Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Septic sorted

I'm pleased to say that after my prior adventures with the electric pump and the wrong plumbing joints that resulted in a face full of "stuff" and then a very dodgy body afterwards, I've now fixed the septic tank properly.

Mind you it wasn't without a little more excitement during the way as I'd noticed that there appeared to be a leak in the pipe that went up to the filter bed, resulting in a flow back of effluent when the pump switched on.

I'd suspected that the pipe had cracked, maybe because of settlement of the ground, but I firstly had to expose the pipe joint to find the problem. This required digging a hole nearly 2 feet in depth down beside the sump chamber to get down to where the pipe went through the wall of the concrete sump chamber, which is where I had seen the leak emanating from.

Quite a bit of digging later through some rather soggy and probably polluted soil and I'd got the joint where the non-return valve in the sump chamber was connected to the 40mm pipe up to the filter bed.

Only the pipe wasn't connected at all. 

The pipe joint hadn't failed, the pipe hadn't cracked as I thought it might have done, but in fact the joint in the pipe that was supposed to have been glued with solvent weld glue had in fact never been glued together at all - there was absolutely no sign of any solvent weld glue on the joint at all.
I can only surmise that the joint had been dry assembled and then forgotten to be glued. Over time with the electric pump running the joint had slowly vibrated out until there was quite a deluge of liquid coming out of the joint - and I suspect that this may have contributed to the demise of the pump as well.

So, dried everything off, cleaned all the joints and glued it properly back together.  Waited for the glue to dry and checked for leaks - all perfectly dry.

Filled the hole in next to the sump chamber, put the lid on the sump and I can now happily ignore the septic system again!

Next job though is the swimming pool.

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