Archive for January, 2016

Drain Field Problems

January 13, 2016

All of us are anxiously awaiting the installation of our central sewer system.  Those of us that are experiencing septic drain field problems are really anxious to be connected to the new system!  I have been fortunate to not have problems, but I’ve done some research and here’s what I’ve found:

The Indiana Health Dept. says “The main reason for failure of a leach field is plugging caused by a failed septic tank. Particles of non- decomposed septic material escape the septic tank outlet baffle and decrease the permeability of the leach field soil”.

An article from West Virginia University has this under “Short Term Solutions”… If the neighborhood is soon to receive public sewerage, it might be practical to use a short-term technique such as water conservation. This method obviously requires a good deal of homeowner commitment, as it usually takes a 30 percent reduction in water use to allow the drainfield to recover.

The Florida Department of Health has published a guide to Alternative Repair Methods, but it comes with this caveat: “The Department’s acceptance of an alternative repair product or method is not an endorsement or approval with respect to the benefit, effectiveness, or performance of the product or method”.

From The Laundry Alternative: “Some failed systems can be rejuvenated by fracturing the soil. This process utilizes a hollow tube inserted into the soil, then a 300 pound blast of air is injected into the soil creating thousands of tiny fissures. These fissures allow the drainfield to drain, creating an oxygen atmosphere and allow the aerobic bacterial colonies to repopulate. Aerobic bacteria, which require oxygen, typically live in the top 26 inches of the drainfield and process waste much more quickly than anaerobic bacteria. This process can be performed in a matter of hours with no digging or damage to the yard. One company which performs this service is Terralift International”.  Southern Sanitary Systems located at 4561 Ashton Rd is listed as a local provider of this service. You can call them at (941) 925-7867 to see if you are a candidate for their service.

And lastly, there is a provision in the PCSSRP (EXHIBIT “B” – CREDITS) that provides a schedule of pro-rated credits for repair/replacement expenses.  The County folks will be available at the February community meeting, so we can ask questions then.

If anyone finds more information to share, send it to and I’ll post it here.

I will add that I have had good experience with Bob Letterman Plumbing.  Bob and Janie live in SouthGate and can be reached at  For septic tank service I use Miller Bros. Contractors.  Miller Bros. also offers the septic tank-to-cistern conversion for irrigation.


Although listed on the Terralift website as a local provider, I received this information from Southern Sanitary Systems: “we no longer offer the Terralift repair option. In our experience, we have found that it is not as effective as drainfield jetting, which we do offer. Every property is significantly different and estimates are free, so if any of your neighbors would like us to look at their individual issue to see how we can help, they can call the office and we would be more than happy to set one up.”


January 2016 Project Update

January 13, 2016

Representatives of the N-3 neighborhood met January 7 with the Sarasota County Utilities Department for an update on the sewer installation project in our neighborhood.

​​We are happy to report that the design is far enough along that a public meeting has been scheduled at which the plans will be available for review. This meeting will be held the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 24, at the South Gate Community Center.

The meeting will be an open house rather than a presentation. ​You will have the opportunity to circulate and get information on various aspects of the project. ​County representatives will be available to discuss individual lot-specific issues. ​Detailed cost and financial information will be available. And Health Department representatives will be on hand to discuss issues related to septic tanks and their decommissioning.

The official notice of the meeting will be sent out this month to all affected residents. A separate notice will go out to residents of Mineola and River Ridge to hear ​about ​future plans for their areas.

We hope to see all of you at the Community Center on Feb. 24.

Best regards,
Peter Gentile, N-3 Neighborhood Committee