A septic system is made up of two basic components: a septic tank and a drain field. Today we will look at what a drain field is and what it does.
When waste enters the septic tank bacteria begins to digest organic materials in the wastewater in the septic tank. From the septic tank the partially treated wastewater then flows into the drain field for a secondary treatment. Its main job is to purify and disperse the effluent flowing from the septic tank.
What is it made of?
Drain field systems are constructed of rock, pipe or chambers for leaching systems. These connect together to form a continuous drainage area. They are installed in trenches where the bottom is open for filtration of water. The size, design, and location is determined by many factors including soil characteristics, the amount of waste water flow, the ground slope, and depth to ground water.
What does it do?
Over time the soil becomes clogged with organic material, clogging up the system and making it unusable. Ponding around can be an indication of an over saturated drain field. Root intrusion, excessive rain water, improper location, and poor original design or poor installation can all lead to major issues. However, the most common reason for premature failure is improper maintenance by homeowners and/or tenants. When a system is poorly maintained, i.e. not pumped out on a regular basis, sludge (solid materials) build up inside the septic tank and could potentially flow into the drain field, clogging it beyond repair.
In most cases, redesigning and replacing the system in a new location is the only practical long term solution. This type of work should be completed only by a qualified contractor. Local health department permits are required before construction can begin.
At Metro-Rooter we are your Jacksonville drain field specialist. Call us today at (904) 695-1911!