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Manassas Park Va Septic Tank Drainfields

Most people who have a home septic system don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their Manassas Park VA septic tank drainfields. The tank itself gets most of the attention, at least in part because it’s the component of the system that’s physically connected to the house and where the raw sewage comes from if it starts backing up inside your home.

Those are all fair points, but Manassas Park VA septic tank drainfields play an important role in the proper functioning of your system and if there’s a problem in your drainfield, it can be every bit as serious as a problem inside your tank. In this piece, we’ll take a look at some of the problems you might see in that part of your system:

Grease Capping

If you have a home septic system, literally everything you flush down the toilet or pour down your sink, you’ll have to deal with later. It doesn’t just go away. When you pour grease down your kitchen sink, some of it will stay in the tank and progressively clog your system.

Normally, we recommend having your tank pumped out every three to five years, but the more inappropriate materials you add to the tank, the more often you’ll have to have that done. If you forget, your tank will remind you. Painfully, and in the form of raw sewage backing up in your home.

If you’ve never experienced that firsthand, count yourself lucky indeed. If you have, you know how bad it is. It’s something you never want to live through if you can avoid it.

Not all of the grease will remain in the tank though. Some of it winds up in your drainfield. Once there, it floats to the surface where it hardens, forming what’s called a grease cap. Manassas Park VA septic tank drainfields require oxygen to process the liquids that flow from the tank and into the field. The grease cap denies oxygen to the soil, which halts the process. When your drainfield stops processing waste, your entire system grinds to a halt.

Soil Compaction

When you first purchased your property, odds are you had to engage the services of a specialist to have a perc test done. Perc is short for percolation. The test is designed to measure how quickly a given volume of water filters through the soil in your yard.

Over time, however, soil tends to naturally compact and the more compact it is, the less effectively it percolates. It takes an increasingly longer amount of time to process the same volume of water. The soil in Manassas Park VA septic tank drainfields will compact even more rapidly the more often you drive vehicles across your drainfield.

That can happen if you bring in heavy equipment to do landscaping work, or if you have an outbuilding on your property where your store boats or other recreational vehicles and to get them out, you have to pass over the drainfield.

Eventually, the soil will become so compacted that the drainfield simply can’t process wastes effectively. The good news is that of the problems you’re likely to have with your drainfield, this one is the easiest to fix. Give our office a call and we’ll send someone out to aerate the soil and get it back to doing its job effectively.

Excess Water

Water flows into your tank every time you flush a toilet or turn on a water faucet, so how can too much water be a bad thing? Simply put, soil can only absorb so much water at a time. Introduce too much water too quickly and the excess will simply form a standing pool on the surface until the soil has time to process it all.

There are all sorts of ways too much water can get into your system. Toilets that run constantly or a slow drink in one of your faucets can certainly do it, but there’s another possibility that a lot of people don’t think about. Your gutters. Here’s what can happen:

If the downspouts connected to your gutters are aimed in the general direction of your drainfield, then any time it rains, the runoff from your house flows through the gutters, out of the downspouts and into the drainfield.

If it’s a light rain, that, combined with the liquids entering the drainfield from your tank itself probably won’t be enough to be a big deal. On the other hand, if it’s a big storm that brings a longer period of heavy rain, it could easily overwhelm the system.

When that happens, the soil can’t handle the liquid coming in from your septic tank, so it pools in your yard, right along with the excess rainwater, creating a foul-smelling sludge that can pose a genuine health risk to you and your family.

Fortunately, there’s a simple fix for this kind of problem too. Just be mindful of where your drainfield is and where your downspouts are pointing. If they’re sending too much water into your drainfield, just reposition them and if that’s not enough, a good landscaping company can build a simple drainage system that can redirect the water to some other part of your property.

The bottom line is that your home septic system is just that: A system. All of its components have to be working properly or it’s bound to have problems. Whatever issues you’re having, give our office a call and we’ll be happy to assist!

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