Best Practices for Taking Care of Your Drain Field

Protecting one of your homes biggest assets.
Ray's twilight Septic Service Pumping Truck

Locate Your Septic Tank and Drain Field

Do you treat your septic system as though it’s one of your home’s biggest assets? Because it is! The decision to better protect your septic system is an important step towards proper septic maintenance. The next important step is correctly locating your septic tank and drain field.

Many assume that the tank and drain field are located in the wide-open area of their backyard, but this is not always the case. And in fact, guessing on the location of your tank and drain field may cause you to over-water the wrong areas of your lawn. The end result? You may start to see septic waste ooze up through your saturated soil …

So, locating the exact location of your septic tank and drain field is critical; and the best way to locate your septic system is to get in touch with your county health department office. Upon request, you will be given copies of your property’s plans – free of charge! From there, you’ll be able to pinpoint your tank’s exact location, and be mindful of its location when maintaining your lawn.

Protect Your Drain Field

Even people who know the exact location of their drain field still mistreat those areas by placing heavy objects on them. This is often because they don’t understand the importance of keeping a drain field unimpeded.

Your system has perforated pipes that are critical to your septic system operating smoothly, and placing anything on top of your drain field will restrict air slow. Similarly, heavy objects can cause the pipes to crack.

You should avoid placing any of the following objects on your drain field, for any period of time:

  • Vehicles
  • Building (of any size)
  • Ponds
  • Pools
  • Hay stacks
  • Pavement/cement

It’s OK to place lighter objects on top of your drain field, so long as they do not cover a significant area and restrict air flow.

Take good care of your septic system and it will take care of you!

Disguise Your Drain Field

Drain fields aren’t pretty … but they can be. In fact, it’s a great idea to plant grass or even flowers on top of your drain field area. Grass absorbs water and nutrients from soil and prevents erosion!

If you don’t wish to plant grass or flowers, you may consider using landscaping rock. Placing anything over your drain field can help with desaturation. However, when planting over your drain field, you should avoid plants or trees with deep root systems. Roots can easily dig down and plug your septic pipes!

Add a Second Drain Field

If your septic system and drain field get plenty of use, you might want to consider adding a second drain field. This will allow you to increase your water and septic usage when things get crowded, whether it’s due to family visiting for the holidays or close friends staying in your home for a period of time.

One sign that points to the need for a second drain field is if your drain field hasn’t yet failed but your sink, toilet, and bathtub are beginning to drain slowly. Your first drain field may still be functional but a second drain field will ensure that neither is overused, giving you ultimate peace of mind!

Drain Your Pool or Hot Tub Away From Drain Field

Do you own a pool or hot tub? If so, where do you drain all of that water? It’s important that you avoid your drain field at all costs. Your drain field pipes can only absorb a certain amount of water before you begin to tax the pipes and cause the ground to become over-saturated.

No, the extra water will not result in a lush, green lawn. It may become greener temporarily, but soon enough effluent will begin to surface. So, make sure you know exactly where your drain field is located, and then drain your pool somewhere that is far from your drain field and system.

Direct Your Drain Spouts Away from Your Drain Field

You want to avoid saturating your drain field whenever and wherever possible. Remember, you are already getting additional water in that area when it rains; so it’s a good idea to ensure that no other water is running onto your drain field.

Sometimes, however, your drain spouts may be pointing in that particular direction. You can eliminate a major headache during the wet months by redirecting those drain spouts away from your drain field. This might take a little work, but not nearly as much work as that which might be waiting for you if you continue to over-saturate your drain field!

We hope this helps as you do your best to keep your septic system happy and healthy!

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