Over the past 3 months I've noticed some standing water in my yard. We had a lot of rain, so I thought it was just runoff from the surrounding area. However today I saw the water flowing and we haven't had any rain for a few days. I managed to track down the general area where the water was coming up from the ground, and it's clear to me now that the water is from my septic system. I have two septic tanks that drain into a large holding tank. And when that holding tank gets full enough, there's a pump that sends the water out 160 towards the top of my yard, at which point it goes into a long drainage field.

I dug down where the water was coming up, hoping that I'd hit the "D" box, or at least the PVC pipe that goes between the large tank and the "D" box. However what I ran into was lots of packed gravel... about 20 inches down. I dug maybe 3 inches of the gravel out, but still more gravel, and that's as far as I've gone so far because gravel is hard to dig up by hand!

The facts:

  1. The water flow isn't constant. It may also have a slight funk smell to it... nothing unbearable thankfully. My septic system layout shows there's stuff in the general vecinity of the water leak. So I'm 95% certain that it's coming from my septic system.
  2. Septic system was installed like 25 years ago, long before I owned the house. And the diagram of the system doesn't seem to be very precise.
  3. Seems like the leak is getting worse. At first it was like seaping up from the ground in a general 10'x10' area, but today it was pouring out from a few spots that are close to each other. (that's where I've dug down).
  4. In the included diagram, there are two trees, which are the green squares, and the leak location is the red square.


  1. Is it likely to just be a leak in the PVC pipe that runs between the tank and the drainage field/"D" box?
  2. Is it typical for the PVC pipe to be buried in fairly large gravel? How far down in the gravel would the pipe typically be?
  3. Or is the leak coming from the drainage field?

Advice, please. Help!

UPDATE 1: I ended up flipping the pump on for a few seconds to force water to flow. I discovered the water was coming from the left side of the hole I dug. Then I discovered a junction box just to the left of the hole. It's concrete and has a smallish hole on the side where the water is coming out. I only have that one side exposed, so I'm not sure what the rest of the box looks like... I don't see any pipes going in or out of it.

Do I need a new box or is there a way to repair it?

system layout

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