Regular Septic Tank Treatment Extends the Life of Drainfield
Household waste water created every day must be treated / purified before it can return to the ground and rejoin water cycle . Failing to remove pathogens, and other solids from waste water can result in contaminated sources of drinking water , pollution, and the spread of water related diseases. A septic tank system is a smaller waste water treatment plant, that is used as an alternative to public sewer connections, commonly in rural areas. It relies on bacteria to break down and digest solids and sludge throughout the septic system. Proper septic tank care is an important part of safe and effective waste water treatment.
The septic tank system consists of pipes, a septic tank, and a drainfield. The purpose of the septic tank is to slow down waste water from the pipes enough for solids to settle on the bottom of the tank. After the sewage separates into levels: the solids sink to the bottom of tank, grease and fats float to the top , and gray water is left in the middle. Where does the waste water, or effluent, go from there? In most septic systems that work by gravity, the water travels from the outlet baffle to a distribution box where it is equally distributed among a network of perforated pipes laid in gravel filled trenches. This is the drainfield, also known as the absorption field or leach field. Waste water trickles from the pipes downward through the gravel and into the soil where micro-organisms remove disease causing pathogens and completely purify the effluent before it reaches groundwater.
The drainfield is usually located in the back or side yard of a property. While it does not require much in the way of maintenance, protecting the drainfield from failing can eliminate potential disaster for the environment, and your wallet. Once a septic system fails, pumping out the septic tank will not correct the problem. When a drainfield fails it will have to be replaced, which can be extremely costly ($10,000-$25,000 , maybe more).
The most common reason that a drainfield will fail is due to solids clogging the perforated pipes or the soil pores. The most important thing a homeowner can do is prevent this from happening by installing an effluent filter and using a monthly septic tank treatment. An effluent filter will prevent large solids from leaving the septic tank, improving the effluent that enters the drainfield. Monthly septic tank treatment activates billions of bacteria in the septic tank for immediate degradation of solids, increasing the effective capacity of the septic tank,allowing solids to settle and waste water to be treated properly. The use of a septic tank treatment and the installation of an effluent filter will prolong the life of the drainfield indefinitely.
Using a monthly septic tank treatment will eliminate and prevent clogs, surface water, septic odors, and problems with the lateral lines and soil. However, most homeowners fail to realize that the drainfield does not have an unlimited capacity. When there is more water than the drainfield can absorb the system cannot drain and filter the effluent before it reaches groundwater. This results in groundwater contamination, surface water, and even septic odors. Because a problem with drainfield will ultimately cause the entire septic system to fail it is important to follow these basic guidelines:
- Conserve water to avoid flooding the drainfield.
- Divert water from the drainfield (runoff from roofs, drainage) to eliminate saturation of the absorption field.
- Keep heavy equipment, cars, and livestock off the drainfield to prevent compaction of the soil. Don’t drive or park vehicles, or let livestock graze. When the soil becomes compacted, oxygen cannot get into the soil and water cannot be treated.
- Only plant grass over the drainfield. This will prevent soil erosion.
- Keep shrubs and trees at least 30 ft away to prevent extensive roots from clogging pipes and damaging lines.
- Never build over the drainfield. This includes structures as well as paving.
If you experience problems with the septic system it is a warning sign that the system is failing. The best way to prevent problems is with a monthly septic tank treatmentthat is designed for preventative septic maintenance. However, if you are already experiencing a problem with your septic system or drainfield, the immediate use of an all natural septic tank treatment that contains a high count of quality septic tank bacteria and enzymes is necessary. Using a quality septic tank treatment as directed will eliminate septic problems and put your system in balance so that it can continue to function effectively. If you notice these problems, you need septic tank treatment immediately:
- Odors, or persistent wet spots over the drainfield.
- Plumbing has become sluggish over time especially during wet months, or when heavily used).
- Problems persist after septic tank has been pumped.
- Septic tank is flooded.