Symptoms of drain field problems can range from slight damp spots over the drain field to sewage backing up in the house costing thousands in repairs. Septic tank odors and sewage smells are all indicative of drain field problems.
Drain field problems are more common then ever with the widespread use of antibacterial. Antibacterial additives use in the United States has increased several hundred folds over the last 15 years. Antibacterial additives as well as harsh chemicals kill off natural bacteria that are vital to the digestion process of solids in our septic tanks prior the liquefied effluent flowing out into the drain field. The digested liquid effluent leaches into the drain field where it will filter through the soil further before returning to the water table.
When beneficial bacteria are depleted due to the use of toxic chemical, solids migrate out into the drain field. The solid material, along with fats, oils and greases will coagulate to form a bio mat. Bio mat is a black tare like substance that has the same consistence as a maple syrup. The bio mat clogs the 1b and 2b gravel and crushed stone that drain field pipes are buried in. When the drain field becomes clogged, the effluent will begin to back up creating wet spots in the yard and backing up into the house.
We are limited by the few options available for correcting a failing drain field. The first option is the obvious, replace the drain field and septic tank. This can open a can of worms when you request your septic tank and drain field permit. Most municipalities have imposed stiff regulation when replacing a septic system. Most municipalities will require a substantial investment by the homeowner for a new upgraded system. Some municipalities are requiring the installation of aeration systems. These systems can require expensive long term operating maintenance cost.
The second option is to use a beneficial bacterial and enzyme shock treatment. There has been extensive research in the application of bacteria and enzyme for the purpose of restoring drain fields. These products have also been used for decades in the operation of waste water treatment plants with great success.
Weigh all the options; decide on the best course of action. The bacterial and enzyme option is usually be the less expensive of the two. When shopping for a bacterial shock treatment, look for a 100% money back guarantee. If the company stands behind their product, the guarantee should be in writing and easily found on their web site. Go with a company that has a positive track record in restoring drain field problems and septic tanks.