A drain field distributes the effluent water from a septic tank to the soil, allowing natural purification before it returns to the water tables. Its components include a distribution box, gravel and perforated PVC pipe. It may take days or weeks to complete the process of obtaining permits, digging suitable trenches, laying pipe, installing gravel and backfilling the trench./
In most locations, installation of a drain field requires a permit. Building codes often require that a licensed contractor design and install the drain field, and a soil percolation test to determine the rate at which the soil is able to absorb water.
The design of the system determines the depth and length of the lines. One common design uses three lateral lines, each 100 feet in length and connected to the distribution box. While it is possible to dig these trenches by hand, most owners hire a contractor to dig these trenches.
Check the codes for the size and depth of gravel required. The depth typically ranges from 6 to 12 inches, and the gravel should be larger than the perforations in the pipe. At this point, work often stops, awaiting approval by an inspector. If the system passes inspection, install another 6 to 12 inches of gravel over the pipe.
Fill the trench with soil removed earlier. Plant grass over the drain field to prevent erosion. Do not plant other landscaping over the area.
A basic septic tank system layout includes a pipe leading from the house to the septic tank, an underground tank and a drain field. Most residential septic tank systems use gravity to move the water through the system.Full Answer >
Know how to properly care for a septic system by knowing when to pump a septic tank, how to manage the drainfield and household water usage, and what items should never go down the drain. Managing the septic system well should avoid costly repairs, but always maintain an area that could accommodate a new septic tank drainfield in case the system fails.Full Answer >
Septic systems work by separating solids from liquids in the septic tank and allowing the liquids to pass into the drain field where the soil purifies the water. Some of the solid materials in the septic tank break down by bacterial action, but others require pumping for removal.Full Answer >
Septic tanks do not require additives to work correctly, but with proper treatment, including regular pumping and protecting the drain field, a septic tank should last for many years. Most homeowners should have their tanks pumped at least once every three to five years, but increasing the number of people living in the home decreases the time the homeowner should wait to pump it again.Full Answer >