Is Your Leach Field
Clogged, Smelly, Sluggish,
or Seeping up to the surface?
leach fields in most cases have
an important rule of thumb:
IF A leach field WORKED BEFORE IT CAN WORK
To begin with this is how the septic
system and leach field is supposed to work.
- You flush the toilet.
- The waste travels down the drain pipes in your
home until they all come together into
one large sewer pipe
- This pipe goes through or under the foundation
in your home.
- It then travels on a downward slope until it
reaches your septic tank.
- Once inside the tank the waste meets a baffle
where it is forced down into the
- Inside the septic tank solids sink to the
bottom and scum & grease floats to the top.
- On the other end of the tank another baffle
prevents the scum & grease from
exiting the septic tank.
- The baffle on the exit end of the septic tank will
only let water from the middle area of the
septic tank to exit.
- When the water exits the septic tank it travels down another
pipe to the leach field.
- At the leach field the water divides up into
several pipes where it exits into the ground
through small holes in the
leach field pipe.
- This water soaks through the gravel bed of the
leach field then is absorbed.
As you can see this is a long process and
everything must go as designed or the system will fail.
an animation of the septic tank leach field process
When a septic tank backs up into your house, damage to the leach
field is already done.
- The sludge layer has overflowed the
baffle in the tank.
- That sludge has run into the leach
- Small holes in the leach field
pipes are being clogged.
- Under normal conditions pectins and
gums partially clog these small holes in the leach field.
- When 50% of the leach field is clogged
the other half has to do double the work.
- Restoring flow to the septic tank's
will equalize the stress on the system.
- When they pump your septic tank they can't
pump out your leach field.
leach fields put basically are
designed to allow water to absorb into the ground that comes from
tank. Your septic tank is supposed to hold all waste and solids until they are
pumped out. Many products claim they are flushable, but in fact
they can cause serious problems for
the septic tank and leach field. For
example if you flush a piece of plastic down your toilet it will run
septic tank and just stay there until you pump the tank out. If it's not
biodegradable it can't be
good for your septic system.
Once damage has been done to your
leach field it is possible for it to recover. It may take a little
be inconvenuent but it is cheaper than replacing the leach field. Life may get
bacteria will be your friend, the more cleaning supplies you
send down the pipes to end up in the
leach field the fewer bacteria you will
have present there, and bacteria is what will open the clogged
parts of your
leach field to restore flow.
Steps you can take to help your
septic system recover.
- Use a septic tank treatment regularly
to eat away the clogs in your leach field.
see our CHEMICALS page.
- Lower your water use untill the septic
- Let less harsh chemicals that kill
germs go down the drain.
- Don't use harsh toilet cleaners
in the toilet tank.
- Don't use acids to unclog household
- Wash full loads of laundry and dishes
- Fix any dripping faucets or running
- Cut down or stop using your garbage disposal
- Keep the grass trimed so the sun can
get to your leach field's soil.
- Use a more septic system friendly toilet paper
- If you have a pet switch to a biodegradable litter.
- Change your soap to a environmentaly safer soap.
Searching google from this site should bring you a response
more targeted to the septic system.
Links to other leach