Drainfield Restoration Strategies

Percolation refers to the movement of fluids through porous materials. The buildup of sulfides and the presence of deep-rooted plants could interfere with the porosity of your drainfield. To restore the drainfield, a mechanical aeration process, a jetting process, and the addition of a chemical agent may be necessary. 


Oxygen depletion within a drainfield can cause bacterial growth. Anaerobic bacteria may trigger a black slime-like material to form. This slimy material (iron sulfide) will form a barrier across a drainfield. The iron sulfide may have a pungent odor that is similar to rotten eggs. The slimy barrier will prevent water from draining as normal. This may be particularly evident after heavy rain has fallen. If you notice an unpleasant odor and water pooling across the surface of your drainfield, there is reason to believe that an abundance of sulfides is to blame.

A Mechanical Aeration Process

Mechanical aeration involves loosening soil. Deep furrows are created with the use of machinery. A machine will lift soil and create air pockets throughout the ground. A mechanical aeration process is typically conducted in areas that contain clay, rocky terrain, and other surface materials that are thick. Aeration is also conducted in areas where dense, deep-rooted plants or trees are growing.

Before an aeration process is conducted, a plumber will need to determine if an abundance of sulfides is what is causing water to pool within the drainfield. They may use a camera to inspect the septic tank and lines that are connected to it. The footage that is collected will determine if any of the plumbing components are damaged or clogged. Damaged pipes or a malfunctioning septic tank will either need to be repaired or replaced.

A Jetting Process And A Chemical Treatment

A plumber may recommend that a jetting process is completed independently or along with a mechanical aeration process. A jetting process is sometimes necessary when septic tank components are clogged. A plumber will need to assess the septic system and dig down into the ground to access the plumbing components that are clogged.

Equipment will be used to flush water forcefully through septic tank components that are clogged. The sediment that is stuck inside of a septic line will be pushed through and eventually be transported into the tank. A chemical treatment may be added to the drainfield. The treatment will break down sulfides and restore the natural balance of the soil.

Contact a plumber near you for more information about drainfield restoration