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Re: cedar box septic system


Yeah, I know that "code" hasn't yet made it everywhere. Not yet anyway. :) Heck, I live in a rural/agricultural area of NW Illinois where codes aren't nearly as stringent as they are inside the city limits nearby. Seems that even today.....the farther one is into "the sticks", the less likely that governing bodies give a hoot or are watching at all. Not necessarily a good thing. But...... I guess I expected/expect that some manner of septic code exists around Tremblant. Truly beautiful/scenic area with much to protect and lots of tourist traffic.

Then again, I've been wrong way more than once.

Re: cedar box septic system


While glazing windows this afternoon, it occurred to me that you'd said that the area around this tank had sunk 12". It could be that the tank itself has sunk and if it has....you may have lost your connection from the inlet pipe to the tank and/or to the outlet pipe to the drainfield as well.

Since you said that the water in the bowl turns brown after a flush.....it would stand to reason that the drainpipe from the toilet to the tank is either sitting partially filled with water/stuff (contents of toilet might not be delivered to the tank) or the pipe is refilling to some extent ...with stuff after the flush. This could be happening because the tank is full, the drainpipe is now disconnected from the tank, the pipe is broken and plugged with dirt....or similar scenarios.

Immediately after you have the tank pumped, I'd suggest you run a little test to see if the water is even arriving inside the tank. Have someone flush the toilet and then see if it actually arrives inside the tank. Depending....you may be able to eyeball it by looking in the tank or just listen to hear if arrives. Granted, this won't truly tell you if all the water arrives, but at least you'll have some idea if a connection exists at all yet. It also won't tell you anything about the condition of your drainfield or the connection to that drainfield. If problems develop again after the tank is once again full of water.... more investigations will be necessary.

Re: cedar box septic system

I know I'm getting in late on the discussion, but if the ground in sinking over the box, I can pretty much guarantee the box is collapsing and is probably full & causing your odor problems.
At this point only a new septic system will cure your problem.
I know they aren't cheap, but what other solution is there other than a composting toilet or an outhouse.
Considering that it was made of wood, I assume you got a pretty good lifespan out of it.
Around my way a house on a lake makes getting a home equity loan for repairs a lock.

Re: cedar box septic system

Good points, Ed.

Maybe....(that's a big maybe).....just the lid of the tank has rotted out.

I know two parties who have composting toilets and they both love 'em. The CT is actually the only toilet for the one family and they live there year-round. The other is at a vacation cabin way up north in WI.

Re: cedar box septic system

What do people do with the grey water from the sink & shower when they have a composting toilet?

Re: cedar box septic system


The folks with the cabin up north in WI have a simple drywell which receives the grey water. Very sandy soil up there and that works quite well for them. Same drywell for 40 some years now.

The folks who live year-round in the other house built the place around '80 or so. Totally "green" design. The grey water is delivered to the plants in a huge greenhouse room where they grow abundant amounts of veggies all year. That room is situated such that you walk thru it (on an elevated cat-walk) to/from the garage to the living spaces. The "man of the house" was my biology teacher in high school (way back when ) .....and is now a prof at the local college. Has been for many years. Teaches biology there as well.

Dave Flaskamp
Re: cedar box septic system

The old wooden septic boxes are very old and may not be legal or operational at all. This can be a major health hazzard. I would suggest "Google" Septic systems for more information. You may want to look into a Multi-Flow system (multi-flow.com). You can also look into EPA.Gov, Univ of Minn, Illinois,or U of Virginia.
An unsafe septic is nothing to make jokes about. Educate yourself your life and your famlies life depends on it

Re: cedar box septic system

well guys, everything seems to be fine. The water is clear a gin and does not stink. I removed the trouph that emptied on the system and have been flushing the powder to activate the break down of materials.:)
Thanx for all your help

Kind regards



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