Solving a Problem
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 Solving a Problem

A few weeks ago, my husband and I met with a general contractor. We talked with this professional about building an addition onto our small home. At this time, he informed us about a problem with our septic tank. We learned we would have to relocate a couple of septic lines before construction could begin on our home. Are you considering building an addition onto your house or business? Before you get too far along in this complex process, think about consulting with someone from a reputable septic service in your area. An expert from a septic service can inform you if your current septic tank will be large enough to accommodate the addition. On this blog, I hope you will discover the most common tasks performed by septic services. Enjoy!

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Is Your Leach Field Saturated With Grease?

Debra Chapman

Septic systems require careful maintenance and oversight in order to keep them functioning well. But while most people focus on maintaining their septic tank, the leach field -- which is the soil into which the septic tank drains -- often goes unnoticed. The most common problem with leach fields is grease logging, and it can cause serious septic troubles if it is not addressed quickly. Here's a closer look at this problem, its causes, and what you can do about it:

What is grease logging?

When your leach field is operating as intended, septic water should flow easily through the soil, and the soil should filter bacteria and other contaminants out as the water flows. Grease logging happens when the soil in the leach field becomes overly clogged and covered with grease. When this occurs, water cannot pass through the soil in the same manner; it loses its filtering properties.

What causes a leach field to become grease logged?

The most common cause of grease logging is the failure to pump your septic tank as often as you should. When you don't pump the tank, grease and scum build up at the top of the tank to the extent that they start flowing out of the tank with the wastewater. (Wastewater should be the only thing really leaving the tank.) Over time, more and more grease builds up in the leach field soil until it becomes fully clogged with grease.

Of course, pouring grease down your drain also makes the problem worse because it accelerates the rate at which grease accumulates in the septic tank. Some people with garbage disposals erroneously believe it's okay to rinse grease down their drains, and it is not -- especially when you have a septic system.

What are the signs of grease logging?

The most obvious sign of this problem is the appearance of standing, smelly water in your septic leach field. The water fails to flow through the soil properly, so it all just bubbles to the top. (This can also be a sign you just need your tank pumped, so contact your septic professional to be sure.)

What can you do about a grease logged leach field?

Sadly, your only option is to have the grease-logged soil removed and replaced with new soil. Then, going forward, you will need to be careful to have your tank pumped every two to three years and not to rinse grease down any drains. Contact a company like AAA Pumping Service for more information and assistance. 


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