If you have a traditional septic system, then you have a tank as well as a drain field. The tank holds the solid sewage materials so they can decompose, and the drain field deals with the water and fluid wastes that enter the system. Specifically, the drainage field consists of a series of perforated pipes that are spread out over a wide area of your property. Depending on the size of your home and the condition of your soil, the field may be between 4500 and 9000 square feet wide. This helps to ensure proper drainage of the fluids. However, the field can clog over time. Keep reading to learn about some signs that your drainage field is clogged and what you can do about it.
What Are The Signs Of A Drainage Field Clog?
If your drainage field has become clogged, then you probably will hear water gurgling through the drains and you may also notice that drainage has slowed significantly. This happens because water cannot drain as quickly out of the septic tank, and the fluid may be backing up into the drain pipes. You may also notice that a large area of your property is wet. This is likely where the perforated pipes are not clogged and most of the septic water is forced into this area of your property, instead of being spread out evenly across the drainage field. You probably will notice this issue when you use a large amount of water at once. For example, one area of the drainage field may appear saturated after you complete several loads of laundry.
These issues are a sign that you use a great deal of water in your home. Sometimes, the septic tank cannot handle large volumes of water. The water will flow into the tank, pick up some of the solid wastes, and move out to the drainage field. These solid wastes then clog the small perforations in the pipes. Solid wastes may also be picked up by the water if the septic tank is full or close to becoming full. It is wise to schedule a septic cleaning if one has not been completed in several years so that solid waste levels remain low in the tank.
How Can A Clog Issue Be Fixed?
To fix the drainage field, you will need to force the solid debris out of the drainage field pipe perforations. The easiest way to do this is to invest in an enzymatic bacteria product. These products contain bacteria that will eat the solids that are clogging the drainage field so that water can flow through the pipes again. Many enzymatic products require you to mix the powder with a certain amount of water. Read the packaging to see how much water needs to be added. Once you do this, you will need to pour the fluid into a septic outlet or distribution box. If you do not know where the pipe is, then ask a local septic professional (such as one from Absolute Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Services Inc) to find it for you.
After you pour the fluid down the pipe outlet, use your hose to flush the enzyme mixture through the drainage field. Keep in mind that it may take a few weeks for the field to unclog completely.