Septic Drain Field Failure: The Real Problem May Be Sodium
One of the real reasons why septic systems fail is hardpan. Hardpan occurs when sodium (salt) combines with the soil in the septic drain field.
Sodium (salt), which of course is widely used in our diets, laundry detergents and water softeners, makes up a large percent of the waste water running from your house into your septic system and into the soil.
After time, sodium (salt) builds up in the soil around your drain and leach field. This creates a layer of concrete hard dirt around your drainage pipes.
The result? Your drainage pipes can no longer drain!
Waste water that was once able to flow out of the small weep holes in your drain field pipes, can no longer leave the system. That’s where your septic drainfield failure troubles begin. When this chemical (cationic) exchange happens from sodium bonding with tiny clay/soil particles (e.g. hardpan creation), the direct result is flooding and biological death.
As you have learned in step one of our tour: How Septic Systems Work, in order to function properly, your waste water must leave the drain field weep holes and then percolate and filter through 36 inches of dry soil that has been colonized with aerobic bacteria (air-dependent cleaning organisms) in order to become clean ground water again.
“When The Water Cannot Escape, Septic Systems Cannot Operate!”
So before we go checkout how to easily breakup that hardpan soil in the next step of our tour: How Septic Drainer Works, let’s quickly walk through the common stages of septic drainfield failure.