Septic System 102 – The Leach Field
Yesterday we talked about the first stop in the system – the tank itself. The tank must be allowed to drain. If it can’t breathe (like a clogged furnace filter) then things start getting backed up – quickly! And you don’t want sewage backups spilling out all over your new hardwood or carpet. The leach field (or “field lines” or “drain field”) could be compared to the air filter in your car’s engine or home’s furnace.
Effluent from the septic tank flows by gravity or is pumped to a leach field for disposal. The wastewater effluent is absorbed by soil particles and moves both horizontally and vertically through the soil pores. The dissolved organic material in the effluent is removed by bacteria which live in the top ten feet of the soil. As the effluent moves through the soil, the temperature and chemical characteristics of the wastewater change and create an unfavorable habitat for most bacteria and viruses. Therefore, as the septic tank effluent moves through the soil, organic material and microorganisms are removed. The wastewater generally percolates downward through soil and eventually enters a groundwater aquifer. A portion of the wastewater moves upwards by capillary action and is removed at the ground surface by evaporation and transpiration of plants.
A leach field consists of a series of four-inch diameter perforated distribution pipelines placed in two-to-three foot wide trenches. The perforated pipe is placed on top of gravel which is also used to backfill around the pipe. The gravel promotes drainage and reduces root growth near the pipeline. Untreated building paper or straw is placed over the gravel to prevent fine soil particles from migrating into the gravel. The building paper or straw does not reduce the evapotranspiration of the wastewater. A minimum topsoil cover is placed over the gravel to protect the leach field, prevent contact with the wastewater and reduce infiltration from rain and snow.
Septi-Zone helps prevent solid waste from entering the drain field by promoting maximum breakdown of solids. Using Septi-Zone on a regular basis will keep the drain field happy and flowing smoothly with no need to pump the tank. Remember, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Septi-Zone is the best product on the market and we can back it up with this guarantee.