Why Do Drain Fields Need to Be Cleaned?

Why Do Drain Fields Need to Be Cleaned?

August 19, 2020

The purpose of a drain field is to let liquid that flows out of a septic tank absorb into the ground, where it will be naturally filtered and cleaned as part of the final treatment process. As the solids in the tank break down, the liquids run out through pipes in the surrounding drain field.

Occasionally, you can run into issues with the drain field becoming damaged or clogged, as there can be too much material flowing out into the soil. This tends to be an issue if you have a full septic tank, as it will push waste and sludge out into the drain field rather than liquid. You cannot clear drain fields in the same way you can clean clogged drain pipes (with a snake or suction), but there are some other steps you can take to accomplish drain field cleaning properly and efficiently.

Here are a few of the options you have when it comes to cleaning a drain field in Bay City, MI.

Introduce bacteria

You can use a septic system bacteria packet to help clear out a clogged drain field. This packet of bacteria will go to work on allowing waste to break down and drain out better. Doing this will help you extend the life of the system.

You introduce the bacteria into the septic system by flushing it down the toilet. In general, you’ll use one treatment per month, but depending on the extent of your problem in the drain field, you might need to use more frequent treatments to start out. Performing this task on an ongoing basis can help you preserve your entire septic system.

Avoid using harsh chemicals

There are certain synthetic chemicals that can interfere with the breakdown of water inside a septic tank by killing off bacteria that would otherwise be used to dissolve solids. Avoid pouring any of these kinds of chemicals down sinks, toilets, tubs, showers or other drains, opting instead for more environmentally-friendly cleaning products with vinegar or baking soda rather than bleach or caustic chemicals.

Cut down your water usage

If you know your drain field is clogged up, you need to give it some time to dry out and recover. This means you should temporarily reduce your water usage around the home as much as possible to allow it a chance to breathe. This could mean only doing full loads of laundry (and spacing out those loads for some time) and only washing full loads of dishes. Repairing any leaks, running toilets or dripping faucets will also help you conserve water and protect your drain field.

Reconsider your other products

If you’ve been having issues with a clogged drain field, you should consider some of the products you’re using around the home, such as soaps and toilet paper. Soaps might contain chemicals that can mess with the bacteria in a septic tank, so consider using a natural, milder soap designed for use with septic systems. Limit your use of a garbage disposal, and consider using a gentler, more easily dissolvable toilet paper.

For more information about the steps you can take to clear your drain field and prevent future blockages, contact Thornton Brothers Sewer Service. Reach out to us today to schedule drain field cleaning in Bay City, MI!

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Thornton Brothers Sewer Service
2476 Larry Ln
Bay City, MI 48706

(989) 684-1400

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