What not to do when your septic field fails

Here is an example of what you should not do when your conventional septic field fails and toilets won’t flush.  What you are looking at in the picture below is the 2nd of two 500 gallon septic tanks which make up a conventional septic system.  No one ever confesses as to what happened or who did it so sometimes you have to use an educated guess.  So here are my assumptions as to what led up to what you see in the below picture.

  • The septic field failed which prevented the wastewater from leaving the inside of the house.

Action taken was to add a sump pump and force the raw sewage through two spray heads onto the surface of the yard from the second septic tank.

  • Sprinkler heads clogged due to unfiltered wastewater being pumped.

Action taken was to remove the spray heads and just let the pump release the raw sewage on the surface of the yard.

  • Raw septic effluent smelled very bad.

Action taken to try and reduce or prevent the bad odor was to add a liquid bleach chlorinator to the second septic tank so that it would add liquid bleach. The liquid chlorinator will not remove the smell and it is designed for disinfection of waste water that has undergone secondary treatment first.

None of these things worked and they should not have been done.  Maybe a solution would have been to add a pump and pump the sewage from the second 500 gallon tank to the existing field lines under ground which would then be known as a pumped effluent drain field or PED.  The sewage should never be pumped above ground with the possibility of human or pet contact.

Pump and liquid chlorinator added to conventional septic system.

You should not do this!

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