Protect Your Drainfield
While the drainfield does not require maintenance, a few precautions will help ensure proper functioning and a long service life. Remember that extra water and compaction will reduce the ability of wastewater to percolate or flow through the soil, preventing the drainfield from treating wastewater properly.
Follow these tips to protect the drainfield:
- Do not connect "clear water" wastes, such as footing drains, roof drains, water softening discharges, or dehumidifiers to the septic system.
- Divert water from roofs, down spouts, or any other surface water runoff away from the area of the septic tank or drainfield.
- Do not add large amounts of water to the drainfield area by using underground sprinklers. Use a manually operated sprinkler only if it is necessary to maintain the grass cover over the drainfield.
- Fix all leaking toilets and plumbing fixtures immediately. A constant small flow to the system will significantly shorten its life.
- Do not drive vehicles or heavy equipment over the drainfield.
- Do not site dog kennels or other animal confinement units over the drainfield.
- Do not construct driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, patios or buildings over the septic tank or drainfield.
- Maintain all required setback distances when adding buildings or other improvements to the property.
- Do not place additional soil over the drainfield, other than to fill slight depressions. A slight mounding will ensure runoff of surface water.
- Keep rodents and other burrowing animals out of the drainfield area.
- Do not plant trees or other deep-rooted plants on or near the drainfield.
- Do not plant a garden over the drainfield.
- Consider installing and maintaining an effluent filter at the outlet of the septic tank to help prevent solids from flowing into the drainfield.
- When septic systems are installed, a "reserve area" is designated on your property for future use. Know the location of your reserve septic area. Don't compromise its potential future use. Do not put an outbuilding or driveway over this area. Manage it the same as the present drainfield.
- If you aren't sure where your reserve area is located, check our OnBase system, which has previous site plans and well, septic, building inspection, and soil erosion permits. For best results, only enter the street # and click search: www.washtenaw.org/permitrecords