Leach Lines

What is a Leach Line?

Leach lines are another form of drainfield. They are constructed using 4″ perforated pipe which lays on a gravel bed 3′ wide. Lines can extend any length up to 100ft. Many times 100 feet of leach line is not enough to support the water usage in a home. In this case, various lines are installed. The lines are then connected together using a Distribution Box which allows the effluent water to be evenly distributed amoungst many lines in one system. When a system has more than one line, the leach lines are refereed to as a leach field. An example of a leach line can be seen here. To maximize the life of a leach lines, it is important to regularly maintain your septic tank. Take a look at a leach line image above. The leach line is connected to the septic tank.

Where are my leach lines?

Since leach lines are connected to the septic tank, they should be in same vicinity of the septic tank. To locate the exact location of the leach lines we use an inline camera and the process is very similar to that of finding a septic tank. Information regarding the location of your septic and leach lines may be available at your city/county.

How do I know if my leach lines are no longer working?

As described on our page tittles Septic Basics the root of most septic problems is related to leach line failure. Many people believe their leach lines are broken, but in reality they simply stop working properly. Leach lines are built to drain excess water from the septic system into the soil. Leach lines are not meant to handle solids because solids clog up the holes in the pipe that drain the water into the gravel.

Indications of a failed leach field are:

  • Waste water drains slowly from the bathroom or kitchen fixtures
  • Sewage is backing up into the home, or puddling on the surface of the ground.
  • If the soil seems “spongy” near the septic tank. This may be caused by water and waste being pushed to ground level.
  • Ponding water
  • Sewage smell outside
  • Sewage smell inside the house after using a lot of water. (showers, laundry)

How to fix a failed leach line?

Once a leach field has been failed, the most effective way to fix the problem is to replace the leach lines in a new area. It is important that when a leach field, or leach line is replaced it is installed in an area away from the existing failed lines. This is important because otherwise, the new leach lines will not work. They will be trying to work in soil that is already saturated with effluent.

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