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  1. #1
    Gold Member Pushing_Tin's Avatar
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    JD 3320

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

    I am wondering if it is okay to add dirt on the top of a septic drainfield. There are low areas in the field that can pond water during the rainy season and I'd like to fill these areas in. I know to keep heavy equipment off of the lines, but is there any other reason not to do that?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    That would depend on the drain field, the drain tile, the soil, the depth, and prolly several other things.
    Standing water on a drain field intuitively sounds like a bad thing. Draining the water away from the field seems like a good idea.

  3. #3
    Super Member clemsonfor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    My only thought is that it would interfere with the suns heat from evaporating some of the moisture? Water standing sounds like a normal if you have received a lot of rain. After all water comes out of your tank and its coming out of the sky.
    YM2000. MF dirt scoop,4' Jbar bushhog,boompole, LMC 12-16 disk harrow, 4' Atlas boxblade (with rippers). 1980 chevy K10,1990 ford ranger 2wd (285K miles),1997 saturn SL2 (twin cam!!),2001Toyota Higlander
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  4. #4
    New Member poncho62's Avatar
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    Hanover, Ont, Canada
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    Ford LGTs

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

    I wouldnt see a problem filling in those low spots....the waste disperses downwards once it leaves the system...you dont want it coming to the surface....The concern I would have is what equipment you are going to use.....Is it to heavy and would damage the tank or runners.

  5. #5
    Gold Member Pushing_Tin's Avatar
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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 poncho62 View Post
    I wouldnt see a problem filling in those low spots....the waste disperses downwards once it leaves the system...you dont want it coming to the surface....The concern I would have is what equipment you are going to use.....Is it to heavy and would damage the tank or runners.
    I would use my 2320 once it dries out enough.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    Do you know how the drainfield is constructed?

    Mine is 3' down in sand. I have no restrictions on driving over it. In fact, have my firewood stacked between the three runs (see pic). This drain field is 200' from the septic tank.

    Some around here have to have what is called a "mound" system (their land won't perk), and the drainfield is constructed above ground in a mound. Their recommendations is no equipment on them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -firewood_18_pallets_ff-jpg  

  7. #7
    Elite Member Mousefield's Avatar
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    Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, BC. Canada
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    2008 CK35 HST

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

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Do you know how the drainfield is constructed?

    Mine is 3' down in sand. I have no restrictions on driving over it. In fact, have my firewood stacked between the three runs (see pic). This drain field is 200' from the septic tank.

    Some around here have to have what is called a "mound" system (their land won't perk), and the drainfield is constructed above ground in a mound. Their recommendations is no equipment on them.
    It's called a pressure system up our way, it is what I have. Pumps up into the field. Special sand about 3ft above the rest of the ground. Had to put it in due to regulations, clay ground plus close to the creek. Cost lots of $.
    I do use my ride on lawn tractor to mow it but nothing heavier as it would probably cush the field. Was told not to drive on it with anything heavy or to let trees grow on it.

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

    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.
    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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  9. #9
    Veteran Member General Lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it okay to add dirt to the top of a septic drainfield?

    Drain fields are usually ok to drive over with avergae equipment such as vehicles, tractors, etc. I'd be nervous having something as heavy as a concrete truck drive over them. Now your tank is a different story. I wouldn't put anything other than a riding mower or compact tractor over it.
    Kubota L4400 - Land pride rear scraper blade, 6 foot landscape rake, 72'' Frontier Box Blade, Land Pride 60'' finish mower, Land Pride Q/A pallet forks, County Line Carryall built to haul and loaded R-1's
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  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Thornburg, VA
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    JD2305

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

    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...

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