Puddles in the backyard
A puddle in the backyard could be a sign of a failing drain field. When soil turns to hardpan it stops absorbing water. This hardening of the soil begins where the effluent first enters the drain field. As the soil fails the effluent moves down the run to the next area where it can be absorbed. As the field continues to fail the effluent finally reaches the end of the field and, having nowhere else to go, it surfaces.
Water backing up
Water backing up in household drains or slowly draining may be a sign of drain field failure. When the system is functioning properly, wastewater from the household enters the septic tank displacing some of the contents of the tank, which is then pushed to the drain field. If the field is not accepting water everything backs up and your household drains become sluggish or clogged.
Septic odor in the backyard
A septic odor in the backyard can signal a potential problem in the drain field. If effluent is collecting in the soil instead of draining it may begin to smell. This is an early warning sign to have a septic maintenance company take a look at your system.
A service technician declared your drain field is failing
If your drain field is failing there are a few alternatives to replacing it. Methods of restoring permeability to the soil include mechanical such as fracturing the earth and injecting small beads to hold open the fractures and allow the passage of effluent. Other methods may involve chemical or bacterial products that penetrate the bio mat and open soil pores. A combination of mechanical methods and additives may work well even in hardpan conditions.
(See restoring drain fields)
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