Liquid observed in the drainfield usually indicates that the soil absorbtion capability is reduced and ponding is progressing. Many
systems begin ponding within the first few years. The ponded state of a drainfield is usually a slowly developing condition. The
estimated life of today's drainfields under normal usage is 15 to 25 years. The drainfield is ponded to some degree during most of these years. A consistently rising level of ponding is a possible indicator as to the life expectancy of a drainfield. Sludge in a
vent pipe or observation tube is an indicatior of a more serious condition.
Many leading institutions have been using teh observance of any liquid in a vent or observation tube as the sole criteria for rejecting a septic system from a proposed sale or purchase of a home. As noted above, this is a subjective and inaccruate conslusion. A more reasonable condition of sale would be to make sure that there is a suitable replacement drainfield area available for the future if, and when, the existing drainfeild fails. Technical failure of a septic drainfield is when the effluent is bleeding out onto the ground surface, wastewater backing up into the building (not due to plugged or broken sewer lines) or the existing drainfield was installed less than 3 feet to a saturatation zone, groundwater, dedrock or impervious soil.Click to go back to Home