What Is A Leach Field?

If you use a septic system, you might be wondering what components make up your sewage arrangement. A leach field (also known as a drain field), along with the septic tank and distribution network (pipes and lines) make up all the equipment for your waste management needs.

If maintained properly, the leach field should remain unnoticed and usually consists of a flat expanse of land around or near the septic tank. Under the leach field, a distribution box (or J box) and a series of pipes rest in gravel-lined channels that distribute cleaned fluid from the tank into the surrounding soil. Before this water flows into the leach field, it runs from your house–in the form of wastewater from toilets, tubs and sinks–into the septic tank where it gets treated.

Maintaining Your Leach Field

A well-kept drain field can efficiently manage your family’s wastewater. Problems – expensive and often damaging -can arise when any part of the septic system malfunctions due to neglect or damage. If this happens, your first indication might be in the drain field in the form of standing, stinky water. Fortunately, three basic steps can help you sustain your septic system and avoid potential disaster.

  • Avoid placing heavy objects on a leach field – this area is vulnerable and crucial. Treat the ground with caution and respect and you’ll have a problem-free system.
  • Regularly pump the septic tank – every 2 to 5 years depending on buildup and use. When in doubt, have it professionally evaluated for damage and excess wear.
  • Beware what goes into your tank – commercial cleaners, household products (paper towels, sanitary products, grease, bones) or any material besides waste and natural cleaning agents can clog a septic system.

Leach Field Failure

Neglecting proper maintenance or ignoring any of the above guidelines can lead to a damaged leach field. If sludge builds up inside the septic tank, it can spill over onto the drain field, and building atop the drain area can damage pipes, leading to expensive, time-consuming repairs. If you notice standing water, strong odors, or wastewater backup in drains, these could indicate issues with any part of the system, and you should call a professional immediately.

Fortunately, with proper care and know-how, a drain field should stay out of sight and out of mind, quietly doing its job for many years.

For help installing, maintaining, or repairing your septic system in the Charlotte or Concord areas, remember to call Rooter Express NC today.

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