What Do I Do If My Neighbor Emptied Their Septic Tank? (Best solution)

Start with the neighbor; if she or he won’t address the problem you’ll have to resort to your health department. Patti: contact your local health department. Discharging sewage or septic effluent to the surface as well as onto a neighbour’s property are both illegal in most jurisdictions.

  • If a neighbor’s septic system is in obvious failure and you have already had no result from speaking directly with your neighbor or if doing so is in your opinion unsafe, then contact your local health department and ask the health inspector to inspect the properties involved.

What can I do if my neighbor’s septic smells?

In general, septic effluent must be disposed of on the property from which it originates. It’s always best to ask a neighbor to consider and address a problem before calling the authorities, but if a neighbor is unwilling or perhaps unable to act, the second step of involving the health department may be necessary.

Should a septic tank be completely emptied?

Septic tanks are never completely emptied. The EPA recommends that you have your septic tank inspected every three years and de-sludged according to the inspector’s assessment and maintenance suggestions. Most households find that their septic tank needs to be de-sludged once every 1-3 years.

Who is responsible for a shared septic tank?

Whose responsibility is a shared septic tank? Each resident is equally responsible for the shared drainage system, unless stated otherwise in your property deeds. That means that each household must take responsibility for regular drainage maintenance, septic tank emptying and any problems with the septic tank.

Can your septic tank be pumped but still back up?

If you are still getting backups in your bathroom piping after having pumped the septic tank, there can be only two problems. The first is a blockage of the inside pipes leading from the fixtures to the septic tank. Drains can become blocked with sludge, roots and dirt from broken pipes.

Can I connect to my Neighbours sewer?

Right to connect to a public sewer All water and sewerage companies have a duty to provide public sewers to make sure the area is effectively drained. Usually, you have the right to connect the drain from your property to the public sewer – although you may have to pay for this.

Can I cut my septic vent pipe in yard?

They shouldn’t be removed but they can be cut down, level with the ground. Other white pipes may be standing above your septic tank, pump tank or close to your foundation. Those are available for maintenance, if needed, and shouldn’t be removed. Again, they can all be cut down close to the ground surface and recapped.

Does septic need to be pumped?

Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often, generally once a year. A service contract is important since alternative systems have mechanized parts.

How are septic tanks emptied?

What’s involved in septic tank emptying? A local septic tank emptying company will send out one of their tankers with a long flexible hose. The tanker operator will insert this into your septic tank and a powerful suction force is then used to empty all the waste out.

What are signs of septic tank problems?

7 Warning Signs Your Septic System Is Failing

  • Gurgling Pipes. They would occur when you run water in the house (e.g. when using the sink or shower) or flush the toilet.
  • Bad Odours. It’s never a pleasant experience when this occurs.
  • Water At Ground Level.
  • Green Grass.
  • Slow Drainage.
  • Blocked Pipes.

Can I sell a house with a septic tank?

If you currently have a septic tank that discharges to surface water then the sale will trigger the requirement to replace or upgrade the system. Buyers should satisfy themselves that any system is in good working order and does not cause pollution.

Can 2 properties share a septic tank?

Septic tanks can serve individual properties or multiple properties. In the instance of a septic tank shared by two or more properties, the tank will typically be situated within the boundary of one of the properties that connects to it.

Who is responsible for unblocking shared drains?

If the problem drains are your responsibility, then you must arrange for a London drainage contractor to unblock the drain and any carry out repairs. However, if the drain is the responsibility of Thames Water (for customers in London), they are obliged to clear the blocked drain FREE of charge.

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.

What to do after septic tank is pumped out?

After you have had your septic tank pumped by a trusted septic company, there are some things you can and should do as the septic system owner.

  1. 1) Get on a Schedule.
  2. 2) Take Care of the System.
  3. 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
  4. 4) Check Other Possible Issues.

Can heavy rain cause septic backup?

It is common to have a septic back up after or even during a heavy rain. Significant rainfall can quickly flood the ground around the soil absorption area (drainfield) leaving it saturated, making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system.

neighbors septic runoff contaminating our property

I live in a community that is entirely reliant on septic tanks. Because our area is situated on a little incline, we have a few neighbors that live further up the hill. There is a mild sewage scent as you stroll around the neighborhood every now and again, but it is not overwhelming. However, in the last several days, the situation has gotten significantly worse just next to our garage (garage is on uphill side of house). Due to the fact that this occurred during a winter storm that hit the east coast, I believe that the melting snow is saturating the earth, causing leech fields to flood and septic systems to collapse.

I assume that the waste water is taking a course similar to this all the way out to my property.

This might be caused by a few of our neighbors’ properties; the one directly next to us was foreclosed on a few months ago and has since been empty and resold to another buyer who is probably going to try to flip it.

Two more residences uphill from us (next to our backyard) that might potentially be the source of the problem: both of these properties are now occupied.

  • However, if it turns out to be one of the other neighbors, I suppose I should first speak with them about the situation.
  • I really don’t want to start a potential dispute shortly before Christmas, so please bear with me.
  • What would you do in this situation?
  • *For those wondering, this is not due to my own septic system; our system is located on the opposite side of the property and would have to flow up hill in order to reach the location where the oppressive smell is strongest.

r/legaladvice – Neighbor’s septic is overflowing

Hellor/legaladvice I’ll start with a description of the environment. I am a homeowner in southern Maryland, and I reside quite near to the Chesapeake Bay (within 2 miles), as well as less than a mile from the Patuxent River (about 1.5 miles). Now comes the difficult part. My next-door neighbor’s septic tank has been overflowing for the most of the summer. It flows like a little stream almost continually, like a small brook. He is very aware of what is taking place; he walks through it while cutting his grass in muck boots.

  • Not to add the terrible odor of the place.
  • What are my alternatives?
  • I can tell you that there are a number of families staying at the residence.
  • I’m getting sick of the stench.
  • My sympathies go out to my other neighbors.

But at the same time, I don’t want to put him in a bad situation. Until now, I have not challenged him about it. (You’re probably going to tell me that’s the only option I have) It is not my responsibility to inform him that he must keep his own crap river in his own back yard.

What Happens If I Don’t Pump My Septic Tank?

When you fail to maintain your home’s septic tank, the consequences extend beyond the unpleasant odors; depending on the severity of the problem, it can have an influence on the entire neighborhood. It is recommended that you pump your tank on a frequent basis to keep it in good working order. For the following reasons, it is an essential duty.

Purpose Of Your Septic Tank

Septic tanks, regardless of the type you have, function to properly handle the waste generated by your home or business. When there is no centralized sewer system, they are utilized to collect and dispose of waste. The tank, which is located below, retains wastewater and treats it using mechanical processes that are not harmful to the environment.

What Pumping Does

When your system reaches capacity, it will need to be pushed out again. This will occur spontaneously as a result of regular usage. Pumping is an element of routine septic system maintenance, just as are inspections and repairs for your system. Pumping has been assigned the task of clearing your system of water waste so that it can create way for more. As a result, your tank’s lifespan is extended, sewage odors are avoided, and other problems that might affect your family and your neighbors are avoided.

When it reaches a publicly owned wastewater treatment plant, it can be processed and the water recycled for use in a variety of additional uses, depending on the treatment facility.

What Happens if You Don’t Pump Your Septic Tank?

Your system will need to be flushed out once it has reached full capacity. Natural wear and tear will cause this to occur. Similarly to inspections and repairs, pumping is a necessary aspect of maintaining your septic system. Pumping has been assigned the task of clearing your system of waste water so that it can create way for additional water to enter. As a result, your tank’s lifespan is extended, sewage odors are avoided, and other problems that might affect your home and your neighbors are avoided.

It is then transported to a publicly owned wastewater treatment plant, where it may be processed and the water can be cleaned and recovered for use in a variety of different purposes.

  • Contamination of the water supply for your home and adjacent properties Smell of sewage in the yard or in the house Drains in your house are either too sluggish or fail to drain completely
  • The water in the home is backed up
  • In the vicinity of your tank or in the yard, look for swampy patches.

Signs You Need Your Tank Pumped

Your tank will eventually fill up and need to be emptied because it is unable to pump itself. This is a crucial component of your home’s systems, and it need maintenance in the same way that your HVAC, plumbing, and automobile do. It is recommended that you pump your tank at least once every three years. Keep an eye out for these frequent warning signals to determine whether or not your septic tank requires pumping:

  • In your yard, there is standing water
  • You have a clogged drain or toilet that refuses to unclog. You notice that your yard smells like raw sewage or garbage, especially in the vicinity of your septic system manholes. Sinks, bathtubs, toilets, and other fixtures that take a long time to drain
  • Nitrate levels in your well water are quite high
  • The last time your septic system was cleaned and pumped was several years ago

Call The Professionals

Septic tank pumping is a tedious and time-consuming task that the ordinary homeowner is unable to complete on their own. It’s possible that they don’t have the required equipment or information about how to properly dispose of the garbage. This does not imply that you should forego pumping; rather, it indicates that you should contact your local pros to do the task before it becomes an issue.

Turn to NoCo Septic in Boulder for all your residential and business septic requirements if you aren’t sure when you should have your septic system cleaned. If you have any questions, please contact us by phone at (720) 513-5037 or by completing our online contact form.

Septic Systems – What to Do after the Flood

Homeowners who are not experienced in septic tank pumping are unable to do the task on their own. Perhaps they lack the necessary tools or information about how to properly dispose of the trash. This does not imply that you should forego pumping; rather, it implies that you should contact your local pros to do the task before it becomes an issue. In the event that you are unsure of when to schedule a pumping, contact NoCo Septic for all of your residential and business septic requirements in the Boulder area.

  • Drinking well water should be avoided until the water has been analyzed. Contact your local health department for further information. Do not use the sewage system until the water level in the soil absorption field is lower than the water level in the surrounding area of the home. If you feel that your septic tank has been damaged, you should get it professionally inspected and maintained. The presence of settling or an inability to take water are both signs of deterioration. Because most septic tanks are below ground and entirely covered, flooding does not usually do any harm to them. Septic tanks and pump chambers, on the other hand, can get clogged with silt and debris and must be properly cleaned. If the soil absorption field becomes blocked with silt, it may be necessary to build a completely new system. Septic tanks should only be cleaned or repaired by skilled professionals since they may contain potentially hazardous gases. Inquire with your local health agency for a list of septic system contractors who operate in your neighborhood. Cleaning and disinfecting the basement floor is necessary if sewage has backed up into the basement. To disinfect the area thoroughly, make a chlorine solution by mixing half a cup of chlorine bleach with each gallon of water. After a flood, pump out the septic system as quickly as possible to avoid contamination. Make careful you pump the tank as well as the lift station. This will clear any silt or debris that may have been washed into the system during the rainy season. It is not recommended to pump the tank while the drainfield is flooded or saturated. Pumping the tank is simply a short-term remedy at the best of times. Pumping it out might cause the tank to attempt to float out of the ground, resulting in damage to the inlet and outlet pipes. Do not compress the soil over the soil absorption field by driving or operating machinery in the vicinity of the soil absorption field. Soil that has been saturated is particularly prone to compaction, which can impair the ability of the soil absorption field to treat wastewater and ultimately result in system failure. Before reconnecting the electricity, check for any damage to all of the electrical connections. Examine to see that the manhole cover on the septic tank is securely fastened and that no inspection ports have been obstructed or damaged. Examine the plants surrounding your septic tank and soil absorption field for signs of disease. Damage caused by erosion should be repaired, and portions should be sodded or reseeded as needed to ensure turf grass cover.
See also:  What Happens To Septic Tank Sludge? (Solution)

Keep in mind that if the water table is high or your sewage system is threatened by floods, there is a possibility that sewage will back up into your residence. The only way to avoid this backup is to reduce the amount of strain placed on the system by utilizing it less frequently.

  1. What are some of the recommendations made by professionals for homes who have flooded septic systems
  2. And Make use of your common sense. If at all possible, avoid using the system if the earth has become saturated and inundated with water. It is unlikely that the wastewater will be cleansed, and it will instead become a source of pollution. Conserve as much water as possible when the system is re-establishing itself and the water table is depleted. Prevent silt from entering septic systems with pump chambers by installing a filter. The pump chambers have a propensity to fill with silt when they are inundated, and if the silt is not cleared, the chambers will clog and obstruct the drainfield. While the earth is still damp, it is not recommended to open the septic tank for pumping. Mud and silt may find their way into the tank and end up in the drain field. It’s also possible that emptying out a tank that’s been sitting in soggy soil can cause it to “pop out” of the earth. (Similarly, systems that have been recently installed may “pop out” of the ground more quickly than systems that have been in place for a longer period of time since the soil has not had enough time to settle and compress.) While the land is still wet or flooded, it is not recommended to dig into the tank or drainfield area. While the soil is still wet, it is best not to perform any heavy mechanical operations on or around the disposal area. These operations will have a negative impact on the soil conductivity. It is likely that flooding of the septic tank caused the floating crust of fats and grease in the tank to rise to the surface. Some of this scum may have floated to the surface and/or partially filled the outlet tee, but this is unlikely. If the septic system backs up into the home, first examine the tank for an obstruction in the outflow. Clean up any floodwater that has accumulated in the house without dumping it into the sink or toilet, and give the water time to recede before continuing. Water from the home that is passed through or pumped through the septic tank will create greater flows through the system as a result of the increased flow. This may result in sediments being transferred from the septic tank to the drainfield, which will block the drainfield. Discover the location of any electrical or mechanical equipment in the system that may have been flooded and avoid coming into touch with them until they are dry and clean
  3. The presence of mud and silt has a propensity to block aerobic plants, upflow filters, trickling filters, and other media filters, among other things. Cleansing and raking of these systems will be required.

What to Do If Your Septic System Fails

In the event that your septic system is flooded, here are some tips from professionals. Make use of your good judgment. Use of the system should be avoided at all costs if the soil has become saturated or flooded. Due to a lack of proper treatment, the effluent is likely to pollute the environment. During the time that the system is restoring itself and the water table is failing, conserve as much water as feasible Pump chamber septic systems should be protected against silt infiltration. The pump chambers have a propensity to fill with silt when they are inundated, and if the silt is not cleared, the chambers will block the drainfield.

  1. Mud and silt may find their way into the tank and end up in the drainage field.
  2. The soil has not had enough time to settle and compress, thus systems that have been recently installed may “pop out” of the ground more quickly than systems that have been in place for a longer period of time.
  3. While the soil is still wet, it is best not to perform any heavy mechanical operations on or near the disposal area.
  4. The majority of this scum may have floated to the surface and/or partially filled the electrical outlet tee (see photo).
  5. Make sure to clean up any floodwater that has accumulated in the house without pouring it down the sink or toilet, and give it ample time to recede.
  6. Clogging will occur as a result of particles being transferred from the septic tank to the drainfield.
  7. The presence of mud and silt has a propensity to block aerobic plants, upflow filters, trickling filters, and other media filters.

Cleansing and raking these systems will be necessary.

Whom to contact if you have problems with your septic system

Contact a local septic system service provider, your local health department, or the regulatory agency in charge of onsite wastewater treatment systems. You may look up the phone number for your local health department online or in your phone book to find out more information. Find a professional in your region by searching online searchable databases of installers and septic system service providers:

  • Septic system service providers, health departments, and regulatory agencies for onsite wastewater treatment should be contacted. To contact your local health department, look for the phone number on the internet or in your phone book. Find a specialist in your region by searching online searchable databases of installers and septic system service companies.

What to do if your home floods

It is important not to come into direct touch with sewage if it has backed up into your home from your plumbing fittings or onsite system since it may contain hazardous bacteria. For further information, speak with your local health department or regulatory body. Personnel involved in cleanup should be outfitted in safety gear (e.g., long rubber gloves, face splash shields). Immediately following the completion of the cleanup, carefully wash all of the equipment, tools, and clothing that were used during the cleanup, as well as the flooded area.

The area should be totally dried out and not utilized for at least 24 hours after it has been entirely dried off.

  • Visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. Flooding and Septic Systems: What to Do After the Flood
  • See also The Following Questions and Answers Regarding Septic Systems: What to Do After a Flood

To learn more about the Environmental Protection Agency, go to their website. Flooding and Septic Systems: What to Do After a Flood; see also Questions and Answers about Septic Systems – What to Do After a Flood;

Whom to contact for information on septic systems

Those seeking technical support can contact the National Environmental Services Center’s technical assistance hotline at (800) 624-8301 or (304) 293-4191, which is available toll-free.

What do I do if My Septic Alarm is Going Off?

Those seeking technical support can contact the National Environmental Services Center’s technical assistance hotline at (800) 624-8301 or (304) 293-4191, which is available toll free.

  1. There is an excessive amount of water being put into the septic system. This is the result of excessive water use, which might be caused by multiple loads of laundry, an excessive quantity of dishwashing, or a disproportionate number of long showers.
  1. In the septic system, there is an excessive amount of water being released. If you have been doing a lot of laundry or dishwashing, or taking a lot of long showers, you may have noticed this. It is the effect of excessive water use.
  1. It’s possible that one of the components of the septic system is malfunctioning. If anything goes wrong with your system — including the pump and floats — the alarm and timer will go off and the septic system will stop working correctly.

The Best Thing to Do If Your Alarm Goes Off Alternatively, if you hear an alert, you should press the red button or turn on the alarm box. The alarm will be turned off as a result of this action. There should be a red light and a green light on the alarm box, which should be situated someplace on the unit. The green light indicates that the alarm is operational and should be left on at all times. It is shown by a red light if the alarm is getting a signal from the pump tank indicating that the water level is increasing above or decreasing below what is expected.

  • If the breaker occurs to be tripped, look around the septic tanks to see if there is any standing water.
  • It is possible that the red light on the alarm box will go out on its own after allowing the septic system to operate for a couple of pump cycles (which should take approximately 10-15 hours).
  • If the red light turns off, it signifies that the system is operating properly and that it only needs to catch up with the extra water that has overflowed into the storage tank.
  • To be clear, an alarm signal from the septic system does not always imply that sewage is about to back up into the house right away.
  • Do you require septic system repair on a regular basis or emergency service?

To arrange an appointment, please call (804) 581-0001 or send us an email through our contact page. Want to learn more about septic systems? Explore our septic system web sites by clicking on the “Septic” navigation option in the top navigation bar.

Aerobic System Inspection and Maintenance LLC

Septic System FAQs Am I required to have a maintenance contract?Yes, it is a Brazos County law that you must keep up a valid maintenance contract at all times. If the County finds that you are not under contract, it could result in a court date and fines up to $500.What should I do if I’m buying a house with a septic system?When buying a home with a septic system you should request to have the system cleaned out and inspected. You want to start fresh in your new home by having the system cleaned out, and having an inspection done will ensure that the septic system is in good condition. If the system is not up to code or there are problems with it, the inspection will give you a chance to negotiate the proper repairs before closing on the property.What can I do to prepare for large gatherings during the holidays?Having a large number of people over for gatherings can be hard on your septic system. An aerobic system is designed for the size of the house and the number of people who live there. Large parties can easily overload the system and cause problems if your system is already getting full. To avoid any embarrassing situations, have your system checked and possibly cleaned out before the holidays.Should my septic system be making a noise?Your aerator will make a constant humming noise. But, if you hear a loud buzzing sound that means your septic alarm is on. First you should check your breakers to make sure power is getting to your system. If the breakers have not been tripped, call ASIM immediately. If the alarm is on, there is something wrong that should be checked out.Is my Aerobic system supposed to run all the time?Yes, your aerobic septic system is intended to run constantly. If your aerator or spray pump is not running, contact ASIM.Do I have to add chlorine to my aerobic system?Yes, it is the law. You must maintain a chlorine residual in your system at all times. Violating this law can result in a fine of up to $80 per day. The only way that the wastewater can be treated is for chlorine to be in the system. So, if you are not adding chlorine, it is spraying out untreated water.Where can I get chlorine tablets?Most larger home improvement stores carry septic chlorine tablets. You can also purchase a 10 lb bucket from ASIM. A 10 lb bucket typically lasts close to a year. If you buy a larger bucket, the moisture will begin to break down the remaining tablets in the bucket and they will go bad before you can use the whole bucket. Also, make sure you ONLY buy SEPTIC chlorine. DO NOT use Pool chlorine tablets. These tablets are made differently and can react with gas and byproducts in your septic system and have been known to explode.Why does my aerobic system smell bad?Some people are more sensitive to septic smells than others. If you are experiencing a sewage smell, that does not mean you need to add more chlorine to your system. This is typically a sign that your aerator is out or there is an aeration problem.Should the alarm and sprayers keep coming on during and after rain?Septic systems typically take in ground water when it rains. This can cause the water level to rise and trigger the high water alarm and sprayers. After the rain stops and water soaks in or runs off, most systems will correct themselves. If you still have a problem, call ASIM.Should my sprayers keep coming on during an ordinary day when there is no rain?If there is no rain water to raise the water level in your tanks, and your sprayers are going off frequently during the day, this is a sign of overloading or a plumbing problem. If you use too much water for the system to handle, it will spray. Also, if your sprayers are going off frequently and you are not using water in the house, check for leaking faucets or leaky/running toilets. This will add to the water level. SEPTIC SYSTEMS DO NO MAKE WATER. If the sprayers are spraying, something is adding water to the system.Since my septic system runs continually, will my electric bill go increase?No, an aerobic septic system uses about the same amount of electricity as a 100 watt light bulb.If there is a bad odor inside my house, that is a septic problem, right?No, septic odors inside the house are typically from a plumbing problem. A plumber is responsible for the area under the house, we are responsible for the area from the cleanout to the system.How do I mute the alarm?There is a button marked on your control panel box to mute the alarm. Anytime you mute the alarm, you should call your septic maintenance company. The alarm comes on for a reason and it should be addressed sooner than later.What can I do if my neighbor’s septic system stinks?If your neighbor has a smelly septic system and doesn’t appear to care or try to fix the problem, you can make an anonymous complaint to the Environmental Health Services division at the local Health Department.What to do if my electricity is out? If your septic system is a conventional system and no pumps are used everything should be normal. However, if you depend on a pump to move your treated water to another tank, disposal area, or if you have an aerobic septic system with surface spray disposal you should minimize water usage during the interruption in electrical service. Once electric service has been restored you may encounter a period of an alarm indicating there is too much water in a tank and after some period of time, which will vary from system to system and usually an hour or less, the alarm should clear itself and everything should return to normal.What can I do if my drains and toilet flushes are slow?Unfortunately during bad weather conditions there is not much anyone can do but if there is no electricity for a long period of time or the rains have caused some degree of flooding things could get backed up. The best thing to do is minimize water usage. If this does not help the last resort would be to locate your sewer clean-out. advise caution when doing this, and remove the cap. Weather conditions may prove to prohibit this procedure and also there could be pressure on the cap which could spray you with raw sewage. Taking the cap off will help relieve the possibility of a sewer backup in the house and let it go outside instead. Once the weather subsides and electric service restored and everything has returned to normal be sure to have your sewer clean-out cap replaced. Your septic service provider should assist you if needed.How often will I need to have my tank pumped?Not very often. An average family of four living in a three-bedroom house will need their tank pumped every three to five years. If your installer is a licensed septic contractor in the area, he should know exact guidelines for your home, usage, and locality.Or you can check with your county health department. If there are no major changes in your household and your usage is stable, you may want to consider a regular pumping schedule for best results with the least worry.Can I build over my septic tank?This is never advisable and is against most municipal codes. Do not build any additions, pools, or driveways over a tank.Also, do not build or plant on top of your drainfield.If I think there is a problem, should I open my septic tank?NO! Though septic systems are safe for your family, opening the septic tank without professional training can expose you to dangerous gases and bacteria. Call a certified and trained septic professional if you detect any problems in your system.What are the major dos and dont’s of maintaining a trouble-free system?DO THIS .Conserve water to reduce the amount of wastewater that must be treated and disposed. .Repair any leaking faucets and toilets. .Only discharge biodegradable wastes into your system. .Restrict garbage disposal use. .Divert down spouts and other surface water away from your drainfield. .Keep your septic tank cover accessible for tank inspections and pumping. .Have your septic tank pumped regularly and checked for leaks and cracks. .Call a professional when you have problems. .Compost your garbage or put it in the trash. DON’T DO THIS .Flush sanitary napkins, tampons, disposable diapers, condoms, wipes, and such products into your system. .Dump solvents, oils, paints, thinners, disinfectants, pesticides, or poisons down the drain. They can disrupt the treatment process and contaminate groundwater. .Dig in your drainfield or build anything over it. .Plant anything over your drainfield except grass. .Drive over your drainfield or compact the soil in any way.
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Septic Tank Wars! When shared septic tanks go bad

Okay, so the headline may come off as a little over the top, but at UKDP HQ we frequently receive calls from property owners who have a shared septic tank with their neighbours, and things have gotten a little out of hand. After all, a shared septic tank problem isn’t that big of an issue when you have the kind of neighbour who will feed your cat while you’re gone and who will bring your favorite biscuits to the house for Christmas. You can find yourself in an embarrassing chat with your neighbours if you’re not on friendly terms with them and the septic tank you share fails.

Who will be in charge of making the arrangements?

After all, there will only be one neighbour who has a septic tank on their property, so they’ll be the ones who have to suffer the brunt of the foul odors and any other unpleasant substances that bubble up in their yard.

So, who’s on the hook for any shared septic tank problems?

For the most part, the response is that any expenditures should be divided evenly among the number of homes that are connected to the septic tank. Regardless of how many people reside in each property or how large each property is in comparison to the others, the distribution is a straightforward share per property, divided equally among all of them. In the event that anything different has been agreed upon and legally recorded in the property documents, it will be the only exception to this rule.

  • Unfortunately, when agreements aren’t documented in writing, things have a tendency to go a bit wrong.
  • The importance of formalizing the agreement cannot be overstated.
  • *Knock on wood* Neighbour: Hello, the septic tank has to be emptied, so could you kindly take care of it?
  • Neighbor:Well, that’s possible, but Eric was usually the one who cleaned it out when it needed to be done.
  • You:*Cursing Eric while hoping that your acts speak for themselves* While it’s probably not the worst example of less than neighborly behavior when it comes to shared septic tanks, it’s certainly not the most egregious.
  • As a result, it’s essential to strive to avoid any future disagreements from the beginning.
  • Find out from the seller exactly what is in place, and go over any deeds or other agreements to be sure they are in order.
  • That could work for the property owners who are already on the land, but you’ll have no idea what you’re getting yourself into if you go down that road.

This would cover the price of any routine maintenance, as well as any additional expenditures for any further work that may be required. It eliminates the need for any difficult talks and outlines exactly how problems will be addressed should they arise in the future.

Do we need septic tank insurance?

A common question we receive from property owners who have a shared septic tank is whether or not they need have any septic tank insurance in place. Simply put, no, but it is a good idea to double-check that each property owner has the appropriate coverage under their existing buildings insurance policy. For the most part, people are not aware that their buildings insurance policy typically includes coverage for certain types of damage to their shared septic tank, sewage treatment plant, or cesspit.

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What happens if we have a shared septic tank problem?

Naturally, there are a plethora of firms you could contact, but we would strongly recommend contacting UKDP (are we biased, or what?). By doing an aseptic tank examination, we can determine exactly what is causing the difficulties.

Did you know?

If the drainage system has been damaged, it just so happens that we are experts in the management of insurance claims for off-mains drainage systems, which is fortunate for you. Even if the difficulties were not caused by something that would be covered by your insurance, we can still assist you in getting things remedied. We have a lot of experience dealing with neighbours who don’t always see eye to eye, and we’ve found that having an unbiased third party involved may help to take the heat out of the issue on many occasions.

Neighbors Sewage Water is Flowing onto Our Property

Inquire with the town about when the city sewer will be installed. If the answer is years, there is no way around the need to address the existing situation. For further information on how many people are permitted to live in a tiny unit, contact code enforcement. Request that your neighbor at the very least pump it out, since this may help to halt the tide. Additionally, pumping can be performed every two weeks if necessary to keep it from overflowing. Attempt to persuade your neighbor that fixing his sewer might be less expensive than repairing the damage to your property.

Getting all of the town’s agencies engaged may also put more pressure on the city to expedite the installation of the city sewer.

If they are receiving any sort of state aid, the state may be able to provide funds to assist with the situation.

Involve your community so that it does not appear that you are the evil guy. As previously advised, contact your local health department. Bud, I wish you the best of luck.

Alternative Septic Systems For Difficult Sites

Obtain an estimated time frame for installation of the city sewer system from the township. The current situation cannot be avoided if it has been years since the problem first occurred. Consult with code enforcement to see how many people are permitted to dwell in a tiny unit of this size. At the very least, ask your neighbor to pump it out, since this may help to slow the tides down. In addition, if necessary, pumping can be performed every two weeks to prevent the tank from overflowing. Attempt to persuade your neighbor that fixing his sewer may be less expensive than repairing the damage to your property.

  • Getting all of the town’s agencies engaged may also put pressure on the city to move the installation of the city sewer to a more expedited schedule.
  • The state may be able to aid them in resolving the situation if they are receiving any type of government support.
  • Increase community involvement to avoid the appearance of being a villain.
  • Bud, I wish you the best of luck in anything you do.


Mound systems are often two to three times more expensive than ordinary septic systems, and they need more frequent monitoring and maintenance. To see a larger version, click here. Ohio State University Extension provides the following information: The mound is comprised of a network of tiny distribution pipes that are embedded in a layer of gravel on top of a layer of sand that is normally one to two feet deep. Topsoil is applied to the tops and sides of the structure (see illustration). A dosing chamber (also known as a pump chamber) is included in a mound system, and it is responsible for collecting wastewater that is discharged from the septic tank.

Most feature an alarm system that notifies the owner or a repair company if the pump fails or if the water level in the tank increases to an unsafe level.

Aside from that, monitoring wells are frequently placed to keep track on the conditions inside and outside the leach field.

The most expensive items are the additional equipment, as well as the earthwork and other materials that are required to construct the mound.

In extreme cases, a mound system can cost more than $20,000 in some locations. Additionally, owing of the increased complexity, mound systems need more regular pumping as well as additional monitoring and maintenance. In certain cases, annual maintenance expenditures may exceed $500.


Sand filters that do not have a bottom are frequent on coastal properties and other ecologically sensitive places. There is a large variety of alternative septic systems available on the market, with new ones being introduced on a regular basis. Some are designed at community systems that serve a number of houses, and they are often monitored and maintained by a professional service provider. Some alternative systems are well-suited to particular houses, albeit the costs, complexity, and upkeep of these systems must be carefully evaluated before implementing them.

Before the wastewater reaches the leach field, which serves as a miniature replica of a sewage-treatment plant, some larger community systems employ pre-treatment to reduce the amount of bacteria present.

There are numerous other versions and combinations of systems and components that may be employed, including the following:

  • Pressurized dosing: This method makes use of a holding tank and a pump to drive effluent through the distribution pipe in a more uniform and regulated manner, hence boosting the effectiveness of the leach field. When used in conjunction with other techniques, such as a mound system, a sand filter, plastic leach fields or drip irrigation, it can be used to rehabilitate a leach field
  • However, it should not be used alone.
  • Septic system with alternative leach field made of plastic: This is a normal septic system with an alternative leach field that may be shrunk in some jurisdictions, making it ideally suited for tiny construction sites. Because the half-pipe plastic chambers provide a gap for effluent flow, there is no need for gravel in the system. Infiltrator System, for example, has been in service for more than two decades and, according to the manufacturer, can withstand traffic volumes with only 12 inches of compacted cover. The higher cost of the plastic components is somewhat countered by the lower cost of gravel and the smaller area of the drain field, respectively.
  • Sand filter: This is a big sand-filled box that is 2-4 feet deep and has a waterproof lining made of concrete or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Using filtration and anaerobic microorganisms, the sand is utilized to pre-treat wastewater before it is discharged into the leaching field. The boxes are often partially or completely buried in the ground, although they can also be elevated above ground level as necessary. While a pump and controls are typically used to equally administer the effluent on top of the filter, gravity distribution is also viable in some instances. The most common setup is shown in Figure 1. A collection tank at the bottom of the tank collects the treated effluent, which is either pumped or gravity-fed to the drain field. Some sand filters recycle the effluent back to the tank multiple times before discharging it into the drain field, while others do not. The majority of sand filters are used for pre-treatment, although they can also be utilized as the primary treatment in certain situations. A “bottomless sand filter” is used in this situation since the effluent drains straight into the soil underneath the filter (see photo above). A well designed and manufactured sand filter that is regularly maintained will prevent sand from being clogged on a consistent basis. More information about Sand Filters may be found here.
  • Aerobic treatment system: These systems treat wastewater by the use of an aerobic process, which is normally carried out in an underground concrete tank with many chambers. Aeration, purification, and pumping of the effluent are all accomplished through the use of four chambers in the most complicated systems. The first chamber functions similarly to a smaller version of a regular septic tank in its function. An air pump is employed in the second “treatment” tank to ensure that the effluent is continually injected with fresh air. The presence of oxygen promotes the growth of aerobic bacteria, which are more effective in processing sewage than the anaerobic bacteria found in a standard septic system. It is possible to utilize a third and fourth chamber in certain systems to further clarify the water and to pump out the purified water. In addition, so-called “fixed-film” systems make use of a synthetic media filter to help the bacterial process go more quickly. In the correct hands, aerobic systems may create better-quality wastewater than a typical system, and they may also incorporate a disinfectant before the purified wastewater is discharged. A smaller drain field may be used in urban areas while a larger area may be sprayed across a whole field in rural areas. Technically speaking, they are tiny sewage treatment plants rather than septic systems, and they rely mostly on anaerobic treatment to accomplish their goals. They are referred to as ATUs in some circles (aerobic treatment units). Installation and maintenance of these systems are prohibitively expensive
  • As a result, they are mostly employed in situations where high-quality treatment is required in a small area or with poor soils. A growing number of them are being built on beachfront sites. More information about Anaerobic Treatment Systems may be found here.
  • Using a pump, wastewater is sent via a filtering mechanism and onto an array of shallow drip tubes that are spaced out across a vast area for irrigation. In order to send reasonably clean water to the system, a pretreatment unit is often necessary. Alternatively, the water may be utilized to irrigate a lawn or non-edible plants, which would help to eliminate nitrogen from the wastewater. This sort of system may be employed in shallow soils, clay soils, and on steep slopes, among other conditions. Frozen tubes can pose problems in cold areas since they are so close to the surface of the water. Expect hefty installation fees, as well as additional monitoring and maintenance, just as you would with other alternative systems.
  • Wetlands that have been constructed. These are suitable for those who are environmentally conscious and wish to take an active role in the recycling of their wastewater. They may be used in practically any type of soil. An artificial shallow pond is used in the system, which is lined with rock, tire chippings, or other suitable medium and then filled with water. A pleasant atmosphere is created by the media, which serves as a habitat for particular plants that process wastewater and maintain the ecosystem. Wastewater from the septic tank is dispersed across the media bed through a perforated conduit, where plant roots, bacteria, and other microorganisms break down the contaminants in the water. The treated water is collected in a second pipe located at the back of the marsh. Household members must budget time for planting, pruning, and weeding in the wetlands area.

Additional resources: National Small Flows Clearinghouse Inspectapedia.com You may also be interested in:Who Should I Hire For Perc Test? Whether or not alternative septic systems are permitted. Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime? How Much Slope Do You Need for a Septic Line? Performing an Inspection on a Septic System When Is the Best Time to Take a Perc Test? Should I use a Sand Filter with my existing septic system? Examination of the WellSEPTIC SYSTEMView allSEPTIC SYSTEMarticles Return to the top of the page

FAQ – Advanced Septic Services Inc

Septic tanks are mostly comprised of settling chambers. They provide sufficient time for particles and scum to separate from wastewater, allowing clean liquid to be properly discharged to the drainfield. Over time, the scum and sludge layers thicken, reducing the amount of space and time available for waste water to settle before it is discharged into the drain field. Septic systems are limited in their ability to treat a given volume of water. For every gallon of water that enters the tank, one gallon of water is pushed out.

When large quantities of water are released in a short period of time, sediments may not have enough time to settle and may be taken out to the drain field, resulting in sludge clogging the pipes.

Do not disregard the needs of your septic system. Make a regular appointment for septic pumping to remain on top of any possible problems. This is the most effective method of extending the life of your septic system.

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