All About Leach Fields Explained By Your Plumber | Lighthouse Point, FL
Does your home have a septic system? If it does, it most likely has a leach field or lines. Leach lines are an essential component of any on-site wastewater system and are the last step in the entire process, starting at your home’s toilet or sink and ending with wastewater getting sent into the soil. Whenever the leach lines are faulty, the whole septic system fails. Identifying the failed or failing leach lines might be critical in helping a homeowner catch the plumbing issue on time and eventually limit the amount of money you’ll have to pay a plumber for replacement.
What Is a Leach Line?
There are many names when it comes to leach lines. They are called leach beds, fields, filter beds, or even percolation beds. The leach lines are the component of your septic system that disperses the septic effluent to the ground after it has passed through the septic tank. To broadcast the effluents over an extensive area, the leach lines span a wide-open space, usually your backyard. After the effluent leaves the septic tank, it passes through the leach pipes and trickles out from the holes in the piping. The effluent then percolates downwards through the sand and gravel and then to the soil. Hence, its maintenance by a plumber is essential to ensure that the septic system works optimally and that the septic tank doesn’t overflow.
How Does a Septic System Work?
A septic system is also called an on-site wastewater management system to differentiate them from the public or municipal wastewater management systems. The municipal or public septic systems and residential or home septic systems are essentially the same and do the same thing, hence the name “on-site.” They treat sewage/ liquid waste, also called effluent, and render it harmless by killing pathogens through bacterial action. Therefore, it is recommended that rather than use chemicals to clean the drains, you should have a drain cleaning service performed by a plumber to ensure that the ecological balance in the septic tank is maintained. Below is how the septic system works:
- The water from the showers, sinks, bathtubs (or greywater), toilet liquids, and the solid wastes in your Lighthouse Point, FL, home through the drainage pipe.
- The drainage system drains the materials into the septic tank.
- The wastewater starts in the first compartment of your septic tank. The heavy waste materials move into the bottom of the tank, while lighter materials like greases and oils rise at the top and form a thick layer of scum.
- The effluent moves through the screens and baffles the system’s back compartment.
- The effluent flows via an effluent filter into the leach lines, draining into the ground.
Percolation Rate of the Leach Lines
For the leach line to work correctly, the liquid within the pipes must soak or percolate into the soil at the correct rate. According to various experienced plumbers, the effluent must percolate at a rate higher than one inch every five minutes.
Leach Field Pipes
The leach field pipes usually are made from perforated PVC pipes. To ensure that the final product from the septic system properly trickles down into the soil, the plumbers bed the pipes in sand and gravel, or at times they are covered with septic chambers of kidnapping.
Signs of Failed or Failing Leach Lines
Whenever a septic system fails, pinpointing the part of the system with an issue can prove challenging. However, an experienced plumber can easily detect the problematic part and effect any required repairs. Therefore, it is recommended that you enlist one for a routine inspection and maintenance of this part of the plumbing system. The signs include:
- Gurgling sounds from the septic system
- The yard has patches of stagnating water or is mushy.
- Sewer odors either within or outside your home.
- Frequently backing up water in your house.
- Slowly running drains in your home.
- Greener grass and increased growth in some parts of your yard than in others.
Why Do Leach Lines Fail?
Your Lighthouse Point, FL, home septic system is theoretically a self-contained smart design that returns the water to the earth and makes it organically safe. In practice, the septic system features many moving parts in which things might go wrong, with leach lines being the ones to blame. If you don’t have a plumber come for routine maintenance of the septic tank or it is improperly managed, too much solid waste might move into the leach lines, blocking the holes or perforations within the pipes or the ground surrounding it. The pipes may also collapse at other times.
What Is the Service Life of a Leach Line
After serving your home for its service life, the leach lines might eventually reach their end of life naturally, even without any catastrophic event. Even if you enlist a professional plumber to maintain the lines correctly, the microscopic debris will eventually accumulate on the leach fields over the years, forming some type of sludge that the incoming effluent cannot push. Typically, the lifespan of a leach field is between 15-25 years though some estimates place it at about 25-30 years. However, if properly maintained, the leach lines might hit up to 50 years.
Leach Field Safety Considerations
Leach line system flooding must be avoided for safety reasons. Leach fields that are managed and maintained properly are secure for usage in both commercial and residential settings. However, a reliable professional could contaminate groundwater or surface water if the lines are not correctly handled and maintained. Additionally, greenhouse gasses might be created.
Let Us Help You Maintain Your Leach Field
Leach fields are an essential part of the sewer or septic system. They provide a means by which the effluent gets into the ground. Therefore, having a plumber perform proper maintenance can help this critical component serve you for a long time. For leach field maintenance in your Lighthouse Point, FL, home, contact us at MainLine Plumbing.
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