French Drain

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    • #278881
      Avatar photodavid addison

        We have a french drain for my washing machine, it works good when the water is first going into it then it fills up and spills over, is there something I can put in the hole to clear the blockage up. I think it is blocked from detergent? Thanks.

      • #299507
        Avatar photoJohn Aldrich1

          laurie ruble, that which you refer to as a “French Drain”, is actually a small leach field. French Drains serve a different purpose. The reason the drain field accepts water when the water first starts to go in is because the water fills the voids between the gravel in the leach field. The soil below, and on the sidewalls of the leach field, is clogged with the organic matter (soap, detergent, fabric softeners, and other laundry additives) that are in the wash water. Threads and lint from synthetic fabrics decompose very slowly, if at all, so they accumulate at the soil/gravel interface, and also contribute to the reduction in the percolation rate of the water into the soil.

          I think the solution to your problem is to install a diversion valve in the washing machine drain pipe just before it goes into the leach field, and have another leach field of the same size as the existing field installed. Alternate the flow between the two fields as required. When the in-use field starts to overflow, alternate the flow into the other field. The soil microbes will consume the clogging mat in a short period of time if the resting field is allowed to become unsaturated. I think the microbes will have very little effect on the synthetic fabric fibers and lint, so you may investigate the possibility of installing a filter, which can be periodically cleaned, in the drain pipe. JWA

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