Why Your Leach Field Is Leaking Too Much
If you’ve noticed that parts of your yard are consistently damp and smell foul, you probably have a problem with your septic system’s leach field. Your leach field is responsible for taking excess liquids from your septic tank and gradually draining them into the earth, but they can only handle so much. Overuse of water, dumping too many chemicals into your septic tank, the presence of grease and even tree roots can interfere with the leach field’s operations, but luckily you can fix many of those problems without having to replace your field.
If you do a fair amount of cooking you may dump your grease down your garbage disposal. This grease makes its way to your tank and then filters out through the leach field. The problem is that, when it cools, it solidifies within your leach field and can clog it up. In this case, all you usually need to do is stop dumping grease down your septic tank immediately. Though it may take some time, the bacteria in your tank and leach field will break down the grease. The exception is if your leach field is clogged completely by too much grease; in that case you may need to replace your field.
The helpful bacteria in your leach lines can’t do their job if they’re all dead. Dumping household cleaners and other chemicals down into your septic tank will gradually kill off that bacteria, which means solids and other materials aren’t broken down. When solids aren’t broken down properly they can block the entrance to your leach field and cause a backup. These bacteria often come back by themselves, though it’s not a swift process.
Tree roots can cause a few different problems depending on where exactly they’re growing over your tank system. In minor cases, roots can penetrate your leach field and block the pipes, preventing proper draining. In more severe cases, however, the intrusion of roots on your system can cause your pipes to burst, which can cause backups inside your house. In minor cases, hire someone to remove the plants and roots or use a root killer like copper sulfate to get rid of them. Actual burst pipes will need to be replaced regardless.
Regardless of the reason, a backed up leach field is something that needs to be taken care of quickly. Apart from being an inconvenience due to the presence of septic water and the odor that comes with it, septic bacteria can be harmful to pets and children. If your leach field isn’t in an area you usually access you can possibly afford to wait if you have fixed the cause of the problem, but otherwise you should call a septic professional from a company like Sullivan Septic as soon as possible.