Homeowners probably don't give a lot of thought to the health of their septic drain field, but they should. The septic drain field is, perhaps, the most important component of the entire on-site septic system. If it should fail for any reason, the septic tank will soon fill to the top and create a scenario in which wastewater and solids begin to back up into the home. Homeowners who want to reduce the risk of finding a flood of sewage coming up from the drains and toilets in their home can use this simple list as a guide for keeping their drain field working efficiently.
Do learn where your drain field pipes are located
In order to protect your drain field, you first have to know where it is located. If you have had the system installed or repaired during your occupancy of the home, your septic installer will be able to provide a general drawing. Other sources can include the previous owners, your local health department, or the plat or survey of your land or lot.
Don't endanger the drain field by compressing the soil
One of the main reasons that homeowners need to know where their drain field is located is so they can be diligent about the activities that take place on the soil that covers it. Since compressing the soil in the area where the perforated pipes are tasked with draining the effluent into the soil will hinder the action of the system, any activities that will compress the soil, both instantly and over time, must be prevented. These might include:
- Turning the area into a playground or sports field for kids
- Housing livestock, such as sheep, horses, or cattle
- Parking vehicles, including boats and campers
- Using a large tractor to mow the area
- Extending a driveway through the area
While infrequent foot traffic should not be a problem, soil compaction can occur quickly when the drain field is used daily for human use or any other type of traffic.
Do forego activities that disturb the soil
Because of the potential for damaging the pipes and connections of the system, as well as adding to soil compaction issues, homeowners will also want to avoid any activities that will disturb the soil in the area of their drain fields. Activities like planting trees, tilling a garden plot, or digging holes to install yard ornaments, flag poles, and other items should be avoided.
To learn more about protecting your drain field or to discuss a problem or concern, homeowners can contact a reputable septic contractor in their area.