When it comes to your septic system, it’s important to remember that it’s just that: a system. In other words, there are several working parts, and each one is crucial for success.
That’s why you should take the time to understand your leach field. By knowing what it is and how it works, you can prevent septic problems before they even begin.
SO, WHAT’S A LEACH FIELD?
A leach field is also known as the drain field or leach drain.
Think of the leach field as an extension of a septic tank. Specifically, it’s the area that drains and disperses liquid waste from the tank. A leach field’s main job is to properly remove impurities from wastewater.
Basically, it’s like a digestive system. As biodegradable and organic substances pass through, bacteria in the area break them down.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The leach field involves a set of pipes (or “lines”) underground. Typically, these pipes are surrounded by gravel or permeable soil.
The pipes also have tiny holes along the sides and bottom. When wastewater flows through the pipes, it leaches into the surrounding gravel or soil. Next, bacteria in the area purify and cleanse the wastewater by digesting organic materials and waste.
It’s important to note that only wastewater flows into the leach field. That’s because every septic tank has a filter that stops solid waste from moving through. (This also explains why scum and sludge build up in the tank — and why you should get regular pumpings.)
WHERE IS THE LEACH FIELD, ANYWAY?
The leach field should be in a large, open area in your yard. There shouldn’t be nearby trees or bushes, as the roots can obstruct the underground pipes.
Hopefully, you won’t be able to spot your leach field by looking at the grass. A healthy septic system that properly disposes wastewater won’t affect the surrounding soil.
On the other hand, a failing septic system will give the soil extra “fertilizer”, resulting in lush green grass. There might also be puddles of water. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to pump your septic tank.
HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF A LEACH FIELD?
The leach field is involved in some of the final steps of the septic process. Yet, it’s still a vital component. In fact, if your leach field fails, your entire system can take a hit.
To start, don’t plant trees or bushes less than 10 feet from the drain field. Their roots can block and harm the pipes.
Never drive or park cars, tractors, dirt bikes, or go-carts on the area. These vehicles can damage the area, especially if it’s wet. If you like to host parties or have a big family, be sure to give everyone a heads up.
Regular septic pumping is essential, too. This prevents solid waste from accumulating in the tank and blocking the filter that lets wastewater pass through. For best results, schedule a routine septic system inspection once a year.
PARADISE VALLEY SEPTIC IS READY TO ANSWER ALL YOUR QUESTIONS.
Every homeowner should know what a leach field does and why it is important. But beyond that, you don’t have to worry about anything else. Our experienced technicians at Paradise Valley Septic can perform septic system inspections to make sure everything is running smoothly.
We’re also happy to recommend a maintenance schedule based on your household size and usage. Every home, after all, is so unique.