How Long Does a Septic Drain Field Last? Ask Rooter Express NC

We get asked questions a lot, and one of the most common concerns our customers have is the lifespan of their septic system drain field or leach field as it’s also known as. How long will your septic drain field last? Well, about 20 years, but there are other things that must be taken into account when it comes to septic system life expectancy. Rooter Express NC has vast experience with drain fields, and here are some things that can affect your leach durability.


How well your drain field was installed will directly affect how long it lasts. If the installer did not take into account crucial elements such as ground slope, soil compaction, trench size, and surrounding material, you may find that your leach field clogs quicker than it should. The field itself is complex, and it requires perfect conditions to operate effectively.

System Discharge

Another thing that can affect the lifespan of your leach field is how your system discharges wastewater into the field. Septic systems use several different discharge methods, including alternating bed, dosing system, gravity, pump, and surge. If, for example, your system uses a gravity discharge method but it’s relatively level, this might affect the drainage.

Wastewater Excess

To take the above further, your drain field is built to handle a certain amount of wastewater daily. If you run more wastewater through the system than what it’s built to handle, the field will backup and might clog. The system’s design flow parameters shouldn’t be compromised. If they are, this will reduce the life you get out of your leach field.

Soil Conditions

Optimal soil conditions around your drain field will increase its lifespan. If the conditions are not optimal, such as your property floods every hurricane season, your system will not last as long. Unfortunately, you can’t control the soil around your drain field, but we might be able to help. We can inspect your system to ensure it is the best one for the soil in which it rests.


Finally, how well you maintain your septic system determines how long it will last. Regular maintenance, including in-home maintenance, is crucial to extend the life of your drain field and the rest of your septic system. Let us take a look at your system and recommend how often you should schedule a service visit.

We are Rooter Express NC, and we help customers in Charlotte, Gastonia, Concord, and Monroe. Call us at 919-823-6319 to schedule a septic system inspection. We’ll do what it takes to extend the lifespan of your drain field.

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