How Strong Iis Septic Tank Lateral Line Pipe? (Best solution)

  • A four-inch diameter sewer pipe can withstand well over two tons of pressure per linear foot. By contrast, clay, ABS, and PVC pipe are all subject to breakage. Cast-iron sewer pipe is heavy and difficult for a do-it-yourselfer to cut.

What happens if you break a leach field pipe?

Drainfield pipes that crack open and break rather than clogging up release too much water into the field area. You may notice puddles or spongy and mushy ground over the area. The water will eventually rise up high enough to push sewage up the inlet pipe and into your home’s lowest drains, which is known as a backup.

Can you drive over septic lateral lines?

Can You Drive on a Septic Drain Field? No, driving over your septic drain field is similarly never ever recommended. As much as you are able to help it, prevent cars or heavy equipment (such as oil delivery trucks, swimming pool water trucks, cement mixers, and also the like) to drive straight over the field.

What kind of pipe do you use from house to septic tank?

Laying Out a Septic-Tank Disposal System. The septic tank should be positioned at least 50 feet from the house proper. ABS or PVC plastic or cast iron pipe can be used to connect the tank to the house drainage system.

Can you drive a Bobcat over a leach field?

Driving over a drainfield can cause the drainage pipes to crack, and create leaks throughout the system. Leaks can cause the soil to collapse around the pipes, and cracks in the pipes will allow roots to invade the system – which can cause extensive damage.

How deep are leach field pipes?

A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.

What are lateral lines septic system?

Septic tank lateral lines are also known as percolation pipes. These are the perforated pipes that extend from the outlet of the septic tank below ground into the soil. The purpose of these lateral lines is to provide a network of pipes that the effluent from the septic tank runs through.

Can you build over lateral lines?

Overall, it is not recommended to build over your leach filed and you should also not put anything heavy on top of it, such as parking a vehicle.

How deep do lateral lines need to be?

A standard leach line is considered to be three (3) feet wide and three (3) feet deep with a length as required.

Is it normal for snow to melt over septic tank?

Generally speaking – melted snow over your septic tank is probably not a cause for concern. It’s actually a good sign that there is heat rising to the ground level – it shows that your tank is working right and it’s breaking down the solids.

How long are septic lateral lines?

A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.

What is the slope for septic lines?

A typical septic tank has a 4-inch inlet located at the top. The pipe that connects to it must maintain a 1/4-inch-per-foot slope toward it from the house. This means that for every 10 feet of distance between the tank and the house, the inlet must be 2 1/2 inches below the point at which the pipe exits the house.

Why the inlet pipe in the septic tank is higher than the outlet pipe?

Level the septic tank: The septic tank inlet tee is designed to be higher than the septic tank outlet tee. This helps assure that incoming sewage clears the baffle and enters the tank correctly, while outgoing effluent does not carry along floating solids, scum, or grease (which would clog the drainfield).

Can you pour concrete over leach field?

Paving Over Your Septic Tank You should never pave over your septic tank. Although soil compaction is not a major issue for septic tanks, there are other dangers presented by placing an insecure septic tank underneath concrete and heavy vehicles.

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.

Can I drive my tractor over a leach field?

It’s never a good idea to drive equipment over a septic drain field (leach field). If the field is constructed of infiltrator panels (arched, perforated plastic sections), heavy equipment could cause the panel to collapse.

What Are Septic Tank Lateral Lines and Percolation Areas

Septic tank lateral lines are also referred to as percolation pipelines in some circles. Perforated pipes that extend below ground from the septic tank’s outflow and into the soil are referred to as leach lines. The goal of these lateral lines is to create a network of pipes via which the effluent from the septic tank may be sent and collected. After passing through these pipes, the effluent seeps out of the perforations in the pipes and infiltrates into the soil. The effluent eventually infiltrates into the ground through the lateral lines or percolation pipes of the septic tank.

An Essential Part of a Standard Septic System

The lateral lines of a septic system are critical components of the system. They can be found in both home and commercial septic systems, depending on the application. The proper operation of lateral lines is critical to the proper operation of any septic system. Septic tank effluent has nowhere to go when they are obstructed or not functioning correctly, resulting in a backup of sewage and the failure of the system.

UK 2020 Septic Tank Guidelines

Beginning in 2020, every basic septic tank system in the United Kingdom will be required to have septic tank lateral lines or a percolation area constructed. Stream and watercourse discharges will not be authorized directly into the environment. In order to comply with the regulations between now and 2020, everyone who has a septic tank that discharges directly into a stream or watercourse is required to create a soakaway or percolation area. A percolation area or soakaway following a septic tank installation in an existing landscape is not usually straightforward.

Installing a household sewage treatment system might be a viable alternative approach.

Compared to the installation of a huge percolation area, it is significantly more cost-effective to replace a septic tank with a sewage treatment plant instead.

When purchasing a sewage treatment plant, it is important to search for exceptional value in conjunction with a system that is certified to EN12566-3 specifications.

How to Install Lateral Lines Correctly

It is recommended that you get professional assistance when constructing your percolation area or lateral line configuration. The effluent ponding on the ground surface might be caused by a poorly built percolation region that is not functioning properly. Consequently, before you begin any work, consult with a professional, arrange for a site study, and then make certain that the septic tank installation you hire is skilled and adequately insured. The number of lateral lines placed is a function of the amount of space available.

  • The number of people living in the house or structure
  • The kind of soil in the region
  • And the quantity of groundwater are all factors to consider.

How to Install a System Without Septic Tank Lateral Lines

Due to the fact that septic tank effluent is not treated to a high level of quality, lateral lines for septic tanks are typically necessary. A standard septic tank has a treatment level of roughly 30%, which is not very effective. A contemporary sewage treatment plant or aerobic sewage system, according to the contract, has a treatment efficiency of 95 percent or more. Systems such as the Biocell QuickOne achieve an even higher treatment level of 98 percent, resulting in effluent that is clean and transparent.

In other words, while an advanced sewage treatment system is more expensive than a standard septic tank, you save a significant amount of money by not having to add lateral connections.

Even if you do not have access to a stream or watercourse and you need to establish some lateral lines, you may install a lower number of lines after a sewage treatment plant since the effluent is much cleaner and it infiltrates into the ground much more easily after a sewage treatment facility.

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:

  1. 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

The water comes from a well. You do not have a meter on the water pipe that enters your home. Whether it’s on your water bill or your property tax statement, it says “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” You have septic systems in your neighbors’ yards.

  • 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

What Are Leach Lines and When Should They Be Replaced?

If your house is equipped with an aseptic system, it will have leach lines or an aleach field. It is necessary to have leach lines as part of any onsite wastewater system since they are the final stage in a process that begins at your sink or toilet and finishes with the wastewater being disposed of in the ground. When the leach lines stop working, the entire system fails as a result. Knowing how to recognize failing or failed leach lines may assist you in catching the problem early and limiting the amount of money spent on replacement.

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How a Septic System Works

In order to separate them from municipal or public waste systems, septic systems are also referred to as onsite wastewater management systems. The usage of the phrase “onsite” is important because a home’s septic system and a municipal system perform substantially the same functions. Both systems are designed to treat liquid waste or sewage (also known as effluent) and render it harmless by eliminating the pathogens that are present in it.

  1. It is through the sewer line that the greywater (water collected from sinks and showers, but not baths) as well as toilet liquid and solid waste leave the residence. It is the sewage line that transports the waste down to the septic tank. The trash begins its journey through the septic tank in the first compartment. Heavy waste items sink to the bottom of the tank, while lighter waste materials such as oils and greases float to the surface, forming a layer of scum. Effluent is sent to the rear compartment by baffles and screens. In order to sink into the earth, wastewater must first pass through an effluent filter and then via leach lines.


Millions of bacteria live in septic tanks and drains.

The bacteria are responsible for the breakdown of waste in the systems. As a result, a septic system that is excessively clean will be unable to perform correctly. Even two liters of bleach are sufficient to prevent or significantly inhibit the bacteria’s ability to digest waste.

What Are Leach Lines?

Leach lines are referred to by a variety of names, including leach field, leach bed, filter bed, and percolation bed. After passing through the septic tank, leach lines are used to distribute septic effluent into the surrounding soil. Leach pipes are laid out across an open area, generally a backyard, in order to disperse the effluent across the greatest feasible area as quickly as possible. Following its exit from the septic tank, the effluent travels into the leach pipes, trickles out of pores in the pipes, then percolates downhill via gravel and sand, and finally into the surrounding soil.

In order to encourage the final product to seep into the soil, the pipes are either bedded in gravel and sand or covered with plastic septic chambers, depending on the situation.

Signs of Failing or Failed Leach Lines

Sometimes it might be tough to figure out which element of a septic system has failed when one is experiencing problems. Any of the following symptoms can assist you in determining whether or not leach line failure is the source of the problem:

  • Plant growth that is more vigorous or grass that is greener than in other parts of the yard
  • Throughout the home, the drains are slower to operate
  • Water in the house regularly backs up. If your yard is squishy or has standing water, call for help. sewage scents emanating from either inside or outside the home
  • Sounds of gurgling

Why Leach Lines Fail

It is theoretically possible to construct an intelligent self-contained system that returns water to the soil and disinfects it biologically. However, in practice, this is not the case. In actuality, because a septic system has so many moving components, anything may go wrong, and leach lines are frequently the cause of these mishaps. If the septic tank was not correctly handled, it is possible that an excessive amount of solid waste was permitted to flow into the leach lines, clogging holes in the pipe or the surrounding ground.

Even if there is no catastrophic occurrence, it is possible that your leach field has simply reached the end of its normal life cycle.

How to Replace Leach Lines

It is recommended that you hire a professional to handle the replacement of leach lines, as is the case with the majority of septic tank tasks and concerns.

  1. The present leach field must be completely demolished in order to prevent contamination. A large amount of heavy equipment is required for this phase since leach fields are widely distributed. A distribution box is put near the septic tank for the purpose of distributing waste. The wastewater from the septic tank is delivered to the distribution box by a single big pipe. The leach field is formed by lateral pipes that radiate outward in trenches from the distribution box. There are between four and nine lateral pipes in total. Because this is a gravity-based system, the lateral pipes must be installed on a downward slope to be effective. Plastic septic chambers are installed over the leach line pipes to collect the wastewater. The trenches are filled with at least 6 inches of earth, or to the depth specified in your location, depending on the conditions. For the time being, only some parts, such as the ends of the pipes and the distribution box, are visible. The local permitting agency conducts an inspection of the septic system. Following a successful inspection, the remaining trenches are filled up
  2. Otherwise, they are left unfilled.

Septic Tank Lateral Line Installation

Home-Diy It is critical to the overall operation of a septic system that the installation of lateral lines be done correctly. Approximately one-quarter inch per foot should be applied to the pitch of the lines. Pitch is important because it ensures that waste materials flow correctly through the pipes without clogging them. Even a pipe that is sloping downwards at an excessive rate might cause issues. if (sources.length) then this.parentNode.removeChild(sources); else this.onerror = null; this.src = fallback; if (sources.length) then this.parentNode.removeChild(sources); else if (sources.length) then this.parentNode.removeChild(sources); else if (sources.length) then this.parentNode.remove ‘/public/images/logo-fallback.png’) is a fallback logo image.

  • 4-inch PVC perforated pipe
  • A shovel
  • A backhoe
  • A bubble level
  • Rosin paper
  • And a tape measure


Dump the dirt onto the rosin paper slowly so that the rosin paper does not shift while you’re doing it.


Townships are in charge of enforcing their own building regulations. Check with your local building inspector to see whether or not a permit is required.

  1. Each lateral line should be inserted into one of the intake holes in the junction box. A quarter inch overhang into the junction box is required at each end of the pipes
  2. Otherwise, they must be flush with the side of the junction box
  3. The height of the pipes should be checked by measuring the distance from the bottom of the box to each input pipe’s bottom. Placing cement around the exterior of each pipe will help to keep the pipes connected to the junction box. Build a wall of stones around all four sides of the junction box until there are 10 to 12 inches of stone beneath the pipes. Gradually lower the stones until the slope is sloping down one-quarter inch per foot
  4. Install perforated pipes from the junction box to the absorption field, extending them in a parallel fashion across the absorption field. A quarter inch per foot of pipe spacing is required, with the pipes sloping down away from the junction box at a rate of one-quarter inch per foot of pipe spacing. Your township may be able to provide you with particular lengths based on your local construction rules. Fill the area surrounding the pipe and on top of it with stones to ensure that the pipe does not move. The pipe should be covered at least two inches above the top of the pipe. Placing red rosin paper on top of the stones will prevent dirt from being incorporated into the stones. Fill in the remaining earth into the drain field on top of the rosin paper to complete the drainage system.

The Drip Cap

  • It is critical to the overall operation of a septic system that the lateral lines be properly installed. Shovel stones around outside of the junction box until there is 10 to 12 inches of stone beneath the pipes. A quarter inch per foot of pipe spacing is required, with the pipes sloping down away from the junction box.

Here’s Some Facts on Septic Tank Systems

Here are some interesting facts about septic tank systems. I recently relocated from Los Angeles and am now on a septic system. I have been unable to locate anyone who can provide me with information on the dos and don’ts of septic systems. I’ve been making an effort to study labels in order to avoid purchasing anything that cannot be utilized with a septic system. – For example, Owasso. Septic systems are intended for use in locations where sanitary sewer systems do not exist. They are an advance over traditional “outhouse” technology because, unlike traditional “open-pit outhouses,” they enclose the solid material, preventing it from polluting the surrounding soil and harming the environment.

  1. The tank is buried deep in the earth, with its sealed top only a few feet above the surrounding ground surface.
  2. It is possible that each system will employ 300 to 800 feet of lateral lines, all buried deep beneath the surface and surrounded by gravel, depending on your property’s”soil type” (its absorptive-evaporative qualities).
  3. The location of the tank’s exit pipe is decided by the three layers of material that may be found in a conventional sewage tank: scum, effluent, and sludge, which are all known to exist.
  4. Only the effluent is allowed to drain into the field because of a barrier around the exit pipe aperture.
  5. Septic tanks must be properly pumpedout every three to eight years in order to prevent the accumulation of scum and sludge in the tank and blocking the drainagefield lines.
  6. Excessive water use shortens the life of your system, so use water sparingly.
  7. You should make a note of the location of your septic tank so that it may be tested for solids depth on a regular basis.

Depending on the family, this is usually done every three to eight years.

The depth of the sludge will look as motor oil (on the rod), but the liquid will only be moist at the bottom of the rod.

Avoid the use of powerful bleaches and germicidal agents (to your laundryoperations).

This absorptionline may be readily destroyed by driving cars over it, which is common practice.

Always make an effort to redirect drainage water away from the waste disposal site.

The more frequently the disposal is used, the more frequently the tank has to be pumped.

Please instruct the plumber to use caution when rodding out the pipe leading to your septic tank.

When repairs or pumping are required, contact a professional and bondedrepairman who is qualified to complete the project.

Alternatively, you can call us at 744-1000 and ask for extensions3655, 3656, or 3701.

If you don’t already have a grease trap installed on the pipe connecting your kitchen drain to the tank, hire a plumber to do it.

Commercial cleaning agents (toilet and tub cleansers) should not be used since they break up and liquefy the sediments, allowing them to flow into the drainage field and blocking the lines in the process.

“Using a washing machine on your septic tank?

So you don’t get any solids out into yourlateral field and cause it to get blocked up, you should do this first.

With no washing machine, pump out the tank around every three years and use only laundry products that are labeled as “safe for septic systems” when you don’t have one.” Drain Cleaning Lateral Lines: Don’t Throw Your Money Down the Drain Is it feasible to unclog the lateral pipes of a septic tank system if they have become blocked with sediment?

  1. – Mrs.
  2. Mrs.
  3. However, when your lateral lines become clogged, the soil around them becomes clogged as well, and the only solution is to install new laterals in new ground – outside of the original field.
  4. There are installers who will quote you a very low ballpark figure in order to secure the work, and I’m not trying to disparage any of my rivals.
  5. According to E.R.
  6. And, of course, the health agency will need them to submit to a percolation test.
  7. A skilled contractor will inspect the tank to see whether the baffles are in proper working order and what occurred to the system to cause it to stop operating.
  8. You won’t be able to remedy anything until you first identify the problem.
  9. “As far as cleaning them out goes, it’s a complete waste of time and money.
  10. I’ve been on job after job where they’ve done this, and they thought they were fixed, but they weren’t.
  11. There is so much grease and soap down there that it is impossible to absorb any more water because of the sludge that has built up in the soil pours “he explained.
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The soil conditions vary from job to job and location to location; some are rocky soil, some are on steep terrain that is difficult to reach or that is time-consuming; some are difficult to repair because there is not enough room to put in enough new lateral to fix the problem; and if the soil is sandy and you can dig down 8-12 feet and hit good soil, which we do quite frequently, then we dig very wide laterals and put in tons and tons of gravel for volume.” However, if you reconnect with the old lines and attempt to extend them into the virgin drainage field, sludge will frequently back up into the new lines and cause them to become clogged with sludge.

Only by replacing the laterals and connecting them directly to the tank, after you have cleaned out the tank and checked the baffle, will the problem be solved.” I just finished a new job down in Deer Run that involved a lot of rock and took five or six days to complete.

Even if it had been plain dirt, the price could have been as high as $1,750.” It is determined by your perk test, and the formula involves multiplying the number of bedrooms by the number of minutes it takes for an inch of water to be absorbed by the soil, which equals the number of feet of lateral lines required.

Then, if all of the water has been drained out, they will add another 10 inches of water and begin the percolation process.

You’d be in the 400-foot area for a three-bedroom house if you moved from 15 to 30 minutes, which would put you in another group.

The next bracket is 30-45 minutes, and that puts you in a 530-foot home with three bedrooms and a bathroom.

You can add a field there if it takes 45-60 minutes, but if it takes longer than 60 minutes, it is considered a failingperk test, and you cannot place a field there.” Phil Mulkins is the editor of the World Action Line. Get the latest local news delivered directly to your inbox!

How Much Slope for Septic Line?

This page contains information on sitework, including how much slop for a septic line to have. Peter inquires: My builder has recently completed the installation of our septic system, and I’m afraid that he did something incorrectly. The drain field looks to be at a greater height than the tank’s exit, which is consistent with this. My brain doesn’t comprehend how the tank may empty upwards. Is there something I’m overlooking? Answer: Except if you have a mound system, or another pumping system with a dosing chamber and lift pump, you are accurate in assuming that you will require a downhill slope in your sewage pipes, which is not the case.

  • The leach lines themselves, on the other hand, should be leveled out.
  • Sewage lines should be sloped downhill to the septic tank and drain field at a rate of at least 1/4 inch per foot of length.
  • To avoid clogging, steer clear of sags and sudden curves.
  • The fear is that the water would flow too quickly and leave sediments behind, causing the pipe to clog.
  • In situations when it is important to carry wastewater uphill, there are several different pumping system types that may be employed.
  • I would consider getting in touch with the person who created your system to discuss the problem and, if feasible, have them come out and assess the location.
  • It’s ideal if you can put your complaints in writing and send them to the contractor.
  • An upward line such as the one you describe will never function effectively.
  • Also read this article.

When Is the Best Time to Take a Perc Test? How much does a perc test cost? Who Should Be Hired for the Perc Test? After a failed perc test, should you retest? Should I use a Sand Filter with my existing septic system? Examining the condition of the wellSEPTIC SYSTEMView all articles Q and A Index

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Septic tanks allow residents to flush their wastewater without having to join to a citywide sewage system, which is beneficial in some cases. At any one moment, the majority of the wastewater is contained in two tanks. They use a natural settling mechanism to separate the solid waste from the water it is being used to clean. Long, horizontal and perforated pipes, known as lateral lines, are used to discharge the residual water into a drain field, which is a waste water treatment facility. Cleaning Septic Tank Lateral Lines: A Step-by-Step Guide Image courtesy of MemorioImage/iStock/Getty Images.

Lateral Lines in a Septic System

The lateral lines of a septic system allow the effluent water to trickle into an area that has been particularly constructed to filter and clean the water before it is released back into the groundwater supply. It is unlikely that the septic tank would suffer any difficulties with water outflow when the lateral lines, also known as field lines or leach lines, are correctly installed and operating. In some cases, however, sludge and paper products that are generally contained within the tanks might make their way into the lateral lines and cause drainage difficulties.

How to Clean Septic Tank Laterals

Septic systems may be accessible by homeowners or technicians through holes in the ground. A distribution box connects the lateral lines to the sludge tanks, which is where the sludge is collected. The box has a single input pipe on one side and numerous pipes – usually at least three – branching off on the other side or sides on the other side or sides of the box. The lateral lines are seen here. To flush these pipes, you can use one of a few of commonly available instruments. The first type of snake is that used by plumbers.

  1. Plumber’s snakes can be operated by hand or by connecting them to a power drill for more power and speed.
  2. The snake will open and release the blockage, allowing the materials to flow down the pipe when you flush the line later.
  3. With high water pressure blasting through the debris, this flexible line is threaded into each of the septic tank laterals and then into the main tank.
  4. The use of chemical cleaning agents is also an option, although in most cases, they do not yield substantial results.

When selecting chemical additions, exercise caution because they have the potential to pollute the environment and degrade the quality of groundwater.

Septic System Cleaning Limitations

One of the most difficult problems to deal with when it comes to clearing blocked septic tank field lines is the presence of tree roots in the pipe. When seeking for a place to grow, the roots will choose the path of least resistance, which means that the perforations and hollow interiors of the pipes will be great real estate for them. Although a water jet may be powerful enough to tear off thinner roots, the roots will almost certainly regrow. Heavy roots are insurmountable for plumber’s snakes or water jets to cut through.

It may be necessary to use chemical additives in order to destroy the roots and prevent them from regrowing.

Having the drain field correctly prepared in the first place is also beneficial in this situation.

Avoid needing to do a drain field cleanout by taking care during installation and keeping both the sludge tanks and the septic tank lateral lines in good working order on a consistent basis.

Can Your Drive a Truck Over a Septic Tank?

Is it possible for you to drive a truck over a septic tank? Is it possible to drive over a septic tank?

Can you drive a truck or vehicle over a septic tank? The answer is you technically can, but you shouldn’t, and you should familiarize yourself with the risks in doing so.

Is it possible to drive over a septic drainage field? There is no official numerical value that specifies the maximum amount of weight that an underground septic tank can withstand. You should be aware, however, that it is strongly advised that you avoid driving or parking vehicles or heavy machinery on or near a septic system system area. Subjecting your septic tank to significant weight from trucks, automobiles, or tractors, among other things, and doing so for an extended length of time, increases the risk of damage to the system.

  • It brings with it a full slew of pricey septic system issues to deal with.
  • As a result of the weight of some golf carts, especially those that are filled with people, your septic tank may experience excessive stress.
  • The act of driving over your septic tank, septic pipe, or drain field can do significant damage to your septic system, not to mention the fact that it is dangerous.
  • Should You Park Your Car on Top of a Septic Tank?
  • Under no circumstances should sewage disposal tanks be constructed beneath garages or driveways.
  • If at all feasible, delineate the region beneath which your septic tank will be installed.

Indeed, parking or driving over a septic tank must be avoided at all costs, and this is especially true during periods of heavy rainfall. It is at this time that your septic tank system is most susceptible to disruption and damage.

What If You Built Structures or Have Existing Structures Built On Your Septic Tank?

access to a septic tank for the purpose of pumping The construction of any form of building over any section of your septic tank is never a wise decision. Due to the restricted access to the septic tank, the most common difficulty this causes is that septic maintenance (such as regular pumping) and repair become more difficult or time-consuming to do. A significant number of homeowners and business owners have their sewage-disposal tanks concealed beneath wood decks, pool patios, driveways, or other construction annexes.

  • Building over your septic tank may be remedied by installing removable boards or trap doors, which allow for practical access to the septic tank while yet maintaining aesthetic appeal.
  • While your drain field takes use of the soil surrounding it to purify the flow from the septic tank, your septic tank does not.
  • The fact that you would be constructing over a large area that includes sewage water, which is exceedingly unsanitary, has not yet been brought up in conversation.
  • Ensure that you have easy access to the tank since it is required for periodic inspections and upkeep, as well as for emergency repairs.
  • It is not only impractical, but it is also prohibitively expensive.
  • It is exceedingly detrimental to the health of humans and animals if harmful gases leak out of the sewage treatment system and into the environment.
  • Building on top of your drain field condenses the soils and can cause damage to the below-ground system, which can result in a septic tank failure.

No, driving across your septic drain field is also not suggested under any circumstances.

When necessary, you should drive over your septic leach field to ensure that no long-term harm is done.

If you were to drive over it on a regular basis, the fill level in the system would certainly decrease, and the air movement in the system would be compromised.

As a general safety precaution, keep in mind that driving or parking an automobile on a drain field can impair the performance of the drain field due to compaction of the soil and the lack of proper air movement due to the increased surface area.

South End is a neighborhood in the heart of the city.

So keep in mind that we are only a click away.

We also specialize in leak detection; please contact us for more information. South End Plumbing is one of the few organizations that will provide you with a no-obligation quote. To book a visit, please call us at 704-919-1722 or complete the online form.

The 5 Biggest Questions Home Buyers Have About Septic Systems

Image courtesy of The word “septic system” in a home ad is well-known for scaring away potential purchasers from the property. Some homebuyers may consider the system to be obsolete, expensive to fix, or difficult to keep up to date. Septic systems, on the other hand, do not have to be frightening. A septic tank and its accompanying parts may easily endure for decades if they have a good maintenance record and are properly inspected on a regular basis. Don’t instantly rule out an attractive property because it has this sort of system buried out back if you’re contemplating booking a viewing appointment.

Continue reading to learn more about septic systems, including how they function, common misunderstandings about them, how to maintain them, how to locate a septic system inspector, and indicators that a septic system is in danger of collapsing.

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1. How do septic systems work?

Water that has been filtered by a septic system is called effluent. There are several components, including a big septic tank, distribution box, baffles, and a drainfield, all of which are buried below ground. Septic fields and leach fields are other names for the drainfield, which is a network of perforated pipes that extends out from the septic tank and allows filtered wastewater to be released back into the environment through the soil. The wastewater from your home, including that from toilets, sinks, showers, and appliances, is channeled out of the house and into the tank through the pipes.

The accumulation of particles over time offers a luxury home for helpful anaerobic bacteria, which work to break down the materials and release the grease, oil, and fats that have accumulated on the surface (the scum).

The residual wastewater (also known as effluent) runs via outlet pipes into a disposal bed or drainfield, where it is slowly and securely filtered by the earth, allowing it to be recycled.

2. What are common misconceptions about septic systems?

A lot of people have misconceptions (and even falsehoods) regarding septic systems, and this may make it difficult to decide whether or not to purchase a property that has one. Take a moment to put some popular myths and misconceptions in their proper perspective.

  • A septic system is no longer used by most people. Actually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), around 20% of homes are equipped with a septic system, or one in every five dwellings. Septic systems fail on a regular basis. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a septic system may survive up to 40 years—and possibly even longer—with proper maintenance. Septic systems have a foul odor. It is unlikely that an improperly managed septic system will release any unpleasant smells. An odor emanating from drains or the septic system itself indicates that there is a problem. A septic system has the potential to pollute a well. Installed correctly and maintained on a regular basis, a system will not cause contamination of a well on the property. To guarantee proper separation of drinking water and wastewater, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that the system be installed at least 50 feet away from a well. The septic system will be examined during a house inspection. A house inspection is often focused on the systems within the home, and as a result, it seldom includes more than a cursory examination of the septic system. Look for a professional that understands the workings of a septic system and how to do a comprehensive inspection in order to obtain a complete picture.

3. How do you maintain a septic system?

Septic systems require regular care and maintenance in order to function properly. The good news is that keeping a septic system in excellent working order is rather straightforward. Here’s how to keep it in proper functioning order.

  • Take cautious with the information you submit over the system. Pouring anything down the toilet should be avoided at all costs. This includes things like paint and chemicals, kitty litter, coffee grinds, disposable wipes, diapers, and feminine products. These are all potential clog-makers in the septic system. It is best not to use any additives in the system. Additives may be classified into two categories, according to the National Small Flows Clearinghouse, which are chemical and biological. Despite the fact that these solutions are touted to accomplish anything from speed solids breakdown to enhance the condition of the drainfield, they typically cause havoc on the bacteria that are intended to keep the system running smoothly. Keep vehicles away from drainfields and never park or drive over them, since this might cause damage to the pipes. When planting shrubs or trees near a drainfield, use caution to avoid damaging the plants. The roots of some water-loving plants, such as weeping willows, can find their way into the drainfield, outlet pipes, or even the septic tank system itself. According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension, a fair rule of thumb is: if a tree will grow to be 25 feet tall, it should be kept at least 25 feet away from the drainfield
  • If a tree will grow to be 25 feet tall, it should be kept at least 25 feet away from the drainfield
  • Get your septic tank pumped out by a professional septic provider on average every two or three years. An further visual inspection of the component is often performed at the same time by a qualified specialist
  • Call a specialist as soon as you see any signs of impending failure (as indicated below)! The sooner you contact, the less expensive a repair may be

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4. How do you find the best septic system inspector?

Once an offer on a home is made, the deal is nearly always subject on the outcome of a thorough inspection of the property, which includes an examination of the septic system. Important to remember is that what is stated on a seller’s disclosure form is not a substitute for a thorough inspection of the property being offered for sale. The average homeowner does not have the necessary knowledge or equipment to conduct a thorough inspection of the system. If there are concealed issues, it is possible that the homeowner will not be aware of them.

  • One of the most common types of house inspection is a general home inspection, which evaluates the structure of the home, systems within it (such as plumbing and electricity), roof condition, and maybe some of the external features.
  • As a result, always seek the services of a septic system specialist for an inspection.
  • Your neighbors and real estate agent may be able to provide you with a few decent leads.
  • To begin, contact each possible inspector and ask them about their approach to the task; for example, some may use cameras to evaluate the distribution box and drainfield, while others may dig to complete their inspection.
  • Once the inspection has begun, the expert will search for pumping and maintenance records, examine for signs of leakage or backup, measure the levels of sludge and scum, and determine the age of the tank, among other things.
  • Depending on whether or not the property includes extensions that were built after the septic tank was originally installed, an inspector may give recommendations to make the residence more sanitary.

For example, a two-bedroom home will require a tank of a different capacity than a three-bedroom home will. Image courtesy of

5. What are the signs that a septic system needs to be replaced?

It is critical to notice the warning symptoms of impending failure before they manifest themselves. For the most part, failure of a septic system goes unnoticed at first. Keeping an eye out for warning indicators will help you arrange a replacement before something goes wrong.

  • Gurgling noises coming from outside sewers
  • Interior drains in bathtubs and sinks that are slow to drain
  • Odors emanate from the sewage treatment plant, drainfield or inside drains of the house. There are wet places visible over the drainfield. Water is backing up into the home from the sewer line. Toilets are flushing more slowly
  • This is a problem. A sudden and dramatic increase in the amount of lush and full vegetation over the drainfield might indicate a probable obstruction or break in the exit pipes outside.

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Final Thoughts

Septic systems, which are used in around 20% of homes in the United States, are designed to remove effluent from a residence. While septic systems may need a bit more maintenance than utilizing a public sewage system, they are not nearly as difficult to maintain as their reputation would have you believe. A well-maintained septic system may survive up to 40 years if it is inspected on a regular basis and kept on the lookout for indicators of potential problems. It is critical for homebuyers contemplating a property with a septic system to have the system inspected by a professional before making an offer.

FAQs About Septic Tanks and Septic Systems

When it comes to septic systems, there is a lot to understand. Even after reviewing the information provided above, you may still have concerns regarding how septic systems operate and how to properly manage them. Answers to some frequently asked questions concerning septic systems are provided here.

Q: How does a septic tank work?

When sewage is discharged into a septic tank, the solid stuff descends to the bottom, where it is colonized by helpful anaerobic bacteria, which work to break down the solids and liberate the lipids contained within them. The byproducts rise to the surface of the tank and are separated by a series of baffles.

Q: What are the three types of septic systems?

Traditional septic systems are classified into three types: chamber septic systems, drip distribution systems, and septic systems with chambers. In most cases, conventional systems are employed in residential buildings. Typically, a chamber system is used in high water table settings due to the fact that it is comprised of a succession of closed compartments. Drip systems are often less difficult to install, but they require more upkeep.

Q: How many years does a septic system last on average?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a well managed septic system may survive for 40 years. It is essential that you get the septic system evaluated before to purchasing a property so that you can get an estimate of how long the septic system is projected to operate.

Q: What is the alternative to a septic tank?

An aerobic treatment system, composting waste, and a drip system are all options for replacing a septic tank in a residential setting.

Q: What chemicals are bad for a septic tank?

The use of chemicals such as oil-based paint, paint thinners, lubricants, gasoline, weed killers, foaming cleansers, and chlorine-based cleaners can cause damage to your septic tank. They have the potential to pollute the surrounding environment as well as destroy the bacteria that are necessary for waste breakdown inside the septic tank, making it difficult or impossible for matter to degrade. Septic systems are well-understood by professionals. Link up with reputable professionals in your region and obtain free, no-obligation quotations for your project.+

5 Signs Your Septic Drainfield Has Stopped Working

Unlike municipal septic systems, which consist just of a subterranean tank that collects waste and water, residential septic systems are more complex. Water finally departs the tank through an outlet pipe and into a network of long perforated pipes known as the leech or drainfield after reaching the tank’s interior. The drainfield is equally as vital as, if not more so than, the septic tank in terms of wastewater treatment. In the event that this component of the system begins to fail, prompt action might mean the difference between relatively small repairs and a total drainfield replacement.

Drainage is being slowed.

As long as there is still any water in the pipes of the field, the drains in your home will continue to function, albeit at a slower rate.

The presence of obstructions in the inlet or outlet pipe, as well as several other septic problems that are less difficult to resolve than drainfield problems, might result in delayed drainage.


You may detect puddles or spongy and mushy ground all over the place if you look closely.

A backup occurs when the water level rises to a level that forces sewage up the input pipe and into the lowest drains in your house, which is known as a back up in the system.


Drainfield leaks can provide visible consequences on the surface if the drainfield leaks at a higher rate than typical or contains decaying material that is meant to remain in the tank.

Returning Flow is the fourth step.

If you presume that the tank just need pumping, the service technician may discover water and sewage entering the tank from the outlet in a reverse flow, which would indicate that the tank requires more than pumping.

The presence of reverse flow from the drainfield is an obvious indication that you want jetting or pipe replacement services.

The Development of Odors In the end, you can utilize your sense of smell to detect indicators of drainfield issue.

Any sewage or toilet scents, even if they are weak and difficult to detect, signal that you should have a professional evaluate your home immediately.

This is the most effective way.

Whenever we observe a decrease in drainage capacity, we will inform you of the problem and your choices for resolving it before the system stops processing waste altogether.

In addition, we’re pleased to address any of your questions or concerns concerning your drainfield or septic system in general with a professional response.

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