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Question DetailsAsked on 7/21/2014

There is water leaking in my septic tank even after the shut off value is turned off. At a lose were to look.

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2 Answers


OK - I have to admit I am at a bit of a loss.

If you mean water coming in the inflow pipe into the septic tank - into the tank from the house, that should stop (after a few minutes draining out) after last water goes down a drain - basin, sink, shower/tub, toilet, etc. So, whether you shut off the main water shutoff valve (what I presume you mean by shutoff valve is turned off, because there should not be a shutoff valve on your sewer) if water is coming in the inlet pipe, then you have high water level around the septic tank and a break in the pipe - or some device or drain not shutting off completely. Could even be water softener doing its backflush cycle. If water is coming in the inlet pipe (not "around" it, but actually through it), put your ear against a water pipe - you will hear water running even if the amount of flow is minimal, like a toilet running a bit. Of course, if a multi-family dwelling ALL units have to be shut off.

Also, if you have a leaking device, shutting of the main water shutoff valve does not necessarily mean the water is totally off - because the valves are very rarely used, it is very common for them to leak a bit when closed, especially old gate valves.

Other places water can run into septic tank - will commonly backflow from a level or near-level drain field (leach field) installation for many hours or trickle in even a day or more, and if you have high water table around the tank it can come in through cracks in the tank, around the mating surface (usually not waterproof) for the access hatches, etc. If your leach field is above the septic tank (using a septic pump) then when that is shut off, the fluid can drain back to the septic tank for a long time - and goodly quantity. Even a slightly downhill leach field can backflow for an hour or two if the water level in it is high due to slow infiltration or blockage - but that would be coming in through the outlet pipe, same as if you have an uphill leach field with pump shut off. Also, if flowing into one chamber but the other is not emptied, could be getting through cracks in the baffle between the chambers, if solid type (which is normal in concrete tanks) and common in other types too. Also,some septic systems use two tanks instead of a split chamber system - especially with plastic tanks - so if both were not pumped down, could be backflowing from one into the other.

Also, some people incorrectly run basement dewatering drains into the sewer, so if you have high water table could be trickling in from an underdrain or french drain or sump pump.

Basically, to identify where it is coming in, your need to pump it down and then with a flashlight and maybe mirror, look in through the hatches (usually two) and see where it is dripping or flowing in.

If you use the Answer This Question button right below your question to respond back with more description of what you are doing, why you have emptied the tank (or are you just hearing it come in), etc perhaps we can give you more help.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


septic inlet elbow/tee is lower than actual pipe at sewer, but sti

ll works great , does tee/elbow still need to be raised?

Answered 4 years ago by loie

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