Wet drain field

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    • #278792
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      This morning on the way out I noticed water on the top of the snow, I see the water is coming from my septic leach field. It is deep into the leach field because it is about 75ft. below the septic tank. What is the remedy for this. I have two fields should I just swith the baffle to the other field? Is this serious? The tank was pumped 1 yr ago and is a 1,000 gal. tank family of 4.
      Thanks for your imput.

    • #299310

      Kherman, if you have an alternating leach field system, then the septic tank effluent flow should be alternated annually. The thickness of the biological clogging mat determines the percolation rate of the effluent into the soil below the leach field. The clogging mat thickness is reduced by extended periods of no flow, and unsaturated conditions. When the septic tank effluent is directed to the alternate field, the effluent that has ponded above the clogging mat slowly percolates through the mat and into the soil. If the leach field is vented, then air from the atmosphere will replace the anaerobic water that has been ponded above the clogging mat. The oxygen in the air oxidizes the iron componds that were created in the microbial digestion process in the septic tank, and will then provide for an aerobic environment where aerobic microbes will congregate. The aerobic microbes consume the organic matter that has escaped the septic tank, including the dead bodies of their anaerobic cousins. This process eliminates the clogging mat and “cleanses” the soil below the leach field, and prepares the leach field for the next season of use.

      As to whether or not the situation is “serious”, well it certainly is not in compliance with your local Individual Sewage Disposal System (ISDS) Regulations, and it sounds like the situation can be easily remedied. Just divert the flow into the alternate leach field, and then commit to do this maintenance chore annually.

      I turn the valve on my alternating leach field on the 4th of July. This is the day that I refer to as “SEWAGE INDEPENDENCE DAY”. I celebrate my independence of the sewer grid, and recognized my responsibility to properly operate and maintain my septic system.

      I use the 1/3 rule to determine the frequency of sludge removal from my septic tank. I measure the sludge depth annually on “SEWAGE INDEPENDENCE DAY” with a device called a “Sludge Judge.” When the sludge depth is 1/3 the liquid depth of the tank, then it is time to have the tank pumped. The indigestible solids accumulate in the primary digestion chamber of the tank to the point where they significantly reduce the hydraulic detention time of the sewage in the tank, and this reduction in time for the microbes to consume the organic matter in the sewage negatively impacts the effluent quality being delivered to the leach field. JWA

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