3 Signs That Your Drainfield Needs Servicing

When it comes to your septic system, the drainfield is an important component that is all too often overlooked. Once water goes through the main septic holding tanks, which is where the microbial process begins to process the sewage, it slowly leaches into the drainfield. The field uses natural filtration to further cleanse the water before it seeps slowly back into the groundwater. When the field fails, waste reenters the water stream since the water is no longer being properly filtered. The following can help you catch drainfield problems early, before the local groundwater becomes contaminated.

#1: Standing Water

The great thing about a drainfield is that it is designed to drain quickly. There should never be standing water, not even after a rainstorm. If you notice water in the drainfield, or if it seems much wetter than other parts of your property when you walk through it, chances are it is no longer draining properly. That standing water may contain unprocessed or only partially processed sewage. The chance is even greater that the water is from your septic system if you can smell sewage or the faint odor of sulfur when near the drainfield.

#2: Slimy Residue

Sometimes the water will still leach through the drainfield as it should, but remaining sewage in the water will stay on the surface of the field. This typically results in a slimy black coating on the grass in the drainfield. You may only notice the coating near the outlet drains into the field. Or, you may need to part the grass to see the coating on the soil at the base of the blades. In a properly working system this slimy residue would remain in the tanks, instead of collecting in the field. A service tech can determine whether the problem is in the tank or the field, and then they can recommend the proper repair plan.

#3: Overly Healthy Grass

A well-functioning drianfield typically only has grass and maybe some herbaceous plants growing on it, since woody shrubs and trees will damage the field. Grasses respond quickly and visibly to nutrient changes in the soil. If raw sewage is trapped in the drainfield, the nitrogen in this sewage will cause grass to turn a much deeper shade of green than it is in neighboring areas. It may also grow faster. If you notice that the grass seems to thrive more over the drainfield, you should have the field inspected to ensure there are no problems.

For more help, contact a septic tank drainfield repair service.