Septic tanks should receive regular maintenance

Last-Chance Idea to Keep Your Septic Tank Working Forever

I heard about a method to keep a standard septic system working indefinitely, even if it has a leach field that is "shot." The idea is to convert the leach field to a mound system. This can be a do it yourself job for the handyman with a strong stomach.A last-chance do it yourself DIY to repair a septic tank. Use at your own risk!

You need to figure out a way to pump the effluent leaving the tank into a mound of dirt that you have built. One way is to install a little reservoir in the tank discharge piping, and put a little submersible pump in it. Pump the liquid to a mound, which works best if the mound is downhill from the septic leach field.

The reservoir can be made from a pipe "cross." One arm points down and has a plug on the bottom. Your little pump sits in there. The other arm points up and reaches the surface of the ground, to give you access.

The little pump comes from Home Depot or Lowes. It runs on 115 volts, which you must provide through a ground fault interruptor (GFI). You can enclose the pump in a man's sock, using the sock as a filter to keep any stray solids from blocking the pump's little rotor. The pump discharges into a garden hose, which goes to the center of the mound. You can bury the garden hose, since you obviously do not want anyone using it or drinking from it.

The idea is to run the pump once or twice a day, for just a couple of minutes, to suck any excess water from the leach field and move it over to your new mound. You can use a timer for this, or use a float-operated switch in your little reservoir.

Warnings: This idea might not be legal in your area, you or someone else might get electrocuted because the pump is outside and submerged in liquid, you or someone else might catch disease from accidentally using the garden hose for another purpose, the liquid might seep out of the mound and cause bad smell or spread disease or encourage vermin or offend your neighbors. Other bad things not mentioned could also happen.

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