Hazards That Can Flow Out of the Septic Tank and Into the Drain Field

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Call Express Septic Services once a year to schedule a septic system inspection. This allows us to check the system for cracks and other damage, inspect the tank’s level to see if it needs to be pumped, and inspect the drain field for damage, clogs, and hazardous materials. Small bits of hazardous waste and particles can flow out of the septic tank rather than sink to the bottom. Unfortunately, these particles and bacteria are then introduced to the drain field where they create clogs and other problems. Let’s talk more about this in this blog post.

Microbial Colonies

The septic tank is comprised of three layers: sludge on the bottom, effluent (wastewater) in the middle that fails to flow into the drain field, and scum on the top. The middle layer is the layer that is cause for concern, as it contains bacteria and other soluble organic compounds that will form a gelatinous slime in the drain field when they escape from the tank and flow into the drain field. The drain field is made up of a system of pipes and a layer of gravel to treat the wastewater. The slime formed by the effluent material can interfere with the percolation of wastewater in the drain field.

Insoluble Particles

There are also numerous insoluble particles in your daily life that are too small to sink to the bottom of the septic tank. Consequently, the particles end up in the drain field. These particles include

  • Laundry lint
  • Water minerals
  • Ground bones
  • Eggshell fragments
  • Coffee grounds

The latter three are often ground up in the garbage disposal, but the grinding does not cause them to dissolve. Rather these food items and any other foods ground in the disposal flow into and out of the septic tank because they are not heavy enough to sink. Over time, the particles will build up inside the drain field piping and clog it. This is why it’s important to avoid grinding food in the disposal.

Cooking Fats/Petroleum

Dissolving cooking fats with dishwasher or dish detergent will cause them to flow into your septic system. The fats help to form the scum at the top of the septic tank. They also travel through the septic tank and into the drain field. The fast can also create a layer of scum just as the effluent materials do that settles underground in the drain field and affects its operation. The congealed fats and petroleum form what is called a hydrophobic layer in the drain field.

Again, call Express Septic Services in Greenville, SC, today if it has been a year or more than a year since you have had your septic system inspected. You may have problems in the drain field of which you are unaware.

Photo by MementoImage from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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