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Question DetailsAsked on 6/11/2015

We have water and a black sludge coming up over our entire drainfield the ground has always been soft.

All of our trees around the area are dieing, the sludge has a slick on top like oil. If we dig a hole water fills it up in seconds, if we put the water hose in the sep tank it fills up and drains out the line just fine no sludge. We live at the bottom of a hill and i know there is drain off, also we have never had a back- up but we have to plunge the toliet every 2 or 3 flushes. The water never came to the top until we started to dig to check the lines now it won't stop.

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1 Answer


You have a leach field breakthrough. The black material is the partly biodegraded sewage, and the oil film is the grease in the system from dishwashing and fatty food particles and such.

Might be due to a blockage in the system, and might be able to be cleared with a leach field rejuvenation jeting and cleaning, but if it has always been boggy then more likely it was not built right or deep enough in the first place, or it was placed too close to the water table, in whcih case total reconstruction or a new adjacent one (if there is room) is the more likely solution.

In most areas such a redesign or remedial measures design would have to be done by a Civil Engineer certified for septic system design, who could also (after some testing) tell you if the soil is not permeable enough, groundwater too close to surface, etc and if you need a new field or pearhaps (if too close to groundwater) a raised bed system.

Cannot say without test results what probably cost would be, but I would be preparing for something around a $5000 plus or minus range until you get a more definitive answer.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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