Why Your Drain Field Needs Maintenance

Why Your Drain Field Needs Maintenance Friday, April 26, 2019

The most important component of your septic tank drainage system is the drain field. The drain field is a system of perforated pipes in the ground that are in trenches and surrounded by soil. The drain field is the key part of your sewage system that can cause the entire operation to collapse and cost homeowners thousands of dollars to repair or replace.

Your Septic Tank Relies on the Drain Field

Diagram of how a drain field could look in Plant City, FL.

Have you ever heard someone say, "My septic system failed" or "my sump pump isn't working properly"? Chances are the problem is actually in the drain field. How does this happen?

Over time, homeowners tend to spend little time and maintenance on their plumbing systems. Unfortunately, this can lead to some massive plumbing issues and ultimately put your family's health at risk if sewage were to back up onto your property or home.

The Septic System Requires a Clean Tank and Working Pipe Systems

The tank is considered the belly of the operation and the drain field is the elimination system. The tank collects raw sewage, with the waste falling to the bottom of the tank and the water/liquids rising to the top. The water heading through the drain field should be relatively clear if your tank is doing its job. From there, the soil soaks up the bacteria and water.

Everything going into your septic system should be biodegradable. When grease, oil, and kitchen waste get into the mix, things get dicey!

Failure to Maintain your Drain Field

An example of what can happen when a drain field is improperly maintained in Winter Haven, FL.

You will know immediately if your drain field is becoming problematic. There are telltale signs that your drain field system is in failures, such as sewer pooling or clogged plumbing in your home. Other signs of failure can look like this:

  • The grass over the drain field is greener than the rest of the yard
  • The surrounding area is wet, mushy, or has standing water
  • There are sewage odors around drains, the tank, and the drain field

Causes of a Broken or Failed Drain Field

There are many reasons a drain field can fail to operate smoothly. Ignoring proper maintenance and proper use of your household plumbing are leading causes to a drain field failing well before its time. Typical systems will last 15-25 years if they are properly maintained.

Most system failures stem from the septic tank not being pumped enough. Additional causes of a broken drain field include:

  • Draining chemicals, grease, paint, and other substances down your drains.
  • Using excessive water in the house or having leaking toilets/drains
  • Damage to the drain field from construction or driving on top of it
  • Tree or plants too close to the drain field whose roots have interfered with the pipes
  • Excessive water runoff from heavy rains or snowfall
  • Old age

Easy Ways to Maintain Your Drain Field

Companies like True Plumbers & AC are available to help homeowners make the most of their plumbing systems in a safe manner. They provide drain field maintenance, repair, and replacement to the areas of Plant City and Lakeland, as well as surrounding communities of Winter Haven.

Take small, purposeful steps in maintaining your plumbing and it will continue working just fine. Flush only waste and toilet paper down your toilets. Avoid any greasy, oily, or starchy foods from going down the drain by throwing them into the garbage. Divert as much runoff from your house as you can. If your home has a transfer pump, you should be checking it regularly.

The best thing you can do is have a professional like True Plumbers & AC come every 2-3 years to pump out your tank and remove the sludge that occurs over time.

Repairs to your drain field should be done immediately by a professionally trained plumber to avoid health risks and plumbing hazards.

When it comes to septic care, it starts in the household. Avoid unnecessary maintenance and repairs by taking time to care for your plumbing. If you suspect any issues are arising, be sure to contact a local plumber. You can reach out to True Plumbers & AC by calling (863) 667-6364 for all of your field drain maintenance needs.

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