Why is my grass dying or turning yellow over my drain field

Jack Cacy

bright green grass to help prevent soil erosion

If you or your partner keep asking why is my grass turning yellow over my drain field, then you’re in the right place. Septic systems are a great thing when they work correctly, when they start impacting on your lush green grass or worse start backing up into the house, then they are suddenly a problem.

In this article we will go through the number of reasons that your septic drain field could be causing the dead grass or yellow grass.


Prevent septic system problems BEFORE they start

For almost everything in life, prevention is better (and cheaper) than the cure. When it comes to septic tanks and septic drain fields you could say prevention is better than a massive repair bill!

The number one reason we find time and time again with septic tanks is that they are not able to do their job correctly to filter liquid and solid effluent to eventually come out of your leach field. If your septic tank is not working correctly then yellow grass over your septic drain field is the first of your worries and they can get very expensive.

Before you go paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars to a septic professional to inspect and clean your septic tank, try a natural monthly septic tank treatment for around $9 per month designed to get your tank working correctly. If in a couple of weeks you are having major problems, then get in an expensive inspector.



Causes of dead grass or brown grass over your septic drain field

When investigating what is causing the yellow grass, brown grass or soil erosion, you will want to look at a few key factors.

Time of year or season

Depending on the type of septic system and drain field, the season could play a big part in areas or stripes of grass above your leach field going brown or yellow. When the weather is hot, grass relies on pulling water from below ground. A leach field is berried below the soil in a shallow trench, often filled with rock. This reduces the amount of soil your grass can use to pull water from. Certain types of leach fields like a mound septic system or chamber septic systems take up a lot of room underground and are prone to large areas of yellow grass.

If your lawn grass is only turning to brown grass or your grass is dying in summer/ during dry weather, then this might not be a permanent problem. It could just be a function of the septic leach field not allowing your grass to access the moisture it needs.

Saturated Leach Fields

The drain lines are the final filtering stage of a septic system. The drain field and leach lines use the surrounding soil to filter the last pathogens from the wastewater coming from your septic tank. This wastewater is packed with nutrients. Too many nutrients can affect the grass roots which sit just above the drain lines. Flooding of the grass roots above a leach field by water from the leach field is a common occurrence, especially if the septic tank is too small for the household or water usage is high (many loads of washing). When the soil moisture is too high or there is excessive moisture for long periods, areas of yellow grass over the septic drain field can occur affecting the grass growth.

Dangerous chemicals or acidic substances

Many homeowners use household cleaners like bleach or ammonia-based cleaners that are not septic safe for their septic system, this will cause havoc in the septic tank before eventually coming out of your septic leach field and could burn your grass. This can also happen if you use excessive vinegar when cleaning or to try to unblock a drain or toilet. Vinegar is an acidic substance and could burn grass over the septic field or shallow rooted herbaceous plants. If this is the case you will often notice problems with your septic tank before your leach field. A couple of articles to read – Septic System Failure – What causes a septic tank or field to fail? or Septic Tank Sewage Odor Inside & Outside Why The Sewage Smell In House?


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