When Your Leach Field Is Backing Up: What Causes This Problem And How It's Fixed

Leach fields are typically located several feet from your home and from your septic tank. They are comprised of gravel pits buried underground, where the liquid sewage from your septic tank is dumped. The gravel helps absorb and disseminate much of the sewage so that it sinks into the surrounding ground very carefully. However, if you get raw sewage bubbling to the surface over your leach field, you may have some problems with your septic tank. Here is what is causing this odd, but not uncommon, problem and how your septic tank cleaning services company can fix it.

You Have Too Much Liquid Waste in Your Septic Tank

When your leach field has a surface puddle, the problem is usually too much liquid sewage in your septic tank. Every time you flush, you are sending your waste and probably at least a couple gallons of water into the septic tank. The septic tank responds by trying to send more liquid waste to the leach field. An overflowing leach field continues to overflow when the tank is overflowing. Hence, the fix for this problem is to pump the septic tank of all waste, clean it out, and start on empty (minus the water and microbes that are added to treat new waste, of course).

You Have a Break in the Leach Line

The leach field is fed by a pipe from your septic tank. When there is a break in or near the end of the leach field pipe, the sewage builds up through the ground until it surfaces. This can happen anywhere between the septic tank and the leach field. A lot of homeowners tend to think that raw sewage floating to the top means that the septic tank is busted, when it could just be the leach pipeline. Your septic tank contractor can check this out and confirm or deny a break in the line. Once the pipe is fixed or replaced, your septic tank and leach field should return to normal functioning order.

Prevention Is the Best Measure

For future reference, prevention is always the best service measure to avoid these kinds of problems with your septic tank. Regularly having your septic tank pumped, cleaned, and maintained ensures fewer repairs and less expenses. If you know that the septic system on your property is really old, have a company like A-Bell Excavating Inc. investigate it to see if you need to have it replaced soon.


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