If you are a homeowner with a septic system, it is important to understand how it works. This includes all the elements, including the waste pipes, the septic tank, and the drainfield. Each component is important, and all must work together for your septic system to function properly.
Types of Septic Drainfields
There are three main types of drainfields: Leach fields, aerobic systems, and infiltrator systems.
Leach fields are the most common type of septic drainfield. They are simple to install and maintain, and they are relatively inexpensive. However, leach fields can become overloaded if there is too much water flowing into them. This can cause the system to fail and require expensive drainfield repairs.
Aerobic systems are more expensive than leach fields, but they are less likely to fail. Aerobic systems use oxygen to break down waste, so they require a mechanical aerator to function properly. If an aerobic system fails, it is usually because the aerator has stopped working.
Infiltrator systems are the most expensive type of septic drainfield, but they are also the most durable and reliable. Infiltrator systems are made of perforated pipes that allow water to seep into the ground slowly. This prevents the system from becoming overloaded and eliminates the need for a mechanical aerator. If an infiltrator system fails, it is usually because the pipes have become blocked or damaged.
If your home has a septic system but you are unsure of where the drainfield is located, here are a few suggestions:
- Take a look at your yard. Although it’s unusual to notice any indications of the drainfield site, be on the lookout for green grass, dead grass, and depressed regions. These might be evidence of your drainfield position.
- Look up the permitting authority (usually the county), the installer, and/or the designer for any septic records. It’s a good idea to check with your local health department before purchasing any septic system equipment.
- Feel for gravel in your yard. The drainfield’s lines are hidden beneath a layer of gravel, which aids wastewater treatment. This means that finding gravel may be an indication that you have located your drainfield.
Signs of Drainfield Problems
There are a few signs that indicate your drain field may be in trouble:
- Your home’s sewage system is backing up into the house because the drainfield can not process the wastewater being put into it.
- There are pools of water around your septic tank or drain field that are not a result of precipitation or irrigation.
- The grass over your septic tank or drain field is significantly greener and lusher than the rest of your lawn.
- There is a foul odor coming from your septic tank or drain field.
If you notice any of these problems, it is important to contact a professional to inspect your system and make any necessary repairs. Ignoring these problems will only make them worse and more expensive to fix.
If your septic drainfield becomes damaged, it is important to repair it as soon as possible. The cost to replace a septic tank and drainfield can be expensive, so it is worth it to invest in proper maintenance and repairs.
Repairs depend on the septic drainfield design:
- If you have a leach field, the best way to repair it is to add more leach lines. This will increase the amount of water that can flow through the system and reduce the likelihood of future problems.
- If you have an aerobic leach and drain field system, the best way to repair it is to replace the aerator. This is usually a fairly simple and inexpensive repair.
- If you have an infiltrator drain field or chamber drain field system, the best way to repair it is to replace the damaged pipes. This can be a more expensive repair, but it will extend the life of your system.
Drain Field Maintenance
The best way to avoid the hassle and cost associated with drainfield repair is to ensure that you are taking appropriate steps on an ongoing basis to maintain it.
First, it is important to have your entire septic system, including the drain field, inspected regularly. A professional can check for signs of damage or potential problems, and take steps to correct any issues before they become more serious.
Second, be sure to avoid using products that can harm your septic system. This includes things like bleach, paint thinners, and motor oil. These products can kill the bacteria that break down waste in your septic tank and lead to a backup.
Third, use water efficiently to avoid overloading your drainfield. This means fixing leaks, conserving water when possible, and redirecting runoff away from your leach field.
Fourth, limit the amount of fats, oils, and grease that get flushed into the system. Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are one of the main causes of drainfield failure. Because they do not get absorbed into the soil, any FOG that makes it out of the septic tank can eventually result in clogged pipes in the drainfield.
Lastly, always be careful about ensuring that the area on top of and near the drainfield is treated with care. Do not park or drive on the drainfield, and do not build structures on or near it. Be careful to not plant large bushes or trees near the drainfield since they can create damage.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your septic system functioning properly for years to come.
Do not neglect your septic system – a little maintenance can go a long way! If you have any questions about septic drainfields or need help with repairs, be sure to contact a professional.
Septic and Drainfield Services in Lakeland
Septic and Drainfield Depot is dedicated to maintaining its excellent reputation as one of Lakeland and central Florida’s top septic contractors. A competent professional should take care of your septic system with great attention and understanding. Our team of specialists has years of expertise, so we can be trusted partners in treating your system and performing all required work.
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If you need help with your residential or commercial drainfield, contact us today for a free estimate.