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How to Inspect the Soil Absorption System or Septic Drainfield
for Evidence of Septic System Failure - Soakaway Bed Clogging Failure Detection

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How to spot drainfield clogging failures:

This septic system inspecting testing and maintenance article describes septic drainfield (soakaway bed, leach field, drainage trench) clogging failures among the types of septic system failure in the drain field, leach field, seepage bed, or similar component.

We list the causes of each type of septic component failure, and list the septic component failure criteria or in other words what conditions are defined as failure?



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Wastewater Disposal Field Clogging Failures / Septic Effluent Disposal and Septic Drainfield Failures

Soaking drainfield by a lake (C) D Friedman

[Click to enlarge any image]

How can you distinguish between a blocked pipe, a septic tank that needs pumping, and a clogged drainfield that needs replacement?

This is an important question as it distinguishes between relatively low cost maintenance or repair task and a costly septic leach field replacement. We also discuss what can be planted over and near a septic drainfield and what should be avoided.

Readers should see SEPTIC DISPOSAL FIELD CLOGGING INSPECTION, also see SEPTIC DRAINFIELD RESTORERS? where we describe the use of chemicals, treatments, septic tank additives, to try to restore failed or failing sluggish septic drainfields or leaching beds or soakaway beds.

There is an important distinction between septic effluent disposal and septic effluent treatment.

Traditionally people figured that if they could flush toilets and use sinks and showers without seeing septic effluent again outside on the ground surface, the septic system was "working fine". Really this describes successful effluent disposal - getting rid of the liquid waste.

And when effluent disposal failures occur, people are forced to repair or replace the septic system or drainfield.

Successful septic effluent treatment (as opposed to disposal) means that the effluent being released to the environment (as ground water for example) is sufficiently sanitary as to avoid contaminating nearby wells, rivers, streams, lakes, etc. with pathogens or chemicals from the wastewater.

We explain this point further at DISPOSAL vs TREATMENT.

Septic effluent runs out of the system, across rocks, down the hill (C) D Friedmah

In simplest terms, there are two visible septic effluent or onsite wastewater disposal failures:

Typical causes or symptoms of apparent septic drainfield failure range from things that are easy and cheap to repair, to a need for complete system replacement:

Septic drainfield cross section sketch

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Continue reading at SEPTIC FIELD FAILURE CAUSES or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see HOME BUYERS GUIDE to SEPTIC SYSTEMS

Or see HOME SELLERS GUIDE TO SEPTIC INSPECT

Or see OTHER SEPTIC TROUBLE SIGNS

Or see SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS

Or see these

Septic Drainfield / Soakbed Failure Articles

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SEPTIC DISPOSAL FIELD CLOGGING INSPECTION at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES: ARTICLE INDEX to SEPTIC SYSTEMS

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Publisher's Google+ Page by Daniel Friedman