Ruined Leach Fields And Explosions: 2 Good Reasons To Not Drive On Your Lawn If You Have A Septic Tank

26 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Share

Do you live in the country and rely on a septic system to remove the waste water from your home? If so, and if you also drive or park on your lawn, you could be setting your plumbing up for disaster. Read on to learn 2 septic tank-related consequences of driving or parking on your lawn.

Ruined Leach Fields

When liquid waste exits your septic tank, it is pumped to the leach field where it gradually percolates through the pores between the soil particles. As the waste water filters through the leach field, its temperature changes and it undergoes chemical changes that make it difficult to support bacterial or viral growth. 

When you drive over or park on your leach field, however, you compress the soil in it. Since compressing the soil lessens the porosity of it, the waste water entering your leach field will trickle through it more slowly and harmful bacteria and viruses within the waste water will survive longer than they would in a non-compressed leach field. If the soil in your leach field is compressed too much, your leach field's effectiveness can be destroyed, resulting in the risk of toxic waste water mixing in with surface or groundwater. If this happens, your health and the health of anybody living near you is at risk. 

Explosions

There are millions of microorganisms living within your septic tank. These organisms, through the process of anaerobic digestion, release gasses as they break down the solid waste in your septic system. One of the gasses released during the process is methane, and methane is highly flammable and ignitable. 

By driving a vehicle or any other type of heavy equipment on your lawn, you run the risk of crushing or damaging your septic tank or the outlet pipes that filter liquid waste to your leach field. With your tank or pipes damaged, methane can leak into the environment (it's lighter than air, so it will always rise). And if a methane leak happens to come in contact with a fire source, such as a lit cigarette or campfire, an explosion can occur.

It's recommended that anybody with a residential septic system not drive or park their vehicle on or within the general vicinity of their septic system. If you must drive on your lawn for some reason, play it safe by having your septic system inspected by a plumber, like those at Garabedian Plumbing & Heating Inc, as soon as possible after doing so.