Does your septic drainfield feel soggy and give off strong odors? These could be early signs that the drainage area is failing. It is only a matter of time before you see complete failure with disastrous consequences, including sewage backing up into the house. But drainfield failure does not happen overnight. It results from problems that build up slowly. An experienced plumber can identify these problems during routine inspections. What are these problems that can be remedied with drainfield restoration?
1. Biomat Buildup
The effectiveness of your septic system depends on a careful balance of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. The aerobic bacteria use oxygen to break down waste, while anaerobic bacteria don't require oxygen. But anaerobic bacteria produce sulfides, which are less soluble than the by-products of aerobic bacteria.
Lowered oxygen levels cause proliferation of anaerobic bacteria, causing more sulfides to flow into the soil. Notably, iron sulfide forms an impermeable layer in the soil. Wastewater flows slowly into the soil, causing drainfield failure.
Drainfield restoration for a biomat buildup involves applying chemicals to break down the biomat to make the soil porous again.
2. Grease Capping
Molten grease from the kitchen cools down to a solid grease that coats the plumbing lines and septic tank and eventually makes its way into the soil. It caps the biomat and the topsoil. The grease cap makes it harder for oxygen to penetrate the soil.
There is a secondary problem of biomat buildup. Without oxygen, effluent breaks down slowly, which overwhelms of the drainfield. This makes grease capping the biggest risk to your drainfield. Restoration when there is grease capping involves using a unique blend of bacteria and enzymes that break down the grease.
3. Root Infiltration
A drainfield is rich in moisture and different nutrients that are very attractive for plants. This attracts roots from different plants, but tree roots are the riskiest. They compete with the enzymes for oxygen with the bacteria that break down the effluent.
Drainfield restoration for root infiltration involves mechanical root removal using diggers. The drainfield restoration service will then apply root-killing chemicals to hinder root growth.
4. Leaky Septic Tank and Broken Piping
Sometimes the septic tank ruptures or develops leaks. Concrete tanks are vulnerable to cracking, while metallic tanks are vulnerable to corrosion. Leaks, ruptures, and broken piping dump effluent in the drainfield faster than the soil can absorb it.
Drainfield restoration in such a case involves replacing the damaged tank or piping to restore the optimal absorption rate.
Is your septic system not working as expected? Contact a company like Wild West Plumbing to learn more about drainfield restoration.