Septic drain field – Wikipedia
- Septic drain fields, also called leach fields or leach drains, are subsurface wastewater disposal facilities used to remove contaminants and impurities from the liquid that emerges after anaerobic digestion in a septic tank. Organic materials in the liquid are catabolized by a microbial ecosystem.
What does a septic drain field do?
The drainfield is a shallow, covered, excavation made in unsaturated soil. Pretreated wastewater is discharged through piping onto porous surfaces that allow wastewater to filter though the soil. The soil accepts, treats, and disperses wastewater as it percolates through the soil, ultimately discharging to groundwater.
How do I know if my septic tank has a drainage field?
Some of the signs that your property has a septic tank are:
- The tank needing to be emptied each year.
- 2, 3 or 4 manholes in close proximity to each other above ground.
- Possible vent pipes above ground – these take unpleasant smells and gasses from the tank and distribute them into the air.
How much does a drainfield replacement cost?
If it’s a broken pipe, patching it might cost just a few hundred dollars. But if the drainfield needs to be replaced, you could be out $2,000 to $10,000. Worst case: You need an alternative treatment system, for $15,000 or more.
How do you know if your drainfield is bad?
Stay vigilant for five signs your drainfield does not drain correctly anymore.
- Slowing Drainage. Homeowners first notice slower than usual drainage from all the sinks, tubs, and toilets in a home when they have a compromised drainfield.
- Rising Water.
- Increasing Plant Growth.
- Returning Flow.
- Developing Odors.
Does shower water go into septic tank?
From your house to the tank: Most, but not all, septic systems operate via gravity to the septic tank. Each time a toilet is flushed, water is turned on or you take a shower, the water and waste flows via gravity through the plumbing system in your house and ends up in the septic tank.
How deep is a drain field?
A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.
How long will a drain field last?
It’s important to consider the life expectancy of a drain-field, too. Under normal conditions and good care, a leach-field will last for 50 years or more. Concrete septic tanks are sturdy and reliable but not indestructible. The biggest risk is exposing the concrete to acidic substances.
How far does a drainage field have to be from a house?
Drainage fields must be a minimum of 10m from a watercourse, 50m from a water abstraction point and 15m from a building. They should also be sufficiently far away enough from any other drainage fields, mounds or soakaways so that the soakage capacity of the ground is not exceeded.
How big is a typical septic drain field?
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 you have a septic tank without a leach field?
The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.
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
Types of Septic Systems
Septic system design and size can differ significantly from one neighborhood to the next, as well as throughout the country, due to a variety of variables. Household size, soil type, slope of the site, lot size, closeness to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, and even municipal ordinances are all considerations to take into consideration. The following are 10 of the most often encountered septic system configurations. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list; there are several additional types of septic systems.
- Septic Tank, Conventional System, Chamber System, Drip Distribution System, Aerobic Treatment Unit, Mound Systems, Recirculating Sand Filter System, Evapotranspiration System, Constructed Wetland System, Cluster / Community System, etc.
This tank is underground and waterproof, and it was designed and built specifically for receiving and partially treating raw home sanitary wastewater. Generally speaking, heavy materials settle at or near the bottom of the tank, whereas greases and lighter solids float to the surface. The sediments are retained in the tank, while the wastewater is sent to the drainfield for further treatment and dispersion once it has been treated.
Septic tanks and trench or bed subsurface wastewater infiltration systems are two types of decentralized wastewater treatment systems (drainfield). When it comes to single-family homes and small businesses, a traditional septic system is the most common type of system. For decades, people have used a gravel/stone drainfield as a method of water drainage. The term is derived from the process of constructing the drainfield. A short underground trench made of stone or gravel collects wastewater from the septic tank in this configuration, which is commonly used.
Effluent filters through the stone and is further cleaned by microorganisms once it reaches the soil below the gravel/stone trench, which is located below the trench.
In terms of total footprint, gravel and stone systems are very substantial, and therefore may not be appropriate for all residential sites or situations.
Gravelless drainfields have been regularly utilized in various states for more than 30 years and have evolved into a standard technology that has mostly replaced gravel systems. Various configurations are possible, including open-bottom chambers, pipe that has been clothed, and synthetic materials such as expanded polystyrene media. Gravelless systems can be constructed entirely of recycled materials, resulting in considerable reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during their lifetime. The chamber system is a type of gravelless system that can be used as an example.
- The key advantage of the chamber system is the enhanced simplicity with which it can be delivered and built.
- This sort of system is made up of a number of chambers that are connected to one another.
- Wastewater is transported from the septic tank to the chambers through pipes.
- The wastewater is treated by microbes that live on or near the soil.
Drip Distribution System
An effluent dispersal system such as the drip distribution system may be employed in a variety of drainfield configurations and is very versatile. In comparison to other distribution systems, the drip distribution system does not require a vast mound of dirt because the drip laterals are only placed into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. In addition to requiring a big dosage tank after the sewage treatment plant to handle scheduled dose delivery of wastewater to drip absorption areas, the drip distribution system has one major disadvantage: it is more expensive.
Aerobic Treatment Unit
Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are small-scale wastewater treatment facilities that employ many of the same procedures as a municipal sewage plant. An aerobic system adds oxygen to the treatment tank using a pump. When there is an increase in oxygen in the system, there is an increase in natural bacterial activity, which then offers extra treatment for nutrients in the effluent. It is possible that certain aerobic systems may additionally include a pretreatment tank as well as a final treatment tank that will include disinfection in order to further lower pathogen levels.
ATUs should be maintained on a regular basis during their service life.
Using mound systems in regions with short soil depth, high groundwater levels, or shallow bedrock might be a good alternative. A drainfield trench has been dug through the sand mound that was erected. The effluent from the septic tank runs into a pump chamber, where it is pumped to the mound in the amounts recommended. During its release to the trench, the effluent filters through the sand and is dispersed into the native soil, where it continues to be treated. However, while mound systems can be an effective solution for some soil conditions, they demand a significant amount of land and require regular care.
Recirculating Sand Filter System
Sand filter systems can be built either above or below ground, depending on the use. The effluent is discharged from the septic tank into a pump compartment. Afterwards, it is pushed into the sand filter. The sand filter is often made of PVC or a concrete box that is filled with a sand-like substance. The effluent is pushed through the pipes at the top of the filter under low pressure to the drain. As the effluent exits the pipelines, it is treated as it passes through the sand filtering system.
However, sand filters are more costly than a standard septic system because they provide a higher level of nutrient treatment and are thus better suited for areas with high water tables or that are adjacent to bodies of water.
Evaporative cooling systems feature drainfields that are one-of-a-kind. It is necessary to line the drainfield at the base of the evapotranspiration system with a waterproof material. Following the entry of the effluent into the drainfield, it evaporates into the atmosphere. At the same time, the sewage never filters into the soil and never enters groundwater, unlike other septic system designs. It is only in particular climatic circumstances that evapotranspiration systems are effective. The environment must be desert, with plenty of heat and sunshine, and no precipitation.
Constructed Wetland System
Construction of a manufactured wetland is intended to simulate the treatment processes that occur in natural wetland areas. Wastewater goes from the septic tank and into the wetland cell, where it is treated. Afterwards, the wastewater goes into the media, where it is cleaned by microorganisms, plants, and other media that eliminate pathogens and nutrients. Typically, a wetland cell is constructed with an impermeable liner, gravel and sand fill, and the necessary wetland plants, all of which must be capable of withstanding the constant saturation of the surrounding environment.
The operation of a wetland system can be accomplished by either gravity flow or pressure distribution. As wastewater travels through the wetland, it may escape the wetland and flow onto a drainfield, where it will undergo more wastewater treatment before being absorbed into the soil by bacteria.
Cluster / Community System
In certain cases, a decentralized wastewater treatment system is owned by a group of people and is responsible for collecting wastewater from two or more residences or buildings and transporting it to a treatment and dispersal system placed on a suitable location near the dwellings or buildings. Cluster systems are widespread in settings like rural subdivisions, where they may be found in large numbers.
Septic drain field – Wikipedia
Septic drain fields, also known as leach fields or leach drains, are subsurface wastewater disposal facilities that are used to remove contaminants and impurities from the liquid that emerges after anaerobic digestion in an aseptic tank. Septic drain fields are also known as leach fields or leach drains. Microbial ecosystems decompose organic molecules in liquids by using them as energy sources. Aseptic systems are made up of a septic drain field, an aseptic tank, and any related plumbing. An arrangement of trenches with perforated pipes and porous material (oftengravel) topped with a layer of soil to prevent animals (and surface runoff) from getting the wastewater spread inside those trenches is characteristic of a drainage field.
A septic reserve area is a piece of land that has been set aside for the purpose of constructing a septic drain field (SRA).
These are more common in dry regions because the waterflow on the surface allows for irrigation (and fertilization) of agricultural land, which is beneficial in droughts.
A drainage field is being constructed. Many health agencies demand an apercolation test (also known as a “perc” test) to determine if drain field soil is suitable for receiving septic tank effluent. To build a system that meets these requirements, an engineer, a soil scientist, or a licensed designer may be necessary to collaborate with the local governing agency. Direct monitoring of the soil profile provides a more progressive method of determining the size of leach fields. During this observation, the engineer examines a variety of soil characteristics, including texture, structure, consistency, pores/roots, and so on.
When wastewater is transported away from the drain field before pathogens are killed, coarse soils such as sand and gravel can be used.
Tests for percolation are conducted to determine the pace at which clean water disperses down a disposal trench and onto the surrounding soil. When anoxic septic tank effluent is discharged into a drain field, a number of variables may influence the measured percolation rates. These include:
- Septic tank effluent will be adhered to soil particles by microbial colonies that are catabolizing soluble organic compounds from the effluent. This will diminish the interstitial space available for water movement between soil particles. When these colonies colonize the soil interface of the disposal trench, they tend to produce a biofilm of gelatinous slime with a limited permeability. A buildup of insoluble particles that are too small to be carried through the septic tank will occur at the soil interface of the disposal trench, while non-biodegradable particles such as synthetic fibers from laundry, mineral soil from washing, or bone and eggshell fragments from refuse will remain to fill the interstitial spaces that were previously available for water flow out of the trench. Flowing cooking fats or petroleum products emulsified by detergents or dissolved by solvents can pass through prior to anaerobic liquefaction when the septic tank volume is insufficient to provide adequate residence time, and they may congeal as a hydrophobic layer on the soil interface of the disposal trench. The availability of hydraulic head (or vertical distance) may be reduced as a result of rising groundwater levels, forcing gravity water flow away from the disposal trench. It is possible that effluent running downward from the disposal trench will eventually reach groundwater or impermeable rock or clay, prompting a change in direction to horizontal movement away from the drain field. In order for gravity force to overcome viscous frictional forces preventing flow through porous soil, a specified vertical distance between the effluent level in the disposal trench and the water level applicable when the effluent leaves the drain field must be maintained. If groundwater levels surrounding the drain field approach the level of effluent in the disposal trench, effluent levels in the region of the drain field will increase toward the ground surface in order to maintain the vertical distance difference
- Frozen ground may diminish the cross-sectional area available for flow or evaporation on a season-to-season basis.
Similarly, septic tanks are designed to hold anaerobic organisms capable of liquefying anticipated amounts of putrescible materials in wastewater, and drain fields are designed to hold aerobic soil microorganisms capable of decomposing the effluent from anaerobic septic tanks and releasing aerobic water into the environment. When effluent has not been entirely oxidized before reaching surrounding wells or surface waters, smells of hydrogen sulfide or iron bacteria may be detected in such places.
Groundwater flows through the aquifer soils around the drain field, islaminarin the process.
Diffusion of soluble organic compounds into groundwater is controlled by Molecular diffusion, which also controls the transport of oxygen from underlying groundwater or the capillary fringe of the groundwater surface to microorganisms capable of catabolizing dissolved organic compounds that remain in the effluent plume.
Similarly, septic tanks are designed to hold anaerobic organisms capable of liquefying anticipated amounts of putrescible materials in wastewater, and drain fields are designed to hold aerobic soil microorganisms capable of decomposing the effluent from anaerobic septic tanks and releasing aerobic water into the surrounding environment. When effluent has not been entirely oxidized before reaching surrounding wells or surface waterways, smells of hydrogen sulfide or iron bacteria may be detected in the water.
Aquifer soils surround the drain field, and groundwater flow islaminars through them.
Diffusion of soluble organic compounds into groundwater is controlled by Molecular diffusion, which also controls the transport of oxygen from underlying groundwater or the capillary fringe of the groundwater surface to microorganisms capable of catabolizing dissolved organic compounds remaining in the effluent plume.
Operation and maintenance
A septic drain field that has been exposed due to erosion
Dosing schedules or resting periods
Several distinct disposal places for effluent from a single septic tank can be provided by a drain field, which can be constructed to accommodate several septic tanks. It is possible for one region to be “rested” while effluent is channeled to another location. When the anaerobic septic tank effluent is no longer accessible, the nematode colony in the resting drain field continues to feed on the biofilm and lipids that have formed in the field. As the organic material that has collected in the soil is oxidized, this natural cleaning process may help to prevent bioclogging and increase the hydraulic capacity of the field by expanding the accessible interstitial area of the soil.
The percolation rate after resting may be close to, but not identical to, the site’s original clean water percolation rate, which is unlikely to occur.
Microorganisms in septic tanks and drain fields have very limited ability to catabolize petroleum products and chlorinated solvents, and they are incapable of removing dissolved metals, despite the fact that some metals may be absorbed into septic tank sludge or drain field soils, and their concentrations may be diluted by other groundwater in the vicinity of the drain field (see Figure 1). It is possible that cleaning formulas will affect the efficiency of the drain field. The use of laundry bleach, as well as sanitizing and deodorizing chemicals, may have a comparable effect on microbial activity in the drain field.
- Onsite sewage facility
- Reuse of human excreta
- Sewage treatment
- Steel, E.W.McGhee, Terence J. “Water Supply and Sewerage”McGraw-Hill Book Company (1979)ISBN0-07-060929-2pp.576-577
- ABBREVIATED PROCESS(PDF), Bel Air, Maryland, USA: Harford County Health Department, October 2014, retrieved4 April2020:CS1 maint: url-status (link)
- Alth, MaxCharlotte Water and Waste-water Technology” John Wiley & Sons (1975)ISBN0-471-34726-4pp.407-408
- Linsley, Ray K. and Franzini, Joseph B. “Water-Resources Engineering (2nd Ed.)” McGraw-Hill Book Company (1972)ISBN978-0-07-037959-6, p.88
- Linsley, Ray K. and Franzini, Joseph B. “Water-Resources Engineering” McGraw-Hill Perry, Robert H., Chilton, Cecil H., and Kirkpatrick, Sidney D. “Chemical Engineers’ Handbook (4th Ed.)” McGraw-Hill Book Company (1963), p.14-13
- Perry, Robert H., Chilton, Cecil H., and Kirkpatrick, Sidney D. “Chemical Engineers’ Handbook (4th Ed.)” McGraw-Hill Book Company (1963), p.14-13
- Perry, Robert H.
- At Wikimedia Commons, you can find images and videos connected to septic drain fields.
What You Need to Know About Your Septic System’s Drainfield
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What Is a Septic System Drainfield?
At Wikimedia Commons, you can find images and videos related to Septic drain fields.
What Are the Signs There Is a Problem With Your Drainfield?
- Waste smells, particularly outside in the vicinity of the septic tank and drainfield
- Predominant presence of dark green, luxuriant flora covering the drainfield It may be visually appealing, but it indicates a severely overburdened septic system. It’s possible to have wet, soggy, or spongy regions over your septic tank or drainfield even in dry weather. It’s possible that you’ll discover puddles of standing water. Kitchen and bathroom drains that are too slow
- Toilets that are overflowing or sewage backups
What Are the Causes of These Problems?
A drainfield can live for 50 years or longer if it is properly cared for and maintained. However, several of the indications listed above might indicate that a drainfield is beginning to fail. The system just does not have the capability to take any additional garbage. Sewage backups, a foul stench outdoors, and sluggish drainage within your house are all possible consequences of this.
A drainfield can survive for 50 years or more with proper care and upkeep. A number of the indicators listed above, on the other hand, may indicate that a drainfield is beginning to fail. Simply put, the system’s capacity to receive garbage has reached its maximum level of capacity. Sewage backups, bad odors outdoors, and sluggish drainage within your house are all possible consequences of this.
Pipes are blocked
A possible source of obstruction is the infiltration of tree and plant roots into sewer lines, which prevents wastewater from draining correctly. The accumulation of sludge and the flushing of objects that should not be flushed down the toilet can also cause clogging of pipes.
The septic system is overloaded
Doing multiple loads of laundry on the same day as running the dishwasher might cause the septic system to become overburdened. A leaky faucet or a gurgling toilet might also be problematic. Time is required by all septic systems in order for the effluent to pass through the treatment procedures. It is otherwise necessary to compel wastewater to flow into the drainage field at a quicker pace than the drainage field is capable of handling. This can result in standing water or the mushy, spongy conditions described above.
Gutter downspouts draining over the drainfield
Having gutters that drain across the septic system drainfield makes it more difficult for the drainfield to absorb wastewater and perform its function. This might result in a squishy region that is constantly wet or standing water.
What to Do to Maintain a Healthy Drainfield
- Heavy machinery, automobiles, recreational vehicles, boats, grazing animals, and structures should be kept away from the area above your drainfield. Planting trees or other plants over your drainfield might cause harm to the pipes since the roots will grow into them. Make certain that all gutter downspouts are directed away from the drainfield. Every two to three years, have your septic tank pumped. Solids are conveyed into the drainfield by the absence of frequent pumping, resulting in blockage of the pipes. Apart from the waste that comes out of your body, the only item that should be flushed down the toilet is toilet paper. Other solids should not be flushed. Additionally, refrain from dumping any fats, oils, or grease down your drains. You should space out your laundry and dishwashing days so that you don’t overburden your septic system.
SEPTIC-TANK DRAIN FIELDS: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PROTECTING THEM FROM HARM
Heavy machinery, automobiles, recreational vehicles, boats, grazing animals, and structures should be kept away from the area above your drainfield. Planting trees or other plants over your drainfield might cause damage to the pipes due to the roots growing into them. Maintain the proper drainage of all gutter downspouts and away from the drainfield Every two to three years, you should pump your septic tank. a failure to perform periodic pumping results in sediments being transported into the drainfield and becoming clogged; and Apart from the waste that comes out of your body, the only item that should be flushed down the toilet is toilet tissue.
Keep fats, oils, and grease out of your drains, and keep them out of your toilet.
|The drainfield is a network of perforated pipes (or “laterals”) laid in gravel-filled trenches or beds. After solids settle in the septic tank, the liquidwastewater (oreffluent) is discharged, either by gravity or pressure,to an absorption field, also known as a drainfield or leach field (seediagram of septic system/drainfield layout).NOTE:In most gravity systems the wastewater first flows into a distribution box (d-box) or tee, which then disbursesthe effluent equally among the trenches in the drainfield, which is where the final treatment takes place.Effluent trickles out of the pipes, through the gravel layer, and into the soil where further treatment occurs. Thesoil filters the wastewater as it passes (or “percolates) through the pore spaces and the soil microbes treat itbefore it eventually enters the groundwater. These processes work best where the soil is somewhat dry, permeable, and contains plenty of oxygen for several feet below the drainfield.The drainfield is generally located in a stretch of lawn in the back or side yard of a property. The size and type of drainfield depends on the estimated daily wastewater flow and local soil conditions.|
The soil under the drainfield is responsible for the ultimate treatment and disposal of the septic tank effluent once it has been treated. Upon entering the soil, organisms in the soil purify and decontaminate the effluent before it percolates downhill and outward, eventually entering groundwater or surface water. This is because different types of soil have different capacities for treating wastewater. For example, clay soils may be too tight to allow much wastewater to pass through, whereas gravelly soils may be too coarse to give much treatment.
Replacement (Reserve) Area
Every new residence or business that will be served by a septic system must have a specified replacement or reserve space set aside for it. This is a specified area appropriate for the installation of a new drainfield, and it must be handled in the same manner as your current drainfield. A reserve area should have been declared as part of the permission procedure for any sewage system that was constructed after 1980. By the time your septic system has failed, it is too late to correct the situation by pumping your tank.
This is why it is critical to understand where the replacement area is located and how to preserve it (for more information on replacement area care, see “Drainfield Do’s and Don’ts”).
Do These Things
- Find out where your drainfield and replacement area are before you start. It is much easier to safeguard anything when you know where it is located. Locate Your Drainfield. Heavy machinery should be kept away from your drainfield. There should be no parking or driving over the drainfield by cars or heavy equipment
- This might cause cracks in the pipes. If the area is accessible to automobiles, cattle, or heavy equipment, put up a barrier. Reduce your water consumption to a bare minimum. Drainfields are not capable of carrying an endless amount of water. It is impossible for the system to drain and filter effluent when there is more water than it can absorb. This results in the effluent reaching groundwater. Water should be diverted away from the drainfield. Roof runoff and drainage ditches can saturate the soil, causing it to become waterlogged. It is most effective for drainfields to operate when the soil underneath the drainfield is not waterlogged. Maintain a minimum distance of 30 feet between trees and bushes and the drainfield. Please keep in mind that some soil conditions may dictate that plants be placed at an even greater distance from the drainfield.) Drainfields are a common habitat for trees and plants because their large root systems are attracted to and develop in moist places. Drain pipes might get blocked and damaged as a result of this. Landscape Your Drainfield. Over the drainfield, only grass or shallow-rooted plants should be planted. This will prevent soil erosion from occurring. Protect the area where your replacement will be installed. It is possible that this is the only spot with appropriate soil conditions in the event that you need to rebuild, repair, or expand the drainfield. All of the solutions made above are applicable to the replacement area as well
Don’t Do These Things
- Don’t construct anything on top of your drainfield. Patios, carports, and other constructions are included in this category. It is possible that you will cause harm to the drainfield. Do not construct a road over the drainfield. Drainfields require air in order to operate correctly. Biological breakdown and treatment of sewage need the use of oxygen. Make sure you don’t dig up your drainfield. It is possible that the pipes will be damaged
- Large animals and livestock should be kept away from the drainfield. Soil compaction hinders oxygen from getting into the soil and water from moving away from the drainfield
- It also causes erosion. It is not permissible to apply landscaping plastic over the drainfield. Air is required for the drainfield to work properly
- Otherwise, it would fail. Planting a food garden over a drainfield is not recommended. As a result, there is the chance of food contamination. Installing an irrigation system in the drainfield is not recommended. Additionally, the irrigation system should not drain toward the drainfield.
Please call a trained septic specialist for additional evaluation if you detect any of the following indicators of a potential failure or if you have any reason to believe your system is experiencing issues. Please contact Thurston County EnvironmentalHealth at 360-867-2673 if your septic system should fail.
- Odors, surface sewage, or damp areas in the drainfield region are all signs of a problem. Backups from the plumbing or septic tank (which are often a dark liquid with a foul odor)
- Fixtures that take a long time to drain
- The plumbing system is making gurgling sounds. Your drainfield may be failing if you have a well and tests reveal the presence of coliform (bacteria) or nitrates in the water from it. Even in dry weather, there will be a pool of liquid over the drainfield. This might imply that an excessive amount of wastewater is being transported upward via the soil rather than downward.
- Landscape Drainfield Planting Suggestions and other landscaping information are welcome. Identifying and Locating Your Drainfield How to determine the location of your drainfield
- Drainfield Frequently Asked Questions Drainfields are frequently asked questions, so here are some answers. Request for Drawing Permit Information for Record Drawings
What Is a Leach Field?
Landscape Providing you with drainage field planting suggestions as well as other landscaping information Your Drainfield’s Location Learn how to discover the location of your drainfield. Question and Answers about Drainage Systems Inquiries concerning drainfields are frequently asked. A request for information on drawing permits and record drawing information;
Where Is My Leach Field Located?
Your yard’s leach fields are often placed in a big, flat, and open region of your property. They can have many ditches ranging in depth from 18 to 36 inches, width ranging from one to three feet, and length ranging from one to 100 feet. In most cases, the distance between each trench is six feet. Leach fields can persist for up to 25 years if they are properly managed.
How A Leach Field Works
Your septic system is comprised of three components: a septic tank, pipes, and a drain field. This implies that in order to comprehend how a leach field operates, you must also comprehend how your entire septic system operates. The following is an explanation of how your septic system and leach field work:
- The septic tank collects and treats all of the waste and wastewater generated by the residence. Because of the bacteria present in the septic tank, the waste begins to decompose immediately. In a septic tank, solid waste is deposited at the bottom and turns into sludge, whereas liquid waste (such as fats, oils, and grease) is carried upward and broken down by bacteria at the top of the tank. The liquid waste is then sent into the leach field through subterranean pipelines, while the solid waste is retained at the bottom of the septic tank and continues to be decomposed by bacteria. Liquids leak into the earth below the leach field as they flow through the pipes of the leach field, where they are naturally filtered by the soil.
How to Tell if Your Leach Field is Failing
Invisible and deafeningly quiet, a well kept leach field. Some important signs that your leach field is failing, on the other hand, are as follows:
- When the water is switched on, the pipes gurgle. Drains that are slow to drain or plumbing backups
- Toilet flushing problems (low pressure, sluggish flushing, or no flushing at all)
- Effluent smells that emanate from drain pipes, septic tanks, or the leach field
- Leach field flooding caused by standing water or wet, mushy grass
Can You Repair a Septic Drain Field?
It is quite simple to unclog an obstruction in an untreated septic drain field. The use of a leach field, on the other hand, has the potential to cause catastrophic issues, particularly in the case of bacterial mat development.
Preventative maintenance is essential for preventing the need for costly leach field replacement services. Follow these simple household plumbing guidelines to keep your leach field from failing: 1.
- Discourage the flushing of grease, chemicals (such as bleach and ammonia), or paint down the toilet. Do not flush anything other than toilet paper and bodily fluids down the toilet. Garbage disposals should be used sparingly (or not at all)
- Reduce the number of loads of laundry you do every day to one to spread out water use. Avoid parking vehicles, erecting buildings, or putting any other heavy things on top of the leach field. Water runoff from significant rainfall or snow should be diverted away from the leach field.
- Regular septic tank pumping should be scheduled every three to five years, at the absolute least. To find out how often you should be pumping your septic tank, consult theseptic tank pump chart Make a commitment to having your septic system inspected and diagnosed on a yearly basis.
Local Septic Tank Drain Field Services
Are you ready to arrange your septic tank inspection for the year? Are you looking for septic tank pumping services in your area? You can rely on your local Mr. Rooter ®Plumbing to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices. To get started, call us at (855) 982-2028 or visit a Mr. Rooter location near you. Heavy rains can overflow your septic tank, flood your leach field, and promote mosquito breeding, among other things. Whether you’re looking for mosquito avoidance ideas or all-natural mosquito control, Mosquito Joe is here to assist you.
The 6 Septic Systems You Must Know — Build With a Bang
Unacquainted with the many types of septic systems available? If this is the case, you are not alone. Unless your property is directly linked to the sewer system, you most certainly have a septic system in place. Sewage treatment on site is accomplished by the use of natural processes in a septic system, which is a linked system of components residing under ground. Typically, a septic system is located in the yard of a homeowner. The most typical location for septic systems is in rural locations, where there is no access to a centralized town or city waste treatment facility or sewage treatment system.
Why Concrete Septic Tanks May Be Your Best Option
Unacquainted with the many types of septic systems that are available? The good news is that you are not alone in feeling this way. Unless your home is directly linked to the sewer system, you most certainly have a septic tank. Sewage treatment on site is accomplished via the utilization of natural processes in a linked system of components residing below ground. Septic systems are often installed in the backyard of a home. The most typical location for septic systems is in rural locations, where there is no access to a centralized town or city waste treatment plant or sewage treatment facility.
Soil absorption field/drain field/leach field/septic tank Wastewater distribution (piping) system
The majority of traditional septic systems are situated in single-family residences or small commercial establishments. A high number of individuals in a single area is not often served by traditional systems, which are not normally designed for this purpose. A typical system consists of the following components: Sewage treatment system (Septic tank) An underground wastewater infiltration system or a gravel-filled drain field can both be used to collect wastewater. Protects the clean drain field from additional possible impurities with a strong geofabric covering.
The wastewater (also known as effluent) is routed from the septic tank to the drain field in this location.
As soon as the wastewater passes through the clean drain field, it flows into the soil where it is continuously cleaned by naturally existing bacteria as it gently trickles its way through the soil layer and into groundwater.
Benefit: Because most maintenance providers will be familiar with this system, it will be quite simple to repair. The disadvantage is that it is difficult to install in homes with small lots.
As a viable alternative to the more frequent gravel field technique, chamber systems have been in use since the 1970s. It is common to employ chamber systems in places where the water table is high, as they reduce the likelihood of poor drainage and messy back-ups. Another need for this system is a sequence of linked pipelines and chambers, with the chambers being completely enclosed by soil. The septic pipes transport wastewater from the home to the septic tank, which subsequently transports the wastewater to the chambers.
During the last stages of wastewater treatment before it is discharged into a storm drain, bacteria in the soil release the treated wastewater into the soil as it flows downward toward the groundwater table.
The disadvantage of using an extra chamber instead of a more standard drain field is that there is an increased risk of additional maintenance.
Aerobic Treatment System
Aeration of wastewater in a septic treatment tank is accomplished by the use of aerobic treatment equipment. The infused oxygen in the wastewater aids in the addition of nutrients to the wastewater as well as the efficient start of the treatment process itself. Aerobic systems are available with tanks that may be used for both pretreatment and final treatment, as well as systems with two distinct tanks for pretreatment and final treatment, among other options. The ultimate objective is to treat and disinfect in a safe and efficient manner, without causing harm.
The disadvantage of using an aerobic system is that, like the drip distribution system, it requires regular maintenance.
Drip Distribution System
It is not necessary to install a standard gravel-based drain field since the Drip Distribution system makes use of an underground snaking system of distribution pipes that are installed near the surface of the soil. Pipe laterals for the drip distribution system are buried in shallow ground soil, generally 6 to 12 inches below the surface of the ground. Because it eliminates the requirement for a standard drain field, this technique reduces the amount of digging required and makes it easier to reach plumbing within the drain field.
A second tank, referred to as a dosage tank, is required to take wastewater after it has passed through the septic tank in order to handle this technique.
However, in order for this to happen, the dosage tank must be connected to power. Benefit: Due to the absence of a standard wastewater field system The disadvantage is that power costs will increase, as will maintenance costs.
Sand Filter System
Sand filter systems allow waste water to travel from a septic tank to a pump chamber, and then from the pump chamber to the sand filtering system. Sand filter systems are used in conjunction with septic tanks. The sand filtration system is essentially a big concrete box that is filled with sand to filter out contaminants. Following a leisurely pumping operation to the top of the box, the waste water is filtered through the sand, which treats the water prior to its discharge into the soil absorption region (see illustration).
Cons: Frequent maintenance is required.
In contrast to conventional septic systems, the Evapotranspiration System’s drain field is housed in a closed, waterproof field that is covered with layers of gravel and sand to keep out the elements. Once the wastewater has passed through the septic tank and into the waterproof drain field, it begins to evaporate slowly. It is important to note that, unlike other septic systems, the effluent never filters into the soil. When compared to the alternatives, the ease of installation, maintenance, and use is superior.
Benefits: The ease of use is excellent, and the difficulty of installation and maintenance is minimal.
The mound system consists of the construction of a big sand mound that serves as a drain field. A controlled flow of wastewater is maintained throughout its journey from the septic tank to a chamber where it is pushed through to the mound. After flowing through a mound trench and percolating through the sand, the wastewater eventually trickles into the ground. Among those who live in rural locations where there is a lot of land but little absorbent soil, the mound system is a popular alternative.
Cons: It takes up a lot of room and requires a lot of upkeep.
Solid waste matter can block the pump and cause damage to the drain field if it is not pumped on a regular basis.
Garbage Disposal With Septic
Unless you reside in a septic-equipped home, it is better not to have a trash disposal. The increased volume of solid waste material will necessitate more frequent septic tank pumping and may erode the drain field, resulting in sewage back-ups in the future. Those who live in homes with septic systems may find that they must be extra cautious about what they flush down the toilet. Certain common home objects, when flushed down a toilet connected to a septic system, can create clogs, backups, and even damage to the system, resulting in not only discomfort and aggravation, but also a significant financial burden.
Chemicals may cause significant damage to and contamination of surface and groundwater, which can result in disease or even death in animals and people who consume the water.
Care should be taken to ensure that the compounds mentioned below are disposed of at designated hazardous waste depositories: Thinners, stains, and varnishes are all examples of products that fall under this category. Pesticides Oils Chemicals used in photography
How a Septic System Works – and Common Problems
Garbage disposals are not recommended for those who reside in septic tanks. It is likely that more frequent septic tank pumping would be required, and that the extra solid waste material may erode the drain field, perhaps resulting in sewage back ups. Because septic systems are installed in certain homes, you may need to be more selective about what you flush down the toilet. Clogging, backups, and even system damage can occur when certain common household objects are flushed down the toilet of a home with a septic system.
Make sure to exercise caution when handling the following everyday home items: Products for female genital hygiene Wipes that may be disposed of in the toilet Paper towels are a type of paper that is used for wiping surfaces such as countertops and tables.
Water surface and groundwater can be badly harmed or contaminated by chemicals, resulting in disease or even death in animals and humans.
The following are examples of painting materials: colors, varnishes, thinners, and so on.
The wastewater is collected in the septic tank once it has been discharged from the residence. Septic tanks are normally between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons in capacity and are composed of concrete, strong plastic, or metal, depending on the model. Highly durable concrete tanks, which should endure for 40 years or more provided they are not damaged, are the most common. Many contemporary tanks are designed with two chambers in order to maximize efficiency. Household wastewater is collected in the septic tank, where it is separated and begins to degrade before being discharged into the leach field.
- In the tank, oil and grease float to the top of the tank, where they are known as scum, while solid waste falls to the bottom, where they are known as sludge.
- Bacteria and other microorganisms feed on the sediments at the bottom of the tank, causing them to decompose in an anaerobic (without oxygen) process that begins at the bottom of the tank.
- Solids and grease must be pushed out of the system on a regular basis in order for it to continue to function effectively.
- Each gallon added to the tank results in one gallon being discharged to the leach field, leach pit, or other similar treatment facility.
A large amount of water delivered too rapidly to the tank may discharge untreated effluent, along with oil and particulates, into the leach field, where it may block the field and cause a backup.
When used properly, a leach field (also known as a “drain field”) is a series of perforated pipes that are typically buried in gravel trenches 18 to 36 inches below grade — deep enough to avoid freezing, but close enough to the surface that air can reach the bacteria that further purify the effluent (see illustration below). As little as 6 inches might separate you from the ground surface, depending on your soil type and municipal regulations. It is customary to cover the perforated pipes with approximately two inches of gravel and a layer of topsoil that is 18 to 24 inches in depth.
- Grass is often sown above the ground.
- The leach field is comprised of rows of perforated pipes in gravel trenches that are used to spread wastewater over a vast area in order to further purify it.
- A bacteria-rich slime mat forms where the gravel meets the soil, and it is responsible for the majority of the water purification work.
- Despite the fact that wastewater freezes at a far lower temperature than pure water, freezing is still a hazard in cold areas.
- The leftover pathogens are converted into essential plant nutrients by these organisms, while sand, gravel, and soil filter out any solids that remain.
- If the system is operating effectively, the filtered wastewater will return to the aquifer as naturally clean water that is suitable for human consumption at this stage.
- Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
- Special systems may also be necessary in regions where there are flood plains, bodies of water, or other ecologically sensitive areas to protect against flooding.
SIZING THE LEACH FIELD
Using perforated pipes put in gravel-filled trenches, the drain field is sized to accommodate the number of beds in the house. In order for the system to function successfully, the leach field must be appropriately sized for the soil type and amount of wastewater, which is normally determined by the number of bedrooms in the house. In order for the liquid to seep into the soil, it must be permeable enough to do so. As a result, the denser the soil, the larger the leach field that is necessary.
- Better to have surplus capacity in your system than to have it cut too close to the bone.
- Septic tank backup into your house, pooling on the surface of the earth, or polluting local groundwater are all possibilities if the ground is incapable of absorbing the liquid.
- Dense clay soils will not absorb the liquid at a sufficient rate, resulting in a backlog.
- If the soil is mostly composed of coarse sand and gravel, it might drain at such a rapid rate that untreated sewage can poison the aquifer or damage surrounding bodies of water.
- Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
These systems sometimes cost twice or three times as much as a regular system and require significantly more upkeep. Near flood plains, bodies of water, and other ecologically sensitive places, special systems may also be necessary to protect people and property.
SEPTIC SYSTEM CAREMAINTENANCE REQUIRED
If you take good care of your system, you will be rewarded with years of trouble-free operation. Pumping the septic tank on a regular basis is necessary to remove the particles (sludge) and grease layer (scum) that have built up in the tank. The solids will ultimately overflow and spill into the leach field, decreasing its efficacy and diminishing its lifespan if this is not done. The rehabilitation of a clogged leach field is difficult, if not impossible; thus, constant pumping is essential!
- Cooking fats, grease, and particles may also wash into the leach field if the tank is too small for the amount of water being used or if the tank is overcrowded on a regular basis.
- Extra water from excessive residential consumption or yard drainage can overwhelm the system, transporting oil and particles into the leach field and causing it to overflow.
- In addition, don’t try to complete a week’s worth of laundry for a family of five in a single day.
- To minimize overburdening the system, the following measures should be taken:
- Distribute your washing loads and other high-water-use activities across the week
- And In the kitchen and bathroom, use low-flow appliances, faucets, and fixtures. Toilets, in general, are the source of the greatest amount of water use. Water should be diverted away from the leach field from the yard, gutters, and basement sump pumps.
In addition, refrain from flushing sediments, strong chemicals, and just about anything else down the toilet or sink other than biological waste and white toilet paper. Avoid using garbage disposals in the kitchen. If you really must have one, keep it for small non-meat bits only. Avoid flushing chemicals or paints down the toilet since many chemicals can destroy beneficial microorganisms or cause water contamination in the surrounding area. Avoid flushing the following down the toilet:
- Grease, fats, and animal scraps
- Paints, thinners, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals
- And a variety of other materials sanitary napkins, tampons, and other supplies Paper towels and disposable diapers are examples of such products. Egg shells, coffee grounds, and nut shells are all good options. Antibacterial soaps and antibiotics are available.
It is preferable to put grass over the leach field and to refrain from driving or parking in the vicinity. Excessive weight placed on top of the drain field might compress the earth, diminishing its efficiency as a drain field. Drain pipes can also become clogged by trees and plants with invasive roots. In order to prevent damage to the leach field, the following measures should be taken:
- Heavy machinery should not be driven, parked, or stored on top of the leach field (or septic tank). Placement of a deck, patio, pool, or any other sort of construction over the leach field is prohibited. Remove any large trees or other plants with deep roots from the leach field. Grass is the most effective groundcover.
Even with careful use and routine maintenance, however, leach fields are not guaranteed to survive indefinitely. It is inevitable that the soil will get saturated with dissolved elements from the wastewater, and that the soil will be unable to absorb any more incoming water. The presence of an odorous wet area over the leach field, as well as plumbing backups in the house, are frequently the first indicators that something is wrong. Many municipalities mandate septic system designs to incorporate a second “reserve drain field” in the case that the first field fails.
A well constructed and maintained system should last for at least 20 to 30 years, if not longer than that. After a few tears, the initial field will naturally heal and may be used once again when the situation calls for it to be. More information on Septic System Maintenance may be found here.
SEPTIC SYSTEM PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS
Poor original design, abuse, or physical damage, such as driving heavy trucks over the leach field, are the root causes of the majority of septic system issues. The following are examples of common situations that might cause a septic system to operate poorly: Plumbing in the home. obstructed or insufficient plumbing vents, a blockage between the home and the septic tank, or an insufficient pitch in the sewer line leading from the house are all possible causes. Sewage tank to leach field connection Septic tank and leach field blockage caused by a closed or damaged tank outlet, a plugged line leading to the leach field caused by tree roots, or a blockage caused by sediments that overflowed from the tank Piping in the leach field.
Most of the time, tree roots do not make their way through the gravel bed and into the perforated pipe.
Reduced flows, achieved through the use of flow restrictors and low-flow faucets and fixtures, may be beneficial.
Because of the seasonal high water table, the soil around the trenches might get saturated, reducing the soil’s ability to absorb wastewater.
This may frequently be remedied by adding subsurface drains or curtain drains to intercept the water flow into the leach field region and to lower the water table in the immediate area around the drainage system.
Likewise, see: In order to do a perc test, who should I hire?
Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime?
Performing an Inspection on a Septic System When Is the Best Time to Take a Perc Test?
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