Hydrojetting or power-rodding of septic field lines is sometimes proposed as an inexpensive alternative to repairing a failing septic system. The process involves inserting a high-pressure stream of water into the septic field line to clear any obstructions. These obstructions hinder the flow of sewage to the entire septic field. A licensed septic pumper or installer usually does this procedure.
A septic field line is not comparable to a typical drain line found inside the house: therefore, rodding or jetting a septic field line is very different from cleaning out a clogged household drain line. A septic pipe is perforated to allow wastewater to seep into the surrounding gravel and soil where it is treated and filtered naturally. The strong force of the water from the hydrojetting can cause solids to flow into the surrounding gravel, potentially plugging the line instead of cleaning it out. This process can also damage the pipe itself.
In some cases, the header line into the septic field may become clogged. This prevents wastewater from reaching the majority of the septic field and can cause wasterwater to back up into the house or to come up out of the tank. In this situation hydrojetting would be beneficial.
The average cost of hydrojetting is about 800 to 1200 dollars. Although a small percentage of septic failures may be cured by hydrojetting, it is our experience that the majority of septic system failures require a septic repair. Therefore, your time and money are better spent to solve the problem rather than taking a chance of achieving a temporary fix or perhaps causing more damage.
Your area sanitarian can assist you in deciding if hydrojetting is an appropriate solution to your private sewage disposal system problem. Questions may be directed to your local Public Health Center's sanitarian.