Posts Tagged ‘repair’

Groundwater intrusion by heavy rains and high groundwater solved

Friday, February 10th, 2017

 

This homeowner did not want to divert water by digging rain drains and ditches. Super nice yard, didn’t want dug up.

One option is to trench the water to off of the tanks and direct water downhill.  Frenchdrains work great for this too.  But in this case, the homeowner’s yard would have been destroyed to his house as that’s where the raindrains are, down hill.

So we chose another alternative means to divert groundwater and rainwater off of his septic tank.

This is another option, put in a dry well to a pump. This is a rough backfill, because the area is super soppy. It will need cleaned up better when dryer weather is back.

This system just sits plugged in and waiting. Costs nothing to run when water levels are low. But when water levels come up and it starts raining hard, the pump will kick on and send the water away from the septic.

 

 

Interesting business plan from competitor

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

This goes under the heading of: “I can’t make this stuff up”

This story is unbelievable.

Client purchases a home.  There is a deficiency marked on their septic system from competitor.  “Outlet Baffle is broken”

Client calls my competitor who wrote up the deficiency and asks them to repair it.

Competitor tells homeowner that they need to dig up the tank first.  (This is outrageous to me, for one, I know exactly where to dig.  It takes me all of five minutes.  Plus I have to imagine the homeowner dug up the entire tank.  Because they don’t know any better.)  I don’t even charge for digging but to have a client do it, is well, I can’t find the words to describe what it is.

After Client digs up their own tank she calls the competitor that its ready.

Competitor tells her for $50 bucks he’ll tell her where to buy the repair parts and she can fix it herself.

She called us and booked the appointment.  After finding out we would have dug out the tank for free as it would only take us about 5 minutes.  And it took her all day, as she dug out the entire tank, and not just the access lid.

I will post pictures of this project when it is done.  She is scheduled for later this week.

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Leaking Septic Tanks

Saturday, July 28th, 2012
Closeup of leaking cinderblock septic tank

Closeup of leaking cinderblock septic tank

We found another leaking septic tank.  This septic tank was homemade with cinder blocks.  This homeowner had never had it back up into the house, so assumed everything was okay.  During a routine inspection we had to tell them the tank has never worked like a tank and needed replaced.  The sewage was leaking out the septic tank and going straight to ground water.

Leaking Cinder Block Septic Tank

Leaking Cinder Block Septic Tank

Now I understand that there are those that would say, “well, if the sewage leaks out the tank, or the drainfield, what’s the difference?”

Please remember that there are three types of bacteria and pathogens, in human waste, we need to kill before releasing the wastewater back into the environment.  I know this is a hard concept to get a handle on, but when we release the water back into the environment it is recycled.  It heads back down to groundwater, wells pull it back up and it’s fresh water again.  I’m sorry if that grosses anyone out, but it is the truth and is fact.  We must take care of how we treat our wastewater onsite.

What does Septic Mean?  It means that the environment in the septic tank is void of all oxygen.  Or it’s gone septic.  Why is this important?  Well, we have to remember why we are treating wastewater.  There are three important types of bacteria in wastewater we must destroy before releasing into the environment.

1. Aerobic Bacteria and Pathogens:  Need oxygen to survive

2. Anaerobic Bacteria and Pathogens:  Need absence of oxygen to survive

3. Facultative Bacteria and Pathogens:  These are harder to destroy, because they don’t care if there’s oxygen or not.

Now how do we treat all three.  Well.

1. Aerobic Bacteria and Pathogens:  The septic tank is the best place to destroy these.  See being a septic tank, if you took a dissolved oxygen measurement out of the wastewater, it would read zero.  That’s right, there will be no dissolved oxygen in that water.  So the Aerobic Bacteria perish here.  But let’s not forget the other reason we need a septic tank. It’s to separate liquid from solids and only allow liquids to enter the drainfield.  If you allow your septic tank to get too full, it will lose that ability and will send solids out to the drainfield, essentially plugging it up and needing replacement.  (Now I have been asked this)  If the septic tank is leaking out the bottom why is it that it needs repair.  What’s the difference if the sewage gets out of the septic tank or the drainfield.  Please remember, the sewage needs 72 hours of septic tank treatment for clarification and to kill aerobic bacteria found in human wastewater.  If we simply flush the water down to a leaking tank, it’s going to head straight down to ground water without adequate anearobic, anaerobic, or facultative treatment.  We cannot skip any one of these steps as we can hurt our environment and make others very sick. Oh, and possibly contaminate your very own well water.

2. Anaerobic Bacteria and Pathogens:  These don’t like oxygen and will die in the presence of oxygen.  In a traditional septic system’s drainfield.  It is the drainrock that was installed that they die here.  Pretty much as soon as they hit the drainrock.  Now beneath the drainrock there is soil, but that’s the next and final step.

3.  Facultative Bacteria and Pathogens:  These don’t care about oxygen at all.  They will survive either way.  But through plain old friction alone, in the soil beneath the drainrock, they get hung up.  And die.  All within six inches of leaving the drainrock.

Pretty cool stuff huh?

Now it can be a bit hard explaining to a homeowner that they are experiencing problems.  Here’s why.  A homeowner like this one, will say, But I’ve never had a problem.  We’ve never even had to pump it.  In over 40 years.  And now I get to try my hardest to educate and explain to them that the septic tank was not built as a tank at all, and it’s never backed up or needed pumped because it is just leaking into the ground without the 72 hours of septic tank treatment to kill off the harmful aerobic pathogens and bacteria.  But once I can get them to understand how all this is supposed to work, it doesn’t take much for them to let us replace the tank.  And get their wells tested.

 

Thanks for Reading,

 

Ronnie

 

World Famous Nick’s Tavern Amboy, Wa

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

My favorite tavern, in the world, Nicks was backing up yesterday. I was called at 6:30 am. I arrived about 10:00 am. I had another emergency I was working on at the time. The tanks were backed up.
I had just pumped it out three months prior. What gives? I used my inspection mirror and verified that the outlet baffle had rotted off. Oy. I had to pump the tank, put a ladder in, and enter. There’s no other way with this type of repair.
I opened up the drainfield and cleaned it out while I was there. Repairs have been made. It’s done. Thank Goodness. Drove like crazy and got all my work done. Just about 30 minutes late to picking up my boys.
Thank goodness I have an understanding ex wife. She remembers that some things cannot be planned. I don’t just get to get off work at 5:00 o’clock. I have to stay until the work is done.
Oh, and I nearly forgot. Amanda, who’s awesome BTW, bought me lunch. I was so hungry. Nothing makes one hungry like entering a septic tank. Have a great day. 🙂

Plumber’s attempt at Septic Repair

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Be cautious about plumbers attempting septic repairs.  Always check qualifications.  Your local health department will have a list of those trained to diagnose and repair septic systems.  This plumber in this testimonial was not certified.  And wrote up an estimate of nearly $5,000.00 for repairs.

Proof of this can be found on my facebook page.  www.facebook.com/firstcallseptic  The homeowner lives in Colorado, and the distance is daunting to when it comes up to these types of problems.

To read the entire testimonial by the homeowner click here.  https://www.facebook.com/firstcallseptic/posts/343687882369817 

Wow, Yesterday. I don’t even know where to begin. Wow. You’ll see.

I got a distress call from a homeowner in Colorado. A Tenant had called up a plumber. This plumber came into the house and verified that the septic system was backing up in the house. From this walk through, five minutes, was able to tell the septic tanks need pumped, wastewater was under the house, and was going to charge $800 to inspect the septic system. Their total estimate for repairs, for which they aren’t certified to diagnose or repair, was $4,300.00 $2,500.00 of which was for septic cleanup under the house.

Homeowner was very stressed. She is in Colorado and is so limited by distance. I told her I would be there in the morning to find out what’s wrong.

Truth-be-told, I was expecting a long day of swimming in sewage. I showed up in really old, throw-away clothes. I was sure I was going to have a bad day.

When I arrived I had to run some tests on an effluent pump. I determined that this was the cause of the backup.

I replaced the pump and the system is running normally. There is no wastewater in the crawlspace.

Their total bill was about $582.00. A Far cry from the $4,300.00 estimate. Always call for a second opinion. Even if it’s me. There are crooked companies attempting to work on septic systems that aren’t certified, and costing homeowner’s thousands of dollars.

There is more stories to this house, but that’s another incident, and another post.

Customer Testimonial on Facebook

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Facebook First Call Septic Service 

Have a look at our facebook page.  Please click like if you like what you see.  One of our customer’s posted a testimonial on the page.

They were responding to a blog post that I put on there about their own home.  They were in a very bad situation about a competitor who caused them to nearly lose a house sale.  Please goto the facebook page and read about it.  It’s a real eye opener.

 

Septic Tank leak repair

Monday, March 19th, 2012
Inside Septic Tank Repair

Inside Septic Tank Repair

Here I am inside a septic tank. I know, good times.  However, this homeowner was quoted $4,000.00 to replace a septic tank.  He was never given the option to repair the septic tank.  Now it’s easier and less messy to have it replaced.  But a homeowner needs to know all of his options.  He was really hurting for money due to our downed economy.

When he went to the County permitting department to apply for a tank replacement permit, he was told he may want to call First Call Septic first before spending all this money to see if it could be repaired.  He was told if First Call Septic can’t fix it, then it can’t be fixed.

When I arrived, I could see this was a two part clam-shell like tank.  It’s an easy fix.  Just have to clean the septic tank out.  Im not going diving to make this repair.  Then apply the high strength sealer.  It works great.

It’s always good to get a second opinion when dealing with septic system component replacements.  Because in many cases a repair is possible and much more affordable.

 

Thanks for reading,

Ronnie