This article will cover the issue of leach field repair costs and the effects on a home owner. Unlike other fields in your life, the leach field is the only one through which treated wastewater flows. Experts say that this is more vital than the septic tank because it gets affected by how you use the septic system and by how you treat the septic tank.
Because of busy schedules and priorities, many homeowners do not have the time to even think about their septic. They usually just go about their daily routines and carelessly use the toilets, drains, and sinks. They just turn on the washing machine and dishwasher and maximize their time to finish all the daily chores in almost one sitting. With all these hyperactivity in the home every single day, the leach field tends to get too abused and exhausted by what it receives.
You may already know that the septic tank collects everything that your household dumps. This is where the initial wastewater treatment takes place. It separates the wastewater into three—scum, effluent, and sludge layers. The scum is that thin, topmost layer that contains the floatables (fats, and grease). The effluent is the clear, middle layer that contains the fluid, ready to be dispersed into the leach field. The sludge layer is the bottom layer that contains the heavy solid waste materials, acted upon by the resident anaerobic bacteria. The sludge is the one that should be monitored greatly in the tank. Pump outs regulate the level of sludge, making sure that it’s at normal levels. If the sludge level goes beyond normal, it pours out the solid wastes into the leach field. Excessive water load also stirs up the sludge and disperses it into the leach field. In effect, the leach field gets clogged and eventually fails if not attended to right away.
If and when your leach field suffers from malfunction, it may have been caused by any of the following:
- not pumping the tank regularly
- throwing in non-biodegradables
- throwing in grease and fat
- throwing in harsh chemicals
- throwing in antibacterial solutions or medications
- planting trees and other hardwood plants over the leach field
- Using the leach field as a venue for construction or as a parking lot/driveway
- High water load
To effectively repair the leach field, the septic expert should conduct a thorough inspection first. This will enable him to pinpoint the exact cause of the malfunction and therefore treat the problem properly. You should make sure that the one who will attend to your leach field is licensed and experienced. Only then would you be sure that your leach field is well taken care of and not just fiddled with.
The costs to repair your leach field and the entire septic differ, depending on the septic expert, the materials, and the other services to be rendered. Here are the following estimates of leach field repair costs that you may want to look at:
- shut-off valve installation (brand new), 25 to 50 USD
- drain field repair, 1,200 to 2,500 USD
- another septic, 8,000 to 15,000 USD
- replacement main of waste pipe (from street),25 to 75 USD
- (copper replacement)supply pipes, 10 to 15 USD
- septic tank replacement,1,800 to 2,500 USD
- insulation of supply piping, 1 to 3 USD
- replacement of outside hose bib,75 to 150 USD
- replacement of supply pipes,5 to 10 USD
- repairs for trap or drain, 75 to 200 USD
- (pvc replacement)waste pipes, 5 to 10 USD
- (cast iron) waste pipe replacement, 10 to 15 USD
- repairs for ordinary leaks, 75 to 125 USD
Even if the effluent is clear, it may still have traces of solid wastes when it gets to the leach field. If the aerobic bacteria in the leach field are not efficient or are not enough to target the small traces of solid wastes, then you will inevitable have a problem with your leach field. It’s important for homeowners like you to set aside emergency leach field repair funds because you’ll never know when it might need to be repaired. Consider it as a rainy day fund for your leach field repair cost.