How does it work?
The perforated pipes are laid into gravel-filled trenches. The effluent flows out of the pipes, through the gravel, into the surrounding soil and "percolates". The percolation is a chemical and biological process which removes contaminants. A final treatment occurs in the soil where micro-organisms consume harmful bacteria, viruses and nutrients. The estimated daily wastewater flow and soil conditions determine the size and type of the drain field.
Caring for your drain field
Only mowed grass should cover the drain field. No trees or shrubs should be planted near the drain field as the roots could damage the drain lines.
Keep all cars, bikes, and heavy equipment off the drain field.
Keep roof drains, sump pump drains and other drainage away from the drain field.
Do not plan any building additions, pools, driveways, or other construction near the septic tank or the drain field.
Only wash 1-2 loads of laundry per day rather than multiple loads on a single day.
Stop cutting the grass over the drain field a couple weeks before the rest of the lawn. The extra growth will help insulate the area and help keep it from freezing.
For a list of signs that your drainfield might be failing, please visit the Septic Checklists.
The Drain Field
What is it?
The drain field is made up of long, underground perforated pipes that carry effluent (liquid waste) from your septic tank. ONLY the effluent layer should flow out of the tank and through the pipes where it is evenly distributed into the soil. In the drain field, the effluent is treated and pathogens (disease-causing germs) are killed or filtered by the soil.