All water from the house, whether from the sink, shower, toilet, or another source, flows into the septic tank. The tank’s job is to trap solids and let cleaner water pass through to the drainage area. The tank must be pumped regularly to remove these solids. If the tank is not properly maintained, the solids can build up and escape into the drainage area.
Once the water passes through the tank, it goes to a distribution box (D-box) which distributes the water evenly to the drain fields or dry wells. The D-box can become unleveled, pushing all the water to one particular drain field, causing premature failure.
Drain fields are ditches approximately 60-100' long, though they may differ in size and depth. Typically a drain field is dug 6' deep, then filled with 4' of limestone, which cleans the water as it passes into the ground and water table. A pipe runs from the D-box to the drain field pipe, a tile with holes through which the water drips out into the limestone.
Potential Septic System Problems
- Metal Tanks
- Leaking Concrete Tanks
- Slow drainage
- Heavy solids in tanks
- Faulty Pumps
- Faulty Floats
- Faulty Alarms
- Broken Baffles
- Full or nearly full drain fields and dry wells
- Unleveled distribution boxes
- Clogged or broken lines