Septic drain fields, also called leach fields or leach drains, are subsurface wastewater disposal facilities used to remove contaminants and impurities from the liquid that emerges after anaerobic digestion in a septic tank. Organic materials in the liquid are catabolized by a microbial ecosystem.
- Absorption Trench – a long narrow area (excavation) which includes a pipe for the distribution of septic tank effluent.
What is a septic berm?
In this type of system, a mound of earth is built over the natural surface of the soil. Effluent is pumped through the pipes inside the mound. Some of the effluent drains downward; some evaporates. With a little work, however, you can camouflage a septic mound.
What is above ground septic system?
An above ground septic system, also known as a sand mound septic system, is used for the on-site treatment of sewage when site conditions are not suitable for installing a conventional septic system due to the increased risk of the system failing.
What is a raised leach field?
A raised septic system [or raised bed septic system] is an absorption trench system constructed in fill material with acceptable permeability placed above the natural soil on a building lot.
What is a septic tank percolation area?
A percolation area is the drainage area installed after a septic tank. Its function is to fully treat the effluent from the septic tank and dispose of it. A polishing filter is the drainage area installed after a wastewater treatment system. Its function is to provide further treatment and dispose of it.
What is a Wisconsin mound?
The sand mound (often called a Wisconsin mound) is used to treat and dispose of domestic wastewater in areas that are unsuitable for conventional septic tank soil absorption systems due to shallowness, high water table, low permeability, or prior disturbance.
What is a Wisconsin mound system?
A Wisconsin Mound System is a soil based onsite wastewater treatment and disposal system. It is a sand filter with the final discharge to the surface of the natural soil from the base of the mound. Domestic septic tank effluent is distributed over the sand with a pressure distribution network.
How do I hide my above ground septic tank?
The Do’s For Hiding Your Septic Tank
- Plant tall native grasses with fibrous roots around the opening to conceal the tank lid from view.
- Place a light statue, bird bath or potted plant over the septic lid.
- Septic tank risers and covers are an alternative to concrete and blend into green grass.
What are the 3 types of septic systems?
Types of Septic Systems
- Septic Tank.
- Conventional System.
- Chamber System.
- Drip Distribution System.
- Aerobic Treatment Unit.
- Mound Systems.
- Recirculating Sand Filter System.
- Evapotranspiration System.
What is a turkey mound septic system?
A mound septic system is an alternative to other septic tank systems. It rests near the top of the ground and does not use a container for the waste. This type of septic system disposes the waste through sand, and the ground will absorb the waste.
What is a turkey mound?
A sand mound, or turkey mound, is one of the common alternatives to septic drain fields in the Pike County, PA region. The turkey mound, an elevated sand mound, is a better choice for individuals who cannot risk a traditional drain or leach field due to either higher water tables in the region.
Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?
The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.
How far does a septic tank have to be from a boundary?
Legally you should ensure that your septic tank is 15 metres away from another property which will help you avoid placing a tank too close to any fencing.
How big is a percolation area?
A typical percolation system is composed of a series of trenches half a meter wide and 18m long.
What distance should a septic tank be from the house?
How far should my septic tank be from the house? Septic tanks should be at least 7 metres away from any dwelling.
How Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.
Do you have a septic system?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
|The drainfield is a network of perforated pipes (or “laterals”) laid in gravel-filled trenches or beds. After solids settle in the septic tank, the liquidwastewater (oreffluent) is discharged, either by gravity or pressure,to an absorption field, also known as a drainfield or leachfield (seediagram of septic system/drainfield layout).NOTE:In most gravity systems the wastewater first flows into a distribution box (d-box) or tee, which then disbursesthe effluent equally among the trenches in the drainfield, which is where the final treatment takes place.Effluent trickles out of the pipes, through the gravel layer, and into the soil where further treatment occurs. Thesoil filters the wastewater as it passes (or “percolates) through the pore spaces and the soil microbes treat itbefore it eventually enters the groundwater. These processes work best where the soil is somewhat dry, permeable, and contains plenty of oxygen for several feet below the drainfield.The drainfield is generally located in a stretch of lawn in the back or side yard of a property. The size and type of drainfield depends on the estimated daily wastewater flow and local soil conditions.|
The soil under the drainfield is responsible for the ultimate treatment and disposal of the septic tank effluent once it has been treated. Upon entering the soil, organisms in the soil purify and decontaminate the effluent before it percolates downhill and outward, eventually entering groundwater or surface water. This is because different types of soil have different capacities for treating wastewater. For example, clay soils may be too tight to allow much wastewater to pass through, whereas gravelly soils may be too coarse to give much treatment.
Replacement (Reserve) Area
Every new residence or business that will be served by a septic system must have a specified replacement or reserve space set aside for it. This is a specified area appropriate for the installation of a new drainfield, and it must be handled in the same manner as your current drainfield. A reserve area should have been declared as part of the permission procedure for any sewage system that was constructed after 1980. By the time your septic system has failed, it is too late to correct the situation by pumping your tank.
This is why it is critical to understand where the replacement area is located and how to preserve it (for more information on replacement area care, see “Drainfield Do’s and Don’ts”). For further information, visit Landscaping Your Drainfield and Choosing a Drainfield Location.
Do These Things
- The construction of a new home or structure that will be serviced by a septic system must include the provision of a designated replacement or reserve space. This is a designated area appropriate for the installation of a new drainfield, and it must be treated in the same manner as your present drainage system. (A reserve area should have been defined as part of the permission procedure for any sewage system that was constructed after 1980). By the time your septic system has failed, it is too late to fix the problem by pumping your tank. It will be necessary to relocate the drainfield to a new position. This is why it is critical to understand where the replacement area is located and how to safeguard it (for more information on replacement area care, see “Drainfield Do’s and Don’ts” ). Drainfield Landscaping and Drainfield Location are two great resources for further information.
Don’t Do These Things
- Don’t construct anything on top of your drainfield. Patios, carports, and other constructions are included in this category. It is possible that you will cause harm to the drainfield. Do not construct a road over the drainfield. Drainfields require air in order to operate correctly. Biological breakdown and treatment of sewage need the use of oxygen. Make sure you don’t dig up your drainfield. It is possible that the pipes will be damaged
- Large animals and livestock should be kept away from the drainfield. Soil compaction hinders oxygen from getting into the soil and water from moving away from the drainfield
- It also causes erosion. It is not permissible to apply landscaping plastic over the drainfield. Air is required for the drainfield to work properly
- Otherwise, it would fail. Planting a food garden over a drainfield is not recommended. As a result, there is the chance of food contamination. Installing an irrigation system in the drainfield is not recommended. Additionally, the irrigation system should not drain toward the drainfield.
Please call a trained septic specialist for additional evaluation if you detect any of the following indicators of a potential failure or if you have any reason to believe your system is experiencing issues. Please contact Thurston County EnvironmentalHealth at 360-867-2673 if your septic system should fail.
- Odors, surface sewage, or damp areas in the drainfield area
- Plumbing or septic tank backups (often a dark liquid with a bad odor)
- Fixtures that take a long time to drain
- The plumbing system is making gurgling sounds. Your drainfield may be failing if you have a well and tests reveal the presence of coliform (bacteria) or nitrates in the water from it. Even in dry weather, there will be a pool of liquid over the drainfield. This might imply that an excessive amount of wastewater is being transported upward via the soil rather than downward.
- Landscape Drainfield Planting Suggestions and other landscaping information are welcome. Identifying and Locating Your Drainfield How to determine the location of your drainfield
- Drainfield Frequently Asked Questions Drainfields are frequently asked questions, so here are some answers. Request for Drawing Permit Information for Record Drawings
How a Septic System Works – and Common Problems
This Article Discusses Septic Tanks are a type of septic tank that is used to dispose of waste. Field Sizing and System MaintenanceProblems with the Leach FieldSystem Performance Post CommentsQuestions See Also: Septic System Frequently Asked Questions Articles on SEPTIC SYSTEM may be found here. In locations where there are no municipal sewage systems, each residence is responsible for treating its own sewage on its own property, which is known as a “on-site sewage disposal system,” or septic system, more popularly.
One of the most commonly seen types of leach field is composed of a series of perforated distribution pipes, each of which is placed in a gravel-filled absorption trench.
The wastewater is collected in the septic tank once it has been discharged from the residence. Septic tanks are normally between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons in capacity and are composed of concrete, strong plastic, or metal, depending on the model. Highly durable concrete tanks, which should endure for 40 years or more provided they are not damaged, are the most common. Many contemporary tanks are designed with two chambers in order to maximize efficiency. Household wastewater is collected in the septic tank, where it is separated and begins to degrade before being discharged into the leach field.
- In the tank, oil and grease float to the top of the tank, where they are known as scum, while solid waste falls to the bottom, where they are known as sludge.
- Bacteria and other microorganisms feed on the sediments at the bottom of the tank, causing them to decompose in an anaerobic (without oxygen) process that begins at the bottom of the tank.
- Solids and grease must be pushed out of the system on a regular basis in order for it to continue to function effectively.
- Each gallon added to the tank results in one gallon being discharged to the leach field, leach pit, or other similar treatment facility.
A large amount of water delivered too rapidly to the tank may discharge untreated effluent, along with oil and particulates, into the leach field, where it may block the field and cause a backup.
When used properly, a leach field (also known as a “drain field”) is a series of perforated pipes that are typically buried in gravel trenches 18 to 36 inches below grade — deep enough to avoid freezing, but close enough to the surface that air can reach the bacteria that further purify the effluent (see illustration below). As little as 6 inches might separate you from the ground surface, depending on your soil type and municipal regulations. It is customary to cover the perforated pipes with approximately two inches of gravel and a layer of topsoil that is 18 to 24 inches in depth.
- Grass is often sown above the ground.
- The leach field is comprised of rows of perforated pipes in gravel trenches that are used to spread wastewater over a vast area in order to further purify it.
- A bacteria-rich slime mat forms where the gravel meets the soil, and it is responsible for the majority of the water purification work.
- Despite the fact that wastewater freezes at a far lower temperature than pure water, freezing is still a hazard in cold areas.
- The leftover pathogens are converted into essential plant nutrients by these organisms, while sand, gravel, and soil filter out any solids that remain.
- If the system is operating effectively, the filtered wastewater will return to the aquifer as naturally clean water that is suitable for human consumption at this stage.
- Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
- Special systems may also be necessary in regions where there are flood plains, bodies of water, or other ecologically sensitive areas to protect against flooding.
SIZING THE LEACH FIELD
Using perforated pipes put in gravel-filled trenches, the drain field is sized to accommodate the number of beds in the house. In order for the system to function successfully, the leach field must be appropriately sized for the soil type and amount of wastewater, which is normally determined by the number of bedrooms in the house. In order for the liquid to seep into the soil, it must be permeable enough to do so. As a result, the denser the soil, the larger the leach field that is necessary.
- Better to have surplus capacity in your system than to have it cut too close to the bone.
- Septic tank backup into your house, pooling on the surface of the earth, or polluting local groundwater are all possibilities if the ground is incapable of absorbing the liquid.
- Dense clay soils will not absorb the liquid at a sufficient rate, resulting in a backlog.
- If the soil is mostly composed of coarse sand and gravel, it might drain at such a rapid rate that untreated sewage can poison the aquifer or damage surrounding bodies of water.
- Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
These systems sometimes cost twice or three times as much as a regular system and require significantly more upkeep. Near flood plains, bodies of water, and other ecologically sensitive places, special systems may also be necessary to protect people and property.
SEPTIC SYSTEM CAREMAINTENANCE REQUIRED
If you take good care of your system, you will be rewarded with years of trouble-free operation. Pumping the septic tank on a regular basis is necessary to remove the particles (sludge) and grease layer (scum) that have built up in the tank. The solids will ultimately overflow and spill into the leach field, decreasing its efficacy and diminishing its lifespan if this is not done. The rehabilitation of a clogged leach field is difficult, if not impossible; thus, constant pumping is essential!
- Cooking fats, grease, and particles may also wash into the leach field if the tank is too small for the amount of water being used or if the tank is overcrowded on a regular basis.
- Extra water from excessive residential consumption or yard drainage can overwhelm the system, transporting oil and particles into the leach field and causing it to overflow.
- In addition, don’t try to complete a week’s worth of laundry for a family of five in a single day.
- To minimize overburdening the system, the following measures should be taken:
- You will have years of trouble-free service if you take good care of your system. In order to remove the solids (sludge) and grease layer (scum) from the tank on a regular basis, it is necessary to pump the tank periodically. The solids will ultimately overflow and flow into the leach field, decreasing its efficacy and diminishing its lifespan if this is not prevented. The rehabilitation of a clogged leach field is difficult or impossible
- Thus, routine pumping is essential! The most common reason for septic systems to fail prematurely is a failure to pump empty the tank. Additionally, if the tank is too small for the amount of water being used or if it is overflowing on a regular basis, cooking fats, oil, and particles might wash into the leach field as well. Whenever fats, petroleum compounds, and solids make their way into the leach field, they can clog the biological mat that forms where the leach trenches meet the soil and prevent it from doing its duty of filtering the effluent effectively. Heavy domestic consumption or yard drainage can cause the system to become overloaded, resulting in the transport of oil and particles to the leach field. Drainage from the yard should be directed away from the leach field in order to avoid difficulties. In addition, don’t try to wash a week’s worth of laundry for a family of five in a single day. Keeping the load controlled will assist to extend the life of your system and keep it running at its peak performance. Preventing the system from becoming overloaded consists of the following steps.
In addition, refrain from flushing sediments, strong chemicals, and just about anything else down the toilet or sink other than biological waste and white toilet paper. Avoid using garbage disposals in the kitchen. If you really must have one, keep it for small non-meat bits only. Avoid flushing chemicals or paints down the toilet since many chemicals can destroy beneficial microorganisms or cause water contamination in the surrounding area. Avoid flushing the following down the toilet:
- Grease, fats, and animal scraps
- Paints, thinners, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals
- And a variety of other materials Sanitary napkins, tampons
- Paper towels and disposable diapers are examples of such products. Egg shells, coffee grounds, and nut shells are all good options. Antibacterial soaps and antibiotics are available.
It is preferable to put grass over the leach field and to refrain from driving or parking in the vicinity. Excessive weight placed on top of the drain field might compress the earth, diminishing its efficiency as a drain field. Drain pipes can also become clogged by trees and plants with invasive roots. In order to prevent damage to the leach field, the following measures should be taken:
- Heavy machinery should not be driven, parked, or stored on top of the leach field (or septic tank). Placement of a deck, patio, pool, or any other sort of construction over the leach field is prohibited. Remove any large trees or other plants with deep roots from the leach field. Grass is the most effective groundcover.
Even with careful use and routine maintenance, however, leach fields are not guaranteed to survive indefinitely. It is inevitable that the soil will get saturated with dissolved elements from the wastewater, and that the soil will be unable to absorb any more incoming water. The presence of an odorous wet area over the leach field, as well as plumbing backups in the house, are frequently the first indicators that something is wrong. Many municipalities mandate septic system designs to incorporate a second “reserve drain field” in the case that the first field fails.
A well constructed and maintained system should last for at least 20 to 30 years, if not longer than that. After a few tears, the initial field will naturally heal and may be used once again when the situation calls for it to be. More information on Septic System Maintenance may be found here.
SEPTIC SYSTEM PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS
Poor original design, abuse, or physical damage, such as driving heavy trucks over the leach field, are the root causes of the majority of septic system issues. The following are examples of common situations that might cause a septic system to operate poorly: Plumbing in the home. obstructed or insufficient plumbing vents, a blockage between the home and the septic tank, or an insufficient pitch in the sewer line leading from the house are all possible causes. Sewage tank to leach field connection Septic tank and leach field blockage caused by a closed or damaged tank outlet, a plugged line leading to the leach field caused by tree roots, or a blockage caused by sediments that overflowed from the tank Piping in the leach field.
- Most of the time, tree roots do not make their way through the gravel bed and into the perforated pipe.
- Reduced flows, achieved through the use of flow restrictors and low-flow faucets and fixtures, may be beneficial.
- Because of the seasonal high water table, the soil around the trenches might get saturated, reducing the soil’s ability to absorb wastewater.
- This may frequently be remedied by adding subsurface drains or curtain drains to intercept the water flow into the leach field region and to lower the water table in the immediate area around the drainage system.
- Likewise, see: In order to do a perc test, who should I hire?
- Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime?
- Performing an Inspection on a Septic System When Is the Best Time to Take a Perc Test?
- Examination of the WellSEPTIC SYSTEMView allSEPTIC SYSTEMarticles Return to the top of the page
Septic Drain Field
If you have a septic system installed on your property, you have complete control over the drainage and disposal of waste water. You are also not subject to the costs and restrictions associated with a shared public municipality with which you are not affiliated. With proper maintenance, a septic tank and its accompanying drain field can endure for up to 20 years or more. In the drain field or leach field, wastewater is absorbed into the earth, and this is what is known as leaching. Depending on the percolation rate of your soil and the size of your home, this one-of-a-kind component may take up a significant percentage of your land.
Occasionally, a drain field will share a portion of your yard or land with an area where you will be doing outdoor activities. In regards to activities around your drain field, there are several things you should and shouldn’t do.
Do’s Around the Drain Field
Many property and house owners have no difficulty with the fact that they are sharing a place with a drainage system. A drain field is often described as having the appearance of a smooth green grass. There is a complex system of perforated septic pipes, as well as layers of gravel and dirt, beneath the surface of the grass. As a result, the majority of drain fields are flat, open regions that are away from trees, wells, and other sources of drinking water. Activities above a drain field are permitted as long as they do not compress, perforate, or otherwise disrupt the soil above the drain field.
Children and cats may run and play on the grass above the drain field without fear of being trampled. Your family may walk on a well-maintained drain field without having to worry about stepping in pools of sewage or bacteria that could be harmful. Bicycles and tricycles are also suitable modes of transportation since they are not too heavy to compress or disrupt the ground.
While grass is the greatest option for ground cover, there are several alternative options available. Because they require no upkeep, fertilizer, or irrigation, low-growing plants with non-invasive roots can be used to replace grass in areas where grass isn’t appropriate. Sweet woodruff, lamb’s ear, yarrow, and golden sedge are just a few of the plants that meet these needs while also looking beautiful.
Don’ts Around the Drain Field
While a drain field is not totally off-limits to humans and pets, some behaviors have been shown to impair the field’s capacity to operate. A few things that should never happen at or directly above this critical area are listed below:
Heavy traffic compacts the earth in a drain field, which increases the likelihood of percolation pipes breaking. Never allow big animals to graze or horses to be ridden through your drain field. Automobiles, trucks, agricultural machinery, and other heavy vehicles must be kept fully away from the area.
Heavy weights, as well as permanent coverings, can cause significant harm to a drain field. Compaction caused by decks, sheds, barns, and other edifices causes damage to the drain field. Even concrete or gravel paths prevent oxygen from reaching the drain field and aiding in the decomposition of germs.
The temptation to plant vegetables or other sorts of crops in a vast drain field may be too strong to resist. Unfortunately, due of the damaging nature of rototilling, fertilizers, irrigation, and the thick roots inherent in garden plants, the area above a drain field is the worst site to do so. Aside from that, your edible veggies run the danger of being contaminated by bacteria from the drain field.
The temptation to plant vegetables or other sorts of crops in an enormous drain field may be strong. Unfortunately, due of the damaging nature of rototilling, fertilizers, irrigation, and the deep roots that are inherent in garden plants, the area above a drain field is the worst site to accomplish this.
Furthermore, your edible veggies run the danger of being contaminated by bacteria from the drain field.
Understanding and Maintaining Mound Systems
Many years have passed since septic tanks with gravity flow drainfields were first installed in places that were not served by municipal sewers. Not all soil and site conditions, however, are well suited for the use of these basic methods. Non-standard sewage treatment systems are frequently employed to preserve human health and water quality in regions where regular sewage treatment systems are unable to provide safe sewage treatment. A mound system is a form of non-standard system that delivers the following benefits:
- Cycles for dosing and resting
- Uniform dispersion of effluent a level of sewage treatment that is known
- An increase in the distance that wastewater must travel before it reaches groundwater
The following information will assist you in better understanding your mound system and ensuring that it continues to operate safely and at the lowest possible cost. A typical mound system is composed of three functional components:
- It is our hope that the information provided here will assist you in better understanding your mound system and keeping it working as securely and economically as possible. Each of the three operating components of a typical mound system is as follows:
The Septic Tank
The following information will assist you in better understanding your mound system and ensuring that it continues to operate securely at the lowest feasible cost. A typical mound system consists of three functional components:
Proper Care Includes:
- Septic tank maintenance should include an inspection once a year and pumping it as necessary. Solids leaking from the septic tank will clog the pump and the mound if the tank is not pumped on a regular basis, which is recommended. Because it increases the quantity of solids entering the tank and necessitates more frequent pumping, the use of a waste disposal is strongly advised. Keeping dangerous materials from being flushed into the septic tank is important. Grass, cooking oils, newspapers and paper towels, cigarette butts and coffee grounds are all prohibited from being disposed of in the tank. Also prohibited are chemicals such as solvents, oils and paint, pesticides and solvents. In order to obtain information on the correct disposal of hazardous home trash, you should contact the Humboldt Waste Management Authority. It is important to avoid the use of any form of chemical or biological septic tank additive. As previously stated, such products are not essential nor beneficial to the effective operation of a septic tank, nor do they minimize the need for routine tank pumping.
The Pump Chamber
The pump chamber is a container made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene that collects the effluent from the septic tank. A pump, pump control floats, and a high water warning float are all included within the chamber. Pump activity can be regulated either via the use of control floats or through the use of timed controls. A series of control floats is used to switch the pump “on” and “off” at different levels in order to pump a certain volume of effluent per dose of medication. Using the timer settings, you may create dosages that are both long and short in duration, as well as intervals or rest periods between doses.
If pump timing controls are employed, the alarm also will notify you of excessive water usage in the home or leaks into the system.
The alarm should be equipped with a buzzer and a bright light that can be seen clearly.
The pump discharge line should be equipped with a union and a valve to facilitate the removal of the pump.
Proper Care Includes:
- Every year, inspecting the pump chamber, pump, and floats, and replacing or repairing any worn or broken parts is recommended. Pump maintenance should be performed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. Corrosion should be checked on electrical components and conduits. If the alarm panel is equipped with a “push-to-test” button, it should be used on a regular basis. If your system does not already have one, you should consider installing a septic tank effluent filter or pump screen. Solids can block the pump and pipes in a septic tank, thus screening or filtering the effluent is an excellent method of avoiding this from happening. It is simple and quick to inspect and clean the filter when it becomes clogged, and it helps to avoid costly damage caused by particulates entering the system. After a protracted power loss or a pump failure, it is necessary to take steps to prevent the mound from being overloaded. After the pump is turned on, effluent will continue to gather in the pump chamber until the pump starts working. When there is more effluent in the chamber, the pump may be forced to dose a volume that is more than the mound’s capacity. It is possible for the plumbing in your home to back up once all of the reserve storage in the chamber has been used up. Reduce your water use to a bare minimum if the pump is not running for more than 6 hours.
The mound is a drainfield that has been elevated above the natural soil surface using a particular sand fill material to provide drainage. A gravel-filled bed is interspersed throughout the sand fill, which is connected by a network of tiny diameter pipes. Septic tank effluent is fed via the pipes in regulated quantities to achieve uniform dispersion across the bed. Through small diameter pores in the pipes, low-pressure wastewater trickles downhill and into the sand.
Treatment happens as a result of a fluid’s movement through the sand and into the surrounding natural soil. Every new mound must be accompanied by a replacement area that is clearly marked. It must be safeguarded in the event that an addition or repair to the current system is required.
Proper Care Includes:
- Drainfields are elevated above the normal soil surface with a particular sand fill material to create mounds. A gravel-filled bed is interspersed throughout the sand fill, and a network of tiny diameter pipes connects the two sections of bed together. It is necessary to pump septic tank waste into pipelines in regulated quantities to ensure equal distribution over the bed of septic tank waste. The effluent exits the pipes under low pressure through small diameter holes, trickling downward through the gravel and into the sand below. Treatment happens as a result of a fluid’s passage through the sand and into the surrounding natural soils. Every new mound must be accompanied by a replacement area that has been set aside specifically for this purpose. When an existing system is upgraded or repaired, it is critical that it is safeguarded.
What If The Alarm Goes On?
If the effluent level within the pump chamber reaches the alarm float for any reason (faulty pump, floats, circuit, excessive water usage, or another problem), the alarm light and buzzer will illuminate. By conserving water (avoid baths, showers, and clothes washing), the reserve storage in the pump chamber should provide you with enough time to have the problem resolved before the next water bill arrives. To turn off the alarm, press the reset button on the alarm panel’s front panel. Before contacting a service or repair company, determine whether the problem might be caused by:
- A tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse are examples of this. The pump should be on a separate circuit with its own circuit breaker or fuse to prevent overloading. A piece of equipment can cause the breakers to trip if it’s connected to the same circuit as another piece of equipment
- A power cord that has become disconnected from a pump or float switch. Ensure that the switch and pump connectors make excellent contact with their respective outlets if the electrical connection is of the plug-in variety. Affixed to other chamber components such as the electric power wire, hoisting rope, or pump screen, the control floats become entangled. Make certain that the floats are free to move about in the chamber. Debris on the floats and support cable is causing the pump to trip the circuit breaker. Remove the floats from the chamber and thoroughly clean them.
Before touching the pump or floats, make sure that all power cables are disconnected and that the circuit breaker is turned off. Do not enter the pump chamber. The gases that build up inside pump chambers are toxic, and a shortage of oxygen can be deadly. After completing the measures outlined above, contact your pump service person or on-site system contractor for assistance in locating the source of the problem. Pumps and other electrical equipment should only be serviced or repaired by someone who has previous experience.
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.
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.
- 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?
A large number of bacteria live in septic tanks. Waste is broken down by bacteria, which is essential for the systems to function properly and efficiently. In this case, an overly clean septic system will be unable to provide enough filtration. Even two liters of bleach are sufficient to prevent or significantly inhibit the bacteria’s ability to digest waste materials.
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 projects and issues.
- 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
- Otherwise, they are left unfilled.
Above Ground Septic System: How They Work and Their Advantages
Because of the greater risk of failure associated with traditional septic systems, when site circumstances are not ideal for establishing a conventional septic system, an above ground septic system, also known as a sand mound system, is utilized for on-site sewage treatment. A look at the key factors that might cause a septic system to fail, the implications of a failure, and how an above-ground septic system can provide a solution to these issues are discussed in this article. Every residence that is not linked to a sewage system requires some means of treating the sewage that is created by the individuals who live in the home in which they are located.
In most cases, they are comprised of an underground concrete, plastic, or fiberglass chamber divided into two portions.
The sediments are processed anaerobically within the chambers, while the residual effluent is discharged through gravity into a drain field, where it is naturally filtered by microorganisms in the soil before being discharged into the groundwater under the surface.
Typically, there are three naturally occurring characteristics that make it impossible to establish a traditional underground septic tank system that discharges to a conventional drain field.
- When the percolation rate of the soil is either slow or too quick, the soil’s permeability is reduced. Effluent will reach groundwater without being effectively filtered or cleaned by microorganisms in extremely permeable soils (such as very sandy soils) with a fast percolation rate in highly permeable soils. It is possible, however, that water will not drain away quickly enough in soils with poor permeability (such as clay soils) and a low percolation rate because of this. A result of this may be waterlogging in nearby soils and surface ponding that can be hazardous to human health and well-being in the long run. As previously stated, the primary goal of a drainage field is to allow for the unsaturated flow of effluent to the groundwater, which exposes the wastewater to microorganisms in the soil that break down waste and destroy pathogens, it is critical that the soil does not become too saturated in order for treatment to be effective (as explained in greater detail below).
- When there is a limited layer, which is often a shallow layer of soil sitting over a layer of clay, porous bedrock, or perched groundwater wedged between rock and soil, the effluent treatment efficacy is reduced as it filters through the soil. Having a high water table occurs when there is insufficient distance between the drainfield and the water table to filter and treat the effluent before it reaches the water table, resulting in the groundwater becoming polluted and potentially endangering drinking water supplies. If the groundwater becomes polluted, the contaminants can be transferred away from the location via lateral groundwater movement, contaminating neighboring freshwater systems
- Should this occur.
The use of a traditional septic system is not recommended when one or more of the circumstances listed above exist because the septic system is more likely to collapse, creating an environmental and human health hazard.
Above-ground septic systems, which allow for more suitable conditions to be established above ground level by artificially increasing the height of the filter bed, are a more acceptable sewage treatment option in these types of situations, and are becoming increasingly popular.
Protecting EnvironmentalHuman Health
Grey water (from sources such as bathing/showering, laundry, dishwashing, and so on) and black water (from sources such as toilets, sinks, and so on) constitute household wastewater (human waste). If not treated properly, this effluent can include a wide range of chemical contaminants and pathogenic organisms that can be dangerous to human health if not treated properly. Typhoid, cholera, dysentery, giardiasis and other gastrointestinal illnesses can occur as a result of the presence of disease-causing microbes in human feces.
When clay or tight soils are prevalent, a sand mound method is used.
loading=”lazy” src=”is-pending-load=1 038;ssl=1″ alt=”above ground septic system” loading=”lazy” src=”is-pending-load=1 038;ssl=1″ width: 501 pixels, height: 571 pixels ” data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-src=” is-pending-load=1 038; ssl=”” srcset=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAP” data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-src=” is-pending-load=” is-pending-load=1 038; ssl=”” data-recalc Septic system with a sand mound The contamination of soils, groundwater, and surface water systems by improperly treated human waste can pose a health risk to anyone who comes into contact with it, whether directly or indirectly, for example, through the consumption of contaminated water, the consumption of contaminated food (e.g., fruits, vegetables, shellfish), or the swimming in contaminated rivers, lakes, or coastal bays Furthermore, because untreated sewage is both unattractive and foul-smelling, it is definitely not something you want to have pooling up on your back yard lawn.
The opposite appears to be true, as flies, rodents, and even the family dog are drawn to it like bees to a honeypot, spreading it around the house, as well as any diseases that may be lurking inside it, according to the author.
Infants who are exposed to nitrates in their drinking water can develop blue baby syndrome, which is characterized by a decrease in the capacity of the blood to transport oxygen, and which can be deadly.
Take a look at our above-ground septic system maintenance plan for more information on how to maintain these sorts of systems operating efficiently for extended periods of time.
How do Sand Mound Septic Systems Work?
Wastewater is channeled from the residence to a septic tank, where it is pumped to a sand mound positioned above ground level, where it is spread equally over the drain field.
When wastewater is discharged into the drain field, it percolates through the sand and gravel bed, where microorganisms in the soil digest any harmful bacteria that may be present.
Removal of Pathogens
The vertical barrier between the septic system and the groundwater serves as the first line of defense in the fight against disease transmission. Because of this, it is critical that there be adequate depth between the two to allow the population of microorganisms (good bacteria, fungus, protozoans, and nematode worms) that live in the soil to accomplish their jobs. The depth between the two should be at least six inches. These germs, in contrast to the anaerobic bacteria that live inside the septic tank, require oxygen to thrive and perform their functions.
Another key point to remember about these microorganisms is that they reside on the surface of the soil particles, where they filter toxins from the effluent as it passes past them through air gaps between the grains of soil.
The microorganisms that have taken up home in the system are the blue-collar employees who maintain the system operating at peak performance.
Removal of Nutrients
The vertical barrier between the septic system and the groundwater is the first line of defense in the fight against disease transmission. Because of this, it is critical that there be adequate depth between the two to allow the population of microorganisms (good bacteria, fungus, protozoans, and nematode worms) that live in the soil to accomplish their jobs. The depth between the two should be at least three feet. They require oxygen to exist and carry out their functions, as opposed to the anaerobic bacteria found within the septic tank.
Another key point to remember about these microorganisms is that they reside on the surface of the soil particles, where they remove toxins from the effluent as it runs by them through air gaps between the grains of soil.
Those bacteria that have taken up home in the system are the unsung heroes who keep the machine running properly.
And if we want to keep our staff happy and productive, we must guarantee that their working conditions are favorable, including providing them with an unsaturated working environment in which they can breathe easily, among other things.
Key Components of an Above Ground Septic System
Generally speaking, above-ground septic systems are comprised of three major components: 1) a septic tank (pretreatment unit), 2) a dosing chamber that houses the pump, and 3) an above-ground sand mound that acts as a drainage bed for the system.
The Septic Tank
This enormous concrete, polyethene, or fibreglass chamber that is buried below serves as a pretreatment separation chamber. The septic tank is where the effluent from the home is disposed of. Upon entering the tank, the wastewater divides into three layers: the heavier solid matter (sludge) falls to the bottom, the middle layer consists primarily of liquid effluent, and the lighter particles (scum) float to the top. The anaerobic bacteria that flourish in these oxygen-free circumstances breakdown some of the sludge that accumulates at the bottom of the septic tank’s bottom.
The Dosing Chamber
The dosing chamber, also known as the pump chamber, is similarly made of concrete, polyethene, or fiberglass, and is equipped with a pump, pump control floats, and a high-water alarm float. It collects the effluent that flows from the septic tank and is connected to the main sewer line. As soon as the level of the effluent in the tank reaches that of the control float, the pump is activated and begins pumping a predefined volume of effluent up to the sand mound, which is placed above the ground level.
- Adjusting the control floats located in the pump chamber allows for the delivery of the most suitable volume of effluent that the mound is capable of processing.
- Designed to activate if the effluent levels increase above the ‘on’ float without triggering the pump, this feature is configured to activate.
- It is a good idea to make certain that the pump can be removed without breaking a sweat in the event that things go horribly wrong.
- In the event that the pump fails, a length of nylon rope linked to it will make it easier to remove it from the chamber.
The Sand Mound
Essentially, the sand mound is a drainage field that has been intentionally constructed by raising a drainage bed above the natural surface of the surrounding land. It is made up of a bed of sand and gravel that has a distribution system made up of perforated pipes that transports the water. The effluent in the dosing chamber is pushed up to the mound at low pressure in order to guarantee that it is distributed evenly throughout the drainage bed.
The effluent then trickles out of the tiny holes in the pipes and down through a bed of gravel into a sand mound beneath the pipe system. Aerobic bacteria in the sand clean the effluent, eliminating pathogens from it before it filters through the soil and into the groundwater supply system.
Things to Consider WhenDesigningSand Mound Septic Systems
When planning to build an above-ground septic system, it is critical to understand the soil qualities of the area in question. It is important to have a professional soil evaluation performed by a trained soil analyzer to get the best results. According to your location, this may be required by law, but even if it is not, it is still a good idea to do so in order to determine the flow rate of the soil so that the septic system can be designed and sized for optimal performance according to the specific site conditions on which it is installed.
Some regions need the creation of a designated space for the construction of a replacement mound — it is always a good idea to have a backup plan.
Conclusion: Advantages of an Above Ground Septic System
It is possible to use an above-ground septic system as an alternative to an underground system on sites where the soil characteristics are inappropriate for standard in-ground sewage treatment systems. Septic systems with sand mounds not only conserve groundwater by artificially raising the vertical separation layer, but they also do not discharge directly into a surface water body such as a ditch, stream or river, which reduces the possibility of damaging nearby freshwater systems. As little excavation is required for the building of a sand mound drain field, construction damage is generally kept to an absolute minimum provided all steps are followed with caution.
They are the best option in these situations and should be considered.
Please watch the following video to gain some insight into the building of an above-ground septic system.
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