How To Fix A Saturated Septic Leach Field

A septic leach field, or drain field is a critical component of a septic system. It allows wastewater from the septic tank to flow into the drain line and seep into the soil, where it is naturally cleaned and returned to the environment.

However, over time issues with leach beds can occur causing problems for the rest of your septic system. One of these issues is wet grass or pooling above your drain field. This can in turn lead to foul septic odors and slow draining in your home. In this article, we'll look at the most common causes of a saturated leach field and what you can do to fix it.

The Consequences of a Saturated Leach Field

A saturated leach field can lead to backups in your entire septic system. Additionally, it can pollute nearby water sources and harm the environment. In some cases, it can also cause a health hazard, as raw sewage can seep into the ground and contaminate your drinking water.

Saturated Septic Leach Field

What Causes Water to Pool on a Leach Field?

One of the most common reasons for a saturated leach field is over use. When the system is subjected to a high volume of wastewater, it can become overwhelmed, leading to saturation. If you haven't had a recent spike in use and you are experiencing pooling, then there is most likely something else at play.  
Your soil may not be able to absorb the wastewater because of a biomat buildup. This biomat is acting as a barrier between the wastewater and the soil below leaving no place for the water to go. The good news is that this issue can be addressed with a simple solution. 

What is a Biomat?

A biomat or biofilm is a layer of organic matter that forms on the bottom of a leach field bed and between the bed media. It acts as a barrier between the liquid wastewater and the soil creating a clogged leach field. Over time, the biomat can become too thick, making it difficult for water to pass through. This can cause the leach field to become saturated, which can result in wet grass, backups and foul odors.

Septic Drain Field with Bio Mat
Septic Drain Field with Bio Film causing pooling water

Using Bacteria and Enzymes (biologic additives) to Fix a Saturated Leach Field

The most effective ways to fix a saturated leach field is to add additional bacteria and enzymes to the septic system. These biologic additive can break down the biomat and help to restore the flow of water through the leach field.

The anerobic bacteria will literally eat biomat turning it into water and CO2. That's right, you don't need to call a professional septic service company to dig up and replace your drain field, you just need to help it with organic waste digestion!

Septic water flowing down though leach bed

Choosing the Right Bacteria and Enzyme Product

When choosing biologic additives to fix a saturated leaching field, it's important to choose one that's specifically designed for this purpose. Most septic additives are for the maintenance of your septic system and will not be powerful enough to break down the biomat.
You should look for a product that contains a VERY high concentration of facultative bacteria (anaerobic bacteria and aerobic bacteria) plus mix of enzymes, as this will help to break down the biomat more effectively and quickly.
Our Septic Liberator shock treatment is designed for this specific purpose of removing leach field saturation. It contains trillions of microbes and multiple different strains of enzymes. 
Septic Liberator for saturated leach beds

How to Use Bacteria and Enzymes to Fix a Saturated Leach Field

To use bacteria and enzymes to fix a saturated leach field, simply follow these steps:

  1. Pour the treatment (usually a liquid) into a the plumbing system. This can be through toilet connected to the leach field or directly into the inspection port on the septic tank.

  2. Wait for the bacteria and enzymes to do their work. This can take several days or weeks, depending on the size of the leach field and the extent of the saturation. Do not use chemicals like bleach or anti-microbial soap as this will negatively effect the helpful bacteria. 

  3. Check the leach field regularly to monitor its progress.

  4. Depending on the severity of the problem multiple doses may be required


A saturated septic leach field can be a serious problem for septic systems, but it can be easily fixed in most cases. By using biological additives, you can help to break down the biomat and restore the flow of water through the leach field fixing the entre septic system.

Just make sure to choose a high-quality product and follow the instructions carefully. We recommend Septic Liberator shock treatment. With this one product and these simple steps, you can keep your septic system running smoothly and fix a saturated leach field bed.

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