What is a leach field system?

This article will briefly discuss the age old question of what is a leach field system and what is the purpose of suck a system. It is pretty rare to find a homeowner who’s very familiar with his or her own septic system. If you ask a random person, the leach field could automatically mean a field that’s only has leaches in it. That’s a bit weird to have in your yard, right? But what is a leach field system, exactly?

Well, have you ever seen an octopus that has its tentacles extended? Well, that pretty much takes care of the description for the leach field system.  It is also known as the drain field system that is actually a network of pipes that has perforations that are found along the bottom. These pipes are laid in the trenches that are filled with gravel so that the effluent may be distributed to the surrounding environment.

The leach field is one of the most important components of the septic system. This is where the final stage of effluent treatment takes place. Here, the aerobic bacteria and the bio-mat take action. The aerobic bacteria breakdown any trace of solid waste materials that get dispersed with the effluent. The aerobic bacteria also regulate the bio-mat by consuming it. The bio-mat must be kept from getting thick or it will clog the leach field system.

The pre-treated effluent from the septic tank enters the leach field straight into the distribution box or d-box that allows its equal distribution into the parallel or lateral lines connected to it. There’s a dosing system that allows the effluent to be distributed three to four times every day with proper recovery periods for the aerobic bacteria. The trenches should be dug 0.3-1.5 meters in depth, 0.3 meters in width, and up to 20 meters in length. Tey should be 1-2 meters away from each other. The bottom of the trenches are filled with up to 15 cm of rock. More pieces of rock are placed over the perforated pipes. Over the rock layer, a geotextile fabric is placed so as to keep sediments away from the pipelines. On top of the fabric is the thin topsoil to conceal the leach field.

Having a leach field system has its advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include the low operating and capital costs; accommodation of the wastewater and grey water; and a lifespan of at least 20 years (depends on use and conditions). Some of the disadvantages involve the performance of treatments to keep it from clogging; difficult acquisition of parts; requirement of a large area; negative effects on water systems, and the mandate of professional design, building, and installation.

The leach field carries the pre-treated and treated effluent. With this, many people see it as an issue because the risk of water supply contamination is very high. It is a standard to install the leach field at least 30 meters away from the source of drinking water. You should not use leach field systems in a living area with a dense population. There is usually effluent pooling when the ground freezes but the leach field is pretty much all right in almost all typed of climate.

Regular maintenance is needed by the leach field. Although it is the second and last stage of effluent treatment, there is still possible for solid particles or sludge to enter it and clog it. Proper care and maintenance for the leach field include not allowing trees and hardwood plants to be planted over or near it; pumping out of the septic tank to lower the risk of sludge overflow; proper usage of the drains, toilets, and sinks by not dumping grease and non-biodegradables; and upgrading of the system to accommodate sewer connections in the future. There are treatments that septic professionals administer on leach fields to keep them running smoothly such as aeration. Aerating the leach field will increase the aerobic bacterial population, which makes the flow or the treated affluent lot faster.

Make sure to ask your septic system specialist to explain what is a leach field system? You have to cooperate with your septic expert to make sure that your leach field system is maintained for decades to come. Keep t he treatment and pump out schedules and surely, you can never go wrong. 


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