Common Septic Drain Field Problems, Diagnosis, And Repair

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Septic drain field problems are a common concern for homeowners. If your home relies on one to function, you probably want to know what to do when the problem comes up. Many things could cause your septic drain field to act up, and knowing what they are is the first step in fixing them. Conflicts between a homeowner, their septic system, and their local health department can arise when a homeowner does not recognize or identify their concerns with a failing septic drainfield. The good news is, it's pretty easy to tell when there is an issue with your septic drain field.

Septic DrainField Damage

Septic drainfields use soil filtration to treat wastewater naturally before it returns to the groundwater. This part of your system is perforated pipes buried in gravel and soil. A septic drainfield works slowly and effectively. While it may take years for a problem to develop, once it does, the system must be repaired or replaced.

If your septic tank is working properly, the drainfield should require little to no maintenance. Unfortunately, most homeowners know very little about their septic systems until something goes wrong. Septic drainfield damage is not always easy to detect — if you notice signs of clogging or malfunctioning, contact a professional immediately. 

Septic System Corrosion

If you have a steel tank, corrosion can cause pinholes in the steel, causing waste to leak into the drainfield. If the corrosion is caused by sulphuric acid, it will eat away at the concrete baffles inside your tank as well. This is called hydrogen sulfide corrosion, and it can happen if there is too much sulfur in your water supply or if you use too many cleaners containing sulphuric acid in your home. Septic system corrosion can cause a need for immediate repairs because sewage will leak into the surrounding area of your drainfield and contaminate groundwater.

Septic Drain Field Backup

One of the most common symptoms of a failing septic drainfield is backup. When your septic tank is full, this can cause a backup of sewage into your home and even into your yard. Septic system backup can be caused by many things, including:

  • Overuse: If you have too many people living in your home, or if you are having a lot of guests, it may be time to consider installing an additional drainfield.
  • Using Too Much Water: If you use a lot of water on a regular basis, it may be causing your septic system to fill up at an alarming rate.
  • Flooding: If there has been flooding in your area, it could cause debris to clog your septic system.

In addition to these problems, an undersized septic tank can also cause the drainfield to become blocked. 

Collapsed Drain Field Lines

The most common problem with a septic system is collapsed or broken drainage lines. The drainage lines are perforated pipes that run underground and allow water to filter into the soil. They are usually made of PVC but may be made from other materials such as concrete, clay, or ABS.

If you have an older drainfield or one made from weaker materials like clay or concrete, it will eventually crack and cause leaks in your system. If this happens, you need to replace the broken line with a new PVC pipe as soon as possible.

You can use these tips to diagnose and fix common problems with septic drainfields. Contact a septic drainfield repair service to get the help you need to fix your system. 

For more information on septic tank drainfield repair, contact a company near you.