A leach field is a crucial component to the septic system and is often overlooked or forgotten about since it is usually buried deep in the ground, away from the septic system. Unfortunately, the leach field is usually the first area of the septic system that will spring a leak should something go wrong with any part of the system.
The biggest issue will be that of taking the time to look at all of the many parts that can fail along with the delicate nature of the leach field itself. If a person is new to septic tanks, they will need to make sure that they are up-to-date on all aspects that need to be addressed in getting the best outcome for their repair needs. The information needed will include; when was the system last pumped? What additives, if any, have been added to the system over the last several years? How many people live in the home? What are your water use habits? And so on.
The winter months can be a tough time of the year for leach fields since if the field itself is not very deep and is experiencing saturation, freezing may occur which can be disastrous on the components. Another area is that of not taking the needed steps to surround the leach lines with enough insulation and rock to help allow water to permeate into the sub-soils. These are the two main rookie mistakes that are made in installing a leach field for a septic system.
Other issues are caused by an imbalance in the bacteria that is meant to be helpful in breaking down the waste that comes through the system. If you are not already doing so, consider adding a bio septic type additive or product that is designed to stimulated the biological activity of the system.
Another area of concern is that of the topic of packing the ground down too much, this is a huge problem and can often lead to the leach field not being able to function properly. If your field is beginning to leak or showing signs of wetness, be sure to keep any heavy equipment away from the entire area. Over compacting the leach soils will make it more difficult for the effluent to pass downward and when it can’t move down, it moves up!
Once you experience leaks, quickly cut back on your water use. Take shorter showers or in extreme situation, turn the shower off while lathering up. Water savers can reduce the amount of water by up to 25% when used properly. Install water savers throughout your entire home since a few gallons here and there can add up to hundreds of gallons per week.
Repair any leaks or self flushing toilets immediately. Slow leaks or toilets that flush on their own can kill compact and destroy a healthy leach field within a matter of months. Once way to check for leaks is to make sure that all water in the home is off or not in use, then listen near your tank lid or piping leaving the home for trickles. If you hear a steady trickle that lasts for more than a ½ hour, you probably have a hidden leak. Find the leak and repair it.
If your laundry water goes into your septic tank, you can save up to a few hundred gallons of water per week from entering you system by going to a laundromat until the leak is dealt with. If you do not have a local laundromat and your local code allows, consider temporarily rerouting your laundry water to go outside during the remediation period.
If any one part of the leach field is not right, the entire system can be thrown off balance, this is why it is so vitally important that you take a little effort and make sure that you know all the things you can do to deal with a leaking leach field. While most all systems experience some leaking form time to time, an ounce of prevention can go a long way.