The most commonly used onsite sewage treatment system is the drain field vent pipe. Nearly 30% of Missouri’s housing units use onsite wastewater treatment systems. Most of these systems are septic tank/absorption fields systems. Numerous surveys have found that 70% of these systems, or 150,000, are not working properly. According to the Missouri Ozarks General Soils Map, the risk is particularly high for counties located in these areas. Depending on where you live, 60-99 percent of soils have severe limitations when it comes to absorption field systems.
Contact with sewage poses a grave public health threat. Drinking contaminated water can lead to health problems like diarrhea, nausea, cramps and hepatitis. The exposure to sewer gases can cause illness and discomfort.
What is a Drain Field Vent Field System?
The septic system is made up of three main components: the tank, the distribution device and the absorption field. The septic tank is an enclosed, large, leak-proof, corrosion-resistant container that collects the raw sewage from the home’s plumbing drains. It separates the solids from the raw sewage and is partially digested with anaerobic bacteria (oxygen-lacking).
After the primary treatment in a septic tank, liquid effluent flows through a distribution device. This ensures that the same amount of effluent goes to each pipe in an absorption field. The soil’s subsurface leaching area is the absorption field. It receives liquid effluent from a distribution device and distributes it to a specific area. Additional bacteria action and filtering by the soil remove disease organisms. The effluent is then treated with the appropriate material. Finally, the water is returned to the surface or groundwater source.
The tank must be large enough for raw sewage to be retained and decomposed for at least 48 hours. Solids that have not been digested will either float to top of the tank to form a layer of scum or settle at the bottom as sludge. The tank’s size and the volume of sewage must be determined. Sludge and scum should be removed at least once every two to five years. This will allow bacteria to continue to digest the tank. If not, raw sewage could flow into the tank, and cause it to fail.
Is My Drain Field Vent Pipe Broken?
If your septic system drains slowly or overflows, but the tank is in good condition (solids are separated), then the problem most likely stems from a lack oxygen in the drain field. This does not necessarily indicate that the leach field is failing. Septic drain field drainage can be an economical solution to revive a slow septic system, without having to replace the entire leach field.
The septic system functions in many ways similar to the human digestive process. It collects solid waste from its source and then filters it into a tank. A septic system is similar to a digestive system. It relies on bacteria for the job of breaking down waste.
Many materials are used to make septic tanks, such as reinforced concrete, fiberglass, and metal. There may be up to three compartments in the tank. The most important thing is that the septic tanks must be leak-proof to stop groundwater contamination and prevent groundwater from leaking into the tank.
Composite plastic or fiberglass tanks provide a watertight seal that is almost perfect. These tanks can be more expensive than concrete tanks, and they require more care when installed on areas with rocky fill material.
The most popular reinforced concrete tanks are made using one of three configurations: top-seal (mid-seal), monolithic casting, or top-seal (top-seal). The mid-seal tank can be cast in two identical halves and joined with a sticky, tar-like adhesive mastic sealant. The top-seal portion of the tank is made from one piece with a concrete lid that is secured to the top with mastic sealing. Monolithic cast tanks are factory-formed as a single unit. This makes them more cost-effective, but less watertight than the other types.