Brady, Michigan
16101 W Brady Rd
Oakley, MI 48649
(989) 845-6280

Why Does a Drainfield Fail? December 16, 2019

Brady, Saginaw
Why Does a Drainfield Fail?, Brady, Michigan

Drainfields are the most crucial part of a septic system, as it’s where septic tank wastewater is deposited until it filters into the soil. Without it, wastewater would stay where it was and stagnate, creating unsanitary conditions around your home. If your drainfield fails, you need to call a septic service professional immediately before it poses a severe health risk.

Why Do Drainfields Fail?

If your drainfield has failed, it’s likely to be for one of the following reasons:

  • Oversaturated: Septic tanks are designed to accommodate the number of people that live in your home. Excess water draining into the tank – whether that be from more people using it or a leaky faucet – saturates the ground faster.
  • Blockages: All kinds of natural material can cause blockages that stop your field from working correctly. Tree roots or rocks within the drainfield prevents waste from percolating, and sludge clogs up the pipes if you don’t empty your septic tank every 3-5 years.
  • Crush damage: Drainfields are fragile. If you regularly park or drive a heavy vehicle onto yours, you may have compacted the soil and crushed the pipes. Even the weight of a horse is too heavy, and you should never build anything on your septic tank field.
  • Age: The average drainfield lasts for around 25 years. However, that varies depending on how well you maintain it and your usage. If you move into a home that already has a drainfield, be sure to check how old it is so you’re not caught out.

What Are the Signs Your Drainfield Has Failed?

If you spot any of these signs, don’t ignore them and instead seek professional help straight away.

  • Sewage odor: If you think you smell sewage, you’re probably right. If sewage is backing up in your drains, you need to get them cleared immediately because it gets worse.
  • septic services Oakley, MISlow drains: Do you have to flush a few times before the toilet basin clears, or does your shower fill with water after just a few minutes of using it? Any drainage issue suggests your drainage field is saturated, and water has nowhere else to go.
  • Puddles on the lawn: If there are puddles on the lawn, even though there’s been no rainfall, the ground could be waterlogged and water unable to drain.

How Can You Prevent Drainfield Failure?

Scheduling annual maintenance checks with a septic services professional helps prevent future drainfield failure. They’ll examine your drainfield and the septic tank itself, and flag any issues likely to crop up if you don’t take action.


Sloan’s Septic Tank Service has served the home and business owners of Oakley, MI, and the surrounding areas for over 80 years. They provide 24/7 septic services for emergencies, and for everything else, they promise prompt, efficient call-outs, all handled by their professional team of highly trained technicians. From installation to ongoing maintenance, don’t settle for any other team but the best. Call them today on (989) 845-6280 or go online to schedule a free estimate.

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