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Understanding Your Septic System Leach Field

The septic system leach field (also known as the drain field) is the third component to your household septic system.

The wastewater from the septic tank drains into the distribution box and then gravity helps to pull the water into the leach field and distribute it evenly in to the leach lines.

The bigger a leach field the more wastewater it will be able to absorb and hold. If you have a larger septic tank it is important to keep your leach field large enough to hold all the water being sent out.

The leach field in most homes is a constructed with many trenches of piping. The leach field trenches are about 100 feet long, 18 inches wide and go in a straight line with a flat bottom. They are often laid out in parallel lines with your distribution box at the very beginning.

You should also never place your leach field in an area with standing water or near drinking water sources such as wells, streams, lakes, roads, or other homes. The leach field works by being both the disposal and the final treatment of the septic tank wastewater.

This is the place where the purification happens biologically. The wastewater will flow into the soil and is used up by plants or flows into the groundwater to be a resource. It is very important that your leach field is built correctly so you don’t have any back-ups or clogs during the process.

One of the main problems with a leach field is clogs. This occurs when the biomat builds up in the leach lines and hardens over time.

You can tell this is happening if you see standing water over your leach field or septic tank. If you notice this happening it is time to call in a professional for an inspection right away.