Watch Out For These Septic System Problems

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Drainage Fields - How To Solve Two Environmental Septic System Problems

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If you have a septic tank to take care of the solid wastes and dirty water that come out of your home, then you actually have a fairly sophisticated waste treatment system. The system consists of the septic tank itself that likely can hold over 1,000 gallons of waste. The tank is attached to at least one drainage line too, that allows water to flow out across your property. The water flows to an area made out of a variety of pipes, and this space is called the drainage field. Drainage fields and septic tanks must work in conjunction with one another to properly handle sewage waste.

Most of the time, the septic tank is blamed for issues with the waste system, but the drainage field can cause just as many problems if water cannot release properly. Water can back up due to poor handling of the septic tank. If you treat your septic tank the way you are supposed to though, then it is probably an environmental factor that is causing a problem, like the ones below.

Tree Roots

You may know that tree roots can cause issues with outside water lines, because the roots actively seek out water and locate small holes in the plumbing. Unfortunately, these same roots can cause issues with drainage field pipes, and often more so than regular water lines. Not only do the pipes actively release water into the ground that can feed the roots, but the water will also be laced with minerals and nutrients that trees can feed upon. Nitrogen is one of these substances and it is vital for plant growth. As the trees form roots that grow towards the leach field pipes, some of the roots can and likely will force their way into the pipes themselves cause clogs.

If your septic professional has informed you that there is more water than usual in the septic tank and you see lush and large trees close to the drainage field, then this may be your issue. In general, larger trees with more expansive canopies require more roots to feed the trees themselves. However, there are certain types of trees that are more likely to form deep roots than others, and these trees will typically cause drain field issues. Some of these trees include white oaks, walnut trees, hickory trees, and red oak trees. Also, evergreen and poplar trees are known for their ability to destroy a septic leach field.

Tree Removal

If you see any trees near your drainage field that are likely to grow strong and deep roots, then consider having them removed. Pruning and shaping of the canopy can help to keep root growth at bay as well, unless you have evergreen or poplar varieties nearby that are likely to form more aggressive growths. If you feel that removal is your best option, then you still need to get rid of some of the roots that have caused drainage issues.

To clear away the roots, invest in a root killer fluid or foam material. These substances contain a herbicide that will burn the roots when it comes into contact with them. In many cases the fluids are meant to be placed in your toilet and flushed through your septic system. The herbicide will mix with the waste water and then force its way out into the leach field. Once the roots are properly destroyed, they will disintegrate and the debris will be flushed away.

Compacted Soil

As water is released into the drainage field, much of the water will soak into the earth underneath the piping system. However, this can be quite difficult if the soil on your property is unusually hard. Hard soil is earth that has been compacted by vehicles, farming equipment, or recreational vehicles. Soil can compact as well if you use a roller on your lawn in an attempt to remove lumps on your property. In some cases, the earth may also contain a great deal of clay that is naturally hard and compact. This type of earth may prevent water from releasing into the drainage field. Water built up in the septic tank may then be seen. Your drainage field may appear wet too, as water moves up to the surface of your lawn.

Soil Fracturing

If you feel that soil compaction or hardness is an issue, then you can invest in soil fracturing. A septic or excavation professional will need to complete the fracturing, and this will force openings or fractures in the earth where water from the drainage field can enter the soil. Water, air, or explosive devices will be used to create the openings. 

Contact professionals like Magnan - NSD Vac Truck Service for assistance in managing your septic tank to avoid or correct problems.