How To Run Septic Tank Drainfield? (TOP 5 Tips)

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  • The drain line exits the tank parallel to the intake, but individual drain lines may run perpendicular to the intake line or fork into an H-pattern or other patterns that fit the land. The lines should not be closer than 10-feet apart and no longer than about 100-feet long. How long are septic lateral lines?

How deep should a septic drain field be?

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

What kind of pipe is used for septic drain field?

Corrugated pipe is typically used for drain fields. Septic systems use drain fields to treat the septic tank effluent for the removal of impurities and contaminants. The field is made up of trenches typically containing washed “drainrock” or gravel.

How do I calculate the size of my septic drain field?

Drainfield Size

  1. The size of the drainfield is based on the number of bedrooms and soil characteristics, and is given as square feet.
  2. For example, the minimum required for a three bedroom house with a mid range percolation rate of 25 minutes per inch is 750 square feet.

Can you put a garden over a septic field?

Planting over a septic leach field (drain field) is possible if it is done with care. If you have limited space on your property where you can garden, the leach field may be the only spot for landscaping. Vegetable gardening over a leach field is not recommended.

How far should leach field be from house?

Local codes and regulations that stipulate the distance of the septic tank from the house vary depending on the locale, but the typical minimum distance is 10 feet.

Why is my grass dying over my drain field?

As temperatures increase, grass draws more moisture from the soil beneath it. The soil above leach lines is shallower than the soil in the rest of the lawn, so it holds less water compared to the rest of the lawn, causing grass directly above the lines to dry out and turn yellow.

How long do drain fields 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.

Can I install my own leach field?

You may also need to pull a permit to put in a new leach field. A leach field is an important part of a septic system. It disperses fluid from the septic system over a large area of soil adjacent to the building it services. Building your own leach field is physically difficult, but it can save you lots of money.

Can you use corrugated pipe for septic drain field?

You should use a four-inch pipe made of rigid PVC that has appropriate drainage holes. Never use corrugated flexible piping as these can’t be cleaned without damaging the pipe. Once you’ve dug down to the original pipe, remove it carefully. Ensure there’s a layer of gravel still in place for proper drainage.

What size pipe do you use for a leach field?

Leach Fields are trenches (or rectangular beds) dug in yard and filled with a foot of 3/4″ to 1-1/2″ gravel and a four inch diameter perforated pipe.

How to Build a Septic Drain Field

Credit for the image: Panya /iStock/Getty Images Although it takes time to construct a septic drain field properly, the effort is worth it in the long run. Septic tanks have a lifespan of 15 to 30 years. Drain fields, also known as leach fields, do not persist for very long periods of time, unfortunately. A drain field can survive up to ten years if it is installed in a well-drained location with excellent ground absorption. Drain fields can be divided into four portions of 25 feet each, or two sections of 50 feet each, depending on the layout you select for your drainage system.

Step 1: Do Your Research

To find out whether a permit is necessary for the installation of an aseptic field line or whether the health department must examine the drain field during construction or after it is completed, check with your local county office and health department for further information. It is almost always necessary to obtain a permit and have your property inspected.

Step 2: Determine Soil Drainage/Absorption

In order to assess the soil’s absorption capacity, dig a hole in it. Soil testing may usually be performed for a minimal price by the local Department of Agriculture office if you live in a rural area. A drain field should not be constructed in an area with poor drainage. A septic drain field should be located 10 feet away from the house or any body of water, as well as 10 feet away from gardens and edibles.

Step 3: Locate Underground Utilities

Before you begin digging, contact a utility finding provider to ensure that you do not accidentally cut any underground utility lines while digging. Spray paint or flags will be used to designate the ground above any lines that are drawn by the firm. It is possible that you will be held accountable for the expense of restoring the cables if the lines are not clearly designated and one or more of them are severed because you did not have them marked.

Step 4: Dig Drain Field Trenches

It is recommended that each drain-field trench be at least 3 to 4 feet broad and 3 to 4 feet deep. For a 1,000-gallon septic tank, there should be at least 100 feet of drain field. This can be performed by digging four 25-foot-long trenches or two 50-foot-long trenches, as appropriate. Each 8 feet of pipe should be placed in a trench with a modest downward inclination of no more than 1/4 inch per foot of pipe. A downhill slope that is too steep might result in drainage issues since the waste could pool at the end of the trench.

Step 5: Add Gravel and Perforated Pipe

At least 3 to 4 feet broad and 3 to 4 feet deep, each drain-field trench should be dug out. To accommodate a 1,000-gallon septic tank, there should be at least 100 feet of drain field. This may be achieved by digging four 25-foot-long trenches or two 50-foot-long ditches. Each 8 feet of pipe should be placed in a trench with a modest downward inclination of no more than 1/4 inch every 8 feet. When there is too much of a downhill slope, drainage difficulties might occur because the waste can collect at one end of the trench.

Step 6: Add More Gravel

Another half-inch of gravel should be placed on top of the perforated pipe, with additional gravel placed around the edges. Septic fabric should be placed over the gravel to prevent loose dirt from entering into the rocks. Backfill the trench with the dirt that was previously taken from the trench by raking it up and into the trench.

Approximately a week later, once the earth has had a chance to settle a little, pile some additional dirt on top of the trench in order to elevate the level of the soil until it is equal with the surrounding ground and to prevent rainfall from gathering in the depression.

How to Install a Septic System

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation In rural regions of the nation where waste water treatment is not accessible, private on-site wastewater treatment systems (POWTS), also known as septic systems, are utilized largely to treat waste water. Gravity fed/conventional systems are divided into two broad categories: 1. gravity fed/conventional systems and 2. alternative (pump) systems, which include aerobic treatment units (ATUs.) In most cases, electric pumps are used in alternative systems.

However, in many health jurisdictions across the United States, it is still feasible for an individual property owner with heavy equipment operation skills to utilize a backhoe to establish a septic system on their land.

Steps

  1. 1 Make a plan and design for your system. Performing a site survey and conducting a percolation (soil) test on the area where the POWTS is to be placed are both required initial steps in any septic system installation. In order to create a system, it is necessary to first gather information from surveyors and conduct a soil test. It is then possible to submit an application for the necessary permissions and approvals.
  • The following are some of the conclusions from the site survey that have an impact on the design:
  • Available space
  • Terrain
  • Intended purpose and projected water demand depending on the size of the residence or building that the system will serve
  • Location of the well and/or nearby wells
  • And other factors.
  • The following are examples of soil test findings that have an impact on the design:
  • The soil type and layering (sand, clay, rock, and where it is placed in relation to depth)
  • The soil’s ability to drain and filter wastewater
  • And the soil’s ability to drain and filter wastewater
  1. The kind and layering of the soil (sand, clay, rock, and where it is placed in relation to depth)
  2. The soil’s ability to drain and filter wastewater
  3. And the soil’s capacity to drain and filter wastewater are all important considerations.

Please keep in mind that the following procedure assumes that the system is being installed for the first time and not as a replacement.

  1. 1 Assemble the equipment and tools that will be used throughout the dig. You will require the following items:
  • Backhoe, laser transit, and grade pole are all included. A 4″ Sch. 40 PVC pipe (and fittings, if necessary)
  • A 4″ ASTM D2729 perforated pipe
  • A 4″ASTM D3034 pipe and fittings
  • A 4″ Sch. 40 vent cap and test cap
  • PVC primer and adhesive
  • A 4″ Sch. 40 vent cap and test cap The following tools will be required: Saw (either hand saw or cordless reciprocating saw)
  • Hammer drill and bits (for drilling through walls if necessary)
  • The following items are required: hydraulic cement (to seal surrounding pipe if pipe is going through wall)
  • Shovel
  • Stone measuring an inch and a half and cleaned (amount varies depending on system size)
  • Tape measurements (both ordinary and at least a 100-foot-long tape)
  • Septic fabric (cut to 3′ length or less from a roll)
  • Septic tank and risers (concrete or plastic if allowed)
  • Riser sealant such as Con-Seal (for concrete) or silicone caulk (for plastic)
  • A septic filter (such as a Zoeller 170 or similar) if one is necessary
  • A distribution box (either concrete or plastic, if more than two laterals are being run)
  • And a septic tank.
  • 2 Determine the location of the entrance to the building in relation to the location of the septic tank. Make an excavation at least 2 feet deep and drill a hole through the wall, or go deeper and drill a hole beneath the footing, depending on your preference or the need. Because this is precisely what a gravity-fed system is designed to accomplish, expect the flow to continue to flow downhill from here. When transferring waste from the tank to the drain field, it does not employ any mechanical methods other than gravity.
  • The pipe should be 4″ Sch. 40 and should extend at least five feet outside the structure toward the tank, either through the wall or beneath it. Set it level where it will pass through a wall or under a footing, and from there, run it with approximately 1/8″ of pitch (slope) every foot of length toward the septic tank until it reaches the tank. If necessary, go even farther into the tank or all the way into the tank. If this is the case, switch to 4″ 3034 with the appropriate adaptor and pipe 3034 toward the tank.
  • Make sure you use a test cap on the end that will be entering the building. It is recommended that if you are going through a wall, you seal the area around the hole with hydraulic cement both inside and outside
  • Do not run too much pitch out to the tank. If there is an excessive amount, the water will run away quicker than the sediments, resulting in the solids remaining in the pipe. Additionally, depending on the depth of your drain field and how close it will be to the tank’s outflow, there may not be enough pitch to get to the drain field.
  • 3 Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the installation of the concrete aerobic tank below ground. Make use of the laser transit to “shoot” the top of the pipe that leads out to the tank with the laser. The distance between the top of the intake and the bottom of the tank is measured in feet and inches. To the number you fired off the top of the pipe, add this (go up on the grade pole) + 1 1/2″ to get the total. The depth of the grade pole has now been adjusted to the desired depth. Using this, continue to drill the hole to the desired depth
  • Prepare your leech field by laying it out and excavating it according to the results of the test performed during the permit application procedure. Maintaining a good flow between the tank and the drain field should be considered when planning out and digging the tank.
  1. 4Use “inch-and-a-half cleaned drain rock” from a neighboring gravel dump to surround the pipe, which is required in most areas. This is necessary in order to keep the pipe stable. For further information on the size of embedment and gravel required, check with your local health department. Five-inch perforated pipe in a gravity drain field does not have a slope from one end to another and has capped ends
  2. Once you have received a green sticker from the health inspector, you must cover the pipe and tank. All places, subject to the restrictions of the local health authority, will be required to cover the drain rock with a specific filter fabric, newspaper, four inches of straw, or untreated construction paper before backfilling. Advertisement
  1. A pump chamber after the septic tank should be installed The pump chamber, also known as a pressure tank or dosing tank, is where the electric pump is housed, which is responsible for transporting wastewater from one location to another and finally into the drain field for final disposal.
  • Set up the pump chamber in the same manner as you would a septic tank. The effluent pump and floats are housed in the pump chamber, and they are responsible for pumping the effluent out to the drain field at predetermined or scheduled intervals. This is a hermetically sealed system. To ensure that the electrical installation complies with state standards, it is frequently necessary to hire a qualified electrician. It is important to remember that in places with high groundwater, the pump chamber or additional ATUs may remain essentially empty for long periods of time, and that these tanks may need to be safeguarded from floating by the installation of additional weight or other protective features.
  1. The pump chamber should be set up similarly to how the septic tank should be set up: The effluent pump and floats are housed in the pump chamber, and they are responsible for pumping the effluent out to the drain field at predetermined or predetermined time intervals. A sealed system is used in this application. If you want to comply with state requirements, a certified electrician will almost always be required to complete the electrical installation. Because groundwater levels can be quite high in some regions, it is important to be aware that the pump chamber or additional ATUs may be mainly empty for long periods of time, and that these tanks may need to be secured from floating with additional weight or other protective features.
See also:  How To Replace Float Septic Holding Tank? (Solution)

Create a new question

  • Question I had a tank put, but it isn’t level with the ground. What will be the ramifications of this, and should it be leveled? It is necessary to keep the tank level. It is difficult to predict what it will have an impact on because we do not know which direction it is off level. Question Is it necessary to be concerned about tree roots growing into the drainage area when using a gravity flow kind of tank? Whether or whether you have lateral lines is dependent on the kind of trees that are growing close or above them. Tree species that tend to extend roots into the lateral lines and obstruct them are known as ramifications. Due to the fact that they are buried deep in the ground and surrounded by a pocket of gravel that allows waste water to drain out, they are rarely affected by grass, weeds, and shrubs. Question What is the maximum depth that a pipe may be lowered into the leech bed? The majority of systems require 12 volts “in the form of rock The perforated pipe should be suspended in the top area of the rock
  • It should not be touching the rock. Question Maintaining a lush green grass on or above your pitch is it safe, or is it a good practice? According to what I’ve heard, brown or dead grass is preferred so that your field can breathe more easily. It is necessary for your field to take a breath. The presence of green grass across your field indicates that it is functioning well. With lush grass covering your field, it will be able to breathe. There should be no planting of woody shrubs or trees over the leach field. Question What is the recommended distance between the septic tank and the house/boundary? A minimum of fifty feet is required. States have different laws, but this is the most common distance
  • Nonetheless, other states have stricter laws. Question What is the average amount of soil that goes into a residential leach field? It is dependent on how chilly it becomes. There are no less than 12 in the northern United States “in the leach field’s surface
  • Question Is it possible to build a septic system during the cold months? What you should do will depend on whether or not you reside in a place where the ground freezes. Question What amount of water should I put in the tank to get it going? None. A typical tank holds 1,000 gallons and will fill up quite quickly if used on a regular basis. When liquid effluent is discharged to the drain field, the goal is to catch and pre-treat particles that have accumulated. It is possible that a pump system will require water to prime the pump. Question There is a misalignment between my septic field’s underground line and the pipe on the tank. Is it OK to utilize a 90-degree elbow on my septic tank? As long as you have decent downhill flow, you should be fine. Instead of using a 90, I would use two 45s. Question If I’m installing a septic system, when should I contact an inspector? Immediately following system installation but before earth is used to cover the system in place Always check with the inspector ahead of time to verify that they can satisfy your inspection needs

Question I had a tank put, however it isn’t level with the surrounding ground. So, what will be the ramifications of this, and should the playing field be leveled? It is necessary to ensure that the tank is leveled before using it. Not knowing which direction it is off level makes it difficult to predict what will happen. Question Do I have to be concerned about tree roots coming into the drainage area if I use a gravity flow sort of tank? If there are any trees growing close or above your lateral lines, it will depend on their kind.

  • Due to the fact that they are buried deep and surrounded by a pocket of gravel that allows waste water to drain out, they are rarely harmed by grass, weeds, and shrubs.
  • 12 volts are required by the vast majority of systems “the substance of stone Ideally, the perforated pipe should be hung from the rock’s uppermost part.
  • In order for your field to be able to breathe, brown or dead grass has been suggested.
  • Green grass covering your field allows it to breathe.
  • Question Approximately how far away from the house/boundary should a septic tank be?
  • This is the most frequent distance, however the legislation differs from one state to the next.
  • What you wear will be determined by how chilly it is outside.

It is dependent on whether you live in a place where the ground freezes or not.

None.

While the liquid effluent is being discharged to the drain field, the particles are being retained and pre-treated.

Question When I go to connect my septic field pipe to the tank, the pipes do not line up.

For as long as the downhill flow is good.

Question A septic system installation requires the services of an inspector at some point.

Always check with the inspector ahead of time to verify that they can fit your inspection schedule.

  • The use of aerobic bacterial additions (which are available at most DIY stores) to maintain a healthy and well functioning system, as suggested by producers on a periodic basis, is contentious. The septic tank is an anaerobic (wet) environment in which the majority of yeasts and other additions will have little or no effect on the sewage being processed. When it comes to installing septic tanks, some old school installers believe that placing an additive, a shovel of muck, or even a dead cat in an empty tank will “start” the process. What naturally enters the tank serves as the only thing that is necessary. The aerobic (wet or dry) component of the system consists of hundreds of square feet of drain field, where additives will do little help even if they make it all the way to the end of the system. The use of chemicals in septic systems has not been the subject of an independent research that has been published in a respectable scientific publication anywhere in the world, including this nation. This will mostly certainly be confirmed by your local health department. Each phase of the building process will almost certainly include an examination by a health inspector before the work can be completed or covered up. The installation of a sand embedment is advocated on pressurized lines to avoid damage caused by shifting soil that has a greater clay content. When pumps are turned on and off, pressurized lines might move as well. Four inches (10.2 cm) of sand bedding on all four sides of the lines will prevent sharp pebbles from the ground or backfill from wearing holes in the pipe over time
  • And

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  • Keep the perforated pipe for the leech field in a vertical position while installing it to avoid having the holes in the pipe turn downward. It is necessary to lay the perforated drain field pipe ASTM 2729 dead level, so that the printed line on the pipe is facing up. The perforations on both sides of the pipe are on both sides of the pipe. All of the sections of perforated pipe are cemented together, and the ends of each leach line are capped to complete the installation. So, when waste water enters the pipe, it will fill the pipe to the height of the perforations and overflow from ALL of the holes, utilising the whole leach field as a means of treatment. In certain health authorities, you can utilize waste water to water grass or decorative plants, trees, vegetable gardens, and fruit trees if you place the perforated pipe on a slope. However, the water must first be cleaned by the system (tertiary treatment includes disinfection) in order to prevent pathogens (germs) from the septic system from being discharged into the environment throughout the process. Make sure to check with your local health authority to verify if the practice known as “reuse” is permitted in your community.

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Things You’ll Need

  • The following tools are required: backhoe tractor, trencher, shovel, contractor’s laser level and rod, or a surveyor’s transit. Septic tanks
  • PVC pipe with perforations
  • Material for embedding
  • PVC adhesive, PVC fittings, and a septic tank outlet filter are all included. Hand saw
  • Course file
  • Sandpaper If necessary, effluent pumps and floats are installed. If an alternate system is used, a control panel is installed.

About This Article

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To fully functionally and efficiently operate a septic tank on your property, you will require a septic tank drain field, which is also known as a leach field or a leach drain, in addition to the tank itself. While all septic tank drain fields must be inspected on a regular basis, you may save a significant amount of money by excavating your own.

Step 1 – Choose Your Site

The site should be distant from the home but near to the tank, as this will be your primary focus. There should be at least 10 feet between your edible garden and any bodies of water, including a lake or river or an irrigation well.

Step 2 – Contact the Authorities

Check to see whether you need a permission to construct the septic tank drain field, or if you need to have the site inspected before you begin construction. It takes a lot of effort to dig a field, but it is far more difficult to have to remove it and start over. Before beginning this project, double-check that all applicable rules and regulations have been met.

Step 3 – Make Sure the Soil is Appropriate

Even though it is not essential, it is recommended that the soil in the region be evaluated. The absorption capacity of the system will be insufficient, and you will have difficulties with backups. It’s best to find out this information before you start digging. Submit a soil test sample to your local extension office, or pick up a soil test kit from this location.

Step 4 – Start Digging

Even though it is not essential, it is recommended that the soil in the region be evaluated. The absorption capacity of the system will be insufficient, and you will have difficulties with backups. It’s best to find out this information before you start digging. Submit a soil test sample to your local extension office, or pick up a soil test kit from this location.

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Step 5 – Place Gravel

If you haven’t already, you should place at least 1-1 1/2 inches of gravel down the bottom of each trench once it has been dug. This allows for drainage to take place beneath the pipe.

Step 6 – Add the Pipe

Place the pipe from the septic tank all the way down the length of every trench. In order to prevent the pipe from shifting and becoming misaligned at the septic tank outflow, use clamps to secure it in place.

Step 7 – Add More Gravel

Afterwards, fill the trench with another one to three inches of gravel and let it to work its way down around the pipe until the pipe is completely covered with gravel.

Step 8 – Add the Cloth

Afterwards, fill the trench with another one to three inches of gravel and let it to work its way down around the pipe until the pipe is completely covered with gravel.

Step 9 – More Dirt

As soon as you are through with the pipe and gravel, the following step is to fill the rest of the trench with earth, making sure that your field is level with the surrounding terrain. After the earth has settled, you will have to wait another two weeks. When the earth settles, you will most likely need to add additional soil to your field in order to level it.

Step 10 – Plantings (Optional)

There are various plants that will thrive in a septic tank drainage field, preventing it from becoming an eyesore in the process. Keep in mind that you will not be able to aerate or till the soil. Additionally, you are not permitted to add more than two to three inches of top soil. Japanese surge, carpet bugle, periwinkle, Irish moss, and various strains of wildflowers are examples of plants that require minimal water and have shallow root systems, and they may be used in containers or in the garden.

Depending on where you live, the law may require you to have this test performed by a licensed professional or agency on your behalf.

You will have a backup problem in the tank if the septic tank drain field is placed incorrectly, which is in addition to the potential legal difficulties. When you make a purchase after clicking on one of our affiliate links, we may get a commission at no additional cost to you.

What You Need to Know About Your Septic System’s Drainfield

In the absence of a municipal sewer system, the likelihood is that you are utilizing an aseptic system for all of your wastewater disposal. It is your septic tank that is emptied every time you flush the toilet or when water drains down the drain from sinks or the laundry. Residential septic systems are available in a variety of configurations, but they invariably include an aseptic tank, into which wastewater is channeled for treatment, and a drainfield, into which effluent evaporates or drains into the ground.

What Is a Septic System Drainfield?

In order for a septic system to work correctly, drainfields, also known as leach fields or absorption fields, must be installed. Drainfields collect and manage wastewater that has been pumped from the septic tank and are thus essential. They are comprised of perforated pipes that are buried two to four feet underground and lead away from the tank. Septic tanks would overflow if a drainfield was not there, resulting in runoff and a foul stench in your yard. Whenever everything is operating properly, the soil in the drainfield filters the wastewater, and naturally occurring bacteria and microorganisms decompose the solid waste.

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?

Waste smells, particularly outside in the vicinity of the septic tank and drainfield. a canopy of dark green, dense plant covering the drainfield The fact that it is beautiful does not negate the fact that the septic system is overburdened. Even in dry weather, wet, soggy, or spongy regions can develop over a septic tank or drainfield. In certain cases, you may even observe pools of water that has collected. The sinks in the kitchen and bathroom are taking forever to drain. In the case of backed up sewage or overflowing toilets,

Crushing damage

When erected over a drainfield, heavy objects such as a shed, animals, or automobiles can cause the pipes below to get damaged or destroyed. Compaction of the soil can also be caused by an excessive amount of weight on the drainfield. Wastewater cannot be adequately absorbed in compacted soil, resulting in the occurrence of many of the symptoms described above.

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.

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.

A septic tank is where all of the water drains from your home through a single main drainage line. An underground, watertight container, often built of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its role is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to settle to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. It is also known as a settling tank. T-shaped outlets and compartments prevent sludge and scum from exiting the tank and migrating into the drainfield region.

  • An excavation built in unsaturated soil, the drainfield is shallow and covered.
  • As wastewater percolates through the soil and eventually discharges into groundwater, the soil takes, processes, and disperses it.
  • Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients.
  • As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of contamination.

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!

Examining the “as constructed” drawing of your house; Checking for lids and manhole covers in your yard. A septic system service company who can assist you in locating it is to be sought.

  • 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

Guide to Installing Septic Drainfield Piping on steep slopes

  • Send us a question or make a comment about how to construct a septic system on a steeply sloping lot.

InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Septic systems with steep slopes are known as steep slope drainfield systems. A septic drainfield or leach line is described in this article, which is applicable to tough terrain, such as steep slopes, where a property dispose of wastewater using an aseptic tank and a drainfield. We also have anARTICLE INDEX for this topic, and you can use the SEARCH BOXes at the top and bottom of the page to obtain the information you need quickly and easily.

Guide to Septic Installations on Steep Slopes or Stepped Slopes

Sewer or septic line installation on steep sites is also covered, and for those who are inspecting or testing their septic system, DIFFICULT SEPTIC SITES is another good resource to consult. Technical reviewers are encouraged to participate and are noted under “References.” Allowable uses of this content include making a reference to this website and providing a brief quotation for the sole purpose of review. The author retains the right to use this content on other websites, in books, or in pamphlets that are available for purchase.

See also:  What Else Can I Use Instead Of A Septic Tank?

Apart from this text (which may be found below), readers interested in septic installation guidance for steeply sloping or rolling sites should study the following articles:

  • THE INSTALLATION OF Sewage OR SEPTIC LINES ON STEEP SITES is a term that refers to the installation of sewer or septic line pipes connecting a structure to its septic tank or sewer main on steep sites that slope down substantially between the structure and the septic tank. SYSTEMS DE DOSAGE For hilly sites where the drainfield must be located either uphill or downhill from a septic tank or structure, PRESSURE is a term that refers to pressure dosing systems that may be beneficial for disposing of sewage. GRAVELLESS SEPTIC SYSTEMS – Other gravelless systems are capable of handling mild bends required to follow rolling slope lines
  • However, some gravelless systems are not. Sewage pumps, sewage ejector pumps, grinder pumps, effluent pumps, sump pumps, septic pumping stations, and sewer pump alarms are examples of systems that will be required if the building or septic tank is located below the drainfield or sewer main. Installation of septic drainfields on steep or undulating terrain is described in detail in STEEP SLOPE DESIGNS(text found immediately below)

Guide to Installing Steep Slope Septic Drainfield Systems

The sketch at the top of the page illustrates one strategy for installing septic drainfields on a steep or rolling slope. Septic tank and seepage pit systems are seen in the photo above, which is placed in the flat region below the hillside and connected to a sewer line running down the steep slope. The question becomes, however, what to do when the septic effluent absorption system or soakbed itself must be placed down a steep hillside. Here are some details about the product.

  • Septic systems with a D-box for steep slopes: When septic effluent is clarified, it is discharged from the septic tank (or an effluent pumping station) and directed into a big distribution box. A larger D-box with more connection ports will be required than those used for a standard flat-area drainfield since each effluent line that will be installed across the hillside will need to be connected directly to the D-box. Separate effluent lines for steep slope septics are required: Individual septic effluent drain lines are connected to the distribution box, and each of these drain lines is directed to a separate gravel trench and perforated drainfield. Feeder pipes for effluent lines in steep slope septic systems include the following: It is not perforated, but rather solid pipe that connects the distribution box to the drainfield trench. Effluent lines for hillside or rolling land drainfields are placed along the slope, not uphill or downhill, and sloping gently (1/8″ to 1/4″ per linear foot) from the inlet end of each drainfield trench to the lowest point of the drainfield trenches.

Installing Septic Drainfield Piping on Steep Slopes Located Downhill from the Septic Tank – Rolling Land

  • For steep slope septics, flexible distribution pipe or gravelless systems are recommended: Because flexible effluent lines may be routed in a trench that must be curved in order to remain parallel to the fall line of the slope of rounded hilltops or rolling ground, flexible piping may be more convenient to construct than rigid pipe systems in areas where the land is rolling or contoured. Dosing with high pressure for steep slope septic systems: Septic effluent handling methods, such as pressure distribution systems, may be more forgiving of installation on steep or uneven sloping ground, and they may use rigid or flexible perforated pipe, depending on the application. Pressurized Septic Systems (also known as Pressure Dosing Septic Systems)
  • For septic system effluent dispersal, drip lines—which employ flexible distribution piping—might also be effective on some steep locations. Some aerobic systems that dispose of effluent using drip systems or spray systems, or that feed drip irrigation systems, can solve the problem of steep slope septic effluent disposal, according to the manufacturer. AEROBIC SEPTIC SYSTEMS, ATUs, ATUs-home Alternatively, see DESIGN AND INSTALLATION GUIDE FOR HOOT AEROBIC SYSTEMS DRIP DISPOSAL Alternatively, see “Guidance for the Design, Installation, and Operation of Subsurface Drip Distribution Systems as a Replacement for Conventional Title 5 Soil Absorption Systems for the Disposal of Septic Tank Effluent,” published by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in 2006, which rewrites the state’s 310 CMR 15.240, 15.242, 15.247, and 15.280-15.289 regulations. Graywater disposal systems also include designs that can assist with effluent of graywater GREYWATER SYSTEMS are discussed more below.

Why Drainfield Effluent lines need to be properly sloped

Septic drainfields that use gravity to treat and dispose of cleared wastewater effluent must be correctly pitched and never slope too steeply to ensure effective operation. If this is not done, effluent will flow too fast to the low end of the drainfield line and gravel trench, where it is likely to simply break out onto the surface of the land. If you need to build a traditional perforated pipe and gravel trench drainfield on a steep slope, you’ll need to run the trenches parallel to the fall line or down the slope itself, descending down the slope from trench to trench as you go.

Steep Slope Septic Design Research

  • Gustafson, David M., James L. Anderson, Sara F. Heger, and Barbara W. Liukkonen published a paper in which they discussed their findings. Making the decision to install an alternative septic system on a home site with a steep incline (2000). Retrieved on March 30, 2021, from the University of Minnesota Extension. the original source is:

Reader CommentsQ A

Dr. David M. Gustafson, James L. Anderson, Sara F. Heger, and Barbara W.

Liukkonen published a paper in which they discussed their findings. Making the decision to install an alternative septic system on a home site with a steep incline is a complicated process (2000). obtained on March 30, 2021, from the University of Minnesota Extension source of origin:;

Steep Slope Septic System Articles

  • Gustafson, David M., James L. Anderson, Sara F. Heger, and Barbara W. Liukkonen published a paper in which they discussed their research. Making the decision to install an alternative septic system on a homesite with a steep incline (2000). University of Minnesota Extension, accessed on March 30, 2021. the original source is

Suggested citation for this web page

SEPTIC DESIGNS WITH A HIGH SLOPE AT INSPECTION An online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, and issue preventive information is available at Apedia.com. Alternatively, have a look at this.

INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES:ARTICLE INDEX to SEPTIC SYSTEMS

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How to locate your septic tank and your drainfield

Septic systems on-site are used for accepting and treating wastewater in homes that are not linked to the municipal wastewater management system. A septic system is comprised of three components: a septic tank, a drain field, and piping. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to properly operate and maintain your septic system in order to avoid system failure. For example, depending on the legislation in your area, you may be compelled to pump it on a regular basis. It is impossible to perform maintenance operations, however, if you do not know where the tank is located.

Steps to follow to locate your septic tank and drain field

Houses that are not linked to the municipal wastewater management system rely on onsite septic systems for the collection and treatment of waste. In addition to the septic tank and drain field, the septic system also includes piping. Operating and maintaining your septic system as a homeowner is essential in order to avoid it from malfunctioning. As an example, depending on the local restrictions, you may be forced to pump it more regularly. However, if you do not know where the tank is, you will be unable to do maintenance activities.

The sewage outlet pipe is an excellent spot to start your physical evaluation of the property because it is accessible from the outside.

If the cleanout is behind a wall or in a closet, it is considered a hidden location.

Lift pumps are sometimes installed in basements to assist in pumping sewage from the building.

Having discovered it, flush a toilet and listen to the pump to determine where the sewage is being discharged. It is supposed to be connected to the sewage output pipe. You should now be able to see the general orientation of the septic tank and drain field from this point.

As soon as you’ve discovered the sewer outlet in your basement, you may use it to figure out where the sewer line departs your home through an outside wall. The septic tank will be located a few meters away from the home, and the outflow pipe may be at an angle of 30 or 45 degrees from the house. As a result, it is probable that the tank will be positioned around the corner from the building. Work your way around the home in a circle, starting at an electrical outlet and continuing until you find the septic tank.

Tips for locating your septic tank

Septic tank lids should be visible from the outside. An underground riser may have been added, which will make it simple to find your septic tank in some instances. However, it is conceivable that the septic tank cover is buried underground, which is especially true for older homes. Following are some pointers to assist you in locating the septic tank in this and other similar situations.

  • Septic tank lids should be visible from the outside. If your septic tank has a riser built, it will be much easier to find your septic tank in some circumstances. The septic tank lid, on the other hand, might be located below ground level, which is particularly true for older homes. In these and other situations, the following guidelines might assist you in locating the septic tank.

Depending on whether the septic tank is above or below ground, you may have to dig to get to it. Construction materials for septic tanks include concrete, fiberglass, or plastic, and their shapes can range from oblong to cylindrical to rectangular. The majority of modern septic tanks will have their lids positioned in the center of the tank, and the lid should be within three feet of the ground surface in most cases. However, depending on a variety of conditions, such as farming and other human activities on the property, it is conceivable that it will be significantly deeper.

Additionally, you may use a small steel rod to probe the earth in order to pinpoint exactly where the tank is located as you continue digging.

Inspecting the tank

It is critical to thoroughly inspect and evaluate your septic tank and its contents when it has been identified. First and foremost, you may unscrew the lid to inspect the scum and sludge layer beneath it. In addition, the use of tracer dye tablets allows you to check the septic tank without having to dig it up. If you use tracer dye pills, all you have to do is flush them down the toilet and wait for a maximum of two days. Because of the way the tablets dissolve in water, if there is a problem with the septic system, you will see that the leach field has a glowing green hue surrounding it.

It is possible that someone will fall into the tank, causing significant damage or possibly death.

Conclusion

You can identify your septic tank without assistance from a professional, but it is a good idea to have someone who is properly educated in septic tank maintenance examine and maintain your septic tank on your behalf. The effluent filter in your tank should be washed into the open septic tank rather than on the ground in your yard if your tank has one. It may also be a good idea to make a note of the position of the septic tank when it has been discovered. This will be beneficial to anyone else who may require access to the septic tank in the future.

Septic tanks release combustible and hazardous gases, and as a result, they must be located in an open area.

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