Repair Septic tank with rusted out baffle, and replace septic field pipes- old clay pipes filled with roots and soil. June 2016 Three days, solo project.
After 2015 toilet drainage problems and year-long consideration of options, and refusal of local contractors to bid the job, I devised a plan to repair septic tank and field.
I had to “replace” baffle in tank so that solid that float and solid that sink in tank would not enter field. Baffle sends septic water from middle of tank to field.
Field was clogged, so drain pipes had to be replaced. No easy access to gravel whose space between rocks provides storage volume during heavy usage until water can perc down from field. So I devised triple standard 4 inch dia drainage pipes, wrapped in drainage cloth to prevent soil and root infiltration which caused demise of old clay pipe field. Same pipes- single- had been used decades ago to extend clay pipe field. I paid careful attention to pitch of pipes, as old field favored lower pipe, closest to lake.
June 2017- Drove through from Vermont to Moose Lake, stopping in Marquette (closest Home Depot) for materials- drain pipe for field in canoe and on roof rack.
Ferried pipe etc to island.
Attention to baffle, and several trips to Hayward, solved rusted out baffle with vertical pipe and rubber adaptor to clay pipe tank outlet.
Keeping new field fairly level required mounding over lower side of old field. Dug trenches, pulling up little of old clay pipe as it was too low anyway. Assembled triple drain pipes (with shortage of end caps- Home Depot brain fart) and brought down many wheelbarrow loads to cover from hill behind cabin. Many. Then seeded with Scott’s blue-green seed and mulched with lawn grass trimmings.
1945 Septic field was too small and clogged with roots, and dirt from septic or between clay tiles. On a tiny island in a remote lake. Boat access only. Contractors won’t bid on this job.
2016 This project
Tank is 4 ft deep by 4 feet diameter 50 cu ft or 375 gallons
Darn- no Earth satellite photos in last two years. But I hear it’s good. Looking forward to a picnic there this year.
Shopping for drainage pipe for septic field at Lowe’s in Marquette, UP, Michigan. Shop local. Four hours away, closest big box on way- no time to drive into hayward first day. On a schedule.
Tank holds water, but baffle is rusted out. Baffle keeps floating solids at top and heavy solid at bottom from entering field. Just”clean” (i.e. liquid) water from middle of tank goes out to field to perc. “Perc” (Percolate) means water goes down through soil, and up through roots to transpire through grass. Space between gravel in traditional septic field trenches holds water until it percs away.
New baffle draws water from middle of tank depth and black rubber gasket seals connection out to field. Cap at top allows inspection. Milky Way for scale. So you can see ruler is accurate. Hayward hardware store- gasket in stock.
Another load by canoe to island.
Top tube sticks out of bundle to connect.
Dirt dug from satellite dish hill behind cabin. Downhill blessing
Mulching done. Read to head back to Vermont.
Found this tick attached to my chest back in Vermont. Pulled out firmly and into alcohol. Photo take under binocular microscope with iPhone. Sent to University of Rhode Island. I a one-day turnaround, on July 4, they identified type of tick (by its white shield marking) and size indicated that feeding (which transmits disease) had not begun.Tick – tummy side
Many variations, but this is is “typical”.