A Basic Guide To Drain Field Concerns

The septic system doesn't end with the tank. The drain field is where the effluent ends up after being processed in the tank. Here it percolates through the field until it has been processed sufficiently to re-enter the groundwater. 

Trouble Signs

Damage doesn't occur overnight. Regular field inspections can help you spot trouble signs early. The earlier you spot an issue, the more likely it can be repaired. 

The most obvious sign of a developing drain field problem includes the smell of raw sewage from the field, particularly after wet weather. You may also notice water pooling on the surface of the drain field, or the ground may seem much soggier than usual. Indoor trouble signs may include slow-moving drains or even overflowing drains. This occurs when effluent can't exit the tank and goes into an oversaturated and failing drain field.

Repair vs. Replace

Once a drain field problem is recognized, the next decision is whether the field can be repaired or if replacement is necessary. Generally, repair and restoration are preferred. Replacement can be difficult, especially if a new drain field site must be found as the old one is no longer usable. 

Fortunately, full replacement is typically only necessary if the site has failed in a way that cannot be repaired. For example, if erosion has destroyed the soil structure or if groundwater or surface water movement nearby has made the site a permanent flood plain or wetland, it cannot be repaired. Otherwise, your field can be repaired so that it is restored to its former usefulness. 

Restoration Options

The method of restoration depends on the root of the issue along with its severity. Biological issues are the most common, and these are caused when the microorganisms in the field are out of balance. Clearing out the drain lines and the addition of additives to aid in healthy biological balancing will typically help. In some cases, the field may be too small for the tank, so adjustments to field size may be necessary.

Compacted soil for tree roots or driving on the field may require aerating the soil and repairing or replacing some of the lines feeding the drain field. If flooding from nearby irrigation or runoff is an issue, the necessary restoration may also include rerouting runoff water so it doesn't flow into the drain field and instead flows harmlessly to storm drain systems. 

Contact a drain field restoration service if you are noticing issues with your system.  

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A Job for the Ages: Plumbers

Plumbers have been around for as long as homes have had running water. And do you know what? They'll be around for many, many more years to come. Plumbing is not a job that can easily be outsourced or done remotely. Your plumber can't exactly install your shower or fix your toilet unless they are in your actual home. Keep this in mind if you are ever looking for a job that can be done in-person. We'll share some more about plumbers on this blog, and we encourage you to read what we have to say, even if you just have a tiny interest in this field.