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In loving memory of Claude "Big Daddy" and Sybil "Big Mama" Dreher
Often when I am called to evaluate a septic problem and diagnose a drain line failure, I am told - "That can't be! We just had new lines installed..." Unhappily it most certainly can be the case.The reasons for this are manifold. Most commonly it is shoddy and careless workmanship. Often times the problem has arisen from the homeowner planting a root-intrusive ornamental tree in close proximity to the septic system, or damage has occured during the installation of an irrigation system or some type of service line to or from the home. Sometimes it is simply an error in design. In any case it is never a pleasant experience having to undergo the expense and mess of septic drain installation all over again.
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A happy and hard-working Blythewood family of two adults and three children recently purchased a double-wide mobile home to accommodate their growing family.The new home was the fulfillment of a dream replacing a run-down single-wide which had been their residence for many years. Since the new home was much larger (more bedrooms) than the old one, the health department required a new septic system. Plans were drawn up and the system was installed by a local firm. Soon after settling in a small hole appeared in the yard, and grey-colored water could be seen flowing from it every time a load of laundry was done. The hole got progressively bigger and the water flow turned into a pool that never went away.
The pool of water was found to be right at the tank outlet. This is a sure sign that the drainfield is not accepting the flow of water that is being discharged into it.
The drainfield used by the contractor for this installion is a commonly used graveless system that employs styro-foam pellets wrapped in synthetic netting.
The styro-foam leach line is a perfectly legitimate drain product, but its main disadvantage is that it is extremely fragile and easily damaged.
We discoved that this drainfield had been crushed completely in places and mashed flat at others. This can happen when vehicles or heavy equipment roll over the line. Obviously we do not know for sure, but most probably the damage was a result of carelessness in the back filling process. Our solution to this problem was to replace the original drain field with a new infiltrator line. The infiltrator system, like the styro-foam pellet system, is graveless. However a major difference is that the infiltrator is much more durable and far less easily damaged during and after installation. For more information, see Infiltratorsystems.com.
A 3 inch schedule 40 pvc line extends beyond the original installation to the new infiltrator drain system.