If you have heard anything at all about septic systems, then chances are you have heard some mention of a drainfield or a leach field. So if you've heard the term, chances are you probably have questions as to what they actually are.
The term drainfield can be incredibly confusing because it can lead the unsuspecting septic user to think that untreated wastewater is getting drained straight into a specific area. This is absolutely NOT the case, and the more you understand about how drainfields work, the better informed you will be when discussing drainfield options.
The easiest explanation for what a drainfield is; it is a unique filtration system designed to work WITH a septic tank. The wastewater flows from the house to the septic tank. The septic tank provides filtration and detention for biological treatment. The filtration occurs when the wastewater separates forming scum that floats and sludge that sinks to the bottom of the tank. The area between the scum and sludge is called the clear zone. The water from the clear zone passes from the first chamber in the septic tank to the second chamber. Further separation occurs and then the clear zone from the second chamber flows to the drainfield. When the wastewater enters the drainfield, the water enters the soil where aerobic treatment and final polishing occurs. Typically 2 feet of suitable soil can adequately treat the wastewater.
Sounds simple, right? Well, that's because it is actually pretty straightforward. Have more questions? Check out the useful diagram below.
DIAGRAM: This is a very basic diagram of how a drainfield will work. Primarily lying underground, most property owners don't ever see the components of their drainfield; they only see another part of their yard. While one cannot BUILD on top of a drainfield, there is no need for drainfields to be an eyesore; let it be an asset to your property owner!
Septic tanks maintain a constant liquid level.