The leach field is a vital part of your home’s septic system. This area is where the effluent that drains from your septic system is treated to final processing and released into the ground so that microbes in your soil can safely finish breaking it down. Your leach field should be able to repeat this process for decades, but there are some practices you can make to enhance the longevity of this aspect of your septic system.
Leach Field Overview
Septic systems provide on two components to process waste as it leaves the home. Waste travels to the septic tank where bacteria break it down for safe removal. Some of the waste remains as sludge that must be removed from your tank periodically, but most travels as liquid from the tank out into your leach field where the breaking down process is completed with the help of your soil’s microbes. Essentially a field of drains, the leach field contains perforated drains that release the treated effluent into the ground where it can safely join ground water. Gravel is usually embedded along the pipes to aid in the filtering process. The gravel and pipes then covered with soil, hiding the system from view and from prying animals.
Serious problems can occur with your septic system when there is a drain field clog, so homeowners must take care not to flush anything that shouldn’t be going out into the system. Most leach field systems will last between ten and twenty years, but with excellent care, some have lasted even longer.
Enhancing the Longevity of Your Leach Field
With effective care, you can support the longevity of your leach field. Septic tank experts suggest that you first respect the plumbing system by not flushing anything down the toilet that shouldn’t be introduced into the septic system. Paper towels, baby wipes, or even food can create serious clogs in the system that require expensive fixes and also reduce the life of your leach field.
You can also care for you septic system by spreading out water usage. For instance, try not to run your washing machine and dishwasher at the same time. Spread out your washes so that you’re not doing one after the other, which can overwhelm the system. For instance, your septic tank might not be able to contain the amount of water you release into it. This results in liquid entering the leach field before it has been adequately processed in the septic tank. This ineffectively treated effluent can cause problems for your leach field, particularly if you make a habit of overwhelming the system.
Finally, don’t forget to schedule routine maintenance of your septic system. Maintenance performed by septic system professionals will enhance the well-being of your entire system. You may be able to fix small issues before they can become serious problems. You definitely don’t want your leach field to cause environmental concerns or affect your well water. For this reason, it’s important to work with professionals who know how to keep your system operating safely.