Drain field installation
A drain field is part of the septic tank where all the water from household and commercial activities ends up. The wastes are digested and emitted out as clean water to run through the sewer line. Most of the solid matter that flows through the drain lines settles at the bottom of the drain tank. On the other hand, the water flows out to the drain field. Therefore, drain field installation is one of the most important components of any septic system. The unit has a crucial role to play on both residential and commercial premises.
A septic system is made up of a septic tank and drains field. A septic tank is then subdivided into two sections. The inlet end is used to collect waste from home or commercial building flows. This waste is stored in the tank for some days to give it enough time to separate. The wastewater forms three layers of solids. These include the scum layers consisting of grease and fats, and the sludge layer. Solids are digested while the scum and sludge layers remain in the water. The indigestible solids are left in the tank till it’s pumped out.
A drain field is made by laying pipes along trenches and stones above the pipes. Gravel is added and buried three feet to the ground. The wastewater then flows through the perforated pipes via the gravel to the soil. These act as the filter thus the emitted water is clear and is not harmful to the environment. Though it’s not safe for human use because there is no removal of the soluble impurities.
It is important to have a well-functioning drain system in your home or place of work. Many people tend to use chemicals to boost digestion in the septic tank. Some of these chemicals are poisonous when absorbed in the soil. The best digestion boosters in the septic tank are the bacteria shock treatments.
The increase in bacteria formation is highly useful in the digestion of wastes. It’s also good to pump out the septic tank to give space for new bacteria-forming enzymes to form. These will give the septic system long life. The water can deposit minerals into the surrounding soil which is beneficial to any crops around. However, the drain field can malfunction and the solid matter has nowhere to go. When it is not digested, it starts to emit chemical compounds into the soil. These may be extended even to the water table which puts the environment at risk.
Many people don’t give enough attention to the drain field and drainage pipes after installation. You should not take it for granted even if the system is running smoothly. The drain field will become faulty when you don’t take good care of the system. You can encounter unnecessary repair costs by failing to maintain your septic tank properly. The other thing to avoid is using lots of water than what the drain field can handle. Palm Beach Septic Tank and Sewer Team freely give educative hints to the public on septic system care. It is good to use such a team in drain field installation, repairs, and installation. You will also need these experts to help you in the maintenance of your drain field. Some of the expert tips include;
- Ensure that you pump your tank regularly to remove all the solid wastes.
- Use washing machines that have filters.
- Utilize household chemicals that don’t contain chemicals that can damage the septic system from the inside.
- Don’t connect roof drains direct to the drain field.
- Avoid parking vehicles around or on top of the drain field. The reason is that these can contaminate drain fields with petrol spillages.
Importance of planting trees around the drain field
Plants assist the drainage system in removing toxic chemicals from the soil because they absorb these substances. Also, trees and lush bed grass help in preventing soil erosion which is good for the environment. Large drain fields are always idle and most homeowners prefer to use them as resting places. You can do this by beautifying the drain field by planting trees or grass. It’s an activity that will not cost the property owner a lot of money per se.
It’s necessary to put into consideration the type of crops that you plant around your drain field. It is advisable to plant shallow-rooted shrubs because they don’t penetrate their roots too deep in the drain field. Also, go for plants that require a limited water supply. Most drain pipes have running pipes and when roots run through them, they can begin to malfunction. Thus, you must grow the right flora around the drain field. It’s advisable to consult an expert to advise on plants suitable for a certain type of soil. As they may even lead to plants growing and start withering within a short period.
If you need to plant trees that are good water absorbers and have deep roots ensure that they are far away from the drain field. You should also not surround the drain field with so many trees or shrubs. Unplanned trees growing near the drain system with deep roots can be cut down or relocated.
The unexpected collapse of a drain field can be a headache and costly. Thus, it’s better to avoid trees that can trigger their functioning. You can do this by either planting them a distance away or avoiding them altogether. Most people have advanced by putting up barriers or root blockades. It’s good to think before planting any kind of trees or shrubs around the drain field. The reason is that it needs proper care and maintenance for it to function well. It is also good to plant trees that will be helpful in the future. Many homeowners find ways to beautify their drain fields by planting trees on them. The growth of the grass will keep the structure away from erosion. Planting trees around the drain field will help in sucking water and organics found in the soil that is surrounding your drain field.
Examples of shallow-rooted trees that are best for the drain field include turf grass, flowering cherry crabapple, periwinkle, sword fern, carpet bulge, Irish moss, dogwood hemlock, blue star creeper, sourwood crape myrtle, blue oat grass, kinnikinnik, creeping rubus, and vaccinium among others. Professionals will advise you on the best depending on your region and they also need a moderate water supply. However, these species continue to be the best near septic systems as their roots don’t penetrate long to the soil to extent of interfering with the drain field. Thus, large roots will not be several feet away from the drain field. You need to pay close attention to ensure that there are no root invasions in your drain field.
The drain field should not cause erosion of the banks. There needs to do a proper installation of the subsurface to retain all water that is directed into it. The drain field should be installed in places where they can be inspected. The drain field should also be on proper slopes to ensure that all water is carried away. You should also seal it on top to ensure that rainwater does not penetrate. Professional drain field installation experts are in the best position to advise you on the same.
What Can Make Drainfield Fail?
Drainfield mainly fails when excess water enters into them from flushing toilets and other household uses.
A slimy mat forms at the walls of the drain field and this harbors the walls from handling wastewater. The drain field is designed to hold a specific amount of water. Therefore, when you overload it with an excess amount of water than it was designed to handle, it overflows. The system may show certain signs like slow drainage, wet spots in the yard, and even emissions of water through the foundation of the building.
The other reason is that a certain percentage of solid waste is digested in the septic tank while the rest settles at the bottom. When these accumulate for a long time, they tend to form clogs. You need to do away with any clogs in the drain field immediately to prevent any inconveniences that may come as a result. The draining process needs to be carried out by professionals. You need to put in place some measures to make sure that your drain field is functioning properly.
First, keep the surface that is above the drain field clear. You should not put heavy objects on top of the drain field. Doing so can overload the underlying pipes and force them to stop functioning. If you are not sure about its location, it’s good to get a layout permit for your property.
Planting foliage close to the drain field is important to prevent soil erosion. But it should be with short roots to avoid interference with the drain field pipes. This point has been explained extensively in the preceding section.
Make proper research on of products that you use to connect the drain field. These will result in a smooth flow of waste from household activities or laundry. If the drainage allows the passage of grease and oils, they will block the drain pipes. It’s also advisable not to put anything with grease particles in the drainage system.
Ensure that you drain off the septic tank regularly. This will ensure that there is enough space to do the digestion of solid waste.
One can clear grass or unnecessary plants surrounding the drain field to give way for evaporation. Try to reduce water consumption activities that may lead to an overflow. Also, avoid the use of toilet cleansers which end up causing harm to the environment.
These do not only affect the soil but may contaminate underground water. When such water is consumed by people or animals, it becomes a great threat to their lives. Always treat the drain field with a bacteria enzyme solution which creates a conducive environment for the formation of bacteria. These will help fasten the process of solid waste digestion.
In case you are a home or commercial owner you must put in place the maintenance basics of your drain field.
Not everyone has the capacity to carry out drain field installation. You need professionals to carry out this crucial activity. For one has to choose an installation site that is close enough to the septic tank feet and away from the kitchen garden. These decisions need people with the right professional background to implement them.
You should also acquire a permit from the proper authorities. You also need certification before you start working on this project. The other document that you need to acquire is a percolation permit from a health facility. This will help the professionals in telling whether the underlying soil is suitable for the drain field. Thus, it is highly recommended to leave the work of drain field installation exclusively in the hands of professionals.
You need to consider proper timing and costs while working on this project. Enough gravel, lines trenches, and porous material should be available to support the work. It makes sure that there is the proper layout and that there are no associated problems in the long run.
Every home activity affects the functioning of the drain field. Therefore, you should check what you are depositing in the septic system. The digestive system cannot handle grease and other biodegradable wastes and hence you need to avoid them. Don’t pour insoluble liquids such as paints into sinks or toilets that will clog the drain pipes.
Some homeowners destroy drain field pipes through the use of hydrochloric acid and other home cleaners. When such chemicals dissolve in the soil, they contaminate groundwater. It is therefore advisable to use the best enzymes that will help in the digestion process.
You need to handle your septic tank with a lot of care after the installation. Taking preventive measures will increase the lifespan of a drain field. The other thing that you need to do is carry out annual inspections on your drainage system. A drain field also has to meet the governing authority standards. You don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law by implementing construction projects illegally. It’s so painful to invest all your energy and incur so many expenses in putting up a drain field only to be told to demolish the whole structure. The design should stand in the backyards where there are few activities taking place. You should also give allowance for other plans and make sure that nothing will affect its positioning for the lifetime.
The septic system contains living organisms that digest household waste. Pouring harmful chemicals down the sinks or in the toilets can be harmful or even kills them. Most of these chemicals are from soaps and shower gels we use to bathe, from the kitchen or the sinks. Thus, we should avoid pouring grease or fats down the drain. Instead, use simple methods of unclogging drains like hot water or drain snake lines. Also, avoid pouring paints or toxic cleaners on sinks or when cleaning toilets. Use grease traps to ensure they are trapped and disposed of in the right manner.
Household wastes are disposed of in the garbage, poured down the sink, ground in the garbage disposal, or flushed in the toilet. All of them will end in the septic tank and this determines how it will work or affect the drain pipes. Make sure you use the toilet in the right manner. Apart from human waste, don’t allow them to carry diapers, Condoms, Baby wipes or wet wipes, cooking oil and grease, feminine products, paper towels cigarette butts, paint, pesticides, medicine, dental floss, coffee grounds, etc. You will end up clogging your own septic system for no good reason.
What to Check About the Drainfield When Buying a New Home
Ask how long the seller has been living in the house and the last time the septic tank was pumped and cleaned. Get to ask how frequently the owner has been pumping his septic system. If he has no idea of the location of the drain field, it tells you that he has not been pumping it out regularly. Also, do some physical inspection to check for an odor smell, or wet spots within the property.
You can as well allow water to run from every tap and check on the pipes to ensure none is in poor condition. Ensure that there are no leakages from the kitchen to the toilets. Toilets tend to have problems in most home systems and these should be a keen place to inspect. Malfunctioning toilet flappers tend to pour lots of water into the system hence increasing the water bills.
One can go the extra mile by consulting a neighbor to know the performance of the property he is interested to buy. You may get information as to why the seller is making such a quick sale of the property. He could have been having issues connected to the county drainage system which may lead to the property being demolished.
Besides, he could have noticed that the septic tank has a problem that will accrue more costs that the seller cannot handle. The septic tank could also have been installed in the wrong position thus the seller didn’t meet the layout plans. Other sellers might also be running for failure to meet land rate taxes which could have accumulated so much.
The dry test method can also be applied to know whether there are any leakages. Although it does not give 100% results, it can be helpful to some extent. i.e. it can show no results of the system failure or show results of faults that are costly to handle.
In this case, you put fluorescent dye in the toilet and flush to see if you can detect it flowing down the sewer lines. A lot of water is allowed to run down the system to see if any fault will be detected. Among common results will slow drainage in the sinks or water not flowing at all. The toilets can act unusually in that once flushed water fills to the brim of the toilet bowl. It will tell you whether the drain field is in the right condition or faulty.
Drainfield happens to be the safe place to put masterpieces when you install and maintain them well. You have a responsibility to ensure that it’s offering the best conducive environment within your property. Don’t wait until the county government is carrying out routine inspections to inform you that your septic system is out of order. Handle your drain field well and it will give you reliable services for an extended period. Besides, it will not pose any threats to the environment or the people who live or work within your property.