More than 25 million homes in the United States use septic systems, meaning these households are not hooked up to a public sewer system to remove the wastewater. Instead, leach lines treat and distribute liquid waste or sewage into the ground after moving through the septic tank. These filters or lines fan underground to disperse septic waste evenly across a backyard.
Every 15 to 25 years, the leach field, also known as leach lines, leach filter, filter bed, and leach bed, will need to be replaced on a septic tank. When leach lines begin to fail, you may find yourself in a bit of a plumbing disaster zone. Here are the signs that your leach lines are failing, and it is time for replacement:
Backed up drains or toilets
While blockages and backups can also be signs of other plumbing problems, you will quickly notice backed-up drains when the septic leach lines start to fail. A clog differs from a septic tank issue as clogs prevent the wastewater from draining properly or a drain not to empty quickly. When the septic tank is backed up, you’ll notice liquid sewage coming back into the home. Sometimes all that is needed is a simple septic tank flush, but it’s also possible that the leach lines will need to be replaced if the flush doesn’t solve the problem.
Pooling water in the yard
A slew of different things can cause standing water or puddles that pop up in the yard. There may be a problem with your irrigation system, or it may be caused by poor drainage. It’s essential for septic tank owners not to brush off pooling water in their yards, especially near the tank. If the leach lines are old or failing, they may not be sending the treated waste as evenly through the ground, which causes puddles or grassier, greener patches across your lawn. If you’ve ruled out plumbing leaks and faulty irrigation systems and do not have drainage issues, it’s time to look at the septic tank filter bed. Unfortunately, you cannot patch broken drain field lines, so you’ll need new pipes or a new system to stop water from pooling.
Sewage smell near your septic system
Septic systems are designed to be odor-free; however, you will quickly notice a foul odor near your septic tank when there is a malfunction. While this is often accompanied by flooding, sometimes you may notice the smell before seeing other issues. The odors are hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, or methane and will resemble the smell of rotten eggs or sulfur.
As you likely know, a backed-up septic system is a threat to you and your family’s health due to the nature of the contents. However, since leach fields usually last for two to three decades, you shouldn’t expect to experience a leach field issue often. Still, it’s critical to have it inspected and repaired immediately by a professional if you do. Fortunately, when spotted early, the signs of a septic system failure can be fixed before causing extensive damage.
Edwards Plumbing LLC is a licensed and bonded family-owned plumbing team out of Gilbert Arizona, specializing in plumbing emergencies, repairs and renovations. We install and repair plumbing pipes, water heaters, water softeners, sump pumps, sewers, and more. Our competitive rates, honesty, experience serve residential and commercial customers. Call us at (480)680-9950.