What Is A Leach Field For A Septic Tank? (Question)

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.

How do you repair a septic tank?

  • To repair a leach field, restore the septic tank to reduce the load on it, decrease the amount of waste put in the tank, avoid excessive wetting of the soil close to the field, and make a separate drain field for wash water. In addition, drain water from the septic tank, and remove any debris from the pipelines of the field regularly.

How do I know if my septic leach field is bad?

8 Signs of Septic System Failure

  1. Septic System Backup.
  2. Slow Drains.
  3. Gurgling Sounds.
  4. Pool of Water or Dampness Near Drainfield.
  5. Nasty Odors.
  6. Unusual, Bright Green Grass Above Drainfield.
  7. Blooms of Algae in Nearby Water.
  8. High Levels of Coliform in Water Well.

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 does a septic leach field work?

The drainfield is a shallow, covered, excavation made in unsaturated soil. Pretreated wastewater is discharged through piping onto porous surfaces that allow wastewater to filter though the soil. The soil accepts, treats, and disperses wastewater as it percolates through the soil, ultimately discharging to groundwater.

What happens when a leach field goes bad?

A clogged leach field will compromise the entire system. It can result in sewage backups in the house, septic odors, sewage leakage on the lawn, and contamination of groundwater. To avoid these and more problems related to leachfield failure, you should unclog your leachfield through shock treatment.

How long does a leach field last?

It’s important to consider the life expectancy of a drain-field, too. Under normal conditions and good care, a leach-field will last for 50 years or more. Concrete septic tanks are sturdy and reliable but not indestructible.

How do you know if you need a new leach field?

The following are a few common signs of leach field failure: Grass over leach field is greener than the rest of the yard. The surrounding area is wet, mushy, or even has standing water. Sewage odors around drains, tank, or leach field.

What is the difference between a septic tank and a leach field?

The septic tank stores solid waste products that are not reduced to liquid effluent until you have them pumped out and disposed of properly. The leech field is a series of perforated pipes that provide an effective means for disposing of contaminates without endangering animals or contaminating the ground water.

How much does a new leach field cost?

Although costs vary according to the size of the leach field, soils and costs of local permits, expect to pay between $5,000 and $20,000 for leach field replacement. It is the most expensive component of the septic system.

How far apart are leach lines?

The minimum separation between the bottom of any leaching device and seasonally high groundwater shall be: 5 feet where the leaching device is between 50 and 100 feet from a stream, spring, or other waterbody.

Can you walk over a leach field?

Play. Children and pets can run and play safely on the grass above the drain field. Your family can walk on a well-maintained drain field without fear of encountering puddles of affluent and dangerous bacteria. Bicycles and tricycles are also acceptable because they are not heavy enough to compress or disturb the soil.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:

  • Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
  • Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
  • Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
  • You Hear Gurgling Water.
  • You Have A Sewage Backup.
  • How often should you empty your septic tank?

How do you maintain a leach field?

Tips for Maintaining Your Leach Field

  1. Minimize the use of the garbage disposal.
  2. Do not put grease down your drains.
  3. Spread loads of laundry out over time rather than doing multiple loads in a short period of time, and use liquid detergents rather than powdered detergents.
  4. Avoid excessively long showers.

Do leach fields smell?

Leach Field Odors The soil treatment area, or leach field, consists of an in-ground drain bed, field, or mound, and there should not be a strong septic odor unless there’s a problem. Have septic system pipes inspected to ensure there are no crushed or broken spots.

What is the most common cause of septic system failure?

Most septic systems fail because of inappropriate design or poor maintenance. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are installed at sites with inadequate or inappropriate soils, excessive slopes, or high ground water tables.

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:

  1. 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

What Is a Leach Field?

An underground network of perforated pipes adjacent to the septic tank is known as a leach field, sometimes known as a septic tank drain field or a leach drain. Previous PostNext Post Upon exiting the septic tank, the leach field is responsible for eliminating pollutants and impurities from the liquid that has been released. Continue reading to find out why your leach field is vital, how it works, and how to properly manage your septic tank drain field to ensure that it continues to function effectively over the long term.

Where Is My Leach Field Located?

Your yard’s leach fields are often placed in a big, flat, and open region of your property. They can have many ditches ranging in depth from 18 to 36 inches, width ranging from one to three feet, and length ranging from one to 100 feet. In most cases, the distance between each trench is six feet. Leach fields can persist for up to 25 years if they are properly managed.

How A Leach Field Works

It is usual for leach fields to be positioned in a broad, flat, and open section of your yard.

They can have many ditches ranging in depth from 18 to 36 inches, width ranging from one to three feet, and length ranging from one to hundred feet. The distance between each trench is usually six feet. Leach fields can survive up to 25 years if they are properly managed.

  1. The septic tank collects and treats all of the waste and wastewater generated by the residence. Because of the bacteria present in the septic tank, the waste begins to decompose immediately. In a septic tank, solid waste is deposited at the bottom and turns into sludge, whereas liquid waste (such as fats, oils, and grease) is carried upward and broken down by bacteria at the top of the tank. The liquid waste is then sent into the leach field through subterranean pipelines, while the solid waste is retained at the bottom of the septic tank and continues to be decomposed by bacteria. Liquids leak into the earth below the leach field as they flow through the pipes of the leach field, where they are naturally filtered by the soil.

How to Tell if Your Leach Field is Failing

Invisible and deafeningly quiet, a well kept leach field. Some important signs that your leach field is failing, on the other hand, are as follows:

  • When the water is switched on, the pipes gurgle. Drains that are slow to drain or plumbing backups
  • Toilet flushing problems (low pressure, sluggish flushing, or no flushing at all)
  • Effluent smells that emanate from drain pipes, septic tanks, or the leach field
  • Leach field flooding caused by standing water or wet, mushy grass

Can You Repair a Septic Drain Field?

It is quite simple to unclog an obstruction in an untreated septic drain field. The use of a leach field, on the other hand, has the potential to cause catastrophic issues, particularly in the case of bacterial mat development. Preventative maintenance is essential for preventing the need for costly leach field replacement services. Follow these simple household plumbing guidelines to keep your leach field from failing: 1.

  • Discourage the flushing of grease, chemicals (such as bleach and ammonia), or paint down the toilet. Do not flush anything other than toilet paper and bodily fluids down the toilet. Garbage disposals should be used sparingly (or not at all)
  • Reduce the number of loads of laundry you do every day to one to spread out water use. Avoid parking vehicles, erecting buildings, or putting any other heavy things on top of the leach field. Water runoff from significant rainfall or snow should be diverted away from the leach field.
  • Regular septic tank pumping should be scheduled every three to five years, at the absolute least. To find out how often you should be pumping your septic tank, consult theseptic tank pump chart Make a commitment to having your septic system inspected and diagnosed on a yearly basis.

Local Septic Tank Drain Field Services

Are you ready to arrange your septic tank inspection for the year? Are you looking for septic tank pumping services in your area? You can rely on your local Mr. Rooter ®Plumbing to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices. To get started, call us at (855) 982-2028 or visit a Mr. Rooter location near you. Heavy rains can overflow your septic tank, flood your leach field, and promote mosquito breeding, among other things. Whether you’re looking for mosquito avoidance ideas or all-natural mosquito control, Mosquito Joe is here to assist you.


What Is a Leach Field and How Does It Work?

Have you ever phoned a septic firm to assist you in resolving an issue with your system, only to hear them speak about leach field replacement or repairs and not understand what they were talking about? The leach field, also known as the drainfield, is a component of the sewage treatment system that is often overlooked. It is a network of subterranean wires or pipes that is surrounded by gravel, sand, or porous soil to keep out water. The septic tank and the distribution box or chamber are two other septic system components to consider.

How Does a Leach Field Work?

A series of tiny holes can be found along the sides and bottom of the lines or pipes in the septic leach field. As wastewater travels through the pipes, it seeps into the gravel, sand, or soil that surrounds them, causing contamination. Solid waste is retained in the septic tank and is prevented from flowing out by a filter. The bacteria in the leach field septic layer subsequently decompose the organic elements in the wastewater, resulting in its purification.

See also:  How To Find A Buried Septic Tank? (TOP 5 Tips)

What Is the Best Leach Field Distance From Your House?

The drainfield is typically installed on an open, flat area adjacent to the home, where it can be easily seen. The actual distance between the two points may differ depending on the layout of the land and the specifications of the systems. It is preferable to make the selection with the assistance of a professional. To achieve this, the leach field should be located close enough to the house to save needless piping expenditures, yet far enough away from the house to prevent water infiltration into the home’s walls.

Consulting an expert is the most effective approach to ensure that all of these factors are taken into consideration, as well as to acquire answers to additional issues that you would have a difficult time answering on your own, such as:

  • Is it possible to have a septic tank without having a leach field? What is the function of a septic tank and leach field
  • What is the normal depth of a leach field installation
  • What are the bare minimum standards for leach field maintenance? How long should a leach field be in operation

. and much more. The bottom line is that it takes more than just knowing the concept of a leach field and reviewing a leach field size chart to design a system that works well for you. It needs much more knowledge to understand how to resolve leach field issues.

Typical Septic System Leach Field Problems

[.] as well as more information What’s important to remember is that having a functional system requires more than just understanding the leach field description and reviewing the leach field size chart. Knowledge on how to repair leach field issues is much more difficult to come by.

  • Besides chemicals, you’re also draining paint, grease, and other complicated compounds that are tough to filter out. The amount of wastewater that has to be treated exceeds the capacity of the system. The top layer of the drainfield was damaged as a result of building activities or cars. The volume of water that needed to be filtered increased as a result of excessive rainfall or snow. Plant and tree roots cause obstructions in the pipes. Several of the pipes are fractured or fissured, and they are ancient and rusted

Another factor contributing to drainfield issues is a failure to do regular septic tank pumping to eliminate sludge. Interventions are advised to be performed every two years, however depending on the size of the family and the demands of the home, even more regular septic pumping interventions may be required. However, if your drainfield is showing indications of problems, it is never a smart idea to attempt to resolve the situation on your own. Instead, you should think about how to locate leach field expertise and delegate responsibility for the problem to them.

If you contact us by phone at (203) 293-0832 or online, we will be happy to answer any of your questions and offer you with the information and services you require!

Septic drain field – Wikipedia

Septic drain fields, also known as leach fields or leach drains, are subsurface wastewater disposal facilities that are used to remove contaminants and impurities from the liquid that emerges after anaerobic digestion in an aseptic tank. Septic drain fields are also known as leach fields or leach drains. Microbial ecosystems decompose organic molecules in liquids by using them as energy sources. Aseptic systems are made up of a septic drain field, an aseptic tank, and any related plumbing. An arrangement of trenches with perforated pipes and porous material (oftengravel) topped with a layer of soil to prevent animals (and surface runoff) from getting the wastewater spread inside those trenches is characteristic of a drainage field.

A septic reserve area is a piece of land that has been set aside for the purpose of constructing a septic drain field (SRA).

These are more common in dry regions because the waterflow on the surface allows for irrigation (and fertilization) of agricultural land, which is beneficial in droughts.


A drainage field is being constructed. Many health agencies demand an apercolation test (also known as a “perc” test) to determine if drain field soil is suitable for receiving septic tank effluent. To build a system that meets these requirements, an engineer, a soil scientist, or a licensed designer may be necessary to collaborate with the local governing agency. Direct monitoring of the soil profile provides a more progressive method of determining the size of leach fields. During this observation, the engineer examines a variety of soil characteristics, including texture, structure, consistency, pores/roots, and so on.

When wastewater is transported away from the drain field before pathogens are killed, coarse soils such as sand and gravel can be used.

Tests for percolation are conducted to determine the pace at which clean water disperses down a disposal trench and onto the surrounding soil. When anoxic septic tank effluent is discharged into a drain field, a number of variables may influence the measured percolation rates. These include:

  • Septic tank effluent will be adhered to soil particles by microbial colonies that are catabolizing soluble organic compounds from the effluent. This will diminish the interstitial space available for water movement between soil particles. When these colonies colonize the soil interface of the disposal trench, they tend to produce a biofilm of gelatinous slime with a limited permeability. A buildup of insoluble particles that are too small to be carried through the septic tank will occur at the soil interface of the disposal trench, while non-biodegradable particles such as synthetic fibers from laundry, mineral soil from washing, or bone and eggshell fragments from refuse will remain to fill the interstitial spaces that were previously available for water flow out of the trench. Flowing cooking fats or petroleum products emulsified by detergents or dissolved by solvents can pass through prior to anaerobic liquefaction when the septic tank volume is insufficient to provide adequate residence time, and they may congeal as a hydrophobic layer on the soil interface of the disposal trench. The availability of hydraulic head (or vertical distance) may be reduced as a result of rising groundwater levels, forcing gravity water flow away from the disposal trench. It is possible that effluent running downward from the disposal trench will eventually reach groundwater or impermeable rock or clay, prompting a change in direction to horizontal movement away from the drain field. In order for gravity force to overcome viscous frictional forces preventing flow through porous soil, a specified vertical distance between the effluent level in the disposal trench and the water level applicable when the effluent leaves the drain field must be maintained. If groundwater levels surrounding the drain field approach the level of effluent in the disposal trench, effluent levels in the region of the drain field will increase toward the ground surface in order to maintain the vertical distance difference
  • Frozen ground may diminish the cross-sectional area available for flow or evaporation on a season-to-season basis.

Catabolic design

Similarly, septic tanks are designed to hold anaerobic organisms capable of liquefying anticipated amounts of putrescible materials in wastewater, and drain fields are designed to hold aerobic soil microorganisms capable of decomposing the effluent from anaerobic septic tanks and releasing aerobic water into the environment. When effluent has not been entirely oxidized before reaching surrounding wells or surface waters, smells of hydrogen sulfide or iron bacteria may be detected in such places.

Groundwater flows through the aquifer soils around the drain field, islaminarin the process.

Diffusion of soluble organic compounds into groundwater is controlled by Molecular diffusion, which also controls the transport of oxygen from underlying groundwater or the capillary fringe of the groundwater surface to microorganisms capable of catabolizing dissolved organic compounds that remain in the effluent plume.


In some cases, when an aseptic tank is utilized in conjunction with a biofilter, the drain field’s height and catabolic area can be lowered. High-density residential building, less site disturbance, and more useable space for trees, swimming pools, and gardens are all possible using biofilter technology. It is possible that proper periodic maintenance will lessen the likelihood of the drain field becoming clogged. It is unlikely that the biofilter will lower the amount of liquid that must percolate into the soil, but it may reduce the oxygen demand of organic molecules in the liquid that is being treated.

Operation and maintenance

A septic drain field that has been exposed due to erosion

Dosing schedules or resting periods

Several distinct disposal places for effluent from a single septic tank can be provided by a drain field, which can be constructed to accommodate several septic tanks. It is possible for one region to be “rested” while effluent is channeled to another location. When the anaerobic septic tank effluent is no longer accessible, the nematode colony in the resting drain field continues to feed on the biofilm and lipids that have formed in the field. As the organic material that has collected in the soil is oxidized, this natural cleaning process may help to prevent bioclogging and increase the hydraulic capacity of the field by expanding the accessible interstitial area of the soil.

Inappropriate wastes

Microorganisms in septic tanks and drain fields have very limited ability to catabolize petroleum products and chlorinated solvents, and they are incapable of removing dissolved metals, despite the fact that some metals may be absorbed into septic tank sludge or drain field soils, and their concentrations may be diluted by other groundwater in the vicinity of the drain field (see Figure 1). It is possible that cleaning formulas will affect the efficiency of the drain field. The use of laundry bleach, as well as sanitizing and deodorizing chemicals, may have a comparable effect on microbial activity in the drain field.

Drain cleansers, such as those made from detergents or solvents, can help to transport emulsified, soapified, or dissolved fats into the drain field before they can be catabolized into short-chain organic acids by the bacteria that live on the surface of the wastewater treatment plant scum layer.

See also

  • Onsite sewage facility
  • Reuse of human excreta
  • Sewer
  • Sewage treatment


  1. Steel, E.W.McGhee, Terence J. “Water Supply and Sewerage”McGraw-Hill Book Company (1979)ISBN0-07-060929-2pp.576-577
  2. ABBREVIATED PROCESS(PDF), Bel Air, Maryland, USA: Harford County Health Department, October 2014, retrieved4 April2020:CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Alth, MaxCharlotte Water and Waste-water Technology” John Wiley & Sons (1975)ISBN0-471-34726-4pp.407-408
  4. Linsley, Ray K. and Franzini, Joseph B. “Water-Resources Engineering (2nd Ed.)” McGraw-Hill Book Company (1972)ISBN978-0-07-037959-6, p.88
  5. Linsley, Ray K. and Franzini, Joseph B. “Water-Resources Engineering” McGraw-Hill Perry, Robert H., Chilton, Cecil H., and Kirkpatrick, Sidney D. “Chemical Engineers’ Handbook (4th Ed.)” McGraw-Hill Book Company (1963), p.14-13
  6. Perry, Robert H., Chilton, Cecil H., and Kirkpatrick, Sidney D. “Chemical Engineers’ Handbook (4th Ed.)” McGraw-Hill Book Company (1963), p.14-13
  7. Perry, Robert H.

External links

  • At Wikimedia Commons, you can find images and videos connected to septic drain fields.

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.

  1. 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?

Leach lines are referred to by a variety of names, including leach field, leach bed, filter bed, and percolation bed. After passing through the septic tank, leach lines are used to distribute septic effluent into the surrounding soil. Leach pipes are laid out across an open area, generally a backyard, in order to disperse the effluent across the greatest feasible area as quickly as possible. Following its exit from the septic tank, the effluent travels into the leach pipes, trickles out of pores in the pipes, then percolates downhill via gravel and sand, and finally into the surrounding soil.

In order to encourage the final product to seep into the soil, the pipes are either bedded in gravel and sand or covered with plastic septic chambers, depending on the situation.

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
See also:  How Deep Should A Septic Tank Be? (Correct answer)

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. The lifetime of a leach field is typically 15 to 25 years, however other estimates put the figure closer to 25 to 30 years.

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 tasks and concerns.

  1. 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
  2. Otherwise, they are left unfilled.

What is a Leach Field? 15 Things (2021) You Need To Know

A leach field is one of the most important components of an aseptic system. While you may be aware of how a leach field contributes to the effective operation of a septic tank, you may not be aware of exactly how critical a leach field is to the system’s overall performance. In this essay, we’ll go over what a leach field is and how you can avoid and deal with any big problems that may arise. Let’s get this party started.

1. What is a leach field?

It is an underground network of perforated pipes that is located near to a wastewater treatment system (sewage treatment system). It is referred to as a septic tank drain field or a leach drain in some circles. It is in charge of eliminating pollutants and impurities from liquid after it has exited the septic tank and into the environment. After pollutants and liquids have been anaerobically digested and passed through the septic tank, the septic tank serves as a “disposal filter,” for all intents and purposes.

2. How does a leach field work?

Generally speaking, a septic system is composed of three components: a septic tank, pipes, and a leach field. To comprehend how a leach field operates, it is necessary to comprehend how the septic system functions as a whole. The essential components are as follows: Everything that goes into your house will end up in the septic tank. As a result of the bacteria present in the septic tank, the waste begins to decompose. A septic tank’s solid waste will sink to the bottom of the tank and turn into sludge.

Subsequently, liquid waste will be discharged into the leach field by subterranean pipelines.

As liquid passes through the pipes of the leach field, it will seep into the earth below, where it will be organically filtered by the soil and disposed of properly.

3. Do I have a septic system?

It’s likely that you already know whether you have aseptic system disease. However, if you’re thinking about purchasing a piece of property or if you’re new to the world of septic systems, don’t be concerned! Here are the symptoms that you should check for to determine whether or not you have a septic system. You make use of well water. It appears that you have a waterline flowing into your home that does not have an installed meter. Your water bill or property tax bill shows a “$0.00 sewer amount charged” as the amount you owe.

4.How can I find my septic system?

Assuming, as previously said, that you do indeed have a septic system, but you are unsure of its location at this time.

Here are some of the more effective methods of locating it. Take a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house. Look around your yard for manhole covers and lids. Make contact with a septic system supplier who can assist you in locating it.

5. How to tell if your leach field is failing?

If your leach field is properly maintained, it will be both inconspicuous and silent in its operation. It’s probable that if your leach field is failing, you’ll see any of the following signs: When the water is switched on, the pipes gurgle. Drains that are slow to drain Back-ups in the plumbing system Toilet flushing problems have been reported (low pressure, slow flushing, not flushing) The odor of sewage emitted by drainage pipes, septic drains, or the leach field. Wet mushy grass or standing water over the leach field are also unacceptable.

6. Where is my leach field located?

Leach fields will often be found in a broad, flat, open part of your yard where there is plenty of room for them. They may have many ditches ranging in depth from 18 to 36 inches, width ranging from one to three feet, and length ranging from one to 100 feet. In most cases, the distance between each trench is six feet. The lifespan of leach fields can be as long as 25 years if they are properly cared for.

7. Can you repair a septic drain field?

If you’re having problems with your leach field, you might be looking at a significant repair bill. The process of clearing a clog in a septic drain is quite simple. Keeping on top of this will help you avoid more difficult and perhaps disastrous problems in your leach field in the future. Repairs that are more intricate will almost certainly be quite pricey. That’s why you’ll want to take steps to ensure that your leach field doesn’t fail. See the next section for some household plumbing ideas that might be of assistance in this situation!

8. How can I prevent my leach field from failing?

If you’re concerned about your leach field failing, consider the following suggestions. This will ensure that your septic system continues to operate smoothly! Pouring grease, chemicals (such as bleach and ammonia), or paint down the drain is not recommended. Do not flush anything other than toilet paper and bodily fluids down the toilet. Use the garbage disposal only when absolutely necessary (if at all) Reduce the amount of laundry you do each day to one load to help conserve water. Do not park automobiles, construct buildings, or set any heavy objects on top of the leach field (see our dos and don’ts for more information).


You may use the septic tank pump chart to figure out how often you should be cleaning out your septic tank.

9. What are typical septic system leach field problems?

Most septic system problems may be traced back to the leach field, which is a common practice. If solid waste or wastewater accumulates in the leach field soil, the soil will get clogged, preventing appropriate drainage from occurring. These issues generally manifest themselves when. You drain chemicals, paint, grease, and other complicated compounds that are difficult to filter out of the water system. You make an effort to treat a volume of wastewater that is more than the system’s capability.

You have an excessive quantity of rainfall or snowfall, which contributes to the amount of water that has to be treated.

You have pipes that are old, rusted, broken, or fissured; you need to replace them.

Take note that the frequency with which this must be done might vary depending on the size of the family and its requirements. Consult with a professional to determine how frequently your septic tank should be pumped in order to achieve the greatest results!

10. When should I call a professional for help with my septic system?

If your septic system isn’t working properly, you may need to hire a professional to repair it. These are the indications that you will most likely be unable to resolve the issue on your own. There is a backup of wastewater into the domestic drains. The grass in your leach field is a vibrant green and spongy (especially during dry weather) Septic system backups, standing water, or soggy soil surrounding your septic system or in your basement A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and leach field.

11. What are do’s and don’ts around the leach field?

While many property owners have no problem with their land being shared with a leach field, there are several dos and don’ts that must be followed while sharing space with a leach field. A sophisticated system of perforated septic pipes and layers of gravel soil lies beneath the surface of the earth. The upshot is that the majority of drain fields are flat, open places located far away from trees, wells, and other sources of water (see Figure 1). We’ll go over the dos and don’ts of what you should and shouldn’t do while you’re near a drain field in the section below.

  1. As long as it is kept in good condition, your family should not be concerned about coming into contact with puddles of water or deadly microorganisms.
  2. Grass is not the greatest ground cover for a leach field due to its high water retention capacity.
  3. Look for low-growing plants with non-invasive roots that may take the place of grass in a lawn or other open space.
  4. Sweet woodruff, lamb’s ear, yarrow, and golden sedge are just a few examples of plants to consider.
  5. People and pets are permitted to enter leach fields, however there is a high volume of traffic in the area.
  6. However, there are several actions that might have a negative impact on its capacity to work correctly.
  7. Never allow big animals to graze or horses to be ridden through your leach field.

As a result, keep in mind not to transform your leach field into a parking lot!

In other words, you should avoid building a deck, a shed, a barn, or any other structure over your leach field.

Gardens: Because your leach field is a large, open place, you may be tempted to turn it into a vegetable garden.

Your leach field is the worst location to accomplish this, however, because the rototilling, fertilizers, irrigation, and deep roots that are essential in gardening are harmful to the soil.

Landscaping: While it is crucial to have landscaping around your leach field, you do not want to make any significant changes to the slopes or add or remove retaining walls.

Please keep your present landscaping in good condition since it is intended to prevent runoff from your house and the surrounding region. Don’t lose your mind! You should get advice from an expert if you plan to participate in any intensive landscaping work in relation to your leach field.

12. What are leach lines?

After passing through the septic tank, leach lines are used to distribute septic effluent into the surrounding soil. Various names for them include leach fields, filter beds, leach bed sludge, and percolation beds. Rather than spreading out, leach lines will fan out, trickling through gaps in the pipes and percolating downward through gravel, sand, and finally soil, in order to disseminate the effluent across the whole field. A common type of leach line is built of perforated PVC pipe, which allows the finished product to flow into the soil.

13. What are signs of failing leach lines?

When your septic system fails, it’s critical to determine which component of the system is malfunctioning and which part is not. Only then will you be able to resolve the issue and prevent it from recurring. The following are the indicators of a failed leach line. Increase the rate of plant growth Other parts of the yard have greener grass, and the drains in the home are running more slowly. The water in the house is regularly backing up and overflowing. The ground is squishy or there is standing water in the yard.

It may be necessary for a specific purpose at times, and it may also be necessary because your leach field has reached the end of its useful life.

14. How do you replace leach lines?

Is it possible that your septic system has a problem with leach lines? Are you aware that you will need to replace them in order to fix your computer system? Listed below are the actions that will assist you in getting things fixed out as quickly as possible. Clear your leach field of any and all of the current components. Due to the broad nature of leach fields, you will require heavy equipment to complete this stage effectively. Install a distribution box near the septic tank to distribute the waste.

  • Distribute between 4 and 9 lateral pipes from the distribution box, radiating outward in the trenches to form the leach field.
  • Place plastic septic chambers over the leach line pipes to prevent them from overflowing.
  • Areas at the ends of the pipes should be chosen, and the distribution box should be left visible for the time being.
  • Once your septic system has passed inspection, you may finish filling in the rest of the trenches.
See also:  What Are The Dimensions Of A 1500 Gallon Septic Tank? (TOP 5 Tips)

15. What’s the life span of a leach field?

We reviewed the indicators of a failed leach line in the previous section. Whenever this occurs, you may believe that you made a mistake or that you might have done something differently to avoid this failure. On the other hand, the reality is that leach fields might simply reach the end of their natural life cycle. It is estimated that their usual lifespans are 15 to 25 years (although some estimate a little bit longer at 25 to 30 years).

If your leach field is approaching this age, you should plan on having to replace the leach lines in order to guarantee that your septic system continues to function properly in the future.

Final thoughts

Did you have any idea what was going on beneath the surface of the water? The vast majority of landowners do not! Septic systems are an altogether different manner of dealing with waste, and if you’ve never lived in an area with a septic system before, it’s a very other ballgame. Maintain any land you purchase that has a septic system and leach field by following the instructions listed above. In addition, for further information on purchasing, selling, or investing in unoccupied land, please see the various resources listed below.

Additional Resources

If you are seeking for inexpensive land to purchase, you may find it on our Listings page. Before you acquire property, be sure to review the Gokce Land Due Diligence Program to ensure that it meets your needs. If you are wanting to sell land, please see our article on How to Sell Your Land for more information.

Would you like to receive an email with our latest blog/properties every Thursday?

Now is the time to subscribe. I hope you have found this content to be interesting. If you are interested in purchasing or selling land, you should look into the following: Disclaimer: We are not attorneys, accountants, or financial advisors, and the information contained in this article is provided solely for informative reasons. Our own research and experience have informed this post, and while we strive to keep it accurate and up to date, it is possible that some inaccuracies have occurred.

  1. Erika is a former Director of Affordable Housing for the City of New York who has transitioned into a full-time land investor.
  2. She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Architecture and with a Master of Urban Policy from Columbia University before establishing Gokce Capital.
  3. Erika presently resides in the New York Metropolitan area with her husband, daughter, and cat.
  4. She is originally from Chicago and still considers herself to be a midwesterner at heart, despite her current location.
  5. ), Erika has a lot of interests.
  6. Erika’s most recent blog entries (see all)


While a septic system may appear to be impenetrable, the fact is that neglect may cause severe damage, which may even result in a complete shutdown of the system. Septic systems may give many years of reliable service if properly maintained, but they can also be completely damaged by reckless actions. The drain field is an element of your septic system that is particularly prone to failure. More information on this crucial component, as well as numerous important measures that will help to keep your drain field in good condition, may be found in the sections below.

  • Generally speaking, a septic drain field is the region where effluents, which are liquid waste products produced by the system, are discharged into the soil, after which the liquid waste products seep through the soils around the area.
  • From a structural standpoint, drain fields are composed of many parallel pipelines that empties into a particular substrate that is buried several feet beneath the surface.
  • It is for this reason that being vigilant in protecting the septic drain field is so critical to success.
  • Because drain fields are so critical to the overall health of a septic system, you must take a proactive approach to prevent them from being damaged or destroyed.
  • Keep impurities out of the system that might clog it.
  • Never put grease, oil, or other scum-forming compounds into the septic system in order to avoid this situation from developing.
  • Instead, direct gray water to a sump pump that will be used solely for disposal.

Drain-field components are often only a few feet below ground level, making them accessible to things that might create a clog or other problems.

Among the other potentially harmful aspects are storage sheds and pavement that is too close to the drain field; anything that creates long-term weight stresses on drain fields should be avoided.

Keep biological activity at a high level.

It is possible to disrupt this activity by killing beneficial microorganisms and cause an imbalance in the environment, which may result in the cessation or reduction in the effectiveness of filtering and cleansing of effluent.

Detergents, pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, and other potentially toxic compounds are examples of such agents.

On a regular basis, carry out the necessary “upstream” maintenance tasks.

However, even in the absence of dangerous chemicals being introduced into the effluent, the regular processes occurring inside a septic system might eventually result in the closure of drain fields.

Effluent filters, for example, should be cleaned and replaced on a regular basis.

Another important maintenance operation is the pumping out of accumulated sludge that has developed at the tank’s bottom.

Regular pumping of tanks, which may be as often as once a year, is necessary to prevent sludge from departing the tank and contaminating the drain-field lines and causing a backup.

Things You Can (and Can’t) Put on Your Septic System’s Leach Field

Istockphoto.com Designed to break down organic waste from the residence, septic systems are capable of segregating waste into two types: liquids and solids. While the solid sludge that accumulates at the bottom of the tank must be pumped out at regular intervals, the wastewater can either be treated and reused as irrigation for crops or simply discharged into a septic field, which is typically comprised of perforated piping that is set in gravel trenches and buried about 1 to 2 feet below ground level.

To find out how to utilize a septic field without endangering or interfering with the septic system, continue reading this article!

YouCanPlant Vegetation That Benefits the System

However, contrary to common thought, it is really a good idea to include some types of plants in a septic field to help with the process of evapotranspiration and to decrease the adverse effects of erosion, which can leave the field vulnerable to damage. You can plant a variety of shallow-root plants in your septic field to help improve the aesthetic appeal of your property while also benefiting the health of your system. Some examples of shallow-root plants to consider planting include holly shrubs, boxwood shrubs, azalea shrubs, hollyhocks, violets, wild violets, and spring bulbs.


YouCan’tPlant Vegetation That Harms the System

While there are certain advantages to growing certain types of vegetation on your septic field, if you plant the wrong sort of vegetation, you may have difficulties. In addition to pussy willow bushes and Japanese willow shrubs, aspen trees and birch trees as well as blue mist spireas and edible vegetable plants are examples of vegetation that should not be planted on a septic field. Although a vegetable garden may appear to be beautiful, there is the possibility that hazardous bacteria, such as E.

Raised gardens are also not a smart idea since the additional weight of the soil and bed constructions can cause the septic pipes to become damaged or even collapse.

In certain cases, these root systems can wrap around septic field pipes, causing the septic effluent to be trapped and flooding the surrounding area.

YouCanInstall an Open-Air Kennel

However, if you have a dog and want to provide it with a safe place to play without worrying about it running away, you may build a basic open-air kennel on top of your sewage field, which will reduce the amount of weight that is placed on top of the septic field. Although it should be emphasized that the roof and any form of floor that would lie on top of the grass are not permitted since these modifications would obstruct the evapotranspiration process in the grass. The most basic definition of a suitable open-air dog kennel is a gated space where the dog may run about freely.

Aside from that, make certain that the fence posts are set away from the septic field pipes to avoid accidently damaging a pipe when digging a posthole for the fence. istockphoto.com

YouCan’tInstall Structures

Construction of structures around septic fields is not recommended and cannot be done in certain areas. As previously stated, Numerous individuals have suggested floating decks, tiny shelters, and even simple gazebos to help block out the sun; however, each of these modifications poses a risk to the septic system and should be avoided. Septic fields cannot be securely constructed over decks because they are too heavy; in addition, decks impede access to the system by inhibiting the establishment of grass and other useful flora, which helps to lessen the adverse effects of erosion.

It is not always true that a gazebo is too heavy for the field, but any building that shuts out the sun causes erosion in the field, which is why even an open-air kennel cannot be covered.

YouCanSet Up a Lightweight Swing Set

According to the previous paragraph, buildings near septic fields are undesirable and cannot be constructed in such areas. Numerous individuals have suggested floating decks, tiny shelters, and even simple gazebos to help block out the sun; however, each of these modifications poses a risk to the septic system and should be avoided if at all possible. Septic fields cannot be securely covered with decks because they are too heavy; in addition, decks impede access to the system by inhibiting the development of grass and other useful plants, which helps to mitigate the adverse effects of erosion.

A gazebo isn’t necessary too heavy for the field, but any building that blocks out the sun increases erosion on the field, which is why even an open-air kennel isn’t allowed to have a roof on it.

YouCan’tInstall Semipermanent Playground Equipment

A permanent or semipermanent play structure may seem like an excellent idea given the amount of open space afforded by the septic field, but this might result in a slew of difficulties if it is not done properly. Large play structures are sometimes excessively heavy, placing strain on the septic field and potentially bending or breaking pipes that are only a foot or two below the surface of the ground. This type of play structure also normally requires a plastic sheet to assist prevent flooding and erosion surrounding the playground; however, when this barrier is placed over a septic field, it interferes with the process of evapotranspiration, which can result in both erosion and flooding in the field.


YouCanSet Up Volleyball and Badminton Courts

It is feasible to construct a couple of poles that can support a volleyball or badminton net without interfering with the septic system, however a regulation court with the required flooring is not recommended in this situation. Even though the grass should be left undisturbed and exposed to allow the current plants to help the septic field with evapotranspiration, a basic court may be created without causing any damage to the septic system by usingrope to create a temporary barrier around the area.

It’s important to remember that a volleyball court should only contain four people at a time, which means that a full-size volleyball court that can seat 12 people isn’t a smart option owing to the additional weight that would be placed on the pipes.

YouCan’tInstall Tennis or Basketball Courts

Tennis and basketball vary from volleyball and badminton in that they often require a paved surface in order to be played correctly. If you want to pave over your septic field for any purpose, whether to create a parking area, a patio, or to establish a tennis or basketball court, you should think twice. Because of the inclusion of concrete, not only does the process of evapotranspiration become impossible, but it also adds a large amount of weight to the septic field pipes, which may lead them to collapse.

YouCanBuild a Fence

The process of installing a fence in the yard becomes more difficult in the presence of an aseptic system because you must ensure that the postholes can be excavated and the posts installed without harming the septic field pipes is completed safely and without incident. When using an exact plan that specifies where the pipes are to be laid, it is feasible to construct an enclosed septic field, or even a pipeline that runs directly over it. Remember to take the time to carefully map out the exact location of the fence posts and to continue with caution while digging the holes for these supports.

Additionally, ensure that the system may still be accessed for maintenance when it is required to do so.

YouCan’tAdd a Pool or Water Features

Pools, ponds, and streams are all wonderful additions to a property, but they must be maintained away from septic fields to avoid contamination. The presence of ponds or streams that are too close to the septic field increases the possibility of them becoming wastewater runoff points, lowering the efficacy of the system and generating areas surrounding the residence where hazardous pollutants, such as E. coli, can concentrate. Due to the fact that they must be dug out and erected in the ground where the septic pipes are located, inground pools should be a no-brainer, but even above-ground pools can cause issues.

Additionally, the weight of the pool, especially when it is full, will likely crush the pipes and cause the entire septic system to backup.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *