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How calcium can wreak havoc in a drain field.

Sometimes, it is hard to tell if your home fully functional, especially if you just bought it from the real estate market. Even if the agent has showed you every positive aspect of the property, you still somehow have a feeling that something is kept from you. This usually happens when the necessary inspection is not performed before the property is purchased. The septic system is one of the vital components of the property that has to be checked. You should have a septic inspector and not a house inspector to do this so that you could really get the true report that you need. A septic inspector would be able to pinpoint the necessary part that has to be replaced or repaired.  The septic inspector should be able to show you how your system is functioning. One thing you should consider is what type of water quality you have. If you happen to have hard water, that means you have an abundance of calcium. If that is so then you should understand how calcium can wreak havoc in a drain field. More importantly, you should not purchase a property that has a malfunctioning septic system. Even if the property is cheap, a sick septic system will cost you thousands of dollars. Once you have sealed the deal, it is your responsibility to continue your septic’s maintenance and care.

It is common knowledge that the septic system is made up of the septic tank and a drain field. The septic system collects and pre-treats the raw wastewater. The resident aerobic bacteria break down the solid waste particles before allowing the effluent to flow into the drain field. Here, the final stage of wastewater treatment takes place. The anaerobic bacteria further break down the minute solid particles that may still be in the pre-treated effluent. These bacteria also regulate the biomat, which purify the effluent, ridding it of toxins and pathogens. The result is cleaned water that is safely returned to the surrounding environment.

The most common drain field issue that many homeowners face is clogging. Drain field clogging is brought about by so many things. The worst possible cause of drain field clogging that you can have is calcium accumulation. This problem starts with the anaerobic digestion that the thiocillus bacteria perform. The process gives way to hydrogen sulfide gas that gathers in the headspace above the septic water line. Here, oxygen combines with the gas. The interaction produces sulfuric acid, which forms ettringite or calcium sulfoaluminate that eats away the concrete protection, subjecting the metal components of the leach field to damage. You will see white formations of ettrigite on the concrete reinforcement of the septic system found in the septic tank and the distribution system of the drain field. You may choose the brand of cement that could be used to construct the septic tank and d-system—if you’re fortunate enough. If you are, choose a brand of cement that is tolerant of sulfuric acid damage. There are septic systems that have different brands of cement used of the tank and the d-system. As a result, the tank may last longer than the d-system or vice versa.

Preventing ettingite accumulation and damage to your drain field needs the help of your septic expert. An efficient aeration system should be installed to increase the level of oxygen in the system. With more oxygen, the hydrogen sulfide produced by the thiocillus bacteria will not be given the chance to occupy the headspace over the septic water line. Oxygen will take its place. Ultimately, sulfuric acid production will be greatly decreased. This will then cut down the appearance of ettringite on the concrete reinforcement.

Aside from ettringite, you  should also take note of other causes of drain field clogging and damage. Excessive water load from heavy rains and from the household itself bring too much water into the drain field. As a result, the raw wastewater is pushed back into the home, preventing the normal flow of the treatment. Another cause is the invasion of complex root systems. Water and nutrients are easily accessed in the drain field. It is natural for the roots to grow inside of it because it is constantly flowing with wastewater.

Knowing how calcium can wreak havoc in a drain field will help prevent severe drain field deterioration. Always be aware of your drain field’s condition so that your system could last a long time.

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