Septic tank maintenance

How French drains can help your lateral lines

This article will cover how French drains can help your lateral lines. The most common problem in many properties these days is excess water. This is mostly brought upon by heavy rains that can be very unpredictable. Because of this, you can never tell when the run off would be too excessive that it would cause flooding around your house or in your basement. When this happens, the clock starts to tick for your house. Excess water that stagnates for prolonged period in these areas of your home subject its foundations to early stages of rot or deterioration. This is bad news especially if this has been happening for quite a while. If you inherited such a water problem from the previous owner, then you would have to do the necessary steps to strengthen your home. One of the best ways to do this is to waterproof your house. Doing this doesn’t involve wrapping your home with airtight plastic. All you need to do is build a French drain.

This structure can also be used in helping your septic system, particularly your lateral lines. As you know, your septic system is prone to water overload. Your septic tank is designed to cater to a certain amount of wastewater or water in general. However, due to the excessive use of water in the home and heavy rainfall, the water load exceeds the tank’s capacity. This brings forth wastewater backups, overflows, and flooding. The overflow of untreated wastewater affects the septic’s lateral lines. Lateral lines are the distributors of pre-treated effluent into the drain field so that it can be purified before it is released into the surrounding areas. This presents an opportunity for you to understand how French drains can help your lateral lines. If you build French drains around your lateral lines, the excess wastewater that comes from the septic tank will not saturate the lines anymore. Instead, it will go directly into the French drain to be filtered. The aggregates help filter the wastewater. The anaerobic bacteria that spill into the French drain continue their work in degrading the solid waste particles in the wastewater. When the effluent reaches the layer of slime in the French drain’s durable media, more solid wastes will be degraded. The effluent is then dispersed into the drain field where latent bacteria will purify it. By the time the cleaned effluent reaches the water table, it is already potable and ready for reuse.

French drains can be constructed according to their primary use:

  • The collector drain  and the interceptor drain

This is responsible for collecting groundwater, intercepted by run-off or surface water. It can be connected to the underground pipes directly to make the water diversion faster. It needs to have a filter that can be cleaned regularly. This is to prevent debris from the surface from clogging the area underground.

  • The filter drain

This French drain takes care of the groundwater.

  • Find the drain

This system makes use of a perforated pipeline that has a fin or a section vertical to the pipe. It’s about 7.9 inches or 200 millimeters long. This is much more inexpensive to construct that a conventional French drain.

  • The dispersal drain

The French drain that disperses the wastewater from your septic tank.

You can have your French drain built with 2 to 3 drainage pipes. Multiple pipes can help support each other’s functions in case one of the pipes becomes clogged.

A well-built French drain is powered by gravity. It gradually diverts the excess amounts of water away from the house foundations or the septic towards areas that need water or where water can be recycled for reuse. It can drain into a dry well where the water can be treated so that it can provide water to the lawn or to the toilets for flushing. If the water system of your city becomes inaccessible, the accumulated water in dry wells can be reused. Make sure you talk to your septic expert about where to drain your French drain so that it can help make your property more sustainable.

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