A large portion of the country still relies on septic systems to process their waste from their home. After the waste water is flushed through the plumbing, its contents, which is made up of roughly 99% water and 1% solids, eventually makes its way to the leach field. The leach field is the most expensive and vulnerable part of your septic tank system. Up to 20% of the solids in your leach field are inorganic materials like bleach, residual paint, household cleaning products, and plastics. If not taken care of properly, your leach field can end up costing you big bucks to repair. Here are three things your should know about your leach field.
Reasons As to Why You May be Having Issues With Your Leach Field
Here are a few of the more common reasons:
- Engineering/installation errors
- Irregular pumping of the tank (should be once every 2-4 years)
- Heavy rainfall which can cause the leach field to flood
- Damaged piping due to cars or other heavy objects parked over the field. You may not know immediately if this has damaged your drain field. Sometimes, the pipes can crack and allow roots to enter the system and create blockages over time.
- Excessive water use or hydraulically overwhelming the system. Excessive water use from your home via toilets, sinks, and washers can flood your drain field if it is not given adequate time to percolate.
- The age of your leach field.
Improper Use of Your Garbage Disposal
A common misconception is that your garbage disposal can dispose of most of your food scraps. This is simply not true. Yes, it will cut down the food into smaller pieces but these pieces are still too big for your septic system to break down in an adequate amount of time and can lead to the accumulation of FOGs. If you rely on your garbage disposal to dispose most of your food waste, over time this can create blockages throughout your septic system (including your leach field). You’re better off throwing your food scraps in the trash.
This is the most important thing you should be made aware of in this list. If regular and proper maintenance is done to your septic system it can save you hundreds, or potentially thousands of dollars. Having your septic tank pumped every 2-4 years is crucial to the longevity of your system. To ensure your leach field stays clear of any solids, have a professional install a filter on your septic tank outlet. This should help minimize issues with your drain field. Lastly, having professionals inspect your septic system on a yearly to bi-yearly basis will help to spot any unseen issues like enlarging clogs or leaks.
If you understand these three simple rules, you can save yourself time and money while adding years to the life of your septic system. For more information on your septic system, give us a call.