Septic systems comprise a large part of the infrastructure in Northern California. Septic systems are self-contained wastewater treatment facilities typically used in areas with no centralized sewer system. If you live in a rural area, you have a septic system. But what are leach lines?
Leach lines are a primary part of septic systems. If someone tells you that you need to repair or replace your leach lines, you should know what they are trying to explain. Leach lines can become clogged and even fail, causing flooding, so it’s important to understand basic maintenance and septic leach line cleaning. This article will explain everything you need to know about leach lines, including what they are, how they work, and why they are vital to a septic system.
What Are Leach Lines?
Leach lines are pipes used to carry wastewater away from the septic tank. The leach lines are typically buried in the ground and are used to disperse the wastewater into the soil.
They are also sometimes referred to as leach drains or absorption trenches.
How Do Leach Lines Work?
Leach lines distribute the wastewater from the septic tank into the soil. The wastewater disperses through small holes in the leach lines.
The holes allow the water to seep into the soil, where bacteria treat it. The soil’s bacteria help break down the waste in the water and make it safe for the environment.
Why Are Leach Lines Important?
Leach lines are important because they help protect the environment from the wastewater produced by septic systems. Without leach lines, the wastewater would pool on the ground’s surface and could contaminate drinking water supplies or create an unhealthy environment.
Leach lines also help prolong septic tanks’ life by dispersing the waste and preventing it from building up in the tank.
Signs That a Leach Line Is Failing or Failed
There are several signs that a leach line is failing or has failed. They include:
- The ground above the leach line is soggy or has standing water
- Sewage or wastewater is coming to the surface of the ground
- The grass above the leach line is greener than the rest of the lawn
- There is a strong sewage smell coming from the leach field
If you think your leach line may fail, you should contact a septic professional as soon as possible. A failing leach line can cause serious environmental problems and can be expensive to fix.
Why They Might Fail
Leach lines can fail for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons is that the leach lines become clogged with waste.
Heavy rains can also cause leach line clogs. But there are steps you can take to prevent septic problems from rainwater overflow.
Another common reason for leach line failure is that the soil around the leach lines becomes too compacted. This failure can happen if too much traffic on the leach field or the area does not get proper grading.
Improper maintenance is another common reason for leach line failure. Leach lines should be inspected and cleaned regularly to prevent them from failing.
Tips To Maintain Leach Lines
You can do several things to maintain your leach lines and prevent them from failing.
Regularly Pump Out the Septic Tank
When sewage accumulates in the septic tank, it can back up into the leach lines and cause them to fail. Pumping out the septic tank in regular intervals will keep this from happening. This pumping is probably the most significant thing you can do to maintain your leach lines.
Have the Leach Lines Inspected
It’s a good idea to have your leach lines inspected every few years to ensure they are still functioning correctly. An inspection will also allow you to identify potential problems so that a professional can fix them or perform a septic line cleaning before they cause the leach lines to fail.
Don’t Put Weight on Leach Lines
Putting weight on leach lines, such as by driving over them, can damage the pipes and cause them to fail. Avoid placing any weight on leach lines.
Not Clogging Leach Lines With Solids
You should also avoid clogging leach lines with solids. You can do this by not flushing things like diapers, sanitary napkins, or other solid waste down the toilet.
Using the Correct Cleaners and Disinfectants
When cleaning your leach lines, you need to make sure you use the correct cleaners and disinfectants. Harsh chemicals can damage the pipes and lead to leaks.
Repairing Leach Line Cracks and Holes
If you notice any cracks or holes in your leach lines, you should have them repaired as soon as possible. Otherwise, sewage can leak out and contaminate the surrounding area.
How To Repair Leach Lines
If your leach lines have failed, they will need a replacement. This replacement is a job that should be done by a professional. These are the steps that they will take to replace the leach lines.
- Excavate the Area—The first step is to excavate the area around the leach lines. This excavation will give the workers access to the pipes.
- Remove the Old Pipes—The next step is to remove the old pipes. The best tool to use for this is a backhoe.
- Install the New Pipes—Once they remove the old pipes, they can install the new pipes.
- Backfill the Excavation—The excavation will be able to backfill after installing the new pipes.
Leach line repair can be a big job, but getting it done as soon as possible is crucial to help the environment and your property. A professional will be able to get the job done quickly and efficiently. They have the experience and the equipment to get the job done right.
If you think your leach lines are failing, don’t hesitate to contact a septic professional. They will be able to inspect the leach lines and make the necessary repairs.
Now that you know everything there is to know about leach lines, you can make sure that yours are adequately maintained. This maintenance will prevent them from failing and causing environmental problems.
The team at Fletcher’s Plumbing & Contracting has seasoned leach line experts in Yuba City, CA, and can help with any repair or maintenance needs you may have. We have the experience and the equipment to get the job done right. Give us a call today with any questions about your septic tank’s leach lines.