Many rural homes and some more suburban homes are on private septic systems instead of a municipal sewer. This means you will have both a septic tank and a drainfield. The drainfield can be especially difficult for new homeowners that aren't accustomed to how septic works, simply because it is easy to make a mistake that has major repercussions. The following are five major dangers to your drainfield and how to avoid them.
Drainfields require loose soil that allows water to percolate through, since this is how it helps to purify the moisture coming out of the septic system. This means you cannot drive or park on the drainfield, since the weight of vehicles and equipment can compact the soil and ruin the field. Consider blocking it off with a fence or a row of large rocks to discourage vehicles from taking a shortcut across the field.
#2: Deep roots
The drainfield isn't the spot for your orchard. Anything with deep roots can compact the soil and damage the drainfield. Instead, opt for shallow rooted grasses or annuals. Also, avoid planting anything edible, since it could be tainted by the septic waters that are irrigating the area.
Drainfields generally don't need much irrigation to keep the grass green, since water is bubbling up from below. In fact, too much water from above can flood the field and back up your septic system. Make sure that water doesn't run into the field during rainstorms, either. Drainage from the house and nearby landscape areas should be routed away from the drainfield.
#4: Building woes
Much like mechanical damage listed above, a structure on the drainfield can also compact the soil. Plus, you probably don't want your children's playset or your garden shed placed in the same spot that is working to purify your sewage. Site outbuildings and other structures well away from the drainfield so there is no danger of damage.
A wide expanse of open grass may be a tempting spot to graze your horse or other livestock. Not only is there the concern with sewage and illness, heavy animals can also cause damage to the drainfield. If you do have livestock, it's vitally important that you put a sturdy fence around the drainfield since the lush grass can attract an escaped animal to graze. Even a single heavy cow can do a lot of damage to the field if left unchecked.
For more help, contact a drainfield specialist like Clogbusters in your area.