What's Necessary To Restore A Failing Septic Leaching Field?

The two most important components of your home's septic system are the septic tank and the leaching field. The leaching field, which you may also see referred to as the drainfield, is the final stop for liquid effluent from your system. The septic tank separates the effluent from other forms of waste, after which it travels into the drainfield to filter into the environment.

A well-functioning leaching field is an effective and environmentally-friendly way to eliminate effluent, but leaching fields can and do fail. If your home's leaching field appears to be failing, don't assume you need a costly replacement. Catching the problem early enough means you may be able to repair your drainfield without tearing out your existing system.

Identifying the Scope of the Problem

First, you'll need to confirm that your drainfield is the underlying issue. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately!), the problems associated with a failing leaching field are often relatively easy to spot. You may notice wet and soggy spots on your lawn or detect a noticeable sewage odor on your property. Wastewater may also back up into your septic tank and home in severe cases.

Once you recognize these warning signs, it's important to have a qualified septic service company examine your system as soon as possible. An inspection will help narrow the problem down to the leaching field, at which point you will likely need to test the soil to ensure it can still pass a percolation test.

The goal of performing these extra steps is to identify the underlying cause and scope of the issue. While you may need to replace your leaching field if the surrounding soil can no longer adequately drain water, other solutions are much easier to repair. For example, you may have a clog in your drain lines or an excessive build-up of anaerobic bacteria due to poor system maintenance.

Devising a Plan of Attack

Once you've identified the problem, you will need to work with a professional septic services company to devise an appropriate plan to address it. For clogged lines, hydro jetting may be a solution. This equipment can blast out solid waste accumulated in the lines, helping to get the system moving again and solving back-ups into the tank.

Other options include using specialized treatments to restore good bacteria and remove bad bacteria or even aerating the leaching field to improve drainage. This latter option may even be worth considering if you discover that your leaching field can no longer pass a percolation test. Although these approaches can be costlier, they're often necessary for more severe problems.

Ultimately, replacing a leaching field is an expensive and disruptive process. By working with an experienced septic services company, you'll often be able to find a solution that allows you to repair your drainfield instead of installing a new one.

Reach out to a residential septic repair contractor to learn more.