- Drainage trenches should be from 300mm to 900mm wide, with areas of undisturbed ground 2m wide being maintained between parallel trenches. An inspection or a sample chamber should be installed between the septic tank and the drainage field. Drainage fields should be set out as a continuous loop fed from the inspection chamber.
How do you layout a drain field?
There should be at least 100 feet of drain field for a 1,000-gallon septic tank. This can be accomplished by making four trenches 25 feet long or two trenches 50 feet long. The trenches should be at a slight downward slant of no more than 1/4 inch per 8 feet of pipe.
How do I calculate the size of my septic drain field?
- The size of the drainfield is based on the number of bedrooms and soil characteristics, and is given as square feet.
- For example, the minimum required for a three bedroom house with a mid range percolation rate of 25 minutes per inch is 750 square feet.
How deep should a septic drain field be?
A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.
How big should my drain field be?
A typical septic drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36″; or per the USDA, 2 feet to 5 feet in depth.
Can a leach field be too deep?
Drain Field Depth The result is a drain field about 3 to 4 feet deep. Sometimes, however, a drain field may need to be a bit shallower and can result in drain pipes as close to the surface as 6 inches. Underground obstacles can cause this situation.
What can you put on top of a septic field?
Put plastic sheets, bark, gravel or other fill over the drainfield. Reshape or fill the ground surface over the drainfield and reserve area. However, just adding topsoil is generally OK if it isn’t more than a couple of inches. Make ponds on or near the septic system and the reserve area.
How far apart are leach field lines?
The minimum separation between the bottom of any leaching device and seasonally high groundwater shall be: 5 feet where the leaching device is between 50 and 100 feet from a stream, spring, or other waterbody.
Does a leach field need to be level?
The water level should always be at the level of the drain line connecting the septic tank to the leaching field. If the water level is higher than the drain line, it means that the leaching field cannot hold any more water and it is backing up into the septic tank.
What should be the size of septic tank?
Length of septic tank (L) should be taken as 9feet 9 inches or 9.75 feet. Breadth of septic tank (B) should be taken as 6 feet 3 inches or 6.25 feet. The standard height (D) of septic tank should be taken as 5 feet 9 inches or 5.75 feet.
Can a leach field be on a slope?
1. The maximum slope allowed for leach line trenches is 40% (2-1/2:1 slope). 2. All leach lines on steep slopes shall be installed in five-foot deep trenches with 12 inches of leach rock below the leach pipe or with approved chambers or other gravel-less system.
What does septic system design consist of?
A septic system is an onsite wastewater treatment system that processes and purifies household waste (effluent). The effluent consists of blackwater (toilet wastes) and greywater (kitchen sink, bathtub and laundry wastes). A septic system has two components: a septic tank and a leachfield or drainfield.
Can you put a garden over a septic field?
Planting over a septic leach field (drain field) is possible if it is done with care. If you have limited space on your property where you can garden, the leach field may be the only spot for landscaping. Vegetable gardening over a leach field is not recommended.
How far from a leach field should a garden be?
Measure 10 feet from the outer perimeter of the leach field. Mark the garden’s borders with stakes. According to the University of California Small Farm Program, fruits and vegetables should be planted at least 10 feet from a septic system or leach field to avoid bacterial contamination.
Can you put a greenhouse over a septic field?
A greenhouse can be erected on a septic field to grow certain types of plants. The greenhouse should not have permanent foundations, which could easily damage the septic system. Do not plant directly into the ground over a septic field, as the plants could absorb contaminants released by the system.
How to Design a Septic Tank Drain Field
In every septic system, the aseptic drain field is an integral aspect of the system. A drain field that is not correctly built will do nothing except cause major difficulties across the whole system. Several considerations should be taken into consideration while designing your drain field.
Step 1 – Determine the Size
It is dependent on a few things as to what size drain field you will require. First, the soil should be analyzed to determine its percolation rate. Performing the percolation test on your own is an option, as is hiring a professional to do it. The field will need to be drilled multiple times in order for you to complete this task on your own. For this project, you will need to drill holes that are at least 3 inches in diameter and 3 feet deep. This needs to be done in a random manner throughout the planned drain field’s region of operation.
The size of the field will be determined by the size of the house and the rate at which the water percolates.
Another factor to consider is the zoning rules in your area.
Step 2 – Map Out the Piping
Perforated pipes placed in gravel trenches across the drain field are required for a properly functioning drain field. It is preferable if the trenches have a little slope, often less than 1/8th inch each foot. The pipes will need to be buried in gravel and then covered with additional gravel to complete the installation. When planning the pipe layout, make sure to draw a schematic that appropriately depicts the depth of the field. Using this information, you can calculate how much dirt will be beneath the gravel, how much gravel will be under the soil, how much space will be required for the pipe, and how much gravel will be required for a cover.
Step 3 – Plan for Materials
Now that you have a rough draft of your map, you can begin to gather the materials you will need for the project. The perforated pipes must be at least 4 inches in diameter in the majority of circumstances. Purchase enough pipe to connect the septic system to the field and to be laid out on the field in the manner depicted in your drawing. Calculate the amount of gravel you will require and arrange for it to be delivered to a location near enough to the trenches that you can easily transfer it with a wheelbarrow or front end loader.
Also necessary is determining how much backfill will be required for the project. While you will have a lot of this from digging the trenches, you may find yourself in need of additional soil to fill in the gaps as well.
Septic Drainage Field Shape or Soakaway Bed Layout Specifications
- Post a QUESTION or COMMENT regarding the arrangement and form of your septic system’s drainfield and soakaway bed.
InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Guidelines for septic soakaway bed and drainfield form and layout: It is discussed in this septic system design article how to determine the form or layout of a standard drainfield. For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page. Use the SEARCH BOX to discover the information you’re looking for quickly.
How to Determine Septic Absorption Field Shape or Layout
Drainfields, also known as leach fields, absorption beds, soil absorption systems, and leaching beds, are used in onsite wastewater treatment systems, which are commonly referred to as “septic systems,” to accomplish the duties of septic effluent treatment and disposal. A variety of typical soil absorption methods are discussed in this paper, including absorption fields such as standard trenches, deep trenches, shallow trenches, cut-and-fill systems, and gravelless septic systems, among others.
Septic Field Shape or Layout Specifications:Septic Leach Field or Septic Absorption Field Design
When designing a septic system drainfield or leaching bed, the following aspects should be taken into account:
- A description of the size and shape of the available land on which septic components can be installed
- The incline of the ground in the location where the septic components will be installed will be considered. For example, septic drainfield trenches are typically laid parallel to the slope of a hill (as shown in the illustration at the top of this page), rather than “up and down” the hill (as shown in the illustration at the top of this page)
- If drainfield lines were laid straight down hill, all of the effluent would rush to the end of the trench and leak out of the end of the trench. The soil properties (for example, the soil percolation rate, which is the rate at which septic effluent may be absorbed by the soil)
- And The estimated average and maximum daily wastewater flow (i.e., how much effluent will need to be disposed of)
- The anticipated average and maximum daily wastewater flow Because different effluent handling systems necessitate different total effluent disposal areas and varied total linear feet, for example, comparing a typical drainfield trench with an unlined gravel-less system, the kind of septic system should be considered. In addition, the exact positions of all surrounding wells, streams, lakes, roadways, buildings, or any other site elements that necessitate a minimum separation distance between the septic system components and that site feature are required to be documented. A reserve space on the site that will allow for future septic system expansion, repair, or replacement is required by the local building regulations, which may define particular septic component lengths, set-backs, and capacities as well as the necessity for such a reserve area. Obstacles in the immediate vicinity: boulders, etc. Make sure that septic fields and trees or other sources of invasive roots are kept widely apart from one another. Observe the presence of trees or shrubs above the septic field or tank.
The septic system installer will excavate to prepare the drainfield in a pattern or shape that divides the length of the drainfield into sub-lengths of parallel (or other) trenches or pits or whatever, and the location, routing, and other aspects of these will be determined by the lot size and shape so that the necessary septic system can be constructed. Once we know the total area of effluent disposal system required, such as the length in feet of gravel-filled perorated pipe trench Because we already know the thorough answers to the septic system drainfield design factors stated above, we won’t be able to specify the exact form and proportions for a specific property, soil conditions, and septic system type in this section.
Reader CommentsQ A
Thank! But what if the mound is constructed with sand first, followed by gravel? Does it matter whether the sand has been tamped before or after this? If so, what is the proper way to go about it? Is it sufficient to just saturate sand with water or press it down with an excavator bucket? Is it feasible to dispense with the need of a junction box if there are three pipe lines each measuring 20 feet in length? What will it take for it to be correct? Sasha It is possible to have sinking if the excavator digs the trench too deeply or unevenly, and if the earth is not compacted afterward, as you describe.
- The trench bottom should be on virgin soil or compacted dirt or fill, and it should be put on and surrounded by gravel if done properly (except in a “no-rock” system) What can be done to prevent the pipe from drooping (deflection) as a result of soil subsidence?
- I’m concerned that the pipes will droop and that the field will collect gray water in an uneven manner.
- For a distance of that length – 280 feet – I would have expected the contractor to have installed some cleanouts along the way, which would have been excellent locations to observe what occurs when particles are flushed down the toilet.
- Wisconsin The leech field was constructed on a sloping terrain.
- (It’s supposed to be for runoff prevention, but it’s not.) I’m not aware of any specific figure.
- After all, your effluent must drain by gravity, therefore the slope will normally be a quarter of an inch or an eighth of an inch per foot, depending on the situation.
- See DISTANCES FOR SEPTIC CLEARANCE What is the maximum distance a septic drain field may be from a person’s home?
Continue reading at the SEPTIC DRAINFIELD LOCATION website. Alternatively, choose a topic from the closely related articles listed below, or browse the entireARTICLE INDEX. Alternatively, consider the following:
- CLEARANCE DISTANCES, SEPTIC SYSTEM
- ODORS, SEPTIC OR SEWER
- SEPTIC COMPONENT LOCATIONS
- SEPTIC D-BOX INSTALLATION, LOCATION, REPAIR
- SEPTIC D-BOX INSTALLATION, LOCATION ALTERNATIVE SEPTIC TREATMENT METHODS
- SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS
- SEPTIC DRAINFIELD INSPECTIONTEST-HOME
- SEPTIC DRAINFIELD LOCATION-HOME
- LOCATION OF THE DRAINFIELD PIPE, EXACT
- EXCAVATE TO LOCATE THE DRAINFIELD
- REASONS FOR LOCATION OF THE DRAINFIELD
- Recordings to LOCATE the DRAINFIELD
- SURPRISING DRAINFIELD LOCATIONS
- UNLIKELY DRAINFIELD LOCATIONS
- VISUAL CLUES LOCATE the DRAINFIELD
- VISUAL CLUES LOCATE the SEPTIC TANK
- HOW TO FIND A SEPTIC TANK AND WHAT SIZE SEPTIC DRAINFIELD TO USE
- SEPTIC DRAINFIELD SHAPE The presence or absence of a tank, D-box, and fields at a location is depicted in SEPTIC VIDEOS.
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How to Make a Leach Field
Photograph courtesy of Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images A leach field is a critical component of a septic system’s design. Its purpose is to spread waste fluid from the septic system across a vast area of soil adjacent to the structure that it is designed to service. Bacteria break down waste as it travels through the system, ensuring that water sources and aquifers are not polluted by sewage. Although it is technically tough to construct your own leach field, doing so can save you a significant amount of money.
Find the location of your septic tank and remove the distribution box from it. A 4-inch-wide pipe connects the distribution box to the septic tank, which is located below the distribution box. Another pipe connects the distribution box to the leach field and is located in the distribution box. You will dig the trenches using this pipe as a guide.
Make a decision on where you will dig your trenches. Dig three trenches, each about 12 inches broad and 20 feet long, for the purpose of this project. They must be parallel to one another, and they must avoid intersecting with roads, fences, or other property lines. Your trenches should not be located near structures since the earth will be softer and more damp in the trenches, which might trigger the collapse of concrete or buildings above ground. Additionally, avoid planting trees in the area surrounding your leach field since the roots of the trees can cause major damage to the pipes.
Spray paint should be used to clearly indicate the trenches. Check the trenches for straightness by stretching a rope or long piece of twine straight out in front of you. Tie the rope to stakes so that it may act as a guide while you spray paint the area where the hole will be excavated.
Excavate the ditches. They should be around 12 inches deep and as evenly spaced as possible down the bottom of the container.
In order to form a long “S,” connect the ditches at their ends. After you’ve evened them out, fill in the bottoms with 2 inches of gravel to finish them out. The gravel functions as a sieve and aids in the drainage of the area.
Straight perforated pipes should be laid in the trenches. You’ll need L-shaped connections to fit through the curves at the ends of the straightaways, which will be provided by the manufacturer. The pipes should be connected together, and then the pipes should be covered with gravel to a depth of approximately 2 inches above ground level.
Cover the trenches with a covering of straw to keep them from becoming muddy. If the straw is larger than one inch in diameter, it should be avoided. Cover the straw with a layer of topsoil to prevent weed growth. Don’t be concerned if the trenches appear to protrude above earth a little. Normally occurring weathering will lead the earth to compress and level out with the rest of the yard in about a year or two.
Plant grass over the top of the leach field to prevent erosion. You will almost certainly notice that the grass over your leach field grows more vigorously than the grass in the rest of the yard. It’s important to remember to avoid planting trees too close to the leach field in order to avoid root invasion.
Drainfield Size & Design
- The percolation rate of a soil is an essential soil feature that measures how long it takes water to descend one inch in a saturated hole drilled in the ground.
- In sandy soil, 1 inch can be achieved in 3 minutes
- In clay soil, 1 inch may be achieved in 48 minutes.
- If it takes less than 5 minutes for water to drop 1 inch in a saturated hole, the effluent will flow too quickly for it to be adequately treated, as is the case with sandy soil. If it takes more than 60 minutes for the water to drop one inch, the effluent will not be able to travel as quickly as it should, and effluent may rise to the top of the water table. This is something that may happen in clay soil.
- According to the number of bedrooms and soil qualities, the drainfield is measured in square feet, and its size is reported in square feet. It has been determined by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) how many square feet of drainfield trench will be required. Title 124 of the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) contains the design, operation, and maintenance requirements for on-site wastewater treatment systems
- The table below is an excerpt from that title. A three-bedroom house with a mid-range percolation rate of 25 minutes per inch, for example, requires a minimum of 750 square feet of space to function properly.
Square Feet of Drain Field Trench Required for Single Family Dwelling
|Number of Bedrooms||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9|
|Perc Rate in Minutes Per Inch||200 gpd||300 gpd||400 gpd||500 gpd||600 gpd||700 gpd||800 gpd||900 gpd||1000 gpd|
5Systems must be constructed with a 12 inch loamy sand liner that has a percolation rate of 15 to 20 minutes per inch and should be developed at a percolation rate of 11-20 minutes per inch, with a percolation rate of 15 to 20 minutes per inch.
60Systems must be developed by a licensed professional engineer or architect. A building permit is required. 017.02 In order to determine the needed square footage for enterprises, the following equation should be used: The daily design flow divided by the number of hours in the day (Five divided by the square root of the percolation rate). 017.03 In order to calculate the absorption area for a bed, first determine the needed square footage for a trench and then multiply the required square footage by the factor from Table 14.2.
Essentially, a drainage field is a network of infiltration pipes that are put in trenches and configured such that wastewater may be released to the ground. There are certain requirements for how the field should be created in order to enable for aerobic digestion of the effluent to occur in the soil. This means that it must be built in the top 700-800mm of the soil in order to ensure aerobic contact with it. The Field must be large enough to treat and distribute the maximum quantity of discharge that the system will be able to discharge to it before it is considered complete.
The two primary variables required for this calculation are first, Vp, which is a measure of soil porosity obtained by a percolation test, and second, a measure of soil permeability obtained through a percolation test.
It is strongly recommended that you disregard the advice and quotation of any business who comes in to quote for a system that discharges to the ground without first doing a percolation test.
You will not be able to design a system that complies with the Building Regulations or the General Binding Rules unless you conduct a percolation test. Furthermore, it is improbable that the system will function well.
What is the regulation concerning the design and build of a Drainage Field?
There are several articles of legislation that are particularly relevant to the design and execution of a drainage system. First and foremost, BS 6297: 2007, the HM Government’s Building Regulations 2010, Section H2 of the Drainage and Waste Disposal Regulations, and the General Binding Rules are all applicable.
Summary of the Key Features of BS 6297: 2007, HM Governments Building regulations 2010, Drainage and waste disposal section H2.
The Building Regulations 2010, Drainage and Waste Disposal Section H2 of the HM Government shall be used as the primary reference because it was released after BS 6297: 2007. To be clear, this is only a synopsis; if you want to conduct the job yourself, you should read and understand the entire set of materials.
- There must be at least 10 meters between a drainage field and a watercourse or permeable drain. It must be at least 50 meters away from the point of abstraction of any groundwater source and must not be located inside a Zone 1 groundwater protection zone. At least 15 meters away from any structure
- Located sufficiently enough from any other discharge to the ground in order to prevent the total capacity of the earth from being exceeded
- The field must be located away from any groundwater sources and on a downward slope. Under no circumstances are subterranean utilities or water pipelines permitted to be installed within the dispersion area. Neither access roads nor driveways, nor any paved areas, shall be constructed inside the dumping area. A percolation test must be performed
- For further information, please check our guide. Drainage fields or mounds must be constructed in such a way that liquid effluent and the subsoil are in touch with each other. The pipes should be installed at a minimum depth of 500mm below the surface of the ground. It is recommended that drainage fields be developed using perforated pipe installed in trenches with a constant gradient that is not steeper than 1:200. It is required that the perforated pipes be set on a 300mm layer of clean shingle or broken stone that has been graded between 20mm and 50mm
- In order to prevent silt from entering the trench, it should be filled to a level 50mm above the pipe and covered with a layer of geotextile. Drainage trenches should be between 300mm and 900mm broad, with expanses of undisturbed land between parallel trenches of at least 2m width maintained between them. It is recommended that an inspection chamber be placed between the Septic Tank and the Drainage Field.
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Is a Drainage field different from a Soakaway?
Yes, they are fundamentally different in terms of technology. In the industry, on the other hand, the terms are frequently used in the same context. Essentially, a Soakaway is an underground region where a liquid is allowed to disperse into the earth below it. A Soakaway cannot be created without following specified guidelines, and there are no calculations to prove its capacity or ability to treat wastewater.
How is a Drainage Field different to a Drainage Mound?
Essentially, drainage mounds are a type of drainage field that is formed above ground, beneath a mound of earth. This enables for the aeration and treatment of wastewater in locations that are periodically swamped by standing water. When the earth is not saturated with water, the conditions for an underground drainage field must be favorable. Drainage Mounds are becoming increasingly necessary as a result of the impact of Climate Change, which has resulted in increasingly rainy winters and flooding.
What is an Infiltration system?
As of right now, written regulation lags behind technological advancements, particularly in the field of wastewater treatment plants. Because sewage treatment plants generate water that is nearly free of contaminants, the need for further treatment is eliminated. Septic tanks with a drainage field are almost always less expensive than a Sewage Treatment Plant with a drainage field, unless the site is particularly hilly. Construction of a somewhat smaller drainage field is permitted by written regulation; nevertheless, the resulting impact is negligible.
- While clear written requirements have not caught up with the times, building control and municipal governments have.
- Again, calculations must be made based on porosity and other factors to ensure that there is an element of secondary treatment and proper dissemination.
- Furthermore, because an infiltration system may be put in a much smaller area, it increases the system’s flexibility and use.
- You can bet that the Environment Agency will not come to inspect your Drainage Field.
- Unlike typical Soakaways, drainage fields encompass a huge area, in most cases covering four to five times the surface area of a regular Soakaway.
In many cases, homes that have Septic Tanks do not have enough room to establish a Drainage Field that is compliant with local regulations. A sewage treatment facility equipped with an infiltration tunnel system may be the only practical solution in this situation.
How big a drainage field do I need and how is this calculated?
To begin, you must either do a Percolation test yourself or have one performed by a professional. In most cases, we can hand dig them for £250 plus VAT; but, if a machine is necessary, there will be an extra charge. Please visit our guide on Percolation testing for more information. A t=p X V pX 0.25A A t=p X V pX 0.25A A t=p X V pX 0.25A A t=p X V pX 0.25A t = the area of the drainage field in square meters 2p = the number of people who will be serviced by the tank V p denotes the percolation value.
The 2010 Building Regulations Guide, on the other hand, makes no mention of this.
Our Core Services: The Sewage Treatment expert Installers
The replacement of septic tanks and soakaways, as well as the installation of wastewater treatment systems, are handled by expert wastewater treatment engineers. Based in the New Forest in Hampshire, we serve clients along the South Coast, as well as Wiltshire, Somerset and Devon. We also serve clients in Surrey and Oxfordshire, as well as clients in Berkshire.
How Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.
Do you have a septic system?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly.
Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
How Does My Septic System Work?
Septic systems are marvels of contemporary science, allowing us to take use of the comfort of indoor plumbing without having to worry about how to dispose of our home waste in an effective and safe manner, which is a major benefit. Is it true that you are completely unaware of how your septic system functions? Understanding the operation of your septic system is essential to ensure that it is appropriately utilized and maintained in the future. Continue reading to find out more about what your septic system is and how it works:
Common Parts of a Septic System
A septic system is not necessary a complicated system, and each of its components works together to ensure that the waste generated by your family is properly kept and disposed of as soon as possible.
Located beneath the earth on your property, a septic tank is a huge rectangular or cylindrical container composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene that collects and treats waste. They are used for homes that do not have access to a sewer system, which is most frequent in rural regions.
Septic tank sewage is channeled into your yard by a network of pipework known as the drainfield. Wastewater is normally held in the septic tank for two days before being discharged to the drainfield in the yard. This section of your septic system consists of lengthy lengths of pipe, referred to as “drainpipes,” that are punctured with small holes to allow for the release of waste. In the event that sediments accumulate in drainfields and are not adequately pushed away, the drainfield may get clogged.
If you find any of the following, your drainfield may be clogged:
- The presence of greener grass over the drainfield
- Unusual scents in your yard
- And plumbing backups a squishy or muddy surface
If your drainfield becomes clogged, your complete septic system will be unable to work correctly. It is preferable to hire skilled underground service specialists to take care of the problem.
Even though pump tanks are not a required component of your septic system, they are highly suggested in order to guarantee that the system operates and maintains itself properly. Pump tanks are made up of the following components:
- Catches sediments before they leave the tank, preventing them from being dumped into the drainfield, preventing blockage of the drainfield
- Effluents pump Control floats.These are connected to a control panel and are used to signal when to switch on and off the pump. When the pump fails to function, the high-water alarm is activated, indicating that there is an excessive amount of water in the septic tank. In most cases, it is found under the kitchen sink or in the garage.
The best course of action for homeowners who have a high-water alarm activated is to conserve water and have a professional septic system specialist assess the water levels.
The distribution box, which is positioned between the septic tank and the drainfield, is meant to transport wastewater evenly across the drainfield lines, which are connected to the septic tank.
Leach Drain Field
Often referred to as the septic field, the leach field is a component of your septic system that accepts wastewater from the septic tank. It refers to the network of drainpipes, stones, and a layer of unsaturated soil that make up the drainage system. It moves trash into the soil, where it is eventually re-circulated back into the groundwater supply.
How a Septic System Works
All of these components work together to securely remove wastewater from your house and disperse it into the surrounding environment.
Specifically, it accomplishes this by relying on naturally occurring bacteria to break down the materials that are dumped into the septic tank. All of the things that you flush down the toilet or rinse down the drain fall into one of three categories:
- Sludge is a term that refers to heavy things (such as solid food waste, excrement, and toilet paper) that collect at the bottom of a tank and accumulate there. Natural bacteria break down the particles in the tank over time, allowing them to be drained out of the tank as scum. These are lighter items (soaps, oils, and grease) that float to the surface of the septic tank
- Liquid (Effluent) wastewater
- And solid (Sludge) wastewater. Water that remains in the tank is pumped to the drainfield, which is located in the centre of the tank.
In the end, everything that goes into your septic tank will decompose and produce effluent wastewater, which will then be discharged into your drainfield. This wastewater has been processed (thanks to the bacteria) and is released down the drain pipes before being filtered by the soil. The wastewater is subsequently absorbed, treated, and dispersed by the soil until it finally seeps into the groundwater table. As a natural filter, the soil eliminates dangerous germs and viruses while also absorbing nutrients.
Septic System Issues
As previously stated, septic systems are susceptible to high water levels as well as clogged drainfields and leach fields. There are, however, several other septic-related considerations to bear in mind:
- Clogs. The system between your house and the tank might get clogged for a variety of reasons, including clogs in the drainage pipes themselves. During this time, you’ll observe sluggish drainage and sewage backups in your home. The roots of a tree. Tree roots will naturally grow in the direction of water and moisture, and they will tend to wrap around or bore through any obstructions that stand in their way. There may be harm to your septic system if there are trees growing on or around it
- This includes damage to the tank and pipes. Detergents are products that remove dirt and grime. Certain detergent solutions that contain high amounts of phosphate can foster the growth of algae in your tank, which can subsequently cause the perforations in the drain pipes to get clogged with algae.
In order to avoid problems with your septic system, it is important to be aware of the substances and products that you are releasing into your home’s plumbing system at all times. It is preferable to use phosphate-free detergents and cleaning products that are specifically intended for septic systems. These products degrade more quickly and will help to keep your system from being blocked in the future. Also, be mindful of what you are flushing down the toilet. Everything plastic and non-biodegradable, such as paper towels and sanitary tampons, is not intended to break down in a septic tank and should be avoided.
A regular pumping and maintenance schedule is a certain method to keep your septic system operating at full efficiency.
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A Saturated Ground Impacts Your Septic Tank’s Performance – Clayton County Water Authority
The performance of your septic tank is negatively impacted by saturated ground. Authorities from the Clayton County Water Authority (CCWA) are alerting septic tank owners of the impact that wet earth has on the functioning of their septic tanks. The majority of the septic system is sealed and will not be impacted by heavy rain, but one section — the drain field — is not sealed and will be affected by heavy rain. You may be experiencing the signs of a clogged septic system if the earth has been entirely saturated as a result of recent storms.
Ponding can occur around septic tank drain fields as a result of saturated earth.
With worsening conditions, water backs up into the tank, and if you have a transfer pump, it may begin to operate continually as a result of the backflow.
If you have a problem with sluggish draining or poor toilet flushing, you may notice an overflow from floor and shower drains, and in severe cases, overflow from toilets on the ground level. Here are a few suggestions to help you lessen your chances of encountering problems:
- Make sure to spread out your daily washing and to only run full loads of laundry. Reduce the amount of water you use by only washing full loads of dishes. Take short showers instead of extended ones. Prevent yourself from having a bath
- Only fully loaded dishwashers should be used. While cleaning dishes or brushing your teeth, refrain from running the water continuously. Shower heads with high efficacy should be used. Make use of low-flow toilets. Remove the water from your sprinklers (this may seem like a no-brainer, but many people have theirs on a timer and fail to do so)
Septic tanks are not a component of the sanitary sewer system operated by CCWA. As a result, it is the responsibility of the property owner to keep their septic tanks in good condition. For further information on septic tank care, please see the Clayton County Public Health website. Clayton County Water Authority for the 2018-19 school year. All intellectual property rights are retained.
Leach Field Design
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- The installation of septic systems is required in areas where there is no access to a wastewater treatment facility or a sewer system.
- Leach fields require regular maintenance and must be properly cared for in order to avoid contaminating your groundwater or your property’s soil.
- Root-free and unobstructed by anything else on your land, leach fields should be placed in an accessible location.
- It is possible that roots will become entangled in the leach field pipes, causing problems.
- Never drive over leach fields, and take care not to construct anything on top of them.
- If you see puddles or an extremely lush area on the surface level of your land, it is likely that your septic tank is overflowing and that the sludge from your septic tank will need to be emptied by a qualified technician.
- If there is an excessive amount of solid material in your septic tank, it will be able to run through the drains and into the leach field.
Design of the Leach Field When there is a septic system in place and there is no requirement for greywater or wastewater reuse, leach fields are required to be installed.
A difference in how wastewater percolates through the soil will be determined by its soil composition.
In order for wastewater to be organically filtered by the soil, it must first be leached into the soil.
In the top ten feet of the soil, bacteria that reside there help to extract the organic material that has been dissolved in the wastewater.
Wastewater that does not percolate completely through the soil can be absorbed by plants in certain circumstances.
The size of the leach field is determined by the size of the residence and the amount of the septic system installed.
System with a Dry Well In order to ensure adequate drainage, the dry well system makes use of gravel and perforated pipes that are placed evenly throughout the system.
The excavations for the pipes can be as long as a hundred feet in length, with a width ranging from one to three feet in width on average.
Despite the fact that the dry well system is long-lasting and dependable, it is often considered less effective at filtering wastewater due to its smaller surface area.
Unlike septic systems, which are built underground, mound systems are constructed above ground and need the use of a pump to transport wastewater from the septic system to the above-ground system.
These systems may not be as long-lasting as a dry well system, but they may be kept in good condition with proper design and the use of the appropriate soil type.
Despite the fact that this system has a cheaper installation cost than the other alternatives, it might be a high-maintenance option since it must be checked frequently to ensure that it does not leak or overflow.
The leach field is an essential component of the septic system.
These systems must be carefully monitored and maintained, or else they might pose a threat to the ecosystem and have a negative impact on the water table that is severe.
Once wastewater has been discharged from the septic tank and before it reaches the groundwater table, it is treated through the soil.
In addition to having benefits, each design has the potential to be successful in cleansing and distributing wastewater from your house and yard. A leach field can be kept safe and functional with proper care and construction. It is also useful for eliminating wastewater.
A Beginner’s Guide to Septic Systems
- Septic systems are used to dispose of waste from homes and buildings. Identifying the location of the septic tank and drainfield
- What a Septic System Is and How It Works Keeping a Septic System in Good Condition
- Signs that a septic system is failing include:
Septic systems, also known as on-site wastewater management systems, are installed in a large number of buildings and houses. It is easy to lose sight of septic systems, which operate quietly, gracefully, and efficiently to protect human and environmental health due to their burying location. Septic systems are the norm in rural regions, but they may also be found in a lot of metropolitan places, especially in older buildings. It is critical to understand whether or not your building is on a septic system.
Is Your Home or Building on a Septic System?
It is possible that the solution to this question will not be evident. If a structure looks to be connected to a sewage system, it may instead be connected to a septic system. It is fairly unusual for tenants to be unaware of the final destination of the wastewater generated by their residence. Some of the hints or signs listed below will assist in determining whether the facility is served by a septic system or whether it is supplied by a sewer system:
- Sewer service will be provided at a cost by the city or municipality. Observe closely the water bill to see whether there is a charge for a service labeled “sewer charge” or “sewer fee.” If there is a payment for this service, the building is most likely connected to a sewer system. Look up and down the street for sewage access ports or manholes, which can be found in any location. If a sewage system runs in front of a property, it is probable that the house is connected to it in some way. Inquire with your neighbors to see if they are connected to a sewer or septic system. The likelihood that your home is on a sewer system is increased if the properties on each side of you are on one as well. Keep in mind, however, that even if a sewage line runs in front of the structure and the nearby residences are connected to a sewer system, your home or building may not be connected to one. If the structure is older than the sewer system, it is possible that it is still on the original septic system. Consult with your local health agency for further information. This agency conducts final inspections of septic systems to ensure that they comply with applicable laws and regulations. There is a possibility that they have an archived record and/or a map of the system and will supply this information upon request
All property owners should be aware of whether or not their property is equipped with an on-site wastewater treatment system. Georgia law mandates that the property owner is responsible for the correct operation of a septic system, as well as any necessary maintenance and repairs.
Locating the Septic Tank and Drainfield
Finding a septic system may be a difficult process. They can be buried anywhere in the yard, including the front, back, and side yards. After a few years, the soil may begin to resemble the surrounding soil, making it impossible to distinguish the system from the surrounding soil. It is possible that in dry weather, the grass will be dryer in the shallow soil over the tank and greener over the drainfield, where the cleansed water will be released, but this is not always the case, especially in hot weather.
- The contractor who built the house should have presented the initial owner with a map showing the tank and drainfield locations, according to the building code.
- The installation of the system, as well as any modifications made to it, would have been examined by your local health authority.
- Unfortunately, if the system is very old, any records related with it may be insufficient or nonexistent, depending on the situation.
- Look for the point at where the wastewater pipes join together if the building is on a crawlspace or has an unfinished basement.
- The sewer line that runs through the structure is referred to as the building sewer.
- To “feel” for the tank, use a piece of re-bar or a similar metal probe.
- If you use this free service, you may avoid accidentally putting a rod through your gas or water line.
Try to locate the tank after a rainstorm, when the metal probe will be more easily maneuvered through moist dirt.
This should be done with care; extreme caution should be exercised to avoid puncturing the building sewer.
A tank is normally 5 by 8 feet in size, however the dimensions might vary.
Be aware that there may be rocks, pipes, and other debris in the area that “feels” like the tank but is not in fact part of the tank.
However, it is possible to have the lid or access port positioned on a riser in addition to being on the same level as the top of the tank in some cases.
Once the tank has been identified, make a rough drawing of its placement in relation to the house so that it will not be misplaced again!
It may be easier to discover the drainage lines now that the tank has been identified, particularly if the area has been subjected to prolonged periods of drought.
How a Septic System Works
Typical sewage treatment system (figure 1). It is composed of three components (Figure 1): the tank, the drain lines or discharge lines, and the soil treatment area (also known as the soil treatment area) (sometimes called a drainfield or leach field). The size of the tank varies according to the size of the structure. The normal home (three bedrooms, two bathrooms) will often include a 1,000-gallon water storage tank on the premises. Older tanks may only have one chamber, however newer tanks must have two chambers.
- The tank functions by settling waste and allowing it to be digested by microbes.
- These layers include the bottom sludge layer, the top scum layer, and a “clear” zone in the center.
- A typical septic tank is seen in Figure 2.
- It is fortunate that many of the bacteria involved are found in high concentrations in the human gastrointestinal tract.
- Although the bacteria may break down some of the stuff in the sludge, they are unable to break down all of it, which is why septic tanks must be cleaned out every three to seven years.
- In addition, when new water is introduced into the septic tank, an equal volume of water is pushed out the discharge lines and onto the drainfield.
- The water trickles out of the perforated drain pipes, down through a layer of gravel, and into the soil below the surface (Figure 3).
- A typical drainfield may be found here.
- Plants, bacteria, fungus, protozoa, and other microorganisms, as well as bigger critters such as mites, earthworms, and insects, flourish in soil.
- Mineralogical and metallic elements attach to soil particles, allowing them to be removed from the waste water.
Maintaining a Septic System
The most typical reason for a septic system to fail is a lack of proper maintenance. Septic systems that are failing are expensive to repair or replace, and the expense of repairs rests on the shoulders of the property owner (Figure 4). Fortunately, keeping your septic system in good working order and avoiding costly repairs is rather simple. Figure 4. Septic system failure is frequently caused by a lack of proper maintenance. It is in your best interests to be aware of the location of the system, how it operates, and how to maintain it.
- You should pump the tank if you aren’t sure when the last time it was pumped.
- It is not permissible to drive or park over the tank or drainage field.
- No rubbish should be disposed of in the sink or the toilet.
- It’s important to remember that garbage disposals enhance the requirement for regular pumping.
- When designing a landscape, keep the septic system in mind.
- It is also not recommended to consume veggies that have been cultivated above drainfield lines (see Dorn, S.
- Ornamental Plantings on Septic Drainfields.
Any water that enters your home through a drain or toilet eventually ends up in your septic system.
Don’t put too much strain on the system by consuming a large amount of water in a short period of time.
Additives should not be used.
Various types of additives are available for purchase as treatment options, cleansers, restorers, rejuvenator and boosters, among other things.
To break up oil and grease and unclog drains, chemical additives are available for purchase.
Pumping out the septic tank is not eliminated or reduced by using one of these systems.
They remain floating in the water and travel into the drainfield, where they may block the pipes. Acids have the potential to damage concrete storage tanks and distribution boxes.
Signs a Septic System is Failing
A failed system manifests itself in the following ways:
- Sinks and toilets drain at a snail’s pace
- Plumbing that is backed up
- The sound of gurgling emanating from the plumbing system House or yard aromas that smell like sewage
- In the yard, there is wet or squishy dirt
- Water that is gray in hue that has accumulated
- An region of the yard where the grass is growing more quickly and is becoming greener
- Water contaminated by bacteria from a well
If you notice any of these indicators, you should notify your local health department immediately. An environmentalist from the health department can assist in identifying possible hazards. There are also listings of state-certified contractors available from the local health department, who may do repairs. Repairs or alterations to the system must be approved by the health department and examined by an inspector. Keep an eye out for any meetings that may take place between a health department inspector and a contractor to discuss repairs to your system.
- Household garbage that has not been properly handled is released into the environment when systems fail.
- It has the potential to pollute surrounding wells, groundwater, streams, and other sources of potable water, among other things.
- The foul odor emanating from a malfunctioning system can cause property values to plummet.
- Briefly stated, broken systems can have an impact on your family, neighbors, community, and the environment.
- Septic systems are an effective, attractive, and reasonably priced method of treating and disposing of wastewater.
Figures 2 and 3 reprinted with permission from: CIDWT. 2009. Installation of Wastewater Treatment Systems. Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment. Iowa State University, Midwest Plan Service. Ames, IA.
History of the current status and revisions Published on the 15th of August, 2013. Published on March 28th, 2017 with a full review.