How Long Should I Make Leech Lines For A Septic Tank? (Question)

  • A minimum of 150 square feet of trench bottom area is required. ** # gal X soil type multiplier 100 4.285 Note: Maximum length of any leach line is 100 feet. If more than 100 feet is required, then a distribution box with multiple lines will be needed. *** Contact Environmental Health for guidance. EHS-9/17/14

How long should a septic leach field be?

The leach field is a series of trenches that may be up to 100-feet long and 1 foot to 3 feet in width, separated by six feet or more, depending on local requirements, and sometimes constructed leaving space between the original lines to install replacement leach lines when needed.

How long do leach lines need to be?

A standard leach line is considered to be three (3) feet wide and three (3) feet deep with a length as required. A non-standard leach line is wider, narrower, and/or deeper than three (3) feet with a length as required.

How long are septic lateral lines?

A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.

How many feet of leaching chamber do I need?

The minimum linear footage of the leaching chamber system should be determined by dividing the total trench bottom area by 1.2 meters (4 feet), when used in a conventional drainfield trench. No reduction area is allowed for leaching chamber systems installed in bed or fill systems.

How long will a leach field last?

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 far down is a leach field?

A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.

How big is a leach field for a 3 bedroom house?

For example, the minimum required for a three bedroom house with a mid range percolation rate of 25 minutes per inch is 750 square feet.

Can you add dirt on top of leach field?

Never add additional soil over the drain field unless it is a minimal amount used to restore an area that may have been eroded or pulled up by removing another plant. Try not to be overly zealous when tilling the soil for planting. Remember that the drain lines may be as close as 6 inches from the soil surface.

How far should leach field be from house?

Local codes and regulations that stipulate the distance of the septic tank from the house vary depending on the locale, but the typical minimum distance is 10 feet.

Do you cap the end of a leach line?

Cap any terminal ends of the pipes with glued PVC caps. Not all leach field plans have terminal ends on the pipes. Place approximately 6 inches of gravel over the pipe, using care to avoid disturbing the pipe placement. Your municipality may require an inspection before you do this.

Can a leach field be too deep?

Drain Field Depth The result is a drain field about 3 to 4 feet deep. Sometimes, however, a drain field may need to be a bit shallower and can result in drain pipes as close to the surface as 6 inches. Underground obstacles can cause this situation.

Can you drive over lateral lines?

In sum, driving over the leach field in any vehicle larger than a child’s bicycle is a bad idea. Heavy vehicles may actually crush buried leach field lines, or they may compress the soils around the leach field, either of which leads to failure. Driving on or parking on leach fields will destroy them.

How far apart should infiltrators be?

As a general rule, trenches ‘fingers’ should be no longer than fifty feet (12 or 13 Infiltrators long) for best function and most even effluent distribution. Unless you are installing as a “bed” system (where the chambers are right next to each other), leave at least six feet of undisturbed soil between fingers.

Can a leach field be expanded?

The drainfield or other soil treatment component (mound, at-grade) will need to be enlarged by two-thirds. However, if the lot size is small or the soils on other parts of the lot are not suitable for drainfield trenches, the cost and difficulty will increase substantially.

How often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?

For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.

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. An absolutely necessary component of all onsite wastewater systems, leach lines are the final stage in a process that begins with your sink or toilet and finishes with wastewater being released into the soil. If your leach lines fail, you will have a complete failure of the whole system. 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

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 Are Leach Lines and How to Maintain Them

Leach lines sound like something you may get if you go swimming in a pond that is full of leeches. They may also sound like something that you do not want to connect with your house in general, so be cautious while using them. However, leach lines are essentially a component of your septic system, which is especially true whether you reside in a rural location or a small suburban community. Leach lines are an essential component of a well working septic system. They’re also referred to as leach drains or septic drain fields in some circles.

Continue reading to find out more about leach lines!

More About Leach Lines

Leach lines function as a drainage system. After the sewage water, also known as septic effluent, has passed through the septic tank, the leach lines are installed. Diverse enzymes and bacteria work together to treat the sewage water that collects in the septic tank. Solids are broken down by the enzymes and bacteria in the water. Then, in contemporary septic systems, baffles, screens, and filters further prevent particles and scums from entering the leach lines. The lines are made up of a series of perforated pipes that are frequently arranged in a field configuration.

Gravel and sand are placed around the pipes to further filter the water before the effluent is discharged into the earth.

After that, the clean water seeps into the soil beneath the leach field and becomes groundwater.

Generally speaking, there are two basic designs for leach lines, which are the catabolic and the biofilter designs.

Leach Line Maintenance

In order to maintain the integrity of your septic system, it is critical that you have it checked on a regular basis. The leach lines in your septic system are a very necessary component. Maintaining your septic system will help to keep your leach lines and leach field in good condition.

Pump Regularly

It is recommended that you get your leach lines and sewage system flushed every few years. When the scum is removed, it will be simpler for the screens and baffles to prevent the scum from making its way into the leach field.

Avoid Putting Weight On Leach Lines

Your leach lines are constructed of PVC pipes, and while they are capable of lasting for an extended period of time, they are not indestructible. Try to avoid placing heavy things on top of the leach field if possible. Do not build a storage shed, an above-ground pool, a jungle gym, or any other heavy structures on top of the structure.

Avoid driving ATVs or other vehicles over the leach field if at all possible. All of these factors have the potential to place undue stress on the PVC pipes, causing them to crack or break as a result.

Avoid Using Incorrect Cleaners

Chemicals poured into the toilet may appeal to first-time homeowners who are looking for a simple approach to clean their sewage system. As a result, your septic system may suffer serious damage, and the chemicals used may contaminate the earth around your leach field. Chemical drain cleaners should not be used since they might cause harm to your plumbing system.

Avoid Clogging Leach Lines

Occasionally, certain materials are flushed down the toilet without being noticed. When children are young, they are more prone to flushing toys down the toilet than adults. Make every effort to prevent your children from flushing toys or other objects down the drain and into your sewage system if you have small children at home.

Be Consistent

Regular maintenance on your septic system and leach field is essential if you want to avoid your septic system malfunctioning and backing up. As a result, you run the chance of your septic system failing beyond repair, resulting in you having to replace your complete septic system. If you smell sewage or notice physical indicators of flooding, you’ll know something is wrong. If this occurs, you must contact a plumber as soon as possible.

Signs of Broken Leach Lines

What are the signs that your leach lines are damaged? Make a note of the location of your leach lines in your yard and pay attention to them. If they’ve been damaged, you may notice that the ground above them is squishy or that more grass or plants are growing there than in any other part of the yard. Keep an eye on the speed with which your drains are operating in your home. If they’re all draining a little more slowly than normal, making new gurgling sounds, or emitting a weird stench, it’s possible that your leach lines need to be re-examined.

Sewer System Repairs in Oahu

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How to Build a Septic Drain Field

Credit for the image: Panya /iStock/Getty Images Although it takes time to construct a septic drain field properly, the effort is worth it in the long run. Septic tanks have a lifespan of 15 to 30 years. Drain fields, also known as leach fields, do not persist for very long periods of time, unfortunately. A drain field can survive up to ten years if it is installed in a well-drained location with excellent ground absorption. Drain fields can be divided into four portions of 25 feet each, or two sections of 50 feet each, depending on the layout you select for your drainage system.

Step 1: Do Your Research

To find out whether a permit is necessary for the installation of an aseptic field line or whether the health department must examine the drain field during construction or after it is completed, check with your local county office and health department for further information. It is almost always necessary to obtain a permit and have your property inspected.

Step 2: Determine Soil Drainage/Absorption

In order to assess the soil’s absorption capacity, dig a hole in it. Soil testing may usually be performed for a minimal price by the local Department of Agriculture office if you live in a rural area.

A drain field should not be constructed in an area with poor drainage. A septic drain field should be located 10 feet away from the house or any body of water, as well as 10 feet away from gardens and edibles.

Step 3: Locate Underground Utilities

In order to assess the soil’s absorption capacity, dig a hole into it. If you live in a rural area, soil testing may usually be performed for a minimal price by your local Department of Agriculture office. A drain field should not be constructed in an area with poor drainage. A septic drain field should be located 10 feet away from the house or any body of water, as well as 10 feet away from gardens and edible vegetation.

Step 4: Dig Drain Field Trenches

It is recommended that each drain-field trench be at least 3 to 4 feet broad and 3 to 4 feet deep. For a 1,000-gallon septic tank, there should be at least 100 feet of drain field. This can be performed by digging four 25-foot-long trenches or two 50-foot-long trenches, as appropriate. Each 8 feet of pipe should be placed in a trench with a modest downward inclination of no more than 1/4 inch per foot of pipe. A downhill slope that is too steep might result in drainage issues since the waste could pool at the end of the trench.

Step 5: Add Gravel and Perforated Pipe

Fill in the trench with a thick layer of gravel that is at least 1 foot deep and extends the length of the trench. It would be preferable to have one and a half feet of gravel. Place a perforated pipe into the trench on top of the gravel and join the pipe to the septic tank drain using a clamp.

Step 6: Add More Gravel

Another half-inch of gravel should be placed on top of the perforated pipe, with additional gravel placed around the edges. Septic fabric should be placed over the gravel to prevent loose dirt from entering into the rocks. Backfill the trench with the dirt that was previously taken from the trench by raking it up and into the trench. Approximately a week later, once the earth has had a chance to settle a little, pile some additional dirt on top of the trench in order to elevate the level of the soil until it is equal with the surrounding ground and to prevent rainfall from gathering in the depression.

How Long Does a Septic Leach Field Last?

A Septic Leach Field is expected to last for several years. How Long Do Leach Fields Remain Effective? The longevity of a septic tank leach field can vary depending on a number of different factors, including: A well-constructed and well-maintained leach field should last 20 to 25 years under normal conditions. It has the potential to last for 50 years or more. A leach field has the potential to outlast numerous owners of a house or piece of land. Natural catastrophes and severe weather may cause significant damage to leach fields in a short period of time.

What does a leach field do?

In addition to leach field, other names for it include drain field, seepage bed, and leaching bed. Every septic system is equipped with a leach field. Every system requires a drainage space, such as a field or a bed, into which waste and wastewater can be discharged. A leach field is included in a well-designed and well-built system, and many factors of the system’s lifetime, safety, and environmental impact are taken into consideration. The soil and ground characteristics, the groundwater level, the topography and slope, the size of the property, the use of the septic system, and the drainage capabilities of the terrain are all critical considerations.

Everyone in the house uses the restrooms, kitchen, and other facilities on a regular basis, causing waste to flow into and out of the system.

The wear and tear of a busier system will almost certainly be greater. The need of proper design and construction of everything that goes into a leach field, as well as excellent maintenance over time, will become increasingly apparent. Additional considerations to consider are as follows:

  • A leach field is comprised of lines, ditches, and boxes that are used to disperse effluent material that is discharged from a septic tank. The size of the field should be appropriate for the size, demand, and usage of the property’s septic system, among other considerations. How much topsoil or gravel should be applied to the entire field and its sub-areas? Sunlight should be allowed to get through to the subsurface portions of the field to aid in evaporation and to ensure that the field drains properly and safely
  • What role will the surrounding environment have in this process? Is the land in the drainage area normally drier or wetter than the surrounding area? Is the climate in the region frequently humid? Is the land on higher ground, sandy or rocky soil, or any combination of the two? Are there any locations that should be noted or protected, or that might have an impact on drainage in the area? It is possible that you may need to be mindful of waterways, marshy regions, property borders, and sites that are legally protected.

Mistakes and what to avoid with a leach field

Things that can damage or block a pipe, tank, or anything else in the system can cause damage to a leach field in a short period of time or over an extended period of time, beginning with the home itself. Over the course of several years or decades, this can result in a reduction in the useful life of a leach field. The improper usage of toilets and sinks might result in material being dumped onto a field that was not intended for it. Using harsh, ineffective, or chemically harmful cleansers or chemicals, especially over a long period of time, can cause corrosion to occur in metal parts.

  1. Take into consideration the consequences of what you’re throwing into it.
  2. It is not permissible to park automobiles, drive vehicles on, or place heavy objects or goods on any area of a leach field without the permission of the landowner.
  3. If gravel, sandy soil, or topsoil are utilized, any shifting or wear might result in harm to the structure or a reduction in the efficiency of the building.
  4. Over time, tree roots can cause significant harm.
  5. The scent of a septic leach field

How do you know it’s time to repair or replace a leach field?

When it comes to checking the leach field, a professional should do it in the same method and on the same timetable as they do when it comes to checking the tank or other components of the sewer or plumbing system. It should be examined whenever a tank has to be pumped out. It is unavoidable that a leach field will require extensive maintenance or will fail over the period of 20, 30, 40, or even more years. Natural sources of damage, whether caused by a sudden calamity or over a long period of time via wear and tear, are common.

As waste passes through the system, certain solids will accumulate in a field, even if the field is well-maintained.

The amounts of water in the reservoir and the quality of the soil might fluctuate over time.

Even more signs may manifest themselves as slow drainage, a tank that backups or clogs more frequently than usual, a tank that requires pumping more frequently than usual maintenance, more problems or smells when it rains, a sinking spot in the yard, or greener grass in a specific spot or area of the yard.

It’s a good idea to keep up with the latest developments in the field with the help of specialists as much as feasible.

Remember that South End Plumbing specialists in clog removal, and that we are only a click away.

We also specialize in leak detection; please contact us for more information. South End Plumbing is one of the few organizations that will provide you with a no-obligation quote. To book a visit, please call us at 704-919-1722 or complete the online form.

How to unclog your leach field

A SHOCK TREATMENT CAN SAVE YOU UP TO $150. The leach field, also known as a drain field, is the area where effluent from the septic tank is disposed of. In this stage of the septic system, a network of perforated PVC drain pipes, crushed stone, and a layer of unsaturated soil are combined to form a septic system. Gravity is typically responsible for the movement of wastewater from the septic tank to the leaching bed. Nevertheless, when the conditions do not permit the use of gravity to transport the wastewater to the leaching bed, a pumping station can be utilized to transport the wastewater to the leaching bed.

Final filtering is carried out by the presence of bacteria and other microorganisms that further purify the wastewater before it reaches the groundwater table.

It does, however, become clogged from time to time.

How is a leach field made?

It is critical that the leaching bed functions well in the wastewater treatment system, and if it does not, the entire system will be adversely affected. It is also critical to prevent structural problems from occurring in the first place by ensuring that the building is designed correctly. As a result, only fully licensed contractors are permitted to do such a project. But, first and foremost, you will need to conduct a percolation test as well as a comprehensive review by an engineering professional.

A quick percolation rate is seen in sandy soils; whereas, a sluggish percolation rate is found in clay soils.

In order for a soil to be considered excellent, its percolation rate should not be too high or too low.

If, on the other hand, it takes more than an hour for the water to settle, this indicates that the effluent is not infiltrating quickly enough, which might result in backflow difficulties.

Steps followed when building a leach field

  • The moment has come to start digging the trenches after all of the testing have been performed and the building plan has been finalized and approved by the project team. The number of trenches that will need to be built depends on the size of the septic tank and the volume of wastewater that will be released into the leaching field throughout the construction process. Each trench should have the same breadth as the others (approximately 3-4 feet). In addition, the ditches should have a modest downhill slope to them. Following the excavation of the trenches, they should be filled with crushed stone. The crushed stone bed should be at least one to one and a half inches thick and evenly distributed throughout the ditches. This procedure is critical because it enables for more effective drainage of the effluent under the perforated pipes
  • Nevertheless, it is not required. The perforated pipes are then laid on top of a bed of crushed stone to allow for proper drainage. Crushed stone is then placed on top of the perforated pipes to ensure that they are securely attached — enough to prevent them from moving or getting misaligned over time. A layer of crushed stone between 1 and 3 inches thick should enough.
  • Following that, a geotextile membrane is laid over the crushed stones. When the membrane is in place, soil or dirt cannot slip between the crushed stones and cause a blockage in the leaching bed. If you haven’t already, install a drain line from the septic tank to the leach field pipes. Finally, the trenches are filled with dirt to make them more level and to make the surface of the leach field more consistent in appearance. After that, you may cover the area with a covering of grass. And, at all costs, avoid planting anything else in or near this part of the yard.

How long does a septic leach field last?

Weeping beds should last at least 25 years if they are well-maintained, but they may live much longer or shorter depending on a variety of conditions. The majority of leaching fields collapse as a result of biological or hydraulic overstress. Hydraulic overload occurs when an excessive amount of water is discharged into the septic tank. Consequently, it is advised that duties such as washing be spread out throughout the course of the week rather than being completed in a single weekend session.

When an excessive amount of organic material enters the leaching field, this is referred to as biological overloading.

The only solid waste that should be disposed of in your septic system is toilet paper and human waste (feces).

Additional to this, we advocate the frequent use of biochemical additives to improve the overall efficiency and lifetime of the system. Because of the high activity of the bacterial flora in your system, Bio-Sol’sSepti +can help to avoid biological overload in your system.

What is clogging your leach field?

Weeping beds should last at least 25 years if they are well-maintained, but they may survive much longer or shorter depending on a variety of circumstances. Biochemical or hydraulic overload is the most common reason for leaching field failure. When an excessive amount of water is discharged into the septic tank, this is known as hydraulic overload. Consequently, it is advised that duties such as washing be spread out throughout the course of the week rather than being completed in one sitting.

It is essential that you exercise extreme caution while discharging anything into your septic system’s wastewater treatment system.

In addition, we propose that biological additives be used on a regular basis to improve the efficiency and lifespan of the system.


During the wastewater treatment process, a black, gelatinous layer forms beneath the distribution pipes as the wastewater passes through the leach field. Rather than sludge, this layer is really a biomaterial sludge known as “biomat.” Because the biomat is waterproof, it significantly minimizes the amount of wastewater that percolates into the soil. In most cases, this biomat is formed of organic waste and anaerobic bacteria that have attached themselves to the soil or broken stone. The organic stuff in the effluent provides food for these bacteria.

  1. Contrary to this, it aids in the further filtering of wastewater by reducing the rate of infiltration and retaining the organic matter before the water is allowed to reach the soil.
  2. More black gelatinous sludge builds up in the trenches, the more difficult it will be for the wastewater to permeate and subsequently percolate into the soil as a result of the accumulation.
  3. As soon as sewage begins to back up, it will always flow to the spot that provides the least amount of resistance.
  4. When this occurs, the objective should not be to entirely remove the biomat from the environment.

It is important to note that good care and maintenance of the system will assist in preventing such an imbalance, which will save you a great deal of headache (like having to unclog your leach field).

How do you know if your leach field is failing?

It goes without saying that the most visible indicator of a failing leaching bed is when wastewater overflows and reaches the surface. The effluent will rise to the top of the soil or, in certain situations, will pour out the end of the trenches if the receiving soil in the leaching bed is unable to absorb any more water from the receiving soil. The most common reason for the effluent to stop flowing is due to an excessive amount of biomatis being created. Check out the following indicators to determine if you need to unclog your leach field:.

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Sluggish drains and toilets

Prior to the drain field failing altogether, you may notice that water is draining through the home at a slower rate. The drains will continue to function as long as there is enough space for the water to flow. On the other hand, it is possible that the water is draining more slowly. If you neglect this problem, which is caused by the leach field, the situation will deteriorate over time and become more serious. It is possible that the septic tank will become overflowing and that the water will be unable to penetrate into the earth at all.

Septic odors

Septic tank scents might be detected in the vicinity of the leaching area or within the house itself. Another sign that the leaching field is failing is the presence of rust. Due to the fact that it is so uncomfortable, this is perhaps one of the easiest indicators to recognize. To determine if you are experiencing the rotten egg smell, first check to see if there has been a buildup of organic material in the plumbing system. You may either use an ecologically friendly drain cleaner (such as SeptiDrain) or check your septic tank for abnormally high water levels to resolve the problem.

Sewage backing up in the house

In the case of clogged septic fields, water is returned to them, which causes the water level in the septic tank to rise. Water will back up through the hole in the septic tank or into your home if there isn’t enough room left in the tank. The leach field in your septic tank is almost certain to be the source of the problem if you see an excessively high water level in the tank. The water level in the septic tank should always be at or below the level of the drain pipe that connects the tank to the leaching field.

It is thus required to determine whether the soil has been saturated as a result of recent high rainfall or snowmelt, as well as to determine whether there has been a recent hydraulic overload.

This might explain why the water level is greater than usual. However, if the situation persists, we can conclude that the leaching bed is no longer operating correctly (it is most likely clogged).

Greener and taller grass around the drainfield

A sign that your leach field is not operating correctly is the presence of higher, greener grass in the area where it’s supposed to be placed. When wastewater is unable to penetrate the soil, pressure can force it to rise to the surface, causing it to become visible. Because of the nutrients in the wastewater, the grass might grow more quickly and seem greener as a result of this.

Puddles of water in the yard

Puddles on the field may indicate that a hydraulic overload has forced water to come to the surface. If this is the case, contact the field superintendent immediately. When a leach field becomes blocked, the pressure builds up, forcing the water to rise. Large amounts of wastewater can practically pool on the ground when released into the environment. If the water smells like rotten eggs, avoid touching it and keep your children away from the area until the scent has been eliminated. There have been instances where perforated pipes in the leach field have either disconnected or broken.

Otherwise, a blockage is more likely to be the source of the problem.

Soil sinking or collapsing over the leachfield

The presence of excessively damp soil where the leaching bed is placed may also be an indicator that the leaching bed is no longer performing effectively, according to the manufacturer.

How to unclog your leach field?

When you find an issue with your leaching bed, you should make an attempt to fix it as quickly as possible. If this is not done, the condition may worsen and result in wastewater overflows. Those spills are potentially hazardous to both you and the environment. Also prohibited is the pollution of the environment, and local authorities may order you to replace your septic system if you fail to comply with the law. In addition to promoting the growth of biomat, as previously described, the discharge of organic particles into the leaching bed generates an imbalance in the natural water filtration system.

  • As a consequence, a waterproof biomaterial sludge is formed, and this sludge significantly reduces the rate of infiltration of wastewater into the receiving soil, which is abnormal.
  • Because of this, it is necessary to minimize the accumulation of organic matter in leaching fields and to reduce the thickness of the sludge layer that clogs the leaching fields.
  • However, the one offered by Bio-Sol is without a doubt the quickest, easiest, safest, and most ECONOMIC method available!
  • These shock treatments are 100 percent environmentally friendly (and hence safe), and they are simple to do on your own.
  • It is typically necessary to introduce a high concentration of these bacteria and enzymes into the leaching bed in order to break down the organic waste that has collected in the leaching bed and unclog the leach field.
  • The result is that your septic system is back in operating order!

The majority of the time, this occurs when a large truck passes by. Is this anything that has happened recently? If this is the case, you should use a camera to evaluate the area to ensure that there is no structural damage. If this is not the case, the septic system will need to be updated.

How much does a new leach field cost?

Choosing to repair your leaching bed will almost certainly necessitate the replacement of your complete septic system as well. You will require a fresh percolation test as well as an appraisal by an engineer with appropriate qualifications. When using a standard septic system, you may expect to pay between $5,000 and $12,500 for the installation and maintenance. However, if you require the installation of a more sophisticated system, the cost of the replacement will be significantly higher (between $15,000 and $30,000).

As a result, we highly recommend you to attempt to resolve the problem first by selecting one of the alternative options that have been provided.

PROMOTION TO ASSIST YOU IN UNCLOGGING YOUR LEACH FIELD: By visiting our monthly specials page, you can receive a discount on a shock treatment.


A blocked leach field will jeopardize the integrity of the entire system. It can result in sewage backups in the house, septic smells, sewage leaking on the yard, and groundwater contamination, among other problems. Unclogging your leachfield with shock treatment can help you to avoid these and other problems associated with leachfield failure in the future. It is the injection of billions of bacteria and enzymes into the sewage system through the use of biological additives that is known as shock treatment.

This septic-safe solution from Bio-Sol is manufactured from bacteria and enzymes, and it will clear your leach field without harming the bacteria or enzymes in your system.

How long are septic drain lines?

A normal septic-drainfield trench is around 150 feet in length, although we have seen installations that were three times that length. Septic-drainfield trench width: A typical septic-drainfield trench is about 150 feet in width. According to some authors, the maximum septic trenchline is 100 feet long. The most practical response is that it varies – on the place and the soil conditions. If there are no missteps, such as those discussed in this article, a field like this may persist anywhere from 10 to 20 years.

One can also wonder if it is possible to construct over septic lines.

It is not recommended to build permanent structures above septicfieldlines due to the high amounts of moisture present and the necessity for open air circulation.

Structures with foundations may be able to trap moisture beneath the structure’s foundation.

How can I calculate the size of my septic drain field? is another question that may arise. A percolation test may be required in order to determine the size of the absorptionfield for one of the factors. To calculate this, the following formula might be used:

  1. A normal septic-drainfield trench is around 150 feet in length, although we have seen installations that were three times that length. Septic-drainfield trench width: The maximum width of a trench is generally about 150 feet. A 100-foot septic trenchline, according to some authors, is the absolute limit. The most practical response is that it varies – on the spot and the soil. Except for missteps like those discussed in this article, a field like this may persist between 10 and 20 years. Septic tanks and soil absorption systems (ST/SAS) that are properly managed and maintained should last at least 20 years, according to USDA sources Can you build on top of septic lines, you might wonder? OverFieldLines are being built. It is not recommended to build permanent structures above septicfieldlines due to the high amounts of moisture present and the necessity for unrestricted air flow. This comprises residences, barns, and various sorts of storage structures, amongst other structures. Those structures that have foundations may be prone to moisture accumulation beneath the building. How can I calculate the size of my septic drain field? is another question that could arise. A percolation test may be required in order to determine the size of the absorptionfield for one component. To do this, the following formula would be utilized:

The maximum length of a septic or drainfield trench is normally around 150 feet, although we have discovered systems that were three times that length. According to some authors, the maximum septic trenchline is 100 feet. A reasonable response is that it is dependent on the place and soil conditions. If there are no mishaps like those we explain in this article, a field like this may survive anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Septic tanks and soil absorption systems (ST/SAS) should last at least 20 years, according to USDA sources.

  • Creating OverFieldLines is a difficult task.
  • This comprises residences, barns, and various sorts of storage structures, amongst other things.
  • How can I measure the size of my septic drain field, or something along those lines?
  • To do this, the following formula would be used:

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
See also:  How To Unfreeze The Outside Septic Tank? (Solved)

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 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.

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:

  • On most cases, the drainfield is installed in an open, level area near the house. It may be necessary to adjust the actual distance due to variations in building architecture and system configuration. When making a choice, it is advisable to seek professional advice. To achieve this, the leach field should be located close enough to the home to save needless piping expenditures, yet far enough away to prevent water from infiltrating the house’s interior walls. The design of a septic system and leach field should take into consideration a variety of other considerations, including soil type, tree roots, slope requirements, and so on. In order to ensure that all of these factors are taken into account, consulting a professional is the best option. A specialist may also provide answers to additional issues that you may have difficulty answering yourself, such as the following:

. 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!

How a Septic System Works – and Common Problems

This Article Discusses Septic Tanks are a type of septic tank that is used to dispose of waste. Field Sizing and System MaintenanceProblems with the Leach FieldSystem Performance Questions and comments are welcome. See Also: Septic System Frequently Asked Questions Articles on SEPTIC SYSTEM may be found here. In locations where there are no municipal sewage systems, each residence is responsible for treating its own sewage on its own property, which is known as a “on-site sewage disposal system,” or septic system, more popularly.

One of the most commonly seen types of leach field is composed of a series of perforated distribution pipes, each of which is placed in a gravel-filled absorption trench.


In this article, you will learn how to A septic tank is a type of holding tank that is used to collect waste. Field Sizing and System MaintenancePerformance Issues with the Leach Field Send in your questions and comments See Also: Frequently Asked Questions about Septic Systems. SEPTIC SYSTEM articles are available for viewing here. Unless a municipality has installed a “on-site sewage disposal system,” often known as a septic system, each residence in such an area must treat its sewage on its own property.

One of the most commonly seen types of leach field is composed of a succession of perforated distribution pipes, each of which is situated within a gravel-filled absorption trench.

Leach Field

When used properly, a leach field (also known as a “drain field”) is a series of perforated pipes that are typically buried in gravel trenches 18 to 36 inches below grade — deep enough to avoid freezing, but close enough to the surface that air can reach the bacteria that further purify the effluent (see illustration below). As little as 6 inches might separate you from the ground surface, depending on your soil type and municipal regulations. It is customary to cover the perforated pipes with approximately two inches of gravel and a layer of topsoil that is 18 to 24 inches in depth.

  • Grass is often sown above the ground.
  • The leach field is comprised of rows of perforated pipes in gravel trenches that are used to spread wastewater over a vast area in order to further purify it.
  • A bacteria-rich slime mat forms where the gravel meets the soil, and it is responsible for the majority of the water purification work.
  • Despite the fact that wastewater freezes at a far lower temperature than pure water, freezing is still a hazard in cold areas.
  • The leftover pathogens are converted into essential plant nutrients by these organisms, while sand, gravel, and soil filter out any solids that remain.
  • If the system is operating effectively, the filtered wastewater will return to the aquifer as naturally clean water that is suitable for human consumption at this stage.
  • Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.

These systems sometimes cost twice or three times as much as a regular system and require significantly more upkeep. Special systems may also be necessary in regions where there are flood plains, bodies of water, or other ecologically sensitive areas to protect against flooding.


Using perforated pipes put in gravel-filled trenches, the drain field is sized to accommodate the number of beds in the house. In order for the system to function successfully, the leach field must be appropriately sized for the soil type and amount of wastewater, which is normally determined by the number of bedrooms in the house. In order for the liquid to seep into the soil, it must be permeable enough to do so. As a result, the denser the soil, the larger the leach field that is necessary.

  • Better to have surplus capacity in your system than to have it cut too close to the bone.
  • Septic tank backup into your house, pooling on the surface of the earth, or polluting local groundwater are all possibilities if the ground is incapable of absorbing the liquid.
  • Dense clay soils will not absorb the liquid at a sufficient rate, resulting in a backlog.
  • If the soil is mostly composed of coarse sand and gravel, it might drain at such a rapid rate that untreated sewage can poison the aquifer or damage surrounding bodies of water.
  • Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
  • Near flood plains, bodies of water, and other ecologically sensitive places, special systems may also be necessary to protect people and property.


If you take good care of your system, you will be rewarded with years of trouble-free operation. Pumping the septic tank on a regular basis is necessary to remove the particles (sludge) and grease layer (scum) that have built up in the tank. The solids will ultimately overflow and spill into the leach field, decreasing its efficacy and diminishing its lifespan if this is not done. The rehabilitation of a clogged leach field is difficult, if not impossible; thus, constant pumping is essential!

Cooking fats, grease, and particles may also wash into the leach field if the tank is too small for the amount of water being used or if the tank is overcrowded on a regular basis.

Extra water from excessive residential consumption or yard drainage can overwhelm the system, transporting oil and particles into the leach field and causing it to overflow.

In addition, don’t try to complete a week’s worth of laundry for a family of five in a single day. This will assist you in keeping the load controlled and will also help to extend the life of your system. To minimize overburdening the system, the following measures should be taken:

  • Distribute your washing loads and other high-water-use activities across the week
  • And In the kitchen and bathroom, use low-flow appliances, faucets, and fixtures. Toilets, in general, are the source of the greatest amount of water use. Water should be diverted away from the leach field from the yard, gutters, and basement sump pumps.

Divide your washing loads and other water-intensive activities over the week; Make use of low-flow appliances and fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom to save money on water and electricity. Toilets are the source of the majority of water use. Water should be diverted away from the leach field through the yard, gutters, and basement sump pumps.

  • Distribute washing loads and other high-water-use activities throughout the week
  • Low-flow appliances, faucets, and fixtures should be used in the kitchen and bathroom. Toilets, in general, are the source of the largest water use. Water should be diverted away from the leach field from the yard, gutters, and basement sump pumps

Distribute laundry loads and other high-water-use activities throughout the week. In the kitchen and bathroom, low-flow appliances, faucets, and fixtures should be used. In general, toilets are the source of the largest water use. Drainage from the yard, gutters, and basement sump pumps should be directed away from the leach field.

  • Heavy machinery should not be driven, parked, or stored on top of the leach field (or septic tank). Placement of a deck, patio, pool, or any other sort of construction over the leach field is prohibited. Remove any large trees or other plants with deep roots from the leach field. Grass is the most effective groundcover.

Even with careful use and routine maintenance, however, leach fields are not guaranteed to survive indefinitely. It is inevitable that the soil will get saturated with dissolved elements from the wastewater, and that the soil will be unable to absorb any more incoming water. The presence of an odorous wet area over the leach field, as well as plumbing backups in the house, are frequently the first indicators that something is wrong. Many municipalities mandate septic system designs to incorporate a second “reserve drain field” in the case that the first field fails.

A well constructed and maintained system should last for at least 20 to 30 years, if not longer than that.

More information on Septic System Maintenance may be found here.


Poor original design, abuse, or physical damage, such as driving heavy trucks over the leach field, are the root causes of the majority of septic system issues. The following are examples of common situations that might cause a septic system to operate poorly: Plumbing in the home. obstructed or insufficient plumbing vents, a blockage between the home and the septic tank, or an insufficient pitch in the sewer line leading from the house are all possible causes. Sewage tank to leach field connection Septic tank and leach field blockage caused by a closed or damaged tank outlet, a plugged line leading to the leach field caused by tree roots, or a blockage caused by sediments that overflowed from the tank Piping in the leach field.

Most of the time, tree roots do not make their way through the gravel bed and into the perforated pipe.

Reduced flows, achieved through the use of flow restrictors and low-flow faucets and fixtures, may be beneficial.

Because of the seasonal high water table, the soil around the trenches might get saturated, reducing the soil’s ability to absorb wastewater.

This may frequently be remedied by adding subsurface drains or curtain drains to intercept the water flow into the leach field region and to lower the water table in the immediate area around the drainage system.

Likewise, see: In order to do a perc test, who should I hire?

Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime?

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