How long do leach fields last?

A common question among rural homeowners is “How long does a septic drain field last?  When you think about it, leach fields should be given a break. They usually fall victim to whatever level of neglect that the septic tank experiences.  Between the two, this component of the septic system should always be regarded as the point of failure because basically, it just takes whatever is given by the septic tank.  It can be fairly said that the leach field is the make or break component of a septic system because once it gets blocked, the entire system suffers and eventually fails. With this, how long do leach fields last?

Every septic tank has a leach field.  This is the part of the system that receives the pre-treated effluent from the septic tank.  The leach field has trenches, lateral lines, and a distribution box that work together to distribute the treated effluent to the surrounding environment.  There are conventional and raised leach fields that are designed and installed along with the septic system.  It should be able to match the size of the septic tank and the household.  The leach field should be covered with only a thin layer of top soil with short grass.  This is to make sure that the sunlight penetrates the soil to help the treated effluent evaporate and increase the number of aerobic bacteria.

The drier the leach field, the better because this would mean that there is no blockage in the leach field.  Don’t even attempt to water the dry grass over the leach field because if you do, you will add more moisture in to the leach field and this will prevent the exiting effluent from getting absorbed.  The effluent will back up into the tank or even overflow onto the property.  The wetness of the leach field will also kill off the aerobic bacteria.  When this happens, the bio-mat will no longer be regulated.  The bio-mat will increase in size

How long do leach fields last? Leach fields are not the same.  They are designed and constructed according to the type of soil and according to the soil percolation rate.  There are raised leach fields that facilitate the effluent’s better absorption and evaporation.  Even if they are made different, their longevity really depends on the proper care given to the entire septic system.  If a septic tank is well-cared for, pumped on schedule, and given monthly treatments, then you can be sure that the leach field will last for 50 years or more.  If the pipes are not installed properly, a leach field could only last for twenty four hours at most.  The average lifespan of a conventional leach field is about twenty years.

The leach field does not only receive what effluent comes out of the septic tank but also the tortures of the environment it’s built in.  The yard could easily bring damage to the leach field if you don’t know what to consider.  The leach field should not be subjected to additional water load brought about by rainwater from the gutter that is directed to fall onto it.  It can also suffer from the damages caused by heavy vehicles that run over it.

Caring for your leach field is the same as caring for your septic tank.  You have to start with the household. Drains, sinks, and toilets should be properly used.  You can do this by not dumping anything and everything into them.  Change your household cleaners to bacteria- and environment-friendly ones so that the resident bacteria in the septic tank and leach field do not get killed off.  Always adhere to the maintenance and treatment scheduled recommended by your septic expert.

A leach field’s life depends on how you care for it, how you use it, the soil’s percolation, and size.  As a homeowner, you should already set a budget for its replacement that could happen any time.  Here’s hoping this provides answers to those in need.