7 Common Septic Tank Drain Field Problems & Fixes

Here, our entire discussion will be focused on septic tank drain field problems.

Septic tanks are closely connected with drain fields. As parts of a system, the condition of one affects the other.

Therefore, a well-maintained septic tank normally impacts the functioning of the leach field. The opposite happens when there’s a malfunctioning septic tank.

The term malfunctioning refers to a septic tank that’s not getting the needed care and having a lot of issues. Some of the likely problems a septic system might have included the leakage or escape of sludge to the drain field.

This leakage is bound to result in drain field problems too.

A steady flow of such solids overloads the drain field thus failing the system.

How To Fix Leach Field Problems

As you read on, you’ll discover that quite a lot of drain field issues originate from the septic tank.

How a septic tank is used also affects the whole system. Usage here refers to the level of maintenance as well as what goes into the tank.

Stick with us to find out about these and more on septic drain field problems.

Common Drain Field Issues

If you’ve used a septic system for a considerable amount of time, you may have noticed several problems with your drain field. These include tree root interference, compaction, biological overloading, and flooding.

Hydraulic overloading is another possible septic tank drain field problem you’re likely to encounter.

Aging systems and negligence are additional issues you may face with your septic tank drain field. Being able to identify these issues is a great place to begin when finding solutions.

We won’t be mentioning these points in passing but will briefly discuss each for better comprehension.

  • Tree Root Interference

Trees planted near a drain field are likely to cause problems to the system. These get in the way of drain field lines and septic pipes resulting in costly damages. You may want to begin by planting these trees as far off as possible.

This helps prevent unnecessary interference that ends up causing lots of problems to your drain field.

If you’ve already planted trees close to your drain field and wonder what possible solutions exist to remedy the problem, we’re glad to tell you that there’s hope!

Root barriers can be installed around your drain field area to hold-off or prevent roots from invading the septic tank drain field area.

If the problem is already in an advanced stage, then the necessary repairs need to be made. Damaged pipes need to be replaced to allow for smooth functioning.

You should know that such repairs are likely to be costly depending on the severity of the problem.

  • Soil Compaction

Soil compaction is a real issue for septic tank drain fields.

A lot of times, homeowners may be oblivious to the exact position of their drain field. This situation results in indiscriminate parking of vehicles and other heavy machinery.

Ideally, a drain field should be suitable for percolation.

In other words, the soils should be loose enough to encourage wastewater absorption and filtration. When compaction happens, it changes the soil structure making it impermeable.

This drain field problem can be avoided by first identifying where the leach field is and avoiding it. Heavy machinery like trailers, boats, cars, tractors, and so on should be kept or parked elsewhere and away from the drain field.

Remedying a soil compaction problem can be quite expensive. This is likely to cost you thousands of dollars in repair costs. A much better alternative will be to avoid the problem in the first place.

  • Biological Overloading

Biological overloading happens when all sorts of things are introduced into the septic tank.

These include disposing of sanitary items into your drains or toilets, dumping grease and cooking oils down your drain, and also the excessive use of garbage disposal.

Disposing coffee grounds and the use of harsh chemicals among so many others will discourage bacterial activity.

This situation affects your septic tank by killing off a lot of beneficial bacteria. Quite a lot of issues are likely to spring up ranging from clogs, or leakage of sludge into the drain field.

When these unwanted substances get into the drain field, they cause a malfunctioning of the system. It’s always best to adopt a preventive approach when working on a drain field.

Your drain field will be the better for it with proper maintenance.

  • Flooding

Flood-prone areas experience a lot of rainfall.

Among the many problems caused by flooding are septic drain field issues. One of the ways to ensure floods don’t damage your drain field is to create gutters or other forms of passageways such as storm drains.

Checking the functionality of all gutters around your home is a great place to begin. The basic design of a drain field requires that it absorbs wastewater coming from the septic tank.

A flood changes everything as it hinders percolation. So much water is in the soil and the drain field is flooded.

  • Hydraulic Overloading

So many homeowners are guilty of this.

Hydraulic overloading happens when water-guzzling appliances are frequently used. These contribute a significant volume of water to the septic tank which in turn overloads your drain field.

Your drain field is designed to only treat a limited amount of water. The presence of so much water in your septic system overloads the drain field. Having a limited capacity, the system ends up flooding.

You can act to stop this situation by regulating the amount of water that gets into the system.

Adopting water conservation practices is an effective way to ensure just enough wastewater gets into your septic tank and drain field.

  • Aging Systems

Aging systems are real issues that result in septic tank drain field problems. These systems have worked past their lifespan. As such, efficiency is greatly reduced.

The only way to ensure the smooth functioning of your septic system is by replacing worn-out or aging components with new ones.

  • Negligence

Negligence is one area where a lot of people are guilty. Improper maintenance and care for your septic system lead to all sorts of issues including those mentioned above.

Septic drain field problems can be reduced to the barest minimum through the adoption of a preventive approach. We have listed a number of these problems as well as ways to contain them.

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