What is a Leachfield Chamber?
A leach-field chamber also called a septic drain field, is a subsurface wastewater treatment system that uses chambers to receive the wastewater from the septic tank and remove impurities and contaminants from the remaining liquid (called effluent).
While the solids from the original starting point (house, building, etc.), go to the bottom of the septic tank, the effluent is then transferred to the leaching chamber and travels through gravel or starts to get absorbed into sand, with native soil being the final journey point.
What are the Main Functions of
Leaching chambers have two functions: distribution and disposal.
As leaching chambers are distributing and disposing effluent from the septic tanks, they are also ensuring its purification through sand or flows through gravel (gravel does not treat effluent) and then the soil in order to remove certain pollutants, including:
- Organic materials
- Inorganic materials
- Nitrogen compounds
Also, a gravelless system treats effluent to a higher level than a system with gravel and is better for the environment.
Types of Leach Field Chambers
There are two types of leach field chambers: concrete and plastic.
Before installing a leach field chamber, it’s crucial to understand the different materials and their various functions. Looking at the singular price of one material is not the answer, as these materials operate in a completely different way and will eventually determine the longevity and overall maintenance of your septic drain field.
Let’s take a look at these two materials in-depth to determine which will be right for your project.
Concrete Leaching Chambers
Cement has always been a solid option for a leachfield chamber installation and is usually the go-to material due to its significant resistance to damage by shifting or heavyweight. It’s an incredibly durable option that will, overall, leave a much smaller environmental footprint than plastic.
Initially, concrete will be more expensive than plastic, but will overall be a more cost-effective when the longevity is taken into account.
Concrete tanks are also immune to floating and are incredibly resilient for homeowners with changing soil conditions or excessive tree roots. If properly maintained, concrete leach field chambers can last up to 40 years.
Plastic Leaching Chambers
Plastic chambers might be less expensive in the short term but are not as durable as concrete and will not last as long. They are lightweight and may have problems with installation with cracking or holes from installation.
Plastic leaching chambers are significantly more sensitive to environmental changes which can cause issues through the years with soil changes, tree roots, large vehicle disturbances, and other various changes.
Unlike concrete leach field chambers, plastic leaching chambers are also not approved for use in all 50 states, which will be determined by your engineer or contractor upon development.
What to ask When Choosing a leach Field Chamber
Q: How large will my septic system be?
A: How large your septic system will be is entirely dependent upon the system’s design, the type of soil, and environmental factors that will affect the longevity of the septic system.
To speak to one of GoodFlow’s knowledgeable septic experts, contact us today.
Q: How long do I want my septic system to last?
A: An ideal septic system that is properly taken care of can last for up to 40 years with minimal maintenance. For longevity, we also recommend going with a concrete septic system.
Q: Do I want to put it underneath a driveway or do I just want to keep it in an open field? If in an open field, do I want it to withstand a car or a truck driving over it?
A: Where you decide to put your septic system will depend on the size of the footprint and other factors including leaving space for an addition to a house or adding a pool. Though some plastic chambers are H-20 rated a concrete chamber is safer for installation under a driveway or patio.
While a plastic leach field chamber is fine for shorter periods of time, it can’t measure up to the durability of concrete, which is why this material is recommended. You always want your septic system to withstand vehicles, machinery, and heavy objects.
Q: What chamber will be most durable and the least likely to fail?
A: Concrete chambers are the most durable and failproof option.
To discuss what leach field chamber is best for your project call a leach field engineer in your state. For a list of engineers that are familiar with the GoodFlow Solutions concrete chambers visit this page.
Related Leach Field Chamber Articles:
1. Concrete vs Plastic Leachfield Chambers
2. Can Leachfield Chambers be Repaired?
3. Eljen vs GoodFlow Leachfield Chambers
4. Concrete Septic Leachfield Chamber Case Studies