Why is My Drainfield Failing? Info About Leach Fields in Erie County, NY

September 11, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

While septic tanks need to be pumped regularly to stay in good condition for as long as possible, they aren’t actually the most important part of your septic system as a whole. No, that distinction belongs to your drainfield, the area in which all water leaving the tank gets held until it is filtered into the soil, where most of the actual treatment of the wastewater occurs.

If you have a failure in your drainfield, this could cause some unwanted (to put it lightly) results, including horrible odors on your property, constantly wet or flooded surfaces or uneven landscaping.

With this in mind, here is some information about leach fields in Erie County, NY and some of the common reasons they fail.

System age

The first of these reasons is also the simplest—sometimes the only reason your drainfield fails is that it’s just too old to be expected to operate to the same degree of reliability and functionality it once did.

On average, you can expect septic drainfields to last about 25 years, depending on how frequently and heavily they’re used and how well you’ve kept up with general maintenance. You can certainly stretch out the lifespan of the drainfield longer, but once you get to that age, you can expect issues to start to pop up more frequently.


Blocked pipes are another of the most common causes of septic drainfield failure. If you don’t pump your septic tank frequently enough, sewage sludge can begin to build up inside the drainfield pipes, resulting in clogs that can be difficult to get out. This is just another reason to keep up with your regular septic tank maintenance—it helps you avoid a lot of unpleasant and expensive issues.

In addition, tree roots can infiltrate septic system drainfields, so it’s important to not allow any trees or other plants with major root systems to grow on top of the drainfield.


Septic systems have their limits with regard to the amount of water they can handle at once. If you have leaks, such as dripping faucets, malfunctioning filtration systems or other areas where water is constantly running, your septic system will have a heavier load to handle, which in turn puts more stress on your drainfield. This increases the likelihood of flooding.

Oversaturation can also simply be caused by higher-than-average usage of the system, which is common if you have a lot of visitors or have many occupants in a home on a single system.


You should keep heavy items off the drainfield as much as possible, including vehicles, permanent structures, horses and any other heavy objects that might compact the soil and do damage to the drainfield and its piping systems.

Looking for more information about leach fields in Erie County, NY and how to keep them properly maintained? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to provide you with more information about the services we offer.

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