Your drain field is an important part of your septic system, but, unfortunately, they don't last forever. Drain fields can last for as long as 25 years if you're careful, and for as little as one week if you're not. Getting your drain field replaced is expensive and inconvenient, but you can delay it with proper care and maintenance. Here are five ways to extend the life of your drain field.
Getting your septic tank pumped regularly
Septic tanks are fairly simple: wastewater from your house flows into your septic tank, solids sink to the bottom of the tank, and liquids are released into the drain field for treatment. These solids are broken down by bacteria inside the tank, but not completely. Sludge builds up in the bottom of the tank, and it won't go anywhere until you get the tank pumped. If the tank isn't pumped, this sludge will spill out of the tank and into the drain field, where it will cause clogs. These clogs can sometimes be removed, but they can also ruin your drain field.
As a general rule, septic tanks need to be pumped every three to five years, though you may need to do it more or less often. The ideal pumping schedule for your tank is based on a lot of factors like how many people are living in your house, how large your tank is, how often you have guests at your house, and whether or not you use a garbage disposal.
Not using too much water
If you produce too much liquid waste, the soil that makes up your drain field will become oversaturated with water and won't be able to accept any more. When this happens, your yard will get soggy and wet, and you may see puddles forming on top of your grass. You may also notice problems inside your house like water draining slowly in your sinks or water coming out of the drains in your basement. Once your drain field is oversaturated, it needs to completely dry out before it can be used again, but since that takes a few months, the only fix is usually installing a new drain field.
To avoid this, you need to be careful about how much water you use and when you use it. For example, doing all of your laundry in one day will send too much water to your septic system, so try to spread your loads out throughout the week. Habits like taking long showers can also overload your system.
Not driving over the drain field
From the surface, your drain field just looks like an empty patch of grass, so if you don't know where it is, it's easy to accidentally damage it. Driving a car or a truck across this patch of grass or parking on top of the drain field will compact the soil. Compacted soil impairs the function of your drain field because water can't flow from your septic tank to the drain field as easily; it also keeps moisture in the soil from evaporating.
The pipes that transport water to your drain field can also be crushed by the weight of your car. Once the pipes are crushed, the only way to fix them is to get new pipes installed. You can easily avoid this problem by finding out where your drain field is and then making sure never to drive or park your car on top of it. Septic system professionals say that any vehicle heavier than a child's bicycle can damage the drain field, so you need to be very careful.
Your drain field is an essential part of your septic system, but it's also delicate and can be damaged. If you want to keep your drain field working well for a long time, you need to get it pumped on a regular schedule, avoid using too much water, and avoid driving over the drain field.
For more information about taking care of your septic system, visit http://www.claggett.net.Share
8 July 2015
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