As a homeowner, you may have been told that you have a leach field associated with your septic system. But what is the purpose of this field and is it ok to build over it? To learn more, keep reading.
What is the purpose of a leach field?
Not every home septic system includes a leach field as they are usually associated with suburban and rural areas where public sewers are not as developed. When you use the sinks or flush the toilet, that organic sewage and water goes into a septic tank where it is processed. When the water is released from the septic tank, it goes through a series of pipes with holes perforated in them and that area with perforated pipes is called a leach field. The breakdown of solid material from flushed toilets is vastly improved by the oxygen the perforated pipes provide since the sewer system has no major city sewer to dump into.
How does a leach field stop working?
Simply put, a leach field that is flooded has stopped working. When you dig up the pipes, they will be full of debris that blocks them. More often than not, this clog will not be from sewage, but from roots. For this reason, growing trees and shrubs that have long roots too close to leach field will cause the leach field to lose its ability to shed water. Since the clogs cause sewage buildup in the leach field and could block drains and toilets, professional septic system repair specialists will be needed to repair them.
Can I build over my leach field?
You will not want to use a leach field for building, growing food or leisure time because it could have sewage water in it at any time. In addition, paving over the top of a leach field seals it and defeats its purpose. Building gardens or field flowers over the top of a leach field will result in clogging the tiny perforations in the pipes. Grass that is kept short is ok because will take much longer to clog pipes, but any type of plant where its roots can cause damage is not a good idea. Overall, it is not recommended to build over your leach filed and you should also not put anything heavy on top of it, such as parking a vehicle.
Have your leach field inspected by us
If you are having questions about the effectiveness of your leach field, give us a call. We can find the location of your leach field, help define the perimeter, check the surrounding landscape for potential problems, and repair any issues we find. Contact Earthcare today or request service now.