Drainfields play a critical role in the performance of soakaway septic systems. They have perforated pipes that collect effluent from the septic tank and slowly discharge it into the soil for treatment and drainage. Therefore, a failing drainfield can cause your septic system to malfunction. You must repair the drainfield to facilitate proper wastewater drainage. With this in mind, here are three steps to restore the functionality and efficiency of your failing septic drainfield.
Re-Assess the Soil Conditions
Soakaway systems rely on the soil to treat and drain effluent from the septic tank. If the soil conditions aren't right, the system will fail. Therefore, re-assess the soil to determine whether it is suitable for the system. Below are the issues to look out for:
- Saturation: If the drainfield soil is saturated, liquid waste from the septic tank won't be able to seep into the ground. As a result, the pipes will leak effluent into the yard.
- Compaction: The soil must be properly aerated to absorb effluent from the drain pipes. If the ground is compacted because of heavy foot and vehicle traffic, your drainfield won't allow effluent to percolate through the soil.
- Poor permeability: Soils with poor drainage cannot efficiently absorb liquid waste from the septic system.
Amend the soil on the site to facilitate proper effluent drainage. If the soil isn't permeable, backfill it using gravel, crushed stone, loam, peat, or other well-drained soils. Break up compacted soil to loosen it and allow effluent to seep into the ground for drainage.
Consider Resizing the Drainfield
Is your household using more water than the septic system is designed to handle? If so, your drainfield will become saturated with effluent and fail. You should resize the drainfield to allow efficient wastewater treatment and discharge. Extend the drainfield and install more perforated pipes to create a larger surface area for the effluent to percolate through the soil. This modification will prevent liquid waste from saturating the soil and leaking into your yard.
Examine the Risk Factors
When restoring a failing drainfield, you must assess the risk factors and implement preventative measures to avoid future system failure. For example, if your drainfield failed due to soil compaction, minimize foot and vehicle traffic on the site. Reduced traffic over the drainfield will keep the soil aerated and protect the pipes from damage.
Similarly, if the pipes are blocked or damaged by tree roots, evaluate the type of vegetation on your drainfield. Get rid of plants with deep roots to prevent them from blocking the pipes. If there are large trees nearby, install a root barrier around the drainfield to block tree roots from growing toward your pipes.
Take these measures to restore your drainfield and restore the proper discharge of liquid waste into the soil. Contact a septic contractor for professional drainfield restoration services.