When you think about your home's septic system, you may only consider the tank. However, as an integral part of the system, the drainfield helps to pull the excess wastewater out of the tank so that it can evaporate. This vital function helps to keep the system from backing up.
However, if the drainfield starts to fail, the tank and pipes leading from it to your home can back up. The excess waste in the tank can also lead to structural damage. To keep this from happening, be on the lookout for a couple of signs indicating drainfield failure.
1. Water Backs up in the Field and in Your Home
One sign that your septic system's drainfield is failing is when wastewater starts backing up. You will most likely first notice this backup in your home when sewage starts coming up from the drains or the toilet refuses to flush properly.
However, the wastewater backup can also be seen out in the drainfield itself when it is unable to process the liquid. Even after several days of dry weather, the soil will be saturated, and the grass may start growing faster with a brighter green color than the rest of your yard.
2. Foul Odor Becomes Stronger as You Approach the Drainfield Area
Along with saturated soil, another sign that your drainfield is failing is the presence of a foul odor. This odor will become stronger as you approach the area in which the drainfield is located.
Normally, the drainfield is able to filter out most of the odor-causing contaminants in the wastewater. When it evaporates, you may occasionally catch a whiff of the sewage, but it will be hard to detect.
However, if the system is unable to filter these contaminants out, the resulting odor will be hard to dismiss. Eventually, you may be able to smell it even while you are in your home with the windows open.
If you have wastewater backing up into your home and saturating the soil above the field along with a detectable foul odor, the drainfield is most likely failing. If something is not done to either repair or replace it, the failure will lead to massive issues with your septic system. Before this scenario plays out, contact a contractor who offers services like septic tank drainfield repair to have them inspect the problem area and discuss with you what needs to be done to fix it.