Drain field septic systems are made up of two key components: the septic tank and drain field. The septic tank collects gray water from the house and separates them into effluent and sludge. The effluent flows into the drain field or leach field, which is a series of perforated pipes. These pipes allow the effluent to percolate through the soil for treatment and discharge. The leach field determines the overall health and performance of the entire septic system. Therefore, note these drain field installation tips to prevent future septic problems.
Size Your Drain Field Correctly
Sizing your septic system properly is the key to optimal performance. Most people are keen on choosing the right septic tank size, but they forget about the drain field. All the effluent collected in the tank drains through the leach field pipes. Therefore, if the field isn't large enough, it will oversaturate and leak raw sewage into your yard. Drain field pipes are installed over a large area to facilitate proper effluent percolation. Match the field to your septic tank size. If you have a large tank, install a larger drain field with enough sewer pipes. These pipes will effectively discharge effluent into the ground without suffering from oversaturation.
Install the Drain Field Away From Traffic
A drain field septic system relies on the soil for proper wastewater discharge and treatment. The soil shouldn't be compacted, as this will prevent air circulation and wastewater flow. Unfortunately, even loose, well-drained soil can suffer compaction due to activities, such as heavy foot traffic on the ground, vehicular traffic above the installation area, and overworked soil. Foot and vehicular traffic are the leading culprits of soil compaction. Therefore, install your drain field further away from the busy areas of your outdoor space. Do not use heavy machinery or heavy-duty lawnmowers over the drain field. If you need to do any landscaping work, use hand tools or light equipment.
Prevent Intrusion by Tree Roots
The drain field is usually laden with rich nutrients and moisture throughout the year. Therefore, the roots of nearby vegetation are likely to grow toward the sewer pipes to search for water and nutrients. They can block the small perforations on the pipes and prevent effluent from percolating through the soil. When choosing an installation site, ensure there are no water-loving trees, plants, or shrubs in the area. Avoid fast-growing trees such as cedar, as they will damage your drain field. Instead, plant shallow-rooted plants, climbers, or drought-friendly shrubs over the drain field. Choose low-maintenance plants to limit foot and vehicular traffic on the drain field.
Septic system performance depends on proper installation. Therefore, consider the above tips when sizing and installing your septic drain field. Contact a plumber for more information on septic tank installation.