I need to keep water trickling, but I'm on a cesspool

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by mcmahonmj, 28 Feb 2015.

  1. mcmahonmj

    mcmahonmj

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    I have a strange situation. I live just north of Boston and it's been really cold the last month.

    Two weeks ago, our water service line froze up. It was the city's problem, so they came out, dug out the shutoff in my lawn and ran a thaw machine back to free it up. We were two weeks without water, but we finally have it back.

    The city told me to leave a faucet on a trickle so that it doesn't freeze back up, because the frost is down around the service line in the street.

    But, my house was built in 1958 and I have a cesspool. I actually have two. One in the backyard that's for my washing machine and kitchen sink, and one that is in the side yard, and that's everything else.

    I'm afraid to have my faucet trickle so I don't flood the system, but I have to or else I won't have water. Right now I've been switching tanks daily. 24 hours on the kitchen sink (back cesspool), 24 hours on the side cesspool (bathroom sink).

    I am running about 1 gallon every 9-10 minutes, so 6-8 gallons (roughly) per hour.

    Does anyone have any alternatives? Basically I need to keep water running, but where I'm not on public sewer, I'm trying to find out if anyone has been in this situation before, and what alternatives you may have used.

    Or, do you think I'm OK with alternating tanks and I don't flood our system? I have spoken to two local plumbers who believe I won't flood my system, and the system will drain where it's such a slow trickle

    I might have to do this for a few weeks. It's 6 degrees as I type this. The city work said 5-7 days of above freezing temperatures not only during the day, but at night. That might be end of March here!

    Thanks for any advice!!!!
     
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  3. kidgreen61

    kidgreen61

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    Move to a warmer climate :D
     
  4. treerat

    treerat

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    You could try running a trace heating systen around your pipes although you would have to find out if you would be allowed.
     
  5. Garfeild

    Garfeild

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    Can't you leave a bath tap running very slowly, leave the plug in then use that water for flushing the toilet etc?
     
  6. OwainDIYer

    OwainDIYer

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    cesspools should not be draining anywhere

    Or do you mean you have a septic tank?

    Can you attach a hose to a tap and drain it through a window?
     
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  8. mcmahonmj

    mcmahonmj

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    That's actually a good idea. My other thought was - we have a french drain and a sump pump. That drains out to the front yard, but I could run a hose into the bucket in the basement and pump it outside.

    I have a cesspool. One of the old cinder block ones. But the way it was explained to me, the water drains out the sides of the tank and the sludge and crap stays inside to be pumped out.
     
  9. mcmahonmj

    mcmahonmj

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    I was told it wasn't allowed, unfortunately.
     
  10. igneous

    igneous

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    Trace heat may be your solution
     
  11. OwainDIYer

    OwainDIYer

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    If that were in the UK it would be highly illegal discharge of untreated sewage.
     
  12. Tipper

    Tipper

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    There are older septic tanks in the UK that are like that. I have one. It's registered with the Environment Agency (in England) as a septic tank too.
     
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