When it comes to your drainfield, regular checkups and maintenance are absolutely required in order to maintain the working properties of your septic system. While that may seem like an obvious statement, you’d be surprised by how many people don’t keep up with those checkups. Avoiding checkups and regular maintenance can result in many problems and more than likely will require emergency septic services in Hampstead, Wilmington, NC and the general New Hanover County Region.
One specific problem that can wreak havoc on your septic system is compacted soil. Soil can be compacted over time as it works to absorb wastewater and effluent and occasionally, when it’s breaking down effluent, it can absorb nutrients that make it strong and solid. Over time, it causes dense soil buildups that can cause flooding on the drainfield because effluent can’t be absorbed by dense soil.
What compacted soil can do
While compacted soil doesn’t sound very ominous, it can cause a number of different problems for your septic system.
Rid the drainfield of aerobic bacteria. In order for your drainfield to work properly, the soil in and around the drainfield must sustain aerobic bacteria. Aerobic bacteria assist in the treatment of waste and keep the septic system running smoothly.
Closes pores in the soil. Pores in the soil are similar to pores in our skin. The pores in the soil hold air and keep the soil fresh and oxygenated. If the soil becomes compacted it will reduce the porosity, ultimately reducing the amount of air that is available in the soil.
Denies water access. Over time, the soil compacts so much that the effluents and excess water have nowhere to go. This can cause backups and other landscape issues.
How you can relieve your septic system
If it gets to a point where you are noticing backups, unpleasant odors, or any other type of irregularity with your septic system, it’s important that you take action immediately. Waiting too long can cause more problems than you anticipate, costing you time and money.
This is where aeration comes in. Aeration is simply poking holes in a drainfield so that air has a chance to create a vacuum beneath the soil, thus allowing effluent to be absorbed more effectively. It also breaks up dense masses of earth more evenly.
How to avoid compacting soil in the future
There are ways you can protect the soil around your drainfield so to avoid any compacting:
- Don’t build on top of your drainfield. This includes carports, dog houses, patios and any other structures.
- Don’t pave over your drainfield. Paving will prevent air from getting into the soil and that oxygen is essential in breaking down and treating the sewage.
- Avoid digging in the drainfield as this can damage the piping.
- Make sure any livestock or other large animals are not walking or laying on the drainfield.
- Avoid using landscaping plastic over the drainfield.
Taking the necessary steps in maintaining your drainfield will keep both you and your septic system happy in the long run, thus avoiding emergency septic services in Hampstead and Wilmington, NC.
We are New Hanover County’s septic inspection specialists! Call The Sewer & Drain Medic for septic tank and drain line services in Hampstead, Leland and greater Wilmington area.