Cistern as Septic Tank?

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    • #278991
      suzy

      My house has been in my family for about 50 years and was used for the first 40 as a weekend home before I chose to live here permanently. As a single person I don’t put much stress on the plumbing system however I have noticed that occasionally (winter usually) when you flush one toilet, the other one will gurgle. Nobody ever remembers the septic tank being pumped out and surely after all this time, there’s a problem. I know there’s a tank of some sort as I’ve seen some concrete through sink holes that occasionally form. Erosion has also partially exposed a pipe which must be some sort of a leeching system.
      A friend offered to have my septic pumped out as a birthday present (unusual perhaps, but practical). He was talking to someone who had lived in my neighborhood in the past and said he thought it was a cistern that I was using as a septic and that there was no way to ever pump out a cistern.
      I’ve never had a back-up problem or odors. Should I just bypass this present of a pump out and let sleeping dogs lie? I am however concerned about the sink holes (about 6″ diameter and several feet deep)… also the ground seems moister and the grass grows greener. Lovely part of the yard!

    • #299753
      Monty Betts

      If your grass is greener and the ground is moist, I’d say you certainly may have a problem. After 40-50 yrs. I would think there’d not be much chance of a leech field operating properly. The sink holes are especially worrisome. The presence of the holes indicate ground settlement and improper operation of the system. You should check with your local Health Dept. Under their codes you may be required not only to pump the tank, but to also remove the top and fill the tank void with specific materials.

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