Did Your Septic Tank's Drain Field Fail?

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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.


Did Your Septic Tank's Drain Field Fail?

7 March 2022
 Categories: , Blog

Do you live in a home that has a septic tank? If so, know that this alternative to the city sewer system requires maintenance over the years to keep it running properly. If not, it's possible that you could run into a problem with septic tank failure. Here is what you need to know about a drain field failure.

Know How A Drain Field Works 

It helps to know how a drain field works so that you can better understand how it can fail. The wastewater from the septic tank will exit through a pipe where it enters a system of pipes known as the drain field. These pipes are buried underground, where the water leaves the pipes and seeps into the soil. The wastewater then gets treated by the soil as it travels down, which then causes the water to enter into the groundwater.

Know How A Drain Field Can Fail

One reason that a septic tank's drain field can fail is due to the cleaning products that you put into the septic tank. You actually need good bacteria in order to break down the solid waste, and using antibacterial cleaning products can cause the solid waste to build up in the tank. Rather than have wastewater enter the septic tank, you'll end up with fat and grease exiting the tank and entering the drain field. This sludge ends up closing up the pipe system in the drain field, and the wastewater cannot drain into the soil. 

Know The Signs Of A Drain Field Failure

There are a few signs that can indicate that your drain field has failed. A common issue is that the drains in your home are slow-moving, or that the solid waste comes back up into the drains and toilets. This is because the drain field is clogged, the wastewater can't escape, and the waste you are flushing down the drain has nowhere to go.

Know How To Fix The Drain Field

Pumping the solid waste out of the septic tank is not going to fix the drain field. That's because the sludge is already in that system of pipes and will not be removed with the solid waste. You can't even rod the drain field pipes, because it only pokes through the sludge and you can't get rid of it.

The only solution to fix a damaged drain field is to dig up the drain field so that the pipes can be completely cleared out. If there is a lot of sludge underground that has escaped the pipes, the soil beneath the drain field pipes may need to be replaced as well. 

For more information about septic tank repair, contact a local septic service.