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Thread: Stripes over leach field

  1. #1
    DIY Member littlebrook's Avatar
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    Default Stripes over leach field

    Hi,

    We had our leach field replaced about 3 months ago with new infiltrator chambers after our 43 yr old pipe and gravel system collapsed. I've since re-planted grass seed over the leach field but now I've noticed that I have yellowish-green stripes interspersed with normal green grass over the leach field, corresponding with where I think the lines are located. Is this normal? We have had lots of 80+ F days this summer along with (almost daily) heavy thunderstorms so the lawn has been getting a good amount of water I think. I know that lush bright green grass can be a bad sign but there is no surface effluent and the ground is hard, not mushy.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    In the Trades Master Plumber 101's Avatar
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    I live in a populated area in Wi where Powts is rarely installed if at all. Leech beds are not legal in Wi.
    Last edited by Master Plumber 101; 08-20-2008 at 12:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Hard ground is a good sign. Mushy would be bad.
    The difference in color is quite common.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Didn't someone write a book titled the grass grows greener over the septic tank?

  5. #5
    DIY Member littlebrook's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Yes, I tried to google an answer and all I got was the grass is always greener over the septic. Also most answers I got were to do with lush bright green grass and mushy ground over a failing leach field and nothing about yellow or brown stripes.

    Thanks for the replies

  6. #6
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Erma Bombeck wrote the book.

  7. #7
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    that's It !

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Plumber 101 View Post
    I'm not totally familar with septic systems or leech beds, but if you google it I bet you find your answer.







    What???!!!!!

    If you're a master plumber, and you don't know about private sewage systems,

    What state do you reside in that has a city sewer only systems?


    I know the answer already, it doesn't exist.


    BTW, I follow NPC in KY and we had to know the basic components of how that system worked since the building sewer always connected to such systems where public sewers were not offered.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  9. #9
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebrook View Post
    Hi,

    Yes, I tried to google an answer and all I got was the grass is always greener over the septic. Also most answers I got were to do with lush bright green grass and mushy ground over a failing leach field and nothing about yellow or brown stripes.

    Thanks for the replies


    When the contractor came in, did he do a perc test to determine the amount of minutes it takes for the soil to absorb water?


    Did he scrape an area to put topsoil back in where the leach fields are?

    No topsoil or minimal topsoil cover will cause a great deal of problems. If the ground is turning brown over the chambers.......means for one that the dirt lacks nutrients to keep growth going. Rainfall isn't helping this matter as well.

    Topsoil is key crucial to absorption process in those systems.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  10. #10
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUGGED View Post
    Did he scrape an area to put topsoil back in where the leach fields are?

    No topsoil or minimal topsoil cover will cause a great deal of problems. If the ground is turning brown over the chambers.......means for one that the dirt lacks nutrients to keep growth going. Rainfall isn't helping this matter as well.

    Topsoil is key crucial to absorption process in those systems.
    Yes, it sounds like the area was not properly re-covered with topsoil capable of producing grass. The leach chambers should be providing plenty of water for the grass by way of evaporation, but now you might need to add a little mulch or some nutrients to get grass or whatever thriving again.

    -----

    "Many are called, but few get up!" (Erma Bombeck)

  11. #11
    DIY Member littlebrook's Avatar
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    Hi,

    The contractor who installed the system did a perc test that showed with have very fast absorption rates because we have sandy soil. The perc test was done at a depth of about 12-18 inches I think. However, he ended up installing the infiltrators at a depth of 2 feet due to the need to create proper slopes from the tanks to the D-box and the lines. So the lines should be covered with plenty of topsoil (almost 2 feet).

    Right now, all seems to be working fine and as I mentioned no mushy areas but I was just curious why I would see stripes and if this was a bad sign.

    Thanks for the advice.

  12. #12
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebrook View Post
    ... we have sandy soil ...
    ... the lines should be covered with plenty of topsoil (almost 2 feet).
    Our ground here is also sandy, and part of our yard actually has a nutrient-rich topsoil on top of our sandy soil that does not support grass very well. So, maybe you now need a little "black dirt" where your actual topsoil and sandy ground got all mixed together during excavation if the actual topsoil was not specifically set aside for re-application after the sandy-soil backfilling (covering your chambers) had been completed. Other than that, I do not know of any reason your new leach field would inhibit good grass growth.

  13. #13
    DIY Member littlebrook's Avatar
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    I think you're probably right. When they installed the new lines, they dug deep trenches so the topsoil was only really disturbed in those areas which may explain the stripes. Will probably need to invest in a big delivery of new topsoil to help the grass grow better.

    Thanks for all the advice.

  14. #14
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUGGED View Post
    What???!!!!!

    If you're a master plumber, and you don't know about private sewage systems,

    What state do you reside in that has a city sewer only systems?

    I know the answer already, it doesn't exist.

    BTW, I follow NPC in KY and we had to know the basic components of how that system worked since the building sewer always connected to such systems where public sewers were not offered.
    Apparently the plumbers union in Wisconsin doesn't deem this to be a significant part of what a master plumber should know... Amazing!

    Absolutely Amazing!

    Google This!
    Last edited by Redwood; 08-18-2008 at 07:16 PM.

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