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How to Find the Leach Field

Tracy Morris

A leach field is the area of land that a septic tank empties into for processing waste water prior to returning it to the natural water table in the earth. Leach fields are also called drain fields or seepage fields. For a leach field to work efficiently, it is important that it is not interrupted.

The grass over a leach field will be greener than the surrounding grass.

Always know where your leach field is located and avoid major building projects or landscaping with deep-rooted plants over a leach field. Leach fields provide several clues that can help you find them.

  1. Follow the drain pipe from your home to your septic tank. If the line and tank are buried, probe into the ground for them with a rod made from rebar. A septic tank may also be marked by a rectangular depression or raised area, pipes, survey stakes or an electrical box.

  2. Observe the area downhill from the septic tank. Leach fields use gravity to pull water downhill. If the grass seems greener or the vegetation seems more vigorous downhill from your septic tank, you have spotted the leach field. If the buried pipes in your leach field are broken, the ground may be soggy or smell like septic odors.

  3. Look for a leach field on a day when snow covers the ground. Snow will often melt over a leach field line faster than it will over the surrounding ground.

  4. Probe the ground with your rebar rod to locate the leach field pipe and follow the end of the septic tank to the leach field.