This article will discuss drain field repair costs and the effects on homeowners. Machines malfunction and fail. If you look at everything closely, every single thing on earth—big or small—is like a machine. From the microscopic bacteria to the blue whale, you’ll be amazed at how detailed the systems of every organism are. The tiniest part completes the entire organism. There are no exceptions to this. Humans are composed of parts and systems. The septic system is composed of parts and systems as well. And just like any other machine or living being, the septic system can malfunction, “get sick”, or fail, too.
The septic system has two major components that can experience malfunction when proper care is not provided. The septic tank and the drain field are vital to the septic system because these areas are the main venues of wastewater treatment. The septic tank is the primary collector of wastewater. Three layers—scum, effluent, and sludge—form in the tank as the wastewater is treated. The top layer of scum is where the light weight solid waste materials are found. The effluent is the clear middle part that goes straight into the drain field. the bottom sludge layer is where the heavy solid waste particles accumulate. The anaerobic bacteria break down the solid wastes. The drain field accepts the effluent but still has to make sure that it has no solid waste materials left. This is where the aerobic bacteria take action and decompose any small trace of solid particulates left. The bio-mat here then filters the effluent and strips it of all contaminants and pollutants.
The drain field is the last area of treatment. This area can be seen as the “make or break” area of the septic system. If the drain field gets too damaged or clogged up, expect for the septic system to fail. There are many possible causes of drain field malfunction:
- non-biodegradable materials
- strong acids and bases
- antibacterial solutions
- trees and shrubs planted on the drain field
- vehicles that run over or are parked on the drain field
- structures built on the drain field.
- no regular pump outs performed
- draining of the rain gutter over the drain field every time it rains
- small animals falling into the tank because of faulty septic covers
On the part of the homeowner, the real cause of the drain field malfunction is important to know because dollars can be saved if specific and effective treatments are used at one time. Remember that when a drain field is “sick”, there may be other components that need to be addressed to correct the situation. The following are estimates for a drain field repair:
- (between 10 & 15 USD) supply pipes, replacement with copper
- (between 25 & 50 USD) installation of shut-off valve
- (between 1 & 3 USD ) insulation of supply piping
- (between 1,200 & 2,500 USD) repairs for drain field
- [between 75 & 125 USD] repairs for ordinary leaks
- (between 8,000 &15,000 USD) extra septic system
- (between 25 & 75 USD ) replacement of the main waste pipe
- (between 1,800 & 2,500 USD) replacement of the sand mound tank
- (between 75 & 150 USD)replacement of the outside hose bib
- (between 75 & 200 USD) repairs for trap or drain
- (between 10 & 15 USD)waste pipe cast iron replacement
- (between 5 & 10 USD) pvc replacement of waste pipes
- (between 5 & 10 USD ) replacement of supply pipes
The easiest way to know that your drain field is in trouble is when there is backing up of wastewater onto your yard and into your home. This is accompanied by severe septic odors. When you suspect that drain field is in trouble, it is best to call your septic expert. A licensed and experienced septic expert always starts with a thorough inspection. This assures him that the proper interventions will be made once the main cause is identified. We hope this article helped the reader to better understand drain field repair costs and the effects on homeowners.