Common Causes of Drain Field Problems and How to Avoid Them?

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Common Causes of Drain Field Problems and How to Avoid Them?

Table of Contents

What is a Drain Field?

The drain field is an underground part of a septic system, often referred to as a leach field or an absorption field. It is also used to disseminate cleansed wastewater from a septic tank into the nearby soil for additional treatment, drain field repair, and filtering. It is an essential step in the treatment of wastewater for residences and other structures not connected to a municipal sewer system.

The drain field typically consists of a system of perforated chambers or pipes buried in gravel or other porous materials. Its purpose is to gradually allow the treated wastewater to seep into the soil, where it will be further treated and filtered by natural biological processes before entering the groundwater again or being absorbed by plant roots.

The soil type, local groundwater table, and expected wastewater generation by the home or structure are only a few of the variables that affect a drain field’s size and design. A drain field needs to be properly maintained to be efficient. 

This involves doing routine inspections, drain field repair in North Cape Coral  preventing construction or heavy vehicle traffic on top of the drain field, and not dumping toxic or non-biodegradable materials into the septic system. It’s crucial to adhere to regional laws and recommendations for septic system installation and upkeep because a damaged drain field might cause wastewater to back up into the house or pollute the environment.

Importance of Drain Field in Septic Systems

Septic systems must have a drain field, sometimes referred to as a leach field or absorption field. It is essential for treating and removing wastewater from residences to businesses that are not connected to public sewer systems. The following are the primary justifications for why septic systems must have a drain field:

1. Wastewater Treatment

After being partially treated in the septic tank, wastewater must undergo final treatment in the drain field. The partially treated liquid effluent is released into the drain field after the solid waste settles and decomposes in the septic tank. The wastewater can percolate into the soil and be further treated by helpful microorganisms thanks to the drain field’s function as a natural filter. 

2. Environmental Protection

Drain field repair in Naples aids in preventing the contamination of the environment, particularly surrounding surface water bodies like rivers, lakes, and groundwater sources, by untreated wastewater. Our drinking water’s quality and the well-being of ecosystems are protected because the soil in the drain field works as a natural filter to filter out dangerous bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants from the wastewater before it enters the groundwater.

3. System Performance

A septic system’s performance and lifespan are directly impacted by the drain field. A faulty or improperly built drain field can cause system failure, necessitating expensive repairs or perhaps the need to replace the septic system entirely. Avoid over-watering the drain field in order to maintain it properly.

Common Causes of Drain Field Problems

Septic system drain field issues can have several common reasons, all of which can be expensive to fix or replace and result in system failure. 

Here are the root causes of drain field issues:

1. System Overload

Using too much water in the septic system can overload it, which is one of the main reasons for drain field issues. Using a lot of water quickly, such as when doing many loads of laundry, taking a long shower, or operating several water-hungry appliances at once, can prevent the drain field from effectively treating the wastewater. This may cause the drain field to saturate, which would result in poor drainage, soil compaction, and decreased treatment effectiveness.

2. Improperly Designed or Installed Drain Field

A drain field that is improperly designed or installed may also cause issues. Poor effluent percolation into the soil, insufficient wastewater treatment, and early drain field failure can all be caused by inadequate drain field sizing, location, or construction. When establishing a drain field, it is essential to adhere to correct design and installation criteria, which include soil evaluation, percolation testing, and adherence to local regulations and codes.

Heavy traffic, parking, or construction operations over the drain field can compact the soil in the region surrounding the drain field, which can impair the soil’s capacity to treat wastewater properly. Compacted soil impairs proper effluent percolation, resulting in poor drainage and wastewater backup. 

3. Lack of Proper Maintenance

The septic system’s regular maintenance, which includes the drain field, might cause issues. Lack of routine inspections, septic tank pumping, and drain field upkeep may cause an accumulation of solids in the septic tank, which may subsequently run into the drain field and clog the soil and lessen the soil’s capacity to process wastewater.

4. Chemicals and Environmental Factors

The natural balance of the microorganisms in the septic system and the drain field can be upset by using too many chemicals, such as harsh cleaners, pesticides, or too many water softeners, which reduces their capacity to handle wastewater. In addition, environmental elements like high groundwater levels, unfavorable soil, or tree roots encroach on the drain field area. 


We hope these tips and tricks we have shared above will help you in finding the common causes behind the drain fields and resolve them as soon as possible. Crews Environmental has years of experience in drain field maintenance and services. Other than we are offering septic tank pump outs, inspections, repairs, and installations. We are certified to provide services to conventional septic systems. We are providing our services in North Cape Corals, Naples, and beyond.