People who have home septic systems tend to pay more attention to the septic tank than any other component. That is perhaps understandable. After all, if there’s a major problem, the raw sewage that winds up backing into your house is going to come from the tank. On the other hand, Warrenton VA septic tank drainfields play an important, if often unsung role in the equation. If they’re not working properly, the whole system can stop functioning.
In this article then, we’ll shed some light on Warrenton VA septic tank drainfields and talk about some of the problems you’re likely to encounter in yours. In addition to that, we’ll include a few notes about what you can do about them. Of course, at any point, if you even suspect you’re having an issue with your system, it’s always an option to give our office a call. As the region’s top-rated septic service company, nobody knows more about keeping your system in good working order than we do!
Excess Water In Your Septic System
This is one of the most common issues you’ll see in Warrenton VA septic tank drainfields, which is a bit of a curiosity because after all, water is an integral part of your home’s septic system. Every time you turn on a faucet or flush the toilet, you’re introducing water into the system.
That’s true, but the simple reality is that soil can only absorb and process so much water at a time. If you overload your drainfield, then once the soil becomes supersaturated, any additional water that hits the system has nowhere to go, so it starts pooling on the surface of your yard.
That’s fine for pretty much every place except your drainfield, but where your drainfield is concerned, if it’s supersaturated, that means it can’t process waste. The whole system grinds to a halt.
Unfortunately, there are all sorts of things that can pump too much water into the system. If you go on vacation and leave a faucet running, you can bet that will do it. If you have a toilet that runs constantly, that’ll do it too. So will a slowly dripping faucet. Those individual drops don’t seem like much individually, and they’re not really, but they’re also not individual drops. They add up, minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day. Over time, a leaking faucet can introduce a lot of water to your system.
Another thing many people don’t consider are the downspouts connected to the gutters on the sides of their homes. Downspouts are, or easily can be the bane of Warrenton VA septic tank drainfields. Here’s how:
Imagine you’ve got your downspouts inadvertently pointed in the direction of your drainfield. It starts to rain. All the runoff from your roof now gushes into the drainfield. While it’s trying in vain to process all that water, some waste flows in from your septic tank. With no place to go, it simply pools on the surface of your drainfield, mingling with the standing water already there and creating a smelly, toxic sludge that’s not only an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests, but also represents a genuine health hazard for you and your family until the drainfield has a chance to dry out and get back to its work.
The good news here is that these types of issues are usually easy to fix. If you’re mindful and attentive, and quick to address any plumbing issues that arise in your home, issues like these can be avoided.
This is another common issue, but it tends to be more common in households where the residents grew up connected to a city sewer system. When you’re connected to the city’s grid, you don’t have to worry too much about what gets flushed down your toilet or poured down the sink. Yes, if you put something inappropriate into the pipes, you may experience a clog, but once you address that, whatever you flushed or poured is out of your life and on its way to the water treatment plant where it becomes someone else’s problem.
People who own home septic systems though, have to deal with everything that gets flushed or poured down the drain, so they tend to be more mindful about that sort of thing. Here’s what happens when you pour grease down the drain:
Some of it winds up getting trapped in the tank, where it takes up space your tank needs to actually process waste. If you’re in the habit of putting inappropriate things into the tank at regular intervals, you’ll almost certainly need the tank pumped out more often than the 3-5 year interval we normally recommend. If you don’t, your system will start backing up on you and you’ll wind up with raw sewage inside your house!
Some of the grease though, will escape the tank and leech into your drainfield. When it gets there, it will float to the surface and harden, creating a grease cap. Your drainfield needs oxygen to function properly and it won’t be able to get it because of the cap. That causes it to stop functioning altogether.
The good news is that increased mindfulness is the answer here, and a quick call to us to repair the drainfield and pump out the tank to get things back to good working order again. Don’t take chances where your home septic system is concerned. At the first sign of any sort of trouble, call us right away!