First of all, what is a leach field? A leach field is part of a system to remove contaminants from liquid coming from a septic tank. The complete system is composed of a septic tank, the leach field, and the network of piping that connects all components. A leach field has to be tested to see if it is appropriate or if it is capable of receiving septic tank effluent (or the liquid mixed with impurities).
To avoid major problems that can occur in relation to septic tanks and leach fields, the best way really is to practice preventative measures. Make sure that you don’t overload the capacity of the septic tank, by not flushing too much tissue paper down the toilet, and never flushing plastic materials (such as napkins or plastic bags). You should also have the septic tank pumped every three to five years to prevent water clogs. Also, make sure that the pipes going out to the leach field is clear, particularly of tree roots. You should also choose the leach field well; make sure that the soil there drains excellently, and that it is far away from vegetable gardens and from large trees.
In case you’re in a situation where your septic system’s leach field needs to be fixed, here are some of the solutions for some common problems:
- Check if the problem lies in the piping system. The main probable cause of this problem is that something may be blocking or clogging the pipes. You may need to clean your septic system’s effluent filter, or check if there are any roots externally blocking the piping. You may need to contact professionals to pump out the septic tank, in case something is clogging the piping from the inside.
- Know when you’d have to replace the leach field. There are many reasons to possibly replace the leach field. Some of the cases that will lead to this include excessive sloping in the area of the field, presence of fractured bedrock, some gopher and rodent activity, and the soil quality is not appropriate for effluent drainage and absorption. If you find that the leach field area is not enough to contain the effluent, you would need to increase its size.
- Check out the area regulations for building a leach field. Remember, it’s best that you properly build a leach field at the onset to avoid any problems in the future. You should also make sure that the capacity of the leach field is adequate, by doing a percolation test (or test to measure the rate of absorption of effluent by the soil). For this process, it’s always best that you consult with professionals.
- Know what to do if bad odors drift in from the leach field. Due to atmospheric conditions, the bad odor can drift in from the leach field. If this is the case, you might want to increase the height of your house vent in order to improve air dispersion.
There you have it! These are just some of the ways to fix or repair a leach field. Remember, the best way is always to practice preventative measures to avoid serious problems later on. Good luck, and hope this helped you out!