A septic drainfield is a very important component of a residential septic system. While the buried septic tank holds solid waste until the tank is pumped, liquid waste flows from the tank and through a series of pipes in the drainfield. As the liquid waste flows through the drainfield it is filtered by the soil so bacteria and contaminants are removed. Since it plays such an essential role in a properly functioning septic system, prompt repairs are necessary if your septic drainfield develops problems. Some of the most common signs that your septic drainfield is in need of repairs include:
Excessive Liquid in the Area Surrounding the Drainfield
When the pipes in a septic drainfield are in good condition, small amounts of liquid seep into the soil to be filtered. However, like any other type of pipe, the pipes used in a septic drainfield don't last forever and they can develop cracks of holes. In the event that a pipe cracks and begins leaking, large amounts of liquid waste can be introduced to the surrounding area. The liquid waste will eventually reach the surface and create puddles or damp areas. If you notice puddles or mushy areas around the drainfield, it may need repairs.
Liquid Waste Is Flowing Back into the Septic Tank
All liquid waste is supposed to flow out of the septic tank and into the drainfield pipes. However, if one or more drainfield pipes develop clogs or other issues, the liquid waste will not be able to flow through properly. In this type of situation, the liquid waste will flow back into the septic tank, since it has nowhere else to go. This type of problem is typically discovered when you have a septic tank inspection or pumping service. The technician will let you know if there is an excessive amount of liquid waste in the tank so you can make arrangements to have any clogs removed or issues repaired.
Foul Odors Around the Drainfield
It takes some time for liquid waste to flow through the drainfield and slowly be filtered by the soil. In a working drainfield, small amounts of waste are leached into the soil at a time and everything is done underground. But, when a drainfield pipe breaks, large amounts of liquid waste will enter the area before it is filtered. As the unfiltered liquid waste makes its way to the surface, the smell can be noticeable. Never ignore foul odors in the vicinity of your drainfield — it is important to have repairs made.
To learn more about septic tank drainfield repair, contact a professional near you.