Originally Posted By: dvalley
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
I?m no septic expert either but I do know that a typical leaching field should last you a good eighteen to twenty years if properly serviced. Something definitely went wrong with this field. When you had your new field installed, did the installers remove the entire field before installing the new one above it or did they widen the existing field or did they locate the entire field to another area? There are a lot of factors to consider when evaluating a failed field.
Let?s start with the most important condition. In order for a field to function properly, it is important for the surrounding soil to have certain characteristics, the most important of which has to do with permeability. The water carrying capacity of the soil must be measured before a system can be approved for building and must be known before a proper system can be designed. Usually a percolation test is performed to determine the adequacy of the soil to support a septic system. Did your installers do this?
Another critical design consideration has to do with the height of the water table. The leach field must have a certain separation from the water table to prevent contamination from occurring. Likewise layers of impermeable "soil' must be a certain depth below the leach field. Was this checked?
Are you adding additives to your system? This action will cause the accumulated sludge to increase in volume or float and will result in sludge being flushed into the drain field, plugging soil pores. Also, some additives, particularly degreasers, may be carcinogens that will flow into ground water with treated wastewater.
Your system of washing your clothes and the detergent you utilize will affect the field also.
We could go on and on about how your system failed but the best thing you can do at this point is to have your system evaluated to determine why you only got two years from it. That is not normal.
Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."