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Extending the Life of Your Drainfield

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Extending life of septic system drainfield

Your drainfield is the most important part of your septic system. All the water used in the house eventually makes it to the drainfield — so if your drainfield doesn’t work, neither will your septic system.

How a septic drainfield works

A typical drainfield is made of pipe and gravel. Water exits the septic tank into the drainfield via the pipe, then drips into the gravel through small holes in the pipe. The gravel and soil beneath the trenches cleans the wastewater more before it enters the groundwater supply.

Tips for keeping your drainfield healthy

  • Practice economy in the water usage of your home. If more water is used than the drainfield can handle, the system will not function correctly.
  • Fix any dripping faucets, running commodes and malfunctioning water softeners promptly to avoid flooding out the drainfield.
  • Pump out the septic tank on a regular basis to prevent solids from entering the absorption area.
  • Avoid planting landscaping or trees over or near the drainfield in order to prevent roots from infiltrating the drainfield.
  • Do not build permanent structures over the drainfield. These structures can crush the drainfield, compacting the soils around the trenches and preventing oxygen from getting to the soil.
  • Do not drive any heavy equipment or machinery over the absorption area. This can crush the drainfield and/or compact the soils around the trenches.
  • Avoid creating livestock and horse pins over the absorption area. Again, this can crush the drainfield and/or compact the soils around the trenches.

Roto-rootering is a temporary drainfield solution

If your drainfield is failing, roto-rootering the pipes of the drainfield may allow for some temporary relief, but it is usually not a permanent solution (if it works at all).

In an older septic system, a failing drainfield will likely have to be replaced instead of repaired; and in the rocky and clay soils of San Antonio and the Hill Country this may require an entirely new system.

Free phone consultations with Van Delden

Although roto-rootering is best performed by a plumber, Van Delden Wastewater Systems specializes in septic system repairs and installations.

Not sure whether you need a plumber or a septic specialist? We offer free phone consultations to help you make the best decisions regarding your septic system’s health. There’s no sales pitches, just answers — we promise.


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