Unclogging a Septic Tank Leach Field


A leach field, or drainage field, is the place that most of your septic tank’s wastewater drains to.
While you might not need to think about it most of the time, it can still be a valuable part of your
system – meaning that you need to keep it in good shape.

If your septic tank’s leach field is clogged, then you will need some expert help to unclog it. But how
do you actually go about doing it?

Clearing or Replacements?

Used with permission of Patterson Custom Homes, Brandon Architects and photographer Darlene Halaby

Depending on the level of clogging in the system, there can be points where it becomes very hard to
clear the system. While it might be tempting to replace some of the pipes, this is only really a
variable option if the system is damaged since it can be hard to replace blocked pipes quickly.

Always put clearing and unclogging before any of the other methods since it will often be the
quickest and most affordable option. This can make everything much faster, and even the simple act
of unblocking the tank can fix a massive amount of potential problems with the system.

Call a Specialist

Backyard with lawn and olive tree
Used with permission of Breeze Giannasio

First things first, always call in an expert. The more time you waste, the more damage your clogged
septic tank can cause, and in extreme cases, it might even end up broken. If nothing else, you can
rely on a specialist to inspect the site and make sure that the damage is not anything too extreme.

If you are not sure where your pipes actually are in your yard, then it is a good idea to contact a
specialist so that they can locate your system easily. This is also important if you do not know which
pipe has the clog, so you will need to get their help to figure this out.

When you do not call a specialist, things get much more complex since you need to expose and clear
each individual pipe so that they are all available to check. This can take a long time and can often
lead to further issues if handled poorly, so be sure you know what you are doing.

Take Preventative Measures

Bathroom sink and mirror
Used with permission of Kira David Design

As soon as you get your system unblocked, you will want to look into other ways of keeping your
septic field free from future harm. Even basic things, like reducing water usage and trying to avoid
pouring harsh chemicals down the sink or shower, can make a huge impact on how long your system

Simple wear and tear can eventually break any septic tank system or water system as a whole, so it
is important to try and minimize other forms of damage as much as possible. If you are not sure
what you can do, then contacting a professional is the best way to find reliable options.

Whatever you do, remember to treat your septic tank system with the proper care it deserves. It
may not be the most glamorous part of your property, but it is a necessary one and making sure that
it does not break down before you are able to get it repaired is the best option.


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