Beverly McLauchlin | 27-06-2022
It is amazing how many of our customers were not given any information about how to take care of their septic tank system. When you have a septic tank and drain field, you actually have your own private sewer treatment plant located on your property. To keep it working properly for many years, there are certain things you should do and other things that you should not do. Today we are going to focus on your drain field.
The water from your home flows into your septic tank then enters the drain field where it then drains down through the soil. Depending on the type of soil and the estimated seasonal high water table, drain fields can be below ground, a filled drain field or a mound drain field. The below ground drain field is exactly what you would think, all of the drain field is below the ground. A filled drain field is created when fill sand is brought in to build up the area around the home and the drain field is installed in the new sand. A mound drain field is just what it sounds like, it is higher than the surrounding area and easily seen, it can be several inches to several feet high.
There are several types of material that can be used to make drain fields. The most common are rock and pipe, chambers or multi-pipe. The type of material used can be due to site conditions or just contractor preference.
The water that flows from your septic tank into the drain field is very high in nutrients; think fertilizer. You should NEVER plant any trees, bushes, shrubs, or any other vegetation on or near your drain field. The roots will grow into the drain field and cause failure.
A mound drain field is very easy to locate as it sticks up above the ground. You should NEVER plant anything on top of the mound. You also should not plant anything beside it either, as roots will grow into the drain field.
All homeowners should know the location of their drain field and make sure that trees, bushes, or any type of plants are not located on or near the drain field.
We get calls almost daily from people who are having drain field issues. When asked if there are any trees near the drain field, the response is usually no. However, when we pull up an aerial view, we can’t see the area in which the drain field is located due to the trees. Roots will grow at least as far as the drip line of the tree, not just the base of the tree. We have had customers with drain field failure due to roots that didn’t have a tree in their yard, the roots came from the neighbor’s tree.
When roots invade a drain field, the only option is to replace the drain field. If there is another area on the property near the septic tank, the new drain field can be installed there. If there isn’t any room to install a new drain field then the old drain field will have to be excavated and removed.
When a new drain field is installed, it will destroy your lawn and sprinkler system. In addition to the cost of the new drain field, you will also have to pay to have your lawn resodded and your sprinkler system repaired.
One way to avoid the expense of replacing your drain field is to prevent root damage from occurring. Everyone loves the beauty added to their lawn by trees, bushes and shrubs however you must be mindful of the impact this will have on your drain field.
Contact us at Robby’s Septic Tank and Plumbing Service, 863-858-6293, if you have any questions this blog did not cover.