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  1. #11
    Gold Member Pushing_Tin's Avatar
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    Eugene, Oregon
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    JD 3320

    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    Quote Originally Posted by VABlue View Post
    I suspect your field looks similar to mine - some small sags over the lines where the dirt has settled in. If so, you shouldn't need more than 6-12" of dirt, right? That should be fine, and your 2320 with a scoop of dirt shouldn't hurt anything. I run my 2305 over my drain field with a full bucket of dirt and the weight box on the back end - no worries...
    Yeah 6" would be the most I would need. Probably 10 buckets worth would be enough.

  2. #12
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
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    South Puget Sound, WA
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    Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    Since this is an engineered mound system and built entirely of sand, I would use the same sand to "level" the surface. You want the water to shed and for oxygen to get into the aerobic bacteria. CurlyDave has the basics spot on. You would need to add a nasty layer of tight soil like clay to prevent air from making it through the soil though.
    Kioti CK30HST, FEL w/toothbar, 60" RC, 60" BB, PJ 10k trailer. Weekend warrior hauling 50 miles each way.

  3. #13
    Veteran Member magicheater's Avatar
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    central Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyDave View Post
    My belief is that the septic drain field must be aerobic, i.e., enough oxygen from the air for oxygen breathing bacteria to work on the waste.
    The tank itself is anerobic, and contains a different type of bacteria.
    If you add very much dirt you will suffocate the aerobic bacteria in the soil at the level of the discharge pipes and may screw things up.
    How can another 6" or less of dirt suffocate the aerobic bacteria? The dirt has settled from the original level. I have the same thing happening on my fields but am more concerned about the plastic tunnels that were installed being collapsed, more than anything else. Hard to tell unless you dig them up. This is a recently new technology, last 20 years or so. Old technology was perforated drain tile over washed stone. You can definitely see the line where the tunnels were laid.... any thoughts?
    Working to increase the scope of the small tractor experience, one quick attach at a time.

  4. #14
    Gold Member Pushing_Tin's Avatar
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    Eugene, Oregon
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    JD 3320

    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    In the dry months what would be the max weight you'd drive over the drain field?

  5. #15
    Super Member RadarTech's Avatar
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    North Carolina
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    2007 Kubota L3400

    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    good thread folks..

    I was considering the same thing!
    My drain field is lower than the house basement and in some cases it has washed.. Losts of weeds and broken tree limbs as it is too much of an angle to do anything but foot patrol...
    This is a summer/fall project..

    I think I want to plan grass down there and clean it up....

    I appreaciate the thoughts...


    J

  6. #16
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
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    Grants Pass, OR
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    JD TLB 110

    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    Quote Originally Posted by magicheater View Post
    How can another 6" or less of dirt suffocate the aerobic bacteria? The dirt has settled from the original level...
    According to this article Article: Utilizing Soil Tests the aerobic zone of soil is the top 6 or 7 inches. You don't have to read all of the article, the depth of the aerobic zone is in the first sentence.

    If you add even a few inches you can easily take your septic field from aerobic to anaerobic.
    40 Acres on a hill - fantastic view. JD 110 TLB, 4-n-1, 12" bucket, 18" bucket, Addington thumb, rock bucket (doubles as root grapple)

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  7. #17
    Veteran Member
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    Ohio
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    Case DX55, Ford 850

    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    If you add 6" of soil in the settled areas, wouldn't that become the top 6" and be aerobic? If it's a standard drain field, do you want the liquid to be perculating to the top 6" anyway? I thought it was supposed to be soaking into the soil beneath the bed.

  8. #18
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    The waste water is supposed to go down into the soil below. Correct. As the water exits the drain pipe and soaks into the earth the soil becomes dry again when air is allowed to fill the voids. That air comes from above. That air has oxygen to feed the aerobic bugs. If you added a layer of clay or plastic then you wouldn't get oxygen and the field would lose the aerobic bugs to be replaced by anaerobic bugs that don't need oxygen but love the waste. Anaerobic bugs eat much slower and won't be able to keep up so the funk will grow and plug up that receiving soil below. This will eventually cause surfacing waste water or a backup into the house.

    If you add good inorganic soil like sand then you can safely add feet of fill over the drainfield. I have been quoted that 2 feet of soil cover is safe so long as it is good sandy soil with no organics. The kind of soil that water freely flows through. Color will be grey or tan and won't ball up when you get it wet.
    Kioti CK30HST, FEL w/toothbar, 60" RC, 60" BB, PJ 10k trailer. Weekend warrior hauling 50 miles each way.

  9. #19
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    Quote Originally Posted by Highbeam View Post
    Since this is an engineered mound system
    Huh ?
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  10. #20
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    Quote Originally Posted by Highbeam View Post
    The waste water is supposed to go down into the soil below. Correct. As the water exits the drain pipe and soaks into the earth the soil becomes dry again when air is allowed to fill the voids. That air comes from above. That air has oxygen to feed the aerobic bugs. If you added a layer of clay or plastic then you wouldn't get oxygen and the field would lose the aerobic bugs to be replaced by anaerobic bugs that don't need oxygen but love the waste. Anaerobic bugs eat much slower and won't be able to keep up so the funk will grow and plug up that receiving soil below. This will eventually cause surfacing waste water or a backup into the house.

    If you add good inorganic soil like sand then you can safely add feet of fill over the drainfield. I have been quoted that 2 feet of soil cover is safe so long as it is good sandy soil with no organics. The kind of soil that water freely flows through. Color will be grey or tan and won't ball up when you get it wet.
    It sounds like you are talking about a mound system. I thought the OP had a traditional drain field.

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