Septic System Drainage Problems: Diagnosis and Repair
Septic system drainage problems are fairly common, but it’s always a good idea to have them checked out by a professional. This is because all the parts of a system are designed to work together, so when one part begins to fail, the others will start to show signs of trouble, too. If you’ve got drainage problems, the issues could be related to the drain field, itself, but they could also be a symptom of something happening with the tank. The experts dispatched by Atlanta Septic Tank Pros will perform a thorough examination of your system and get to the root of the problem, so you can focus on what matters most to you.
Understanding Your Septic System
Everything that goes through the drains in your home or commercial space exits the building at a single pipeline that leads to the tank. Inside the tank, the wastewater separates into three layers. The lighter things that float to the top are called “scum” and the heavier solids that sink to the bottom are referred to as “sludge.” In the center, you’ll have “effluent,” which is the liquid that can safely exit the tank.
Understanding Your Drainage System
There is a myriad of ways the effluent is handled, but the goal is to have it absorbed into the earth so that any remaining biological material or pathogens are naturally handled by bacteria in the soil. Most systems use a drain field or leach field to accomplish this, but there are other systems, such as seepage pits and mounds that work in a similar fashion. Leach fields vary in complexity, but they may consist of multiple narrow trenches or a large open space dug from the earth, in which the drainage pipes sit. The pipes are filled with lots of little holes, so that the water can trickle out slowly, and the empty space is filled in with things like sand and gravel, so the effluent can be distributed into the soil better.
Why Septic System Drainage Problems Happen
Because septic systems rely on harmonious cooperation between the parts, drainage problems can be the result of something happening with the tank or with the leach field.
When the Tank is the Culprit
Tanks that aren’t pumped regularly build up sludge, which can grow to the point where the layer of sludge reaches high enough to enter the leach field or block the outlet. The only fix for this is to have the tank pumped, the lines cleaned, and any damage repaired.
If the tank is the culprit, you may notice:
- Slow or sluggish drains
- Sewage coming back up the drains
- A gurgling sound coming from the drains
- Standing water on the ground above the tank
When the Leach Field is to Blame
The leach field and its lines will naturally build up a layer of biomat. This is a sticky substance made up of the bacteria that like to digest any of the remaining material left in the effluent. It also slows the flow of effluent out of the drainage system, which gives it more time to be filtered. The biomat serves an important purpose in the septic system, but it can also build up so much that the effluent can no longer leave the system. This is probably the most common cause, but the leach field may also fail if it was constructed improperly or if the household is overloading the system with water, perhaps by emptying a spa or taking excessively long showers. The solution to a failing leach field depends on the root cause.
If the leach field is to blame, you may notice:
- Effluent rising to the surface of the leach field
- A blowout on the last line of the leach field
Contact Atlanta Septic Tank Pros Right Away if You Notice Drainage Problems
Drainage problems tend to get worse at a rapid pace and can cause a lot of damage, as well as an unsanitary mess. If you notice any of the issues associated with a failing system, get in touch with Atlanta Septic Tank Pros fast. You can contact us directly by calling (404) 998-8812.