Drain fields, also known as leach fields or leach drains, are all part of your septic system. A drain field is an extension of your septic tank that catches the waste water and disperses it. Wastewater runs out of the septic tank into the drain field where it is fed into a set of underground pipes, or “lines”.
1. The Set Up
A drain field is made up of several downward sloping pipes that lead from the septic tank into the surrounding land. These pipes are perforated and buried in trenches, which are then filled in with gravel. This arrangement is designed to help prevent animals from ingesting the wastewater, as well as to prevent runoff.
2. How it Works
The wastewater runs from your septic tank through the underground pipes. The water leaks through the holes in the pipe into the surrounding gravel or soil. The first layer of purification begins with the gravel (or other material used), which helps sift out some of the contaminates. Next, bacteria living underground purify and cleanse the wastewater by digesting organic materials and waste. The wastewater continues to move through layers of soil which removes and neutralizes pollutants and contaminates.
Only the wastewater from the septic tank flows into the drain field. The solid waste is left in the septic tank due to a filter that stops additional waste from moving through. Since the water moves out and the solids stay in, the septic tank needs to be pumped regularly to prevent build up and clogs.
3. Why Do We Need a Drain Field?
If we did not have drain fields, the septic tanks would overflow, create runoff, pollute the surrounding area, and cause a foul odor in your yard. When your drain field is clogged, this is what you will experience. We need a drain field to assist our septic system in working to its full capacity.
We discussed 3 Ways to Protect Your Septic System in a previous blog, and those same preventions apply to the drain field.
In addition, only plant grass around your drain field. Make sure trees or bushes are not growing less than 10 feet from the drain field because their roots can block or puncture the pipes.
Be aware of where you park cars, tractors, buses, etc. Vehicles can damage the area by compacting the soil and not allowing for proper drainage, especially if it is wet. If you notice water pooling up in your yard, you should have a professional come out to do an inspection. This is a tell-tale sign you need to have your tank pumped, or there is a blockage in your pipes.
We would love to help you out with all of your septic tank and field line needs! We can inspect your system for you, as well as pump your tank. Give us a call at (706) 949-1460 or send us an email, and one of our amazing experts will get in touch with you today!