Secrets of Septic Tanks with Leach Trenches

What is a Trench Leach Field Septic System?

Septic leach trenches for disposal of septic tank effluent are 1 to 3 feet wide trenches that have up to 4 feet of aggregate rock with a perforated pipe installed down the middle of the trench on the top of the rock.  The pipe is connected to the distribution box and the septic tank outlet pipe.  Typically the aggregate rock filling the trench has a diameter of ¾ to 2-inches and has been washed to remove fines.  The water leaving the septic tank drains to the perforated pipe in the trench where it leaks out the holes.  It then is absorbed in the soil at the bottom and on the sides of the leach trench.  Treatment of the septic tank effluent water also occurs in the soil as microbes grow and use the organics and nutrients.  Physical filtering of the water also occurs in the soil.

Where can they be used?

In Arizona the state rules allow a leach trench system to be used after a septic tank when the site and soil do not have any limiting conditions.  There must be

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The Importance of a Septic system

Living a rural lifestyle has its benefits for those who wish to avoid the busy atmosphere of the city. It also means that certain services aren’t available such as access to a public sewer system. In some city areas, sewer is not available due to the cost or geographic hurdles like rocky ground or hilly terrain. For these situations a septic system with septic tank is used. Regular maintenance is a good idea for keeping the tank and the rest of the system in good working order.

If you currently own or are looking at buying a house with a septic system, you may be wondering, “Why septic tank servicing so important?” As the tank accepts waste water, oil, fat, solids, and scum accumulate in the tank. Failing to have it pumped every 3-5 years can lead to a clogged tank and filter eventually causing failure of the disposal system.

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Conventional Septic Systems in Arizona

Arizona Conventional Septic Systems

In conventional septic systems the water flows by gravity from the house to the septic tank then to the disposal system.  The disposal system is installed in soil where the water is treated by bacteria and other microbes along with physical filtering by the soil.

A conventional septic system is installed where there are no limiting conditions at the site or in the subsurface.  Conventional septic systems rely on the soil to provide treatment in addition to the septic tank.

In Arizona, there are four types of conventional septic disposal systems allowed under the state rules (A.A.C. R18-9-E302).

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