How to Install an Above Ground Drain Field

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Septic tanks need drain fields to break down wastewater within soil.
Septic tanks need drain fields to break down wastewater within soil. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

For homeowners who live in rural areas or suburban neighborhoods not equipped with municipality water and waste water facilities, they must have septic tanks and drain fields installed on their properties. Septic systems allow for wastewater from kitchen and toilet drains to collect in large underground containers. Solid wastes settle into the bottom of the tank until it becomes time to pump it out. Wastewater flows through pipes at the top of the tank leading into above ground drain fields, such as a mound drain field, where the wastewater is naturally broken down into the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe
  • Distribution box
  • Distribution piping
  • Moldboard plow blade
  • ASTM C-33 concrete sand
  • Filter fabric

Install a 2-inch Schedule 40 PVC pipe from the septic tank system. Run the pipes toward the drain field distribution box where distribution pipes lead into the place where your drain field mound will be set up.

Plough the ground for your mound area. Use a moldboard plow blade to turn up the soil. Run the piping up from the ground high enough to avoid areas where a high ground water tables may be an issue. Pile the ASTM C-33 concrete sand around the piping in a gentle slope. The size of the mound will depend upon how large of an area is available, the type of soil in case the property is interspersed with bedrock or shale and the number of people in the house using the septic tank system.

Place drain field gravel on the mound along the top. Lay filter fabric over the drain field gravel to keep dirt from the gravel. Pile fine soil over the entire mound at about 9- inches in depth to finish the mound drain field.

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