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  • Irrigation

    Hey everyone,

    I've been lurking around ever since I had my last plumbing issue (which has since been completely repaired...)

    I'm in NC (Triad), lots of clay. What do you all think about a lawn irrigation system that covers a leach field? In general, I would think it's not typically recommended. My issue specifically is: I need to irrigate at least a little in the summer to keep the lawn alive, and have done so previously by hand with sprinklers when getting new grass to grow. This field bakes in the sun all day -- my logic is: adding water to keep the field healthy is better than dry and dead.

    Fallback plan: any issues in crossing the field with irrigation piping? Of course, my field makes up about a third of my lawn...

    Thanks for the advice.

    Brian

  • #2
    Re: Irrigation

    If you zone the sprinkler correctly you can control the amount of water put on each zone independently, put a separate zone over the drain field, and add what you think it needs and water the rest to your desires,
    I would think your lawn sprinkler pipe would only be about 8" to 12" deep for the most part, and if depth is a issue one can run the pipe shallow and use what Toro calls funny pipe to the sprinkler head, http://www.toro.com/sprinklers/pipes/index.html just a very flexible pipe to put heads off the supply lines where one wants them,
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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    • #3
      Re: Irrigation

      I have a septic system..It was installed around 1966 when the house was built.

      My property has its perimeter set up with berms.
      I have irrigation...In the summer time we "flood" the property
      with water via 12" pasture valves. The water is provided for a 3 hour period so we end up with around 6" of water +/- covering the property.

      Irrigation cycles are every two weeks in the summer, once a month in the fall and no water during December through February.

      The water is mostly Colorado river water and sometimes there is an odor with it.

      I have never experienced any challenges with the septic system before, during or after irrigation.

      Cactus Man

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      • #4
        Re: Irrigation

        Originally posted by bhlonewolf View Post
        Hey everyone,

        I've been lurking around ever since I had my last plumbing issue (which has since been completely repaired...)

        I'm in NC (Triad), lots of clay. What do you all think about a lawn irrigation system that covers a leach field? In general, I would think it's not typically recommended. My issue specifically is: I need to irrigate at least a little in the summer to keep the lawn alive, and have done so previously by hand with sprinklers when getting new grass to grow. This field bakes in the sun all day -- my logic is: adding water to keep the field healthy is better than dry and dead.

        Fallback plan: any issues in crossing the field with irrigation piping? Of course, my field makes up about a third of my lawn...

        Thanks for the advice.

        Brian
        For the most part, I usually recommend people keep things away from their system. Let it work and have it's room.

        If you must have an irrigation/sprinkler system, have a septic contractor locate your tank and lines. Then make EVERY effort to keep any part of the sprinkler install (excavation) from touching the lines or tank. Don't cross them with sprinkler lines in the ground either. You can sometimes see where lines go as it will show to be greener. Not always though. And it may not be "greener" all the way to the end of the line.

        So I recommending locating. Pretty simple with a probe.

        Installers with a trencher don't think they'll hit anything. But I will tell you that we've repaired lines after the irrigation, electrical, gas, telephone, cable, dog fence or whatever person has hit them.

        Stay away from them. Allows for repair later. And any GOOD sprinkler person should easily be able to avoid them on the install. (To be fair, I'm not looking at your's though.)

        Good Luck!

        J.C.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Irrigation

          I am pretty certain that NC state plumbing/sanitation code prohibits irrigation systems that spray onto leach fields. The percolation tests do not allow for the additional water.
          You may want to check with the local code board.

          Go
          Practicing at practical wood working

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Irrigation

            Great info-- thanks everyone!

            I'll definitely check out the relevant codes just to see what they say. It's been hot and dry, and where the lines are right now stands out very clearly. Ideally I'd like to avoid it, maybe if we get blessed with a rainy summer the grass can get established enough to survive better.

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            • #7
              Re: Irrigation

              My 2 cents. I imagine Your local septic installers will Have some good input. They deal with
              Field failures and their causes the most !
              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Irrigation

                Check with reputable pumpers as well. No offense to the installers but sometimes the pumpers know more as they see the systems after they've been in use and are having problems. Some installers don't get that opportunity.

                My thoughts are keep any extra water from your drainfield area.
                www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

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                • #9
                  Re: Irrigation

                  Great advice -- I'm not in a particular hurry but when I get this sorted out, I'll update the thread with what I find out...

                  Comment

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