Leach Field Maintenance & Common Issues
Last week we discussed your septic tank system and why it is important to get regular inspections, especially before purchasing a home. But, one integral part of your septic system that we did not discuss in much detail is your leach field. Your septic drain field is the underground area of your property where the leach field pipes filter wastewater from the tank into the soil. This wastewater sinks into the soil where it is then broken down by natural bacteria.
It is very common for septic tank failures to be caused by a drain field issue or failure. When a leach field does not work properly, this wastewater cannot filter and disperse correctly due to wastewater or solid waste buildup in the soil. This causes improper drainage.
The best way to prevent costly leach field issues is regular maintenance and care.
- Pumping your septic every 1-3 years is ideal and necessary to ensure proper functionality of your entire system.
- Making sure to keep heavy objects, machinery, or vehicles off of your leach fields is extremely important (can damage the leach field).
- Be careful of what is being flushed down strains or introduced directly into septic tank (antifreeze, chemicals, grease, paint, etc.)
- Be careful of what is put down your garbage disposal.
- Perform regular inspections of the entire system.
If these leach field and septic maintenance practices are neglected, leach field and/or septic failure is likely. In addition to leach field issues caused by neglect or careless flushing, there are a few other things that can lead to problems with your drain fields.
- Excessive water use in the house and/or leaking toilets and drains
- Water runoff from excessive rainfall or snow
- Tree or plant roots penetrating or interfering with the pipes
- Old age
If your leach field is compromised, this issue needs to be addressed immediately as it could not only lead to costly damages within your home, but also cause potential risks to your family and their health.
Here are some common signs of leach field failure:
- Grass over drain field is greener than the rest of your lawn
- The surrounding area is wet, muddy, soft, or even has standing water
- Sewage odor present around drains, tanks, or the leach field
- Slow running drains or a backup in plumbing
Just as it is important to have regular septic tank inspection, you also want to make sure the rest of your system is being inspected, like your drain fields. It is possible for your tank to be working fine while your drain fields are not. A leach field that is not working properly can lead to septic tank failure and the potential for other costly damages.septic drain
A properly maintained drain field system can last 15-25 years. However, if maintenance of your septic and monitoring of what is put down your pipes is neglected, its lifespan could be significantly shorter. Additionally, being mindful of where your leach field is and avoiding the use of heavy machinery on top of it is key in avoiding damages. If you are in need of a leach field or septic inspection, or you need to replace your septic or leach field, give Kulk’s Plumbing & Heating a call! Additionally, if you are in need of emergency plumbing services, we are available 24 hours a day for such services.