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Can a leach field be restored?

Can a leach field be restored? A leach field, also known as a septic tank drain field or leach drain, is an underground array of perforated pipes located next to the septic tank. The leach field is in charge of removing toxins from liquid after it leaves the septic tank.

A septic tank, pipes and leach field are the main components of your septic system. To understand how a leach field works, we must first understand how the entire septic system works.

  1. The waste from the house flows into the septic tank

  2. The waste begins to break down due to the bacteria present in the septic tank

  3. Solid waste sinks to the bottom of the tank, while liquid waste floats to the top of the tank to be broken down by bacteria

  4. The effluent flows into the leach field through the outbound filter, while the solid waste remains in the bottom of the septic tank

  5. As liquids travel through the pipes of the leach field, they leak into the ground to be naturally filtered by the soil.

By now, you understand the importance of a leach field, which is why it’s necessary to be able to identify if the leach field is failing. Here are some key indicators that your leach field needs to be restored:

  • Pipes that gurgle when being turned on.

  • Slow running drains or plumbing backups.

  • Issues with toilet flushing (low pressure, slow flushing, not flushing).

  • Sewage odors coming from drains, the septic tank, or leach field.

  • Standing water or wet, mushy grass over the leach field.

Yes, but only in certain cases. We have listed possible solutions below:

1. Use a biological or chemical additive: Biological, organic, and inorganic additives can be used to restore functionality to a failing leach field. While all three types of additives can produce results, septic professionals usually advise that their clients utilize biological additives. Biological additives consist of various strains of bacteria that help improve the soil’s ability to absorb organic waste.

2. Mechanical aeration process: Traditional septic tanks rely on anaerobic bacteria to assist in the breakdown of waste. When a leach field becomes clogged, it can be helpful to change to an aerobic septic system instead.

If the solutions mentioned above don’t work, then there’s only one option left:

3. Replacement (the most expensive option): A leach field that isn’t working properly could result in clogged drains and the release of raw sewage on the ground’s surface. A failing leach field can, and should, be restored quickly to avoid permanent damage.

Prevention is key to avoiding costly leach field replacement services.

Follow these household plumbing tips to prevent your leach field from failing:

  • Avoid pouring grease, chemicals (such as bleach and ammonia) or paint down the drain.

  • Do not flush anything other than bathroom tissue and body fluids.

  • Use garbage disposals sparingly (or not at all).

  • Limit laundry to one load per day to spread out water usage.

  • Do not park cars, build structures, or place any heavy objects on top of the leach field.

Can a leach field be restored?

Yes, in two certain cases. We recommend the guidance of a trained professional. If the drain field is more than 25 or 30 years old, it may have reached its useful life. While leach field restoration is impossible, replacement may ultimately be the best solution.

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