What Is a Leach Field?

What Is a Leach Field?

November 19, 2020

If you have a septic system on your property, you also have a leach field—also known as a drainfield. Understanding what a leach field is and what it does is an important part of septic system and septic tank maintenance in El Centro, CA. If you need a refresher course, read on to understand how your leach field helps treat your wastewater and what you can do to make sure yours functions as it should, without issue.

What is a leach field and how does it work?

The leach field is the part of your property where wastewater drains from the tank. As the liquid effluent disperses, the leach field treats the wastewater so it can safely return to the groundwater supply.

Wastewater enters your septic tank through your plumbing system, where it’s separated into three parts: fats, oils and grease (scum), which rise to the top, wastewater (effluent) and solids, which settle to the bottom of the tank. Eventually the solids and the grease will be pumped out during your regular septic tank maintenance in El Centro, CA. The wastewater leaves the tank through a series of perforated pipes and enters the leach field.

Leach fields have soil, gravel or layers of both covering the perforated pipes. Only the wastewater reaches the field—not the solids. When the effluent leaches into the field, bacteria in the ground digest the organic substances still left in the water. Once the bacteria have done their job, the treated water soaks into the groundwater supply.

Where is my leach field located?

It’s important that you know where your leach field is located. It needs to be in an area where there are no tree roots that could obstruct or otherwise interfere with your septic system. You should never park vehicles or build structures on top of your leach field.

As a property owner, be sure to keep a close eye on your leach field. For example, if you notice pooling water or particularly lush, green grass, that’s a sign that there’s an issue with your septic tank and leach field. Call a septic contractor as soon as possible.

How do I take care of my leach field?

The best way to take care of your leach field is to leave it alone. Don’t plant any trees, bushes or other vegetation whose roots could choke the leach field pipes. Avoid driving over the leach field, and never allow your children to play in that area. You may want to install a fence around the leach field area, to ensure you know exactly where it is, and keep others away.

Finally, taking care of your leach field involves keeping up with your septic system maintenance in El Centro, CA. Have your tank pumped every three to five years, and schedule an annual inspection and maintenance appointment. Following these simple tips will keep your septic system running flawlessly.

For septic system pumping, let the team at Sharps Sanitation help. Call us today to schedule your next pumping or maintenance appointment.

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