Your drain field is an essential part of your septic system. Once wastewater travels out of your home and into your septic tank, your tank releases it into the drain field. The drain field is then responsible for filtering the wastewater and releasing it into the ground as clean groundwater. Without a functioning drain field, your groundwater can become contaminated, putting your health and safety at risk, as well as the plants and wildlife in your area. In order to function properly, your drain field needs to be comprised of the proper type of soil.
Types of Soil
Clay soils are not ideal for drain fields because they do not provide enough room for effluents to easily flow through. This density will create drainage issues in your yard and backups in your septic system. Clay soils typically bond to sodium molecules in wastewater, blocking the effluent from draining properly. Over time, this bonding can lead to drain field failure.
Soils made up primarily of gravel or other course materials are too course and will cause the effluent to pass through too quickly. When the effluent passes through at this rate, it will not be filtered at all. This lack of filtration can contaminate your water supply and cause issues in your yard. This unfiltered effluent will cause waste buildup in your yard and toxic smells.
The best type of soil is a happy medium between clay and gravel that is not too dense or too loose. The mixture of the two will allow the soil to filter the effluent while draining properly and keeping the septic process functioning properly. In order to ensure ideal filtration, there needs to be a good balance of course and fine soil.