Drainage Fields

What are septic tank drainage fields?

Septic tank drainage fields are an integral part of a septic system. Often incorrectly called soakaways, a drainage field is much more than just a soakaway. A drainage field is a specifically designed arrangement of perforated pipework, laid in trenches to allow the effluent to filter into the ground. They are designed to ensure aerobic contact between effluent and the subsoil. Drainage fields need to be designed to individual requirements taking into consideration ground conditions, flows, property boundaries and many more factors.

A drainage field  has two principal purposes:

1. To allow infiltration of treated / partially treated effluent into the ground at a controlled rate.

2. To allow further treatment of partially treated effluent before it reaches the groundwater level.

The phrase soakaway is often, wrongly, used in relation to septic tank and sewage treatment plant discharges to ground:

  • A soakaway is used for surface water (rainwater from roofs, paved areas etc)
  • A soakaway is typically a hole or structure filled with rubble / drainage crates)

Septic tanks can ONLY discharge to ground via a drainage field. Septic tanks that discharge to watercourses are illegal and are in breach of environmental law and will eventually leave operators liable to large fines due to the pollution of surface water.

Sewage treatment plants can either discharge to drainage fields OR to a surface watercourse / ditch dependant on flows and other factors

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Drainage Fields Maintenance

As with septic tanks, Drainage Fields only work so long as you keep them well-maintained. Over time, wear and tear can set in, and other factors can also contribute to the system becoming damaged or not working as efficiently as before. Fortunately, Dorset Drainage Services have the skills and experience necessary to restore any rainwater water harvesting system to full working order.

Our maintenance team will clean the system removing any deposits or debris that may potentially cause blockages or contaminations. We will also carefully spot for any signs of damage that could lead to water escaping into the surrounding soil. Our maintenance visits can be carried out as and when required, so if you require Drainage Fields maintenance in Dorset, give us a call now.