Well designed and built septic systems in Northern Virginia that are properly maintained should last a minimum of 20-30 years. However, if you forgo timely maintenance of your septic system, there is a 100% chance that it will fail sooner, rather than later.
Drainfields fail when there is too much water, too much organic matter in the effluent, or when the drainfield pipes are somehow damaged.
Your drainfield can be overwhelmed with too much water use from inside the home over a short period of time. Adding more people and appliances that use large amounts of water, are the usual culprits. Outside the home, draining a hot tub or pool into your septic system or too close to the drainfield can cause a failure.
Too much organic matter in the effluent can be caused by neglecting timely septic system maintenance (pumping, etc.). Using a garbage disposal adds chunks of undigested organic matter and grease to your system, which will also cause big problems with the effluent. And you are just asking for a septic system failure if you allow things like tampons, sanitary pads, diapers, and wipes to be flushed into your septic system.
When drainfield pipes are damaged, the processed effluent can’t disperse into the soil correctly, and you will end up with large puddles filled with human waste floating on top of your drainfield. Drainfield pipes are damaged when vehicles are driven on top of the drainfield, sheds or wood piles placed on top of the drainfield, or roots from shrubs and trees wind they way around and crack into pipes.
For more information on septic system maintenance in Northern VA, please contact SES Mid Atlantic LLC. Serving all of Northern Virginia, the professionals at SES are trusted, knowledgeable, licensed, and insured to install septic systems, and provide septic system maintenance and repairs.