Septic drain fields, also called seepage fields or leach fields, are used to reintroduce the effluent of grey water from septic tanks into the environment.
Water flows through a series of perforated pipes and is then absorbed into the ground. The septic drain field is the most critical and most sensitive component of your septic system. Nonexistent or infrequent septic tank maintenance, high water usage, overgrown vegetation, heavy vehicle traffic, poor land drainage and age are some of the leading factors that could result in the failure of a septic field. Should such failure occur, sewage could back up in the house, and wastewater from the septic tank and field could overflow and pool on the surface.
The following image illustrates a drainage field in relation to its septic tank.
To quickly determine the condition of your septic field, look for black water stains or residues on the surface of your septic field. Such residues are often accompanied by an unpleasant sewage smell. Push a dry stick or rod several inches into the soil to check if the soil is dry (this test should be done on a dry and sunny day). Any sign of moisture on the stick or rod could be indicative of a problem.
Should results from the previous quick test be inconclusive, consult Épursol’s professionals immediately.
Most townships and municipalities have inspectors who can assist you or refer you to appropriate professionals. You must obtain permission and appropriate permits from your municipality before beginning any work on your septic field.