Septic Leach Field Repair or Replacement in Knoxville, Tennessee
Septic systems are a very common method of wastewater disposal in rural areas that do not have the water infrastructure that cities and towns do. There are several components of a septic system; one of those is called a leach field, also called a drainfield. Learn more about leach fields to find out whether you may need to repair or replace your septic leach field in Knoxville, TN.
To be clear, this article will consistently use the term leach field when referring to this very important septic system component.
What does the leach field do?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the leach field is the second step in processing wastewater that has entered the septic system. In the first step of wastewater treatment, the water runs from pipes in your house and drains into the septic tank. The septic tank’s job is to hold the wastewater long enough to allow solids to sink to the bottom of the tank as sludge.
After the sludge has separated from the wastewater in the septic tank, the liquid wastewater (also called effluent) then drains from the tank into the leach field. This is “a shallow, covered excavation made in unsaturated soil.” Treating the wastewater in the leach field consists of allowing it to percolate through the soil. Then the wastewater leaves the leach field as groundwater.
Causes for Leach Field Failure
According to the “houselogic” website, there are two primary reasons for leach field failure.
Infrequent septic tank emptying
This results in sludge and scum growing so thick that they leave little room for wastewater to pool as its components separate. When this is happening, grease and solids make their way to the leach field and clog it.
According to another EPA page, the standard time frame for pumping a septic tank is three to five years. An article on “the nest” website suggests pumping the septic tank every two or three years with the number of water users being the main consideration. In fact, there are several conditions that determine the frequency with which the septic tank should be pumped. Those include:
- Household size
- Septic tank size
- Total wastewater generated
- The volume of solids in the wastewater
Be sure to keep maintenance records for any work performed on the septic system.
Passage of time
In this case, it’s not your fault. After approximately 30 years the beneficial microbes in the leach field accumulate to the point that they clog the soil so that it cannot properly absorb the liquid.
Do you need to repair or replace your leach field in Knoxville?
First of all, the “houselogic” article says that if your leach field has failed, “repair” is not an option. It is highly likely that you will need to replace most or all of your septic system.
However, there could be some alternatives when replacing septic system parts that could save you money. For instance, you may find that even though you are stuck with replacing your leach field, your septic tank may be in good shape and reusable. This option could save approximately $1,000 off the cost of your septic system replacement, and it just might preserve part of your yard.
The Cost of a Leach Field Replacement
According to the “the nest” website, costs for replacing a leach field can vary because it’s the most expensive element in septic systems. Some of the cost differences are based on the leach field size and local permit costs.
Here are some issues that may affect your cost:
Sandy soils enable the best downward percolation of wastewater. On the other hand, clay soils tend to hold water. The more porous soil type, such as sand, will not require as large a leach field as the less porous clay.
Leach field accessibility
The need to remove trees or fencing to access the leach field for work also affects the total replacement cost.
When facing the replacement of your leach field, it is important to get several cost estimates based on the specifics of the work needed before choosing a plumber. Also, be sure to check the licensing and liability coverage for any plumbing company you are considering.
Where to you go to replace your leach field in Knoxville?
When your leach field has failed, you need a professional plumbing company to assist you in reliably replacing it. Knoxville plumbing can provide you with that professional expertise when you’re looking for a septic leach field replacement in Knoxville.
It is our goal to provide the most innovative and highest quality plumbing services, providing peace of mind for you as our client and us as professionals, while we exceed your expectations of customer service.