Never Drive – or Build – On a Drainfield

 In Septic Knowledge Center

It is never a good idea to drive, or build, over any part of a septic system, including the drainfield. Below we will explain some of the reasons why.

Septic tanks, distribution boxes and drainfields (a.k.a. leach fields) are buried just under the surface of the ground, which makes them easily damaged by driving vehicles, or operating heavy equipment over them.

Driving over a drainfield can cause the drainage pipes to crack, and create leaks throughout the system. Leaks can cause the soil to collapse around the pipes, and cracks in the pipes will allow roots to invade the system – which can cause extensive damage.

Some damage will be immediately obvious, while others won’t be noticeable until the problem grows much bigger, which will then require costly repairs.

Damage from driving over your septic system may also include:

  • Soil compaction in the drainfield
  • Crushed leach field pipes
  • Broken supply lines
  • Collapse of the septic tank

As a homeowner, it’s important to know where all the components of your septic system are located – and avoid driving, or parking, anywhere near the system.

Since anything larger than a lawnmower can cause serious damage, you should never operate cars, trucks or heavy equipment over any part of the septic system.

BUILDING OVER SEPTIC TANKS OR DRAINFIELDS

It is never recommended to build any kind of structure over your drainfield. Here are some reasons why:

  • Homeowners will often build a deck, patio, driveway or home addition without taking into consideration the location of their septic system, including the drainfield.
  • You do not want to not build over – or cover up – your drainfield, as it needs to be exposed to operate properly.
  • You will need to have access to it for future maintenance or repairs – that won’t be possible if there is a patio or shed built over it.

 

Building over a drainfield can also cause issues with the system, including:

  • Cause lines to collapse
  • Compact the soil, so it does not allow for proper percolation
  • If a structure is built over a drainfield, it can restrict the oxygen flow into the soil and limit the evapotranspiration process.
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