3 Signs Your Sewer Drain Field Requires Repairs

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Hiring a plumber to make repairs tends to be a common occurrence for most homeowners as the years pass. While it’s virtually impossible to completely avoid the need for a professional plumber’s services, there are some things you can do to minimize wear and tear on your plumbing system so it doesn’t succumb to the need for repairs often. Using low-flow aerators on your sink faucets and shower heads as well as insulating your exposed pipes before winter can make a big difference in your plumbing’s performance. On this website you’ll find many tips and tricks that can be used to keep your plumbing in good shape, and even to save yourself some money on water costs throughout the year.

3 Signs Your Sewer Drain Field Requires Repairs

21 January 2021
 Categories: , Blog


Drain fields are integral elements of a residential sewer system. This is a subsurface system that filters contaminants from wastewater before reintroducing it to the water table. Drain or leach fields comprise a series of perforated piping laid out over gravel or perforated stone. The failure of this system can shut down sewer operations in your home. Therefore, paying attention to the warning signs can help with swift repairs and save you from dealing with a sewer malfunction. With this in mind, here are four signs you should look out for that indicate you need septic repair services.

Wet or Sunken Areas 

Your drain field should drain wastewater into the ground without affecting the surface. Therefore, if portions of your yard above the leach field are wet or sunken, this is a sign that the system is failing. Usually, this occurs due to blockage of the drain field. Some reasons for blockage include:

  • Overloading the septic tank with too much wastewater
  • Lack of adequate bacteria to break down waste in the septic tank
  • Draining non-biodegradable items down the toilets and sinks

Wet and sunken areas on your drain field are not only unsightly but can also pose a health hazard in your home. A sewer contractor can establish the root of the problem and restore your drain field.

Sewerage Odors

Sewage odors in your leach field should filter down through the soil to the groundwater. Since the soil cleans all impurities from the wastewater, what reaches the water table is clean, usable water. Therefore, if you notice any sewer smells in your yard, your drain field is failing. A common reason for this problem is clogs or leaks, which cause raw sewage to flow into the yard. If you look closely, you will come across wet spots in the garden, especially around areas where the grass seems unusually lush.

The Biomat Deposits on the Yard

Have you come across a black slimy substance in your yard? This is known as the biomat. The biomat is a black and slimy bacterial layer that forms on the leach field. It is crucial to the septic system as it helps break down pathogens and biodegradable solids. The layer slows down wastewater drainage into the soil and allows enough time to filter out contaminants. Ideally, the biomat should occur inside the soil, just below the drain field trenches. 

If you find the slimy substance in your garden, you have a leach field problem. When your leach field clogs or fails, it leaks wastewater onto the ground surface. As this happens, the layer of the biomat may break down and find its way onto the ground as well. This leaves inadequate bacteria to process wastewater, and it can cause complete failure of the drain field.

A failing drain field can cause sewer backups into your yard and indoor plumbing. Contact a professional for immediate drain field restoration services.