What Is a Biomat?

Many people who own homes with a septic system are not familiar with the various components of their system. It is not uncommon for a homeowner not to know where their septic tank or drain field is, even though this is important information to know. However, knowing where your system components are located and what to look for if there is a problem is important to prevent complete septic failure. One of these elements is a biomat.

If you are unfamiliar with a biomat, that may be a good thing. A biomat is something you do not want to occur if you have a septic system. To understand what a biomat is and why it is a sign of a septic problem, you need to know how your drain field works.

Drain Fields and Biomats

Your drain field is used to filter the waste water that comes from your septic tank. The effluent or waste water comes through a distribution box from the tank and is slowly spread over the drain field area through small underground pipes. If the soil is not allowing the water to go down fast enough or too many solids are in the effluent when it reaches the drain field, a bacteria-created layer is created called a biomat. This covers the ground and can prevent waste water from entering the soil to be filtered, causing a pooling of waste water and a septic backup.

Biomats don’t occur overnight. If there is an issue with the drain field, often there will be pooling water, a bad odor or abnormal plant growth in the area. This is the time to call your septic professional for an inspection to get the problem fixed before it becomes a full septic failure.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(678) 873-7934

Springtime Septic System Maintenance

After the cold months of winter have passed, there are many chores to consider around your home. You have a lawn to maintain, gardens to plant and cleanup from the winter storms. Another item to add to your to-do list for spring is septic system maintenance. You want to ensure your system did not sustain any damage from freezing, excess water or other issues throughout the winter. Here is a checklist of septic maintenance to do this springtime. 

  • Inspect your drain field. Drain fields can be damaged if too much water accumulated or if freezing temperatures cracked drainage pipes. Do an inspection of your drain field. Look for any signs of bio mat or standing water that is not absorbing into the ground; a bad odor is also a sign of issues.
  • Check your maintenance log. When was the last time your septic system was serviced and the tank pumped? After a busy winter of holiday gatherings and much time spent indoors, it may be time to have your system pumped and serviced.
  • Look for signs of trouble. Beyond the drain field, you can look for possible signs of sewer line problems in your yard and home. Soggy areas in your lawn where sewer lines run underneath could be a sign of a broken pipe that is leaking. Slow drains in the home could be alerting you to a clog. If there are any of these signs, schedule a camera inspection of your sewer lines to investigate the problem.

Your septic system should be designed to withstand the cold or wet months of winter, but there still can be problems that occur. Take the time this spring to inspect and service your septic system to avoid having your summer interrupted by a septic failure.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Common Drain Field Problems

Your drain field is an integral part of your septic system, the last phase of cleansing your waste water. Most drain fields are comprised of a distribution box, outlet pipes and a soil filtration system that distribute waste water from your septic tank into the ground. When one or more component becomes blocked or damaged, it can cause a backup and a complete septic failure. Here are some of the common problems that can occur in the drain field and how to prevent them.

Broken Pipes

If any of the pipes in your drain field are damaged, the waste water will not distribute evenly. Prevent broken pipes by keeping vehicles and other heavy equipment away from your drain field. Weight can cause damage to these small pipes and cause backups and other issues.

Pipe Clogs

The pipes in your drain field are perforated to allow the waste water to flow out and into the soil. These small holes can be clogged with debris that escapes the septic tank. Pills and other small objects that do not easily breakdown should never be put down your drains to avoid these clogs. Tree roots can also create clogs; never plant trees near your drain field.

Grease Caps

Too much fat or grease in your waste water can cause a grease cap to form over your drain field. This can cut off the oxygen flow to feed the bacteria that need to break down the effluent entering the soil. Do not put fat or grease down your drains to avoid this issue.

If you notice an odor coming from your drain field or a bio-mat forming over the area, call your local septic service company. Also, have your drain field inspected annually to ensure everything is in good working order to prevent emergency backups.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(678) 873-7934

Is a Drain or Leach Field Dangerous?

Most people worry about germs and bacteria when it comes to their health. Everyone knows that raw sewage is full of bacteria that can be harmful. If you have a septic system, you may be concerned that your drain or leach field could be dangerous for kids or pets if there is harmful bacteria present. The good news is if you maintain your drain field, there is no need to worry about it causing illness or harm to your family.

A properly maintained drain field should be covered with grass, free from larger shrubs or trees. If your drain field is working as it should, waste water flows into the area and drains quickly down through the soil. There should not be any odor or standing water – if either of these are present, call your septic service company immediately for an inspection.

If water is pooling on top of your drain field, this means the waste water is not filtering down as quickly as it should. In this case, your drain field can be a hazard and you should keep your kids and pets away from the area until it can be repaired. You may have a septic backup or failure, which needs professional care to fix.

To keep your drain or leach field healthy and safe, keep a close eye on it for any problems. Pooling water, odor or changes in the vegetation growing above it are good reasons to call your septic service. Make sure to have regular inspections and service to ensure your entire septic system is kept maintained to prevent backups and other septic problems.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Drain Field Design 101

If you are building a drain field for your gravity septic system, there are many different elements to consider. While regulations vary in different states and counties, most have specific rules you must follow. You will need a professional septic company to design your septic system, including your drain field. In most cases, the plans for your system will need to be submitted to the local health or building department for approval. Knowing what elements will need to be included can help you understand what issues may delay the building of your drain field.

Soil

One of the key elements of your drain field will be the depth and type of soil. A perk test will need to be done to ensure the soil is not too dense. Clay-based soils can be troublesome. How quickly waste water can permeate the soil is crucial to building a functioning drain field.

Size

Your drain field will need to be large enough to handle the size of home you have. This is usually based on the number of bedrooms in the home with a minimum size in some states or counties.

Location

There are specific rules on where you can place your drain field. This can include distance from the foundation of the home, wells, bodies of water, property lines and other considerations.

If you are buying property, the septic design and perk test should be done before your purchase. Knowing where the best place to put your drain field can be factored into where to build your home. Since drain fields and septic systems have specific requirements, it is easier to build a home around a septic system than the other way around. Having a septic designer and installer will help ensure your project goes smoothly, from start to finish.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(678) 873-7934

Is Your Septic System Ready for Heavy Rain?

Sometimes it is not what goes into your septic system that can cause problems. Mother Nature can also do harm to your system with torrential downpours, hail and deep freezes. While most homeowners with septic systems prepare for the freezing weather during the winter, not everyone considers what those heavy rain storms can do to their drain field and septic system.

Your drain field is only designed to handle so much water at a time. Your distribution box carefully distributes water evenly throughout the field so it can absorb into the drainage soil. Unfortunately, when a heavy rain storm hits, this can push water, and the effluent, back into the septic tank. As the drain field floods, so may your septic tank. If the tank is already fairly full, this excess water can push sewage back up toward your home and cause a sewer backup in your drains.

A sewer backup can be very expensive. Not only will your plumbing be unusable, it can cause water and mold damage in your home. If sewage overflows into your home, this can be a health hazard and needs specialized cleanup to ensure that your home is sanitized for safety. You also may need repairs to your drain field and septic system.

To prevent problems during the spring, summer and fall storms, preventative maintenance is required for your septic system. Before the rainy season hits in your region of the country, have your septic system inspected. If your septic tank is over half full, it may be beneficial to have it pumped as a precaution. Allowing extra room for those flooding waters can prevent the possibility of a sewer backup into your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

Drain Field Installation Basics

If you are installing a new septic system, you will also need to install a drain field. The septic tank and plumbing are just the first half of your entire septic system; the drain field is the critical second half. Having a drain field that is properly sized, in the right location and with the right environment is all important to ensure that it will function for many years to come. Here are a few basic tips that you should know about installing your new drain field.

  • Size matters. You must have a large enough drain field to handle the amount of waste water coming from your septic tank. Your septic professional will discuss this with you – however, you will need to dedicate a sizable portion of your property to this area. If it is too small, it will not leech into the soil fast enough and can cause a backup.
  • Landscaping. You will want to keep trees and large shrubs away from your drain field. These larger plants can have extensive roots that can grow into the field, clogging the system. It is best to only have grass covering the drain field and no large plants nearby.
  • Protect the area. You should have your drain field in an area where it won’t accidently be drove over or covered by any material. A good drain field should be difficult to spot; it should just look like part of your lawn. However, if someone drives over it or pours a material on top of it, you may need to replace it.

Hiring a qualified professional to install your drain field is the most important tip. A quality drain field that is correctly installed can perform for decades without any issues. Find a septic professional that is experienced in drain field installation to perform the job.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

Building a Successful Drain Field

Creating a solid, durable drain field depends on many factors. Many homes and businesses have had drain fields that last for decades, yet other drain fields fail in just a few years. How long your septic drain field will last is dependent on how and where it is built as well as how it is maintained. To make your drain field last, you need to start by building one correctly from the very beginning.

Drain Field Building Requirements

A drain field needs certain conditions to be viable and withstand decades of use.  First and foremost, location is critical; the wrong conditions will ensure that it will fail. A professional septic service that is experienced in installing quality drain fields that offer longevity will test for certain requirements before beginning installation, including:

  • Top soil and gravel. For any drain field to work successfully, the right types of soil and gravel must be used to cover the field.
  • High water clearance. Drain fields must be placed in an area that has high water clearance and is safe from flooding.
  • Size. The drain field must be large enough to handle the runoff from the tank, taking into consideration the soil percolation rate.

If installed correctly, a quality drain field can last for decades without any back up issues or septic failures. Of course, maintenance and proper use of the septic system is critical in maintaining a healthy, viable drain field. Before you begin, make sure to secure an experienced septic service professional with a solid reputation for quality workmanship. Getting your drain field installed right from the beginning is the key to building a successful drain field that will last for many years to come.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Identifying Drain Field Problems

Is your home or business on a septic system with a drain field? A properly working drain field is essential to avoid septic system failures that can cost several thousand dollars to repair or replace. Your drain field can work perfectly for years with no issues, making it easy to become complacent on regular inspections. However, identifying drain field problems early can prevent system failures and save you money. Here are a few signs to look for to catch drain filed issues before they become big problems.

  • Outdoor odors. If your drain field is working right, you shouldn’t have a bad odor around your home. If you catch a hint of sewage smell in the air, it is time to take a closer look at your drain field to determine if that is the source of the odor.
  • Pooling water. Although your drain field is constantly receiving waste water, if it is doing its job, the water should be immediately draining into the soil. Pooling water is one of the first signs that there is a problem within the drain field and you should call your septic professional.
  • Greener grass. Greener grass is not always a good thing. When the grass above your drain field is a deeper green than the rest of the lawn, you may be having a drain field issue. Too much waste material could be fertilizing the grass on your drain field, creating the greener grass but eventually it could lead to septic failure.

At the first sign of a drain field issue, call your local septic repair company. They can do a full inspection and get the source of the problem before it becomes worse.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Is Biomat Harming Your Septic Drain Field?

To function correctly, your septic tank and drain field need to maintain a delicate bacterial balance. For your drain field to be able to drain and filter the wastewater coming from the septic tank, the water must be able to freely flow through the soil. When the delicate bacteria balance is interrupted, a biomat can grow over the top of the drain field, leading to septic failure.

What is Biomat?

To put it simply, biomat is an organic substance that grows from the solid waste and bacteria that are allowed to leave your septic tank. This layer of organic material begins to grow from the edges of your drain field, eventually covering the entire field with a thick, organic mass that prevents waste from penetrating through into the soil. As more septic waste comes onto the biomat, it feeds it, causing it to grow. This layer has a foul odor and can often be visible as a slimy, dark film over the drain field.

How Biomat can Harm Your Septic System

Once a biomat has formed, it can begin backing up your septic waste and cause a complete septic failure. If allowed to progress, it can result in needing a new septic system installed, which can be very expensive. To prevent biomat formation in the drain field, you need to focus on caring for your septic tank bacteria balance.

If your septic tank is breaking down solids correctly, the wastewater going into the drain field should be the right bacterial balance. This allows wastewater to drain properly and will not result in a biomat. To keep your septic system and drain field running smoothly, schedule annual maintenance service and inspections for your septic system with your local septic service.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728