Affordable Drainfield Repair Atlanta


What are the Signs of a Failing Septic Tank System?

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find a septic tank system that is failing. In most cases, the failure starts as a small problem and continues growing until the problem is too large to ignore. The signs of a failing system include:

• Surfacing or ponding of the septic tank effluent on the ground surface. This effluent may contain many disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and dysentery, hepatitis, giardiasis, cryptosporidosis, hookworm, tapeworm and other diseases that have plagued mankind for years. Children are most likely to play in the pools or wet soil, but adults may have to walk through or work in the area, and once the effluent gets on a person, the germs can spread to the mouth or nose where they are swallowed or inhaled.

• Slow drains or sewage backing up into the house. The cause could be from failure or any part of the system.

• Smell of sewage odor outside the house where drain-field is not saturated and there is no back-up. This may cause fly infestations and isolated outbreaks of water-borne diseases.


What Happens in the Drain-field and the Soil?

The real treatment of the waste-water occurs in the soil beneath the drain-field. Sewage effluent flows out of the tank as a cloudy liquid that still contains many disease-causing germs and

Septic System Failure

Septic System Failure

environmental pollutants. When the effluent flows into the perforated pipe in the trenches, it passes through the holes in the pipe, and then trickles down through the gravel to the soil. As effluent enters and flows through the gravel and soil, many of the bacteria that can cause 3 diseases are filtered out. Some of the smaller germs, such as viruses, are adsorbed by the soil until they are destroyed. The soil can also retain certain chemicals, including phosphorus and some forms of nitrogen.


How Large Is a Typical Drain-field?

Usually, the drain-field can fit within the front yard or the backyard of a typical 1-acre home site. The precise area requirements will depend upon the kinds of soils at the home site, the size of the house (the number of bedrooms), and the topography of the lot. A site with clayey, slowly permeable soils needs a larger drainfield to absorb the sewage effluent than does a site with sandy, permeable soils. Adequate land area must be available to isolate the entire septic system from any nearby wells, springs, streams, lakes, or other bodies of water. There also must be enough area to install a replacement system in case it is ever needed. This replacement area must meet the same soil and site requirements as the original system.


Is Special Care Needed for the Drainfield?

Yes. The drainfield does not have an unlimited capacity. The more water your family uses, the greater the likelihood of problems with the septic system. Water conservation practices can help reduce the amount of wastewater generated in the home. Periodically check your plumbing for leaky faucets and toilets. Uncorrected leaks can more than double the amount of water you use. Many soils that can absorb the 200 to 250 gallons of sewage usually produced each day by a family of four would become waterlogged if an extra 250 gallons were added. Be sure that foundation drains, roof waters, gutter waters, and surface waters from driveways and other paved areas do not flow over the septic tank or the drainfield. Careful landscaping can help direct excess surface waters away from the system.