What are Lateral Lines Made of?

Part of your septic system is the presence of its lateral lines. As you know, the wastewater from the house is primarily treated in the septic tank. Here, the solid wastes and the liquids are separated. The bacteria take action in breaking down the solid particles. Eventually, is all goes well, the effluent smoothly reaches the drain field. The drain field is also known as the lateral field of the lateral lines of your septic system.

The lateral lines of your septic system are very vital in the culmination of the septic system process; this is where the start of the second step in the waste water treatment happens. The lateral lines are composed of retention boxes or distribution boxes and also pipes that are perforated. These boxes are encased in gravel and are placed in dug-up trenches. When the wastewater enters the lateral lines, the retention boxes are what it passes through first. As the wastewater enters the boxes, it is equally distributes among all lateral lines. With this the effluent is allowed to seep through the gravel with the help of the perforated pipes. These perforated areas come in many different materials with most modern applications consisting of PVC piping due to its long life qualities.

Then there are the trenches. Trenches are where the lateral lines are situated at about 18 to 30 inches deep. Think about soda passing through a straw that you punched holes into at the sides and at the bottom areas. That is the way the wastewater is able to reach the gravel layer and other porous materials. The total length of the lateral lines is founded by the efficiency of the soil’s water absorption. Sandy soil absorbs water much faster than clay so it only needs fewer lateral lines. Clay has a tendency to let the water pool before it actually absorbs it. There should be more lateral lines installed in clay soil than in sandy soil.

As you know, a particular septic system is constructed based on the design that tells you how much wastewater it could treat in total. The efficiency of the lateral lines in your septic system depends on the type of soil where you installed them and how much water you actually use. There is a tendency for your lateral lines to be clogged as well if you use too much water. You already know that when you consume too much water, the bacteria do not have time to breakdown all those solidified wastes so they just accumulate in the tank. The fast inflow of wastewater also stirs the solid particles up. These eventually make their way to the lateral lines. If the pipes are clogged, the drain field or lateral lines will not be able to do their job well. Wastewater will backup into your property and this is a perfect example of a failed septic system.

Older composite or clay tile piping materials do not last as long as PVC and can deteriorate to a point to where water cannot pass or permeate downward due to structural damage of the lines. Many leach bed areas can be revitalized with the addition of PVC replacement lines providing the soil bed still has the ability to drain.

The ultimate endpoint of the wastewater treatment in your household is when the grass that grows above your lateral lines uses the treated wastewater. This is brought about by a very smooth-running septic system that is expertly designed and installed. There should never be yellow or dead grass on your property; neither should there be a backup of wastewater anywhere near your home.

It is important that you consult a septic system professional so that you may be able to monitor the status of your lateral lines and to find out whether or not they are constructed of PVC, clay tile or black corrugated pipe. A regular inspection and maintenance is also an order if you want to have efficient septic lateral lines and other septic system components. Once you maintain their good condition, you will surely have a septic system for years to come.

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