A septic tank is an integral component of your home plumbing system, sending wastewater into the drain field. The drain field is a section where most treatment happens and holds water until it percolates into the soil. When the drain field gets clogged, it turns into anaerobic conditions, losing its efficiency and eventually failing. Consulting with the best plumbers in Oakland is necessary to maintain your septic system. Drain field problems can lead to raw sewage on your property and multiple other issues.

Why Does the Drain Field Fail?

Grease, soap, and particles from the septic tank build up in the rock bed, filling the regions where water flows. This limits the water flow and blocks the drain field leading to water backing up into the soil above the drain field. When the anaerobic bacteria grow, a black slimy layer starts forming, preventing the proper percolation of water and leading to plumbing backup, odors, and puddles.

Signs of Drain Field Failing

1. Slow Drains

This may indicate a blockage in your septic drain field if you notice multiple draining issues in the house, such as slow-draining sinks, tubs, and toilets. Drain field clog causes sinks to take forever to drain, toilets to overflow, and bathtubs to hold water for longer than usual.

2. Septic Odors

If you detect a foul rotten egg smell emanating from the household drains or wet areas, this is another sign of a clogged septic drain field or failing system. Call for a professional septic repair specialist for drain cleaning in Oakland, CA, if this issue persists. You can use an eco-friendly drain cleaner or examine your septic tank for unusually high water levels.

3. Strange Noises

Strange, gurgling noise from your drains and toilets could be an early indicator of leach field blockage. Noises like this warn you that your system has a partial blockage causing extensive damage and leading to costly repairs. You may hear strange sounds from other plumbing fixtures, indicating blockage in your drainage system.

4. Puddles and Greener Grass

If you notice a back garden for damp spots, puddles, or areas that are greener in your back garden, it may be a sign of leach field failure. When there’s no rain, and you see puddles, your drain field may be deteriorating because your liquid waste has not had enough space in the septic tank, so it starts to surface in your garden, causing greener grass in different spots. This may indicate that additional water and nutrients are 

accelerating higher growth. Excess water means your system isn’t disposing of the wastewater properly.


Septic tank maintenance and timely drain field inspection are necessary to avoid facing expensive septic system failures. The drain field is an essential component of the septic system. One of the prime causes of a leach field failure is delaying tank pumping. It’s critical to hire reputable contractors for maintenance before expensive damage occurs.

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