I have just finished replacing my drain field. The field was not draining at all, and we had to pump about 5,000 gallons of effluent out before we could repair it. I have 5 in my family. For 6 months, we survived with the bad field by: washing clothes at the laundromat, not using the dishwasher, taking showers by getting wet, turning off the water and soaping up, then rinsing, and limiting toilet flushing. Another thing that may help is getting an excavator to punch a hole through the field to dry sand. This will temporarily relieve the pressure and allow the field to drain somewhat. This could hold you over. There is also a method of line cleaning and enzyme treatment that sometimes works. This method only works if only the lines or the area around the lines is plugged up. If the field is mucked up from age or lack of maintainence (not pumping the tank regularly) this won't work. Getting the field opened is the only way that you can really assess its condition. If you find the stone and the top sand totally black, the field will have to be repaired to function normally. I would suggest punching a hole to assess and relieve the field, and stringent conservation methods, including changing all showers, fixtures, etc. to low flow.