February 19, 2020

How to Plan a Long-Lasting Septic Drainfield

house with septic drainfield
A septic system is more than just a tank with pipes. The drainfield, also known as the leach field, uses natural means to treat wastewater before it is finally released back to the soil. This crucial septic component must be placed carefully to ensure it doesn’t flood or fail. Your drainfield is your septic system’s last line of defense before contaminated gray water enters the groundwater. It’s important to plan it with care to avoid problems down the road.

Where to Plan a Septic Drainfield

Many DIYers and home designers are surprised about all the factors that go into choosing a drainfield location. If you choose the wrong place, you will risk costly damage to your septic system and potential health hazards. For this reason, it is imperative to consult a septic expert before making any decisions.

Generally, your septic drainfield should be on level ground below the grade of your septic system. The drainfield should be in a clear area away from utility lines and frequent activity. If you don’t know where your utility lines are, find out so you can avoid them.

Check with your local health department to find out about the septic tank installation policies in your area. If you need more information about planning a septic system in Western Washington, you can give us a call at (800) 551-5570.

Landscaping Over a Drainfield

Hoping to plant a flower garden over your drainfield? Unless you’re planting short-rooted wildflowers, you probably shouldn’t. Plants with more than the shallowest roots could interfere with and even break your septic system.

Most drainfields are covered by grass or similar plants. However, other plants with shallow roots may work just as well. Make sure to find out which plants will grow best in the amount of sunlight your drainfield receives.

Regardless of what you plant, don’t dig too deep over the drainfield. Parts of your drainage system may be just six inches below the surface. Feel free to add a couple of inches of topsoil before you plant anything.

Septic Drainfield Safety Basics

To avoid interfering with or collapsing your drainfield, it’s a good idea to keep heavy objects away. You should never drive or park a car, truck, or tractor over a drainfield. Placing a pool or hot tub anywhere near your septic system is also a bad idea.

It’s best to avoid overwhelming your septic system with too much water. Anything you can do to minimize household water usage will help. Keeping the number of laundry loads per day to a minimum is a good start!

General septic maintenance will help you keep your entire septic system, including your drainfield. in good condition. An average household with a standard septic system should get their septic tank pumped every three years. If you have a larger household or a fancier system with a garbage disposal, you may need to get your tank pumped every year.

Septic Repair and Maintenance in Western Washington

Ace Acme is a family-owned company that has been providing septic services for three generations. Our service area includes Snohomish, Skagit, Island, and North King counties. Contact us if you would like more information about your drainfield, need septic repair work, or are looking for professional maintenance.

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