Leach Line Damage And Repair Guide

The leach lines are a vital component in your drain field, without which your septic system could not properly function. Effluent doesn't just seep from the septic tank into the drain field, it is delivered there and dispersed evenly throughout the field via these perforated leach lines. If they get clogged or otherwise quit draining properly, your entire system can back up and the drain field can fail. The following guide can help you diagnose and repair this drain field component.

Failure Symptoms

Unfortunately, many of the symptoms that indicate a leach line issue are similar to those that indicate that it is time to drain your septic tank, so blocked leach lines are often overlooked for the more frequently needed service of tank pumping. Signs of a leach line blockage include slow or backed up drains in the home, the odor of raw sewage in your near the drain field, or standing water between the septic tank and drain field.

Since these symptoms mimic those of a full tank, it's important to note that if any of these problems persist after your tank has been pumped or if they begin before you tank is due for a pumping, then the next logical troubleshooting step is to have your septic service inspect the leach lines.

Failure Reasons

There are several reasons why the leach lines may fail. The most obvious reason is age — the lines have simply reached the end of their service life and require replacement. More likely, though, is that something has blocked or damaged the lines. Sometimes effluent that hasn't been fully broken down manages to exit the tank to the drain field, especially if the tank has gone too long without pumping, which can result in the solids clogging the line.

Another issue could be tree roots. Ideally, there should be no trees or shrubs growing on your drain field, but sometimes a nearby tree is able to send out a root system that is long enough to get into the leach lines and cause clogs.

Repair Options

A septic service may be able to clear clogs from the leach lines, up to and including tree roots. This will provide an instant fix and the effluent will be able to drain properly throughout the drain field once again. If a line has been damaged, then your service will need to dig up the length that is damaged, replace it, and then reinstall the section of the drain field that covered the line. Extensive damage to the leach lines can require the removal, replacement, and rebuilding of an entire drain field.

Contact a septic tank drain field repair service if you suspect any issues with your leach lines.

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