Your septic leach field, also known as your septic tank drain field, is a key component of your septic system. It helps remove contaminants from the liquid that flows into your septic tank and allows them to be filtered, naturally, by your soil.
Your septic leach field is most likely a large-ish, flat, open space of ground near your septic tank. It likely has trenches that are 18-36 inches deep and 12-36 inches wide, separated by about 6 feet. Ideally, the drain field will be about 100 feet long. Each of these trenches contains a pipe with perforations, so that liquid and impurities can escape your septic tank and flow into the soil.
How Does a Leach Field Work?
To understand how a septic tank drain field works, you need to understand the basics of your septic system.
First, all waste, liquid and solid, flows out of your home and into your septic tank. Bacteria in the tank help the waste break down.
Over time, solid waste will go to the bottom of your septic tank, where it becomes sludge. Liquid waste, as well as anything that floats in it (like fats and oils) will float to the top of the tank, where as much of it as possible gets broken down by bacteria.
As it can, the liquid waste flows out of the tank through a series of pipes, leaving only the solid waste in the bottom of the tank. Because these pipes are perforated, the liquid slows seeps into the ground in the leach field, where the soil filters it.
If designed and cared for properly, a leach field can last for up to 25 years. With new leach field rejuvenation technology now available, some leach fields can last even longer.
Is My Leach Field Working?
Not sure if your leach field is doing its job? The following all indicate that it is failing.
Your pipes gurgle more than usual.
You have frequent backups or slow drains.
You smell sewage odors in your house.
You have standing water or wet spots over your leach field.
Your toilets have low pressure or won’t flush at all.
If you have questions about your leach field or you need some help getting it to work properly, contact us at Rowell’s Services today. We’ll have a Northfield septic expert to your door ASAP to fix it for you fast.
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