Are they really needed?
Summer is here and it’s time for working in the outdoors and enjoying the beauty of Alaska. For many of us, the beauty in our own backyard is blemished with PVC pipes standing out like a sore thumb in our spacious green lawns. The septic leach field/drain field standpipes in your yard are a necessary part of your septic system and should not be removed or cut below ground level
What purpose do they have?
By regulation, the standpipes must extend at least twelve inches above ground level for inspection for the sale of the property, but if you do not want to see those pipes in your yard here are a couple of ideas that will help locate those pipes when needed:
- Cut the pipe at ground level or slightly above and secure the cap on the pipe so no dirt and debris can collect in the pipe.
- Home improvement stores have metal grates or covers that lay flush with the ground so you can mow over the area or install a steel bar at least 12 inches long beside the septic pipe that can be used to locate the pipe with a metal detection device.
- In the fall place a maker or flagging that can be seen or located in the snow.
How does this affect my property and septic system?
The leach field is where the effluent from your septic tank drains and disperses into the soil. There are several steps that the homeowner can take to protect and lengthen the life and functionality of the leach field. First is to understand that the area under, between and near those standpipes is the actual leach field and should be treated differently than other portions of your yard and landscaping. Second, do not plant trees or shrubs over the area as the roots will grow into the drainage area and possibly move or break the piping system causing the system to fail. In addition, gardens or other plantings that need large amounts of water should not be placed over the area as the additional water will saturate the below ground level, aka grade area, where the leach field is located thus shortening the life of your septic system.
Need inspiration on ways to work around the pipes?
We did some looking around and found some creative ideas on how to disguise your Septic PVC pipes.* Remember not to obstruct easy access to your pipes for repair, maintenance, and testing. Happy Summer!
* ArcTerra is not supporting any particular company with these suggestions. The links provided are for idea purposes only.