Leach Field Maintenance and Common Issues


The leach field, also known as the drain field, is a primary component of your septic system. It’s in charge of dispersing the purified wastewater that leaves your septic tank. If your septic system was properly installed, the leach field should be in a spacious, open area in your yard—not far from your actual house.

At first glance, your leach field might seem like nothing more than a space in the ground. But when it comes to the health of your septic system, the leach field is a complex beast. If it develops any problems, you may be faced with a septic system failure.

Needless to say, caring for your leach field should be at the top of mind. Let’s dive into the best practices for leach field maintenance, along with common issues.



Leach field care primarily involves the following:


Be Mindful of What Goes Down the Drain

Daily maintenance starts within the home. To start, avoid disposing food, paper towels, or other solid items in the drain. This includes food scraps like eggshells and coffee grounds. (Tip: Use them as plant fertilizer instead!) These materials can clog your system, causing a dreaded backup.

You should also refrain from pouring chemicals and heavy liquids—including fats, oils, and grease—down the drain. These substances can harm the bacteria in your septic tank, making it difficult for them to break down solids before the water enters the leach field.


Keep the Leach Field Clear and Free

Never plant trees, bushes, or other plants less than 10 feet from your leach field. The roots can become invasive and block the leach field pipes.

Similarly, avoid parking or driving vehicles on the area. This includes tractors, dirt bikes, and even go-carts. The weight of these vehicles can damage the pipes, especially when the soil is wet.


Regularly Pump Your Septic System

Staying on top of your septic pumpings is one of the best things you can do for leach field maintenance. As a preventive measure, regular pumpings can stop septic sludge from accumulating and sneaking into your leach field. This sludge can overload the area, ultimately causing drain field failure.

Most septic systems need to be pumped every 1 to 3 years, depending on the size of your household. Get in touch with your septic provider for a personalized recommendation.



By following the above guidelines, you can protect your leach field and avoid the following issues:

  • Slow draining tubs, washing machines, or showers
  • Gurgling drains
  • Sluggish flushing
  • Sewage backups
  • Sewage odor (outside or inside)
  • Standing water in the drainfield with lush, green grass

And if you already have these problems? Contact your local septic provider as soon as possible.



Since 1958, Paradise Valley Septic has specialized in leach field maintenance and common issues. We’ve provided septic replacements, repairs, and pumpings for thousands of homeowners in the Phoenix area.

Together, we can keep your drainfield healthy—just give us a call. Contact us at (480) 351-1725 today.


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