If you are living in a home that has a septic system for the first time then you might be a bit confused about what all goes into a well-functioning system. In many cases, people don’t have to think much about their septic system when it’s working well, until a clogged drain or funky odor raises a red flag. Septic systems are designed to last for decades when they are properly and regularly maintained, but sometimes you might find yourself in need of a drain field repair. Before you call in the experts, it helps to have a better understanding of how your septic system works and what to look out for if there’s a problem.
How a Septic System Works
A septic system is comprised of two main parts: the septic tank and the drain field. All wastewater flows through the plumbing from the home and into the septic tank. Once inside the septic tank, the solids sink to the bottom while the liquids float toward the top and are treated by a complex combination of bacteria. Once the liquid waste is treated, it will pass from the septic tank and into what is known as the drain field. This is where the now-treated water is slowly released back into the soil through a series of perforated underground pipes. Drain fields are also sometimes called the leach field or a septic drain field, all of which refer to the area where the treated water is dispersed.
Dos and Don’ts of Drain Field Lines
Aside from knowing how to locate your septic tank, you would want to know where your drain field is located on your property. It is important that you don’t accidentally drive or park heavy machinery over the drain field area because this can compact the soil and damage the complex series of pipes. This also goes for other heavy objects like patios, swimming pools, or play equipment. Also, be mindful not to plant trees or shrubs with deep root systems in or around the drain field area because this can damage the pipes of the drain field. The best thing to plant on top of the drain field area is grass so you don’t have to worry about any unnecessary damage.
How to Tell There Is a Drain Field Problem
Wastewater that moves through the septic system and returned to the ecosystem through the drain field is treated and cleaned. However, if the septic system is overloaded with too much wastewater at once it can push water through to the drain field prematurely. This can result in poorly treated wastewater moving through the drain field before it has been properly treated by the bacteria in the septic tank. This can present itself like overly lush and green vegetation above the drain field area, or by pooling water or a bad odor above the drain field area.
What to Do When You Need Drain Field Repair
You will need to call in the professionals to assess what is causing the problem. Whether you have noticed standing water, a bad odor, or pipes backing up into the home, septic system professionals will determine the appropriate cause and make the necessary repairs. Septic tank pumping may be recommended in order to rule out any issues with the septic tank itself, including cracks or overflows. A septic system specialist will bring a tanker truck designed to safely remove built-up waste from the septic tank and clear it out so it can be properly inspected. If the septic system specialist suspects it is an issue with the drain field, they will inspect the area for issues like clogged or broken drain lines and discuss possible solutions with you.
How to Decide Between Drain Field Repair and Replacement
At Septic Masters, LLC, we will not rush anyone into a full drain field replacement when a drain field repair would work instead. Drain field repairs are more cost-effective and many septic issues can be resolved through repairs by professionals instead of replacing the entire system. We will provide you with a thorough inspection, evaluation, and written estimate for what to expect with a drain field repair on your property. Our trained professionals at Septic Masters, LLC, are licensed and skilled to address a wide variety of septic system concerns and will always explain the best options for you.