If you have recently moved into a home with a septic tank, you were probably shown where the drainfield for the system resides on your property. For the most part, the drainfield should work to help dissipate the waste coming from the tank. However, you should be aware of a couple of mistakes that could lead to problems with the drainfield so that you can avoid making them and to keep from having extensive repairs in the future.
1. Storing or Building Anything on Top of the Drainfield
Since moving into your new residence, you are probably anxious to make the property your own. As part of your plans, you may be getting ready to build a storage building or want to use areas to park vehicles or even work on them.
However, while making your plans, make sure that you avoid the area on top of the drainfield for a couple of reasons. First, as part of its function, the drainfield allows wastewater to seep up to the surface where it evaporates. If the surface area is covered, air will not freely circulate and dry out the soil.
Second, covering or compacting the soil will not allow air to circulate within the dirt. Since the aerobic bacteria that are instrumental in breaking down the waste need oxygen, the breakdown of the waste will not occur if the bacteria die from lack of air.
2. Planting Certain Types of Vegetation on or Near the Drainfield
Although you should not cover your drainfield with any structures, tarps, or even landscaping fabric, planting grass in the soil is acceptable to help camouflage it. However, while grass and other ground covers allow for air circulation and will not harm the drainfield's pipes, you need to be careful about what other vegetation you plant in the area.
While you probably know not to plant a vegetable garden in the soil that process wastewater, you should also avoid planting any trees or bushes on or near the drainfield. The roots will most likely spread into the soil and damage the lines, causing leaks.
Avoid the above mistakes can help you prevent problems with your septic system's drainfield. However, if you notice any signs of problems, such as excessively wet soil, a foul odor over the field, or waste backing up into your house, contact a septic tank drainfield repair service to have them assess for any damage and discuss your options for fixing any problems they may find.