When designing or renovating a home in an area not connected to a municipal sewer system, one critical consideration is the installation of a septic system. A major part of this system is the leach field, sometimes known as the drain field or absorption field. D’Amorie Construction would like to share what goes into the design and layout of a septic system tank leach field to help homeowners and builders understand its importance and functionality.
What is the Purpose of a Leach Field?
A leach field is an essential part of a septic system, responsible for the final treatment and dispersal of the effluent or liquids that comes out of the septic tank. It consists of a series of punctured pipes laid in gravel-filled trenches or beds. The liquids are slowly released into the soil through these pipes, where it is naturally treated and filtered by the soil before returning to the groundwater.
What are the Factors to Be Considered in Design of Septic Tank Leach Field?
Different soils have varying rates of effluent or liquid absorption. For example, sandy soil will handle the wastewater faster than clay soil. A soil test is often referred to as a “perc test” or percolation test which helps determine the size and design of the leach field. The leach field size will also depend on the estimated daily wastewater flow and the soil’s percolation rate. Typically, larger households or properties with more inhabitants will require a more expansive leach field. The leach field should be located downhill from the septic tank to allow for gravity-fed flow. It should also be placed away from deep-rooted trees and shrubs, whose roots can damage the pipes. Local health departments and environmental agencies often have strict guidelines and codes regarding the design, size, and location of the leach field. Adhering to these is crucial.
How is a Leach Field Designed?
• Determine the Size: Once the percolation test is done, and you know the soil’s rate, you can determine the leach field’s size. The slower the percolation rate, the larger the field needed.
• Layout the Trenches: Trenches are usually 1 to 2 feet wide, with a depth of 2 to 3 feet. They should be spaced at least 6 feet apart to ensure adequate wastewater treatment.
• Insert the Pipes: Perforated pipes are laid in the trenches, ensuring they have a slight slope to facilitate effluent flow.
• Add Gravel and Topsoil: Once the pipes are laid, the trenches are filled with gravel up to a certain level, then covered with a layer of topsoil. The gravel ensures proper effluent or liquid filtration, while the topsoil promotes natural growth above the leach field, blending it seamlessly into the landscape.
Leach Field Maintenance and Precautions
To ensure the longevity and efficiency of your leach field do not use excessive water, which can overwhelm the septic system and leach field. Next, never drive or park vehicles over the leach field. Lastly, plant only grass or shallow-rooted plants above the leach field.
Residential & Commercial Drainage System Service & More in Orchard Park, Blasdell, West Seneca, Lackawanna, Cheektowaga, Buffalo NY & Western New York
The leach field is a testament to nature’s ability to treat and recycle our wastewater, returning it safely to the environment. Proper design and maintenance of the leach field are crucial not only for the longevity of your septic system but also for the health and safety of your household and the surrounding environment. By understanding its design and layout, homeowners can ensure their system operates efficiently for many years. When you need help designing, installing or maintaining your Septic System Tank Leach Field, contact D’Amorie Construction today.