Drain Field Problems? Tips to Repair
If you are contemplating whether or not you should replacement your septic drain field, chances are you are currently dealing with some septic system problems. You have most likely had a contractor come to the house, either recently or in the not too distant past. Naturally they recommended that the drain field be replaced, provided you with the quote, and after you stifled the vomit at the price, you have set on the internet out to see if you really have to replace the drain field, or if there are some other less expensive options that may better suit your budget.
That sound about right?
First things first, you are not alone, and you are certainly not the only person who has gone through this process. Furthermore, regardless of your knowledge or experience with septic systems, drain fields or any household hand work, you are going to be able to figure this out. Septic systems are really not complicated and once you understand how they work, solutions become more apparent.
So let’s start there. The basic over view. Here is an image of a septic system from the house, to the septic tank, to the drain field. (or leach field, as sometimes called)
Pretty straight forward so far. Water and waste are flushed down toilets and drains and it is deposited in the septic tank. Within the septic tank, the solid waste settles to the bottom, effluent (or liquid waste) is above that and then a layer of slime forms along the top of the waste. Here is an image so you can see.
Inside the septic tank, bacteria and enzymes that occur naturally breakdown the solid waste. By break-down, we mean digest it. Bacteria and enzymes eat and digest the solid waste. The ending result is more liquid waste. This liquid waste is then allowed to leave the septic tank and enter into the drain field or leach field. (see overview image, if needed).
As long as the bacteria and enzymes in the septic tank can process the waste (household consumption) faster than you and your family can put more waste in the tank, then your septic system and drain field function correctly. HOWEVER, if the bacteria levels become depleted (laundry detergent, anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners, etc. all kill bacteria in your septic tank) then the system becomes backed-up and bit by bit solid waste makes its way into the drain field clogging it up or forming what is called bio-mat in the soil which does not allow the septic system to drain properly, compounding your problem. This is what has most likely happened to you.
Now you can start fresh and dig up your yard and replace the drain field, or even extend the drain field. But the cost can be far more than your family can afford. OR you could restore your system by providing your system a massive dose of bacteria and enzymes designed to eat and digest its way through the crud and solid waste in your septic tank as well as your drain field.
These types of septic treatments are called septic shocks. They are not an overnight fix, but they will make significant progress over the course of a couple weeks, and within a month or so, they restore your septic system completely. There are a number of septic treatments or septic tank products as they are sometimes called. Choosing the right one can also be confusing, but your own your own to choose which one makes the most sense for you. You can use our comparison chart to help with that process.
Only you can decide which option is right for you. No matter what you decide, we recommend using a monthly septic treatment regardless of what you choose. These monthly septic additives provide your system a supplemental boost of bacteria and enzymes to help your systems’ natural digestion process along. This way you will never find yourself in this spot again. After all, wouldn’t this money be better spent on ourselves, or perhaps our child’s education?