A septic drain field is a space designated for the purpose of filtering the liquid that comes out of septic tanks. Although septic tanks are generally easy, low-maintenance systems, they do have certain requirements, and these fields are one of them. Septic drain fields are vital because, without them, toxic and tainted water might find its way into natural waterways, posing a serious threat to humans and animals alike. Septic tanks are not able to be disinfected or treated because the waste would not break down otherwise, so drain fields were developed to effectively deal with this issue.
A septic drain field is designated first by the use of a percolation test. A percolation test is, quite simply, measuring how long it takes for water to “percolate” through a drilled or dug hole in the desired field. In order to measure the field, several holes of differing depths are often dug. Based on these findings, an engineer will work to develop a system that is capable of processing the waste water.
Septic drain fields need to achieve two things: to filter out clean water, allowing it to reach waterways, and to prevent bacteria from escaping. Septic drain fields usually contain a mix of several materials, such as clay, sand, and gravel. Sand and gravel, larger materials, will easily allow water to flow out, while the finer materials like clay will prevent the water from flowing too quickly.
Despite what their name implies, drain fields are usually not located on the surface. Rather, most drain fields are covered by top soil, disguising the complicated series of pipes and tubes underneath. These pipes are often perforated to allow water to escape, which can then filter through the gravel and sand until it is pure enough to be drained. Different septic drain fields have different designs, depending on the porosity of the soil and the needs of the system. Some fields have their entirety available for draining, while others are cycled. Some systems may involve only a few pipes, while others involve many. The ideal is to maximize the efficacy of the draining. Septic drain fields, although hidden, are vital components of septic systems, allowing them to work properly.
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