Septic tank repairs range from replacing the bacteria inside a system to replacing broken pipes or digging a new drain field. Due to the nature of a septic tank and what it does, septic repairs are serious projects best left to licensed, insured professionals who fully understand the construction and composition of the system. Here are three common types of repairs and what they entail.
Septic systems use pipes to carry household waste to the tank and wastewater from the tank to the drain field. Pipes may break when wayward tree roots grow into them, the soil surrounding the pipe shifts, or the pipe material deteriorates. If not repaired, a broken septic pipe leads to bigger — and costlier — problems. The costs of these repairs vary depending on the location of the pipe and the extent of the damage.
Drain Field Failure
The septic system's drain field — the section of land reserved to filter water from the septic tank — does not last forever. If the top and bottom layers inside the tank grow so thick that they leave little space for water, grease and solid waste will slip into the drain field. This clogs the soil in the leaching area, which lets contaminated water and waste rise to the surface. Sometimes naturally occurring microbes clog the soil to such a degree that the only option is to dig a new drain field.
Replacing Bacteria in an Aerobic Unit
Aerobic septic treatment units use an aeration system to break down waste faster than traditional anaerobic units. The bacteria in these units sometimes die when they go unused for a period of time, forcing homeowners to replace the bacteria so the system works properly again.