Emptying household septic tank. Cleaning sludge from septic system.If you’ve noticed issues with your septic leach field, you may be so discouraged by the possible repair costs that you put off calling your septic repair company. However, delays could actually cost you money. In reality, many septic issues and even some leach field problems can be fixed without digging up the leach field lines.

You should contact your septic contractor as soon as you notice the issue to see if your system is a candidate for a less intrusive and less expensive type of repair. Here are four potential solutions for leach field problems other than leach field replacement.

1. Aeration

Adding air to your leach field can sometimes help with drainage problems. Some septic contractors will offer aeration using a machine that injects high-pressured air into the soil of your leach field. The aim is to allow better drainage and oxygen to keep the aerobic bacteria happy, so your leach field won’t be as clogged up and soggy.

This process won’t solve every septic issue, but it can be a step in the right direction in many cases. Talk to your septic contractor about whether you can use the aeration process to boost your leach field’s drainage or delay leach field replacement.

2. Hydro-Jetting

Like sewer line hydro-jetting, septic hydro-jetting (also known as septic line jetting) may be able to help clear out blocked septic lines. If your leach field pipes have sludge in them and aren’t draining well, ask your contractor if hydro-jetting could help.

Keep in mind, though, that hydro-jetting isn’t always the solution to blockages. If too much solid waste has made its way into the pipes, hydro-jetting may not be able to clear it all out; the process could simply cause the solid material to become stuck in the lines’ drainage holes.

3. Sand Filter

In some scenarios, a sand filter may be required to ensure that wastewater is processed sufficiently. If your leach field has the wrong type of soil, for instance, the water may drain through it without being filtered well enough. This problem may require the installation of a sand filter to pre-filter the water.

Another scenario that may require a sand filter is one where your local water table is so high that wastewater reaches the groundwater before all contaminants are filtered out. This problem can contaminate nearby wells and local bodies of water if not remedied.

4. Tree Root Barrier

Tree roots are a common problem for septic systems because they sense water and seek out the source. Roots can attack any portion of the system that contains water. But because leach lines discharge so much wastewater and have built-in holes for roots to penetrate, they can be a particularly easy target for tree roots.

Having a few tree roots in your lines may not sound like a big deal until you realize that they can multiply and enlarge until they clog and even crack open the pipes.

One solution to an incipient tree root problem is simply removing the trees in question. However, if you can’t do that (for instance if the tree is actually on your neighbor’s property or your HOA won’t let you cut down your trees), a root barrier is likely the next best option. Barriers will block tree roots from invading the lines.

Although these four fixes can help in many cases, you do need to be aware that in some scenarios a complete leach field replacement is the only option. This is especially likely if your leach field has had unresolved problems for a long time, since unrepaired damage can worsen until it becomes catastrophic.

If your leach field has problems, give your local septic contractor a call right away. For more information about the septic repair services we offer, get in touch with Abbotts’ Construction Services, Inc., today.