The removal of sewage and water waste from your home is an important aspect of residential life. Many homes rely on septic systems to handle waste removal.

Homeowners spend a lot of time and effort maintaining their septic tanks through regular cleaning and pumping, but there are other essential components within the septic system that shouldn't be overlooked. The drainfield is one of these components. Once waste is processed through the septic tank, liquids are released into the drainfield for decomposition. A failed drainfield could leave you without the ability to safely eliminate waste from your home.

1. Flooding can cause drainfield failure.

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, you need to be aware of the negative effect flooding can have on your drainfield. Floodwater can fully saturate the ground surrounding your home. If the drainfield becomes saturated, the soil isn't capable of accepting the liquid waste being pushed through the septic tank.

You will probably experience sewage waste backing up into your home through drains when flooding has compromised the performance of your drainfield. Limit the use of your septic system until the drainfield dries out and can accept liquid waste once again.

2. Infrequent septic pumping can lead to drainfield failure.

Your septic tank and your drainfield enjoy a close relationship. All of the waste sent down the drains in your home is housed in the septic tank. The solid and liquid wastes are separated from one another in the septic tank, and the liquid waste is released into the drainfield for microbial processing.

If you don't pump your septic tank often enough, the slime and sludge layers within the tank can become too thick to allow for proper separation of solids and liquid waste. This results in solid waste being pushed into the drainfield. The drainfield will become clogged, and a new drainfield will need to be constructed to restore proper function to your septic system.

3. An overabundance of microbes can cause the drainfield to fail.

As waste makes its way into the drainfield, microbes begin to populate the soil. These microbes can help break down liquid waste, but they can be detrimental to the performance of your septic system when their population swells. A drainfield that is overpopulated with microbes will be unable to accept new liquid waste.

You will need to create a second drainfield that can service your septic system. The microbes in the initial drainfield will die off once the waste supply is eliminated. This allows you to alternate back and forth between drainfield to maximize the performance of your septic system in the future.