Septic system failure

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by lardlad, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. lardlad

    lardlad New Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    I have a summer cabin that is used about 4 months of the year and mostly on weekends. One toilet one bathroom sink and one kitchen sink empty into a "Schimpke system", basically one cast concrete tank with 2" inch opening at top that leads to a second tank made of individual loose fitted blocks no other outlet beyond that. Built in 1945 and not modified since. The soil is 100% sand and my neighbor a good 200 yds away has a free flowing artesian well that absorbs all his overflow 24/7 for several years now. I can't understand why my system can't absorb what little water we send it. Had to have it pumped twice last summer. The septic guy found a lot of fine roots growing into the second tank and said he thought the system was shot and to get a new one. I remember my grandfather dumping something down the toilet once a year that was supposed to take care of roots, haven't found that product since. Our shower doesn't even go into this unit, we ran a 2"PVC pipe into a separate pit about ten feet away filled with old brick.
    Has anyone every used this type of system and have any useful suggestions as to what I may be missing?
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Basically you have a sump after a settling tank. Hair, lint, body oil toilet paper, any grease creams etc. that can not break down will close the pores of the sand bottom and plug it up. You might be able to use a caustic to 'burn' it open. Your system probably is not allowed today, and you may not be allowed to use caustic etc.. You certainly don't want this stuff getting your your well or into its recovery area.
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