend that you contact the local septic system regulatory agency to obtain a copy of the permit, and any other documentation pertaining to this particular system. Any system that depends upon an effluent pump to function properly, should have a high water level alarm.

      A recent innovation in pumped effluent technology is the “SIM-TECH FILTER”. This stainless steel filter, actually a screen, is housed in a plastic case, and is threaded onto the discharge port of the effluent pump. The stainless steel filter screen can be easily removed for occasional cleaning with the use of a strong stream from a hose. I recommend cleaning annually. The SIM-TECH Filter provides significant improvement of the quality of the septic tank effluent being applied to the leach field. A reduction of suspended solids in the effluent will provide for a longer service life of the leach field.

      Easy access to the pump chamber is critical if regular maintenance of the filter is expected to be performed. A riser with a gas-tight, lockable lid should be installed to rise to the ground surface above the pumping pit. Electrical connections of the service wires to the pump wires, and float switch wires should be made in a waterproof electrical box outside of the pump chamber.

      There are many other design characteristics of pressure effluent systems of which the owner should be aware, but because each system is unique, I cannot describe all the potential pitfalls that you may encounter with this system. I think that it is the responsibility of the current owner of the system to prove the reliability of the septic system. If the system is inadequate, adjust the price of the home to cover the cost of providing an adequate system. JWA

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