The septic system function is critical to proper removal of waste and waste water from your home. If the system is not working properly, it can cause your plumbing to back up into the house and leave you with a very unpleasant situation. Keeping your drain field healthy is a key part of keeping the system functioning properly. While it is not hard to do, here are a couple things to consider that can help keep everything flowing properly.
How The Drainfield Works
The drain field, also sometimes referred to as a leach field, is a series of perforated pipes that are buried in a bed of gravel under your back lawn or near your home's septic tank. The purpose of the drain field is to remove liquids from the septic tank and allow them to leach into the ground and dissipate. Normally, the solids in your septic tank will collect at the bottom of the tank and the liquids will flow out through a pipe into the leach or drain field but if the tank is overly full, or the drain field clogged, the process may not work as intended.
Protecting The Drainfield
The largest cause of drain field failures is from things being put through the septic system that doesn't belong there. Anything that can clog the system should not go down the toilet or drains. Grease and fats from cooking, for example, do not belong in the septic system and can damage it so do not run them down the drain. Keep vehicles off the drain field as they can place too much weight on the ground and crack the pipes underneath causing it to fail. Keep in mind that the drain field needs to breathe so placing anything over it like landscape plastic could cause it to fail. Don't build over it, plant anything over it, and keep in mind that it is not an unlimited filter that you can just dump water into. If it becomes over saturated with water, it will stop working and the liquid from the tank will start to build up.
Signs That There is A Problem With Your Drainfield
There are several indicators that will tell you if your drain field is failing. First, you may notice an odor around the area where the drain field is located. If the ground is wet and the water there is dark colored, the liquid may be moving toward the surface instead of into the ground, signaling a problem. You may also notice slow draining water in your home or backups of dark colored water in the drains. This is material from the system flowing back into your home and indicates the septic tank is backing up. If you are just starting to see these signs, call a septic system company and have it checked out. It may still be early enough to repair the system but if you let it go, it may result in having to replace the drain field which can be very costly.
For more information, talk to a professional like Moon Site & Septic.