3 Factors That Cause Drain Field Blockage And Failure In A Residential Septic System

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If you are someone with a septic system, have you ever walked outside, stood in your yard, and thought about the tank and greater septic system that lies beneath your feet? There's more to this system than you might know. It's not just a septic tank. It's a system of pipes that carry waste water away from the tank, and it's also a drainfield, made from soil. The next time you call a septic service to care for your tank, watch them work and ask questions. Also, make sure you spend some time reading this blog to become more aware of the basics.


3 Factors That Cause Drain Field Blockage And Failure In A Residential Septic System

23 August 2021
 Categories: , Blog

Have you noticed unusual sewer odors in your yard? Is the area around your septic drain field soggy? If so, your septic drain field is failing. The drain field's primary role is to treat and discharge effluent into the soil. If the pipes become clogged, the drain field fails to do its job properly, which can cause the system to fail. Below are the key factors that may cause drain field blockage and failure in your septic system.

Invasive Tree Roots

Once tree roots invade a septic drain field, they can break the piping and damage it. The roots act as a barrier that prevents the effluent from draining properly into the soil. Also, when the pipes get damaged, it becomes easy for soil to accumulate in the pipes, blocking them and inhibiting drainage. Therefore, wastewater may leak into your yard, leaving soggy spots and unpleasant odors. Repair your drain field piping and get rid of the invasive roots to prevent future damage to the septic system. 

Heavy Rainfall and Flooding

Heavy rainfall can cause extensive damage to a septic system. If rainwater drains into the septic tank or leach field, it will make the soil soggy. The soil becomes saturated to the point that it cannot hold any additional water. Therefore, instead of treating and discharging effluent to the ground, the drain field will allow the wastewater to flow into the yard. 

If your outdoor area floods during heavy rainfall, you need to redesign your outdoor drainage system. Redirect the water away from the septic system to avoid overloading the drain field with more water. Also, do not drain stormwater into the septic tank, as this may cause the sewer to overflow or back up into your indoor drains.

Soil Compaction in Freezing Weather

Driving heavy equipment over a snow-covered drain field can affect the performance of the system. The weight of the machinery will push down the snow, causing it to compact the soil underneath. Compaction affects the drainage capacity of the soil, thereby slowing down effluent discharge. Furthermore, the freezing temperatures kill septic bacteria and slow down their activity. 

These problems can cause your septic tank and drain field to stop working correctly. Insulate your septic system during winter to prevent failure. Also, avoid driving over the drain field to keep the soil aerated and well-drained. Pump out your septic tank before winter to reduce the chances of system blockage and failure.

A failing septic system can discharge sewage into your yard, cause sewer backups, and fill the air with unpleasant odors. Contact a septic service for drain field repairs and septic tank pumping.