Clogged Pipes & Caution of treatments

Clogged pipes are a messy business

Clogged drain field laterals are the end of a septic system. Maintaining a functioning septic system is key for extending the life of your drain field. Here, the septic tanks hadn’t been pumped in years which forced sludge and scum into the lateral leech lines in the drain field. Once the lateral lines become saturated with solids/bio-film, the only option is to replace the entire drain field lateral line components.

Remember to schedule your tank and drain field inspections on a routine basis. Island County says the following:

Conventional/gravity fed systems should be inspected every 3 years.

All others (alternative systems, conventional pressure systems, or just about everything with a pump) should be inspected annually.

An inspection is required for the sale of a property.

Septic Treatments and Septic Safe

Using products marketed as “Septic Tank Treatments” provide no value or insurance against failure. To the contrary, these products break down the sludge and scum layers (materials that shouldn’t be sent to your drain field anyway) and allows them to exit with the effluent. With these products, you are accelerating the rate of solid/bio-film accumulation in the lateral lines.

Also make sure you use Septic Safe products. Bleach and other antibiotic/antimicrobial chemicals dumped in significant quantities into the septic tank can kill the bacteria that is necessary for a properly functioning septic system.

It is possible, depending on the amount of accumulation to spray out the pipes using high pressure water jets, just like snaking a drain. This does require some level of clearance in the lateral pipes for the nozzle/hose to travel and the debris/water to exit. The 100% clogged lateral pipes below could not be cleaned and required replacement. Call us today for an inspection so you know exactly where you stand with your septic system.

We will also inspect your tanks to document the levels of sludge/scum accumulation and let you know when you should pump your tanks!

Clogged pipe
Clogged lateral line in drain field
Clogged pipe
Clogged lateral coupling