How Does A Septic Drain Field Work

How Does A Septic Drain Field Work

A septic tank is designed to process raw sewage from a home. As the waste settles, different layers of the septic tank are accessed. The top layer of the septic tank is known as the soil or soil filter. This area works as an environment for beneficial bacteria called archaea to thrive and process waste (e.g., nitrogen and phosphorous) that’s removed from water that drains into the septic tank. A septic drain field consists of a series of underground trenches with perforated pipes that drain away excess water and other substances from your home’s secondary sewage system, also known as a septic tank. Keep reading to learn more about how Septic Drain Field works!

How Does a Septic Drain Field Work?

Treating with Bacteria

Most people think that a septic tank is like a black hole for wastewater and it’s completely incorrect. Septic tanks are constructed with several chambers, each chamber is responsible for cleaning a specific type of waste. Septic tanks are designed to be self-contained wastewater treatment plants. The amount of space inside the septic tank limits the amount of wastewater that can be treated in the tank. Beneficial bacteria are used to break down and convert the wastewater’s organic matter into other substances such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water. These bacteria are stocked in the tank by the manufacturer. 

Solidification Process

There is a process in the septic tank through which the solid matter in the wastewater gets converted into solids, which are then known as sludge. The sludge is a mixture of wastewater and soil particles that have been sucked into the tank during the cleaning process. Most of the solids in the wastewater settle down at the bottom of the tank, through a process called ‘specification’. The scum layer is the top layer of the wastewater in the septic tank. The scum layer is mostly made up of oil and grease and other organic matter. The scum layer is lighter than the wastewater and so it moves towards the top. As the scum layer is lighter than the wastewater, it is pushed toward the tank’s outlet opening by the incoming wastewater that is heavier than the scum layer.

Disposing of Waste

The solid matter in the septic tank gets converted into sludge. The sludge is sent through a drainpipe to the drain field. The drain field is made up of perforated pipes that are buried in the ground. The drain field is used to dispose of the sludge and control gasses like methane and carbon dioxide that are released in the waste. The drain field is an open system, which means the wastewater trickles into the soil. The drain field is used to treat the wastewater so that it can be safely released into the soil without polluting it. The wastewater from the drain field trickles into the soil and is absorbed by the ground. The disadvantage of this system is that the wastewater may pollute the groundwater. The fluid in the drain field must be maintained at a certain level.

Wastewater is treated by the septic tank

The wastewater first enters the first chamber of the septic tank. The first chamber of the septic tank is known as the primary settlement tank. The first chamber is used for the primary settlement of the wastewater. The wastewater is pumped from the roof of the house to the primary settlement tank. The wastewater flows from the primary settlement tank through the wastewater lines to the septic tank.

How Does a Septic Drain Field Benefit Your Home?

The wastewater Remove

A septic tank and drain field are meant to function as a secondary sewage treatment system. The septic tank functions to remove solids from the wastewater and the drain field functions to remove excess water from the wastewater. In addition to removing solids and water from the wastewater, the septic system is designed to percolate the wastewater into the ground. The process of percolating the wastewater into the ground takes several hours or even days. As the wastewater percolates, it is broken down by the bacteria in the soil. The soil is capable of removing nitrogen, phosphorous, and other harmful chemicals from the wastewater. After the wastewater passes through the soil, it is clean enough to be used by plants.

Septic drain field care and maintenance

Septic drain fields can last for many years, but they do require a little bit of maintenance and care. One of the best ways to protect and preserve your septic drain field is to make sure it’s not clogged. If you notice that your wastewater is not draining out of the system at a normal rate, you may need to clear out your septic drain field and make sure it’s not clogged with debris. Another important part of keeping your septic drain field functioning properly is protecting it from damage. If you’re planning on doing any type of landscaping or construction in your yard, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t accidentally damage your septic drain field. You’ll also want to make sure your septic tank lid is properly covered and that your system doesn’t come into contact with any chemicals (like pesticides or fertilizers) that could contaminate the wastewater.

Septic system protection

A properly functioning septic system will help protect you against the dangers of sewage backups. Unfortunately, a clogged or broken septic system can cause sewage to back up and overflow into your yard. This can be especially dangerous if you have young children or pets that could accidentally come into contact with the sewage and become sick. Protect your home and family by keeping your septic system in good condition. Make sure that you’re not putting extra stress on your septic system by overloading it with too many people and too many showers. Be sure to have your septic system inspected regularly by a professional to make sure there are no signs of damage or wear. Your septic system can also help protect you against the spread of bacteria and viruses. A septic system that’s not functioning properly can allow these contaminants to get into the groundwater where they are easily accessible to people. Protect your home and yard by having your septic system checked on a regular basis and keeping it in good condition.

When Is A Septic Drain Field Repaired or Replaced?

  1. A septic drain field consists of a series of underground trenches with perforated pipes that drain away excess water and other substances from your home’s secondary sewage system, also known as a septic tank. 
  2. The septic drain field includes an inlet pipe and a distribution pipe trench that runs from the septic tank to perforated pipes that are buried at a distance of 8 feet apart. 
  3. The septic tank is connected to the inlet pipe and the inlet pipe is connected to the distribution pipe. 
  4. A septic drain field can become clogged up with roots or other substances that are traveling through the perforated pipes. 
  5. If the septic drain field is experiencing clogging, the waste is not percolated into the ground. The septic tank is being overworked and it is highly likely that the septic system will fail.

What Are The Disadvantages of a Septic Drain Field?

A septic drain field is designed to last between 15 and 20 years. The lifespan of a drain field depends on the soil type. If the soil is sandy, it will drain quickly and if the soil is clay-based, the water will be retained by the soil. However, there are some disadvantages to using a septic drain field.

  1. The septic drain field may fail if it is clogged with roots from surrounding trees, shrubs, and bushes. Roots from landscaping plants can also clog the perforated pipes and prevent the wastewater from being distributed throughout the drain field. 
  2.  If the septic drain field fails, a complete replacement is necessary. A new septic system will include a new drain field. The old drain field will need to be excavated and removed. Eventually, the new drain field will need to be replaced, too. 
  3. More frequently. Without the percolation of the wastewater, the septic tank will fill up more quickly.

Bottom Line

A septic tank and drain field are two components of a home’s secondary sewage system. The septic tank removes solids from the wastewater and the drain field removes excess water from the wastewater. The wastewater is then percolated into the ground where it is broken down by bacteria. A septic drain field can become clogged with roots or other substances traveling through the perforated pipes. If the septic drain field fails, a complete replacement is necessary. The septic tank will need to be pumped more frequently without the percolation of wastewater.

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