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frozen drain fields

ColinColin Member Posts: 50

Sounds like your drain field may be to shallow but SD law states the maximum ditch depth to be 4’ with a foot of rock for a base, then pipe, more rock, straw, hay, or landscape fabric, then a covering of dirt.

If your drain Field consists of the new gravel-less pipe then the above rules are altered and the manufacture’s don’t usually recommend the pipe be placed any deeper than 2’ below the surface to the top of the pipe and that the pipe be installed level.

Was a percolation test done to determine how well water moves in your soil? This is done to determine how many feet of drain field are needed.

As others have stated you may have to add more dirt in the spring. For now I’m sorry to say you may have to pump the septic tank periodically and limit water usage.

Where about are you located in this great state? If I can answer any questions for you; Email me and I'll get you my phone #.

Colin Wunder
Howard Heating & Plumbing Inc.
Howard SD 57349


  • Scott BeckstromScott Beckstrom Member Posts: 4
    frozen drain fields

    I have a question for you I live in south dakota and my drain field has frozen up. We just bought the house and the previous owner had put in a lift station and new drain field since they finished off the basement now in the winter it froze. it goes from the house to the septic to the lift station to the drain field. the septic cleaning people say the start of the pipe is only 8 inches under ground and doesnt slope much. my question is how to fix it ? too add more dirt on top in the spring or a different also turns out I now learned it has a high water table so they couldnt go too deep.I now know I should of done more research on this system but the information I had from the sellers said the system would be ok any information you could give would be greatly appreaciated
    thank you for your time
  • Gary FeredayGary Fereday Member Posts: 427
    drain field frozen ?

    You might try placing some windrows of coal upon the frozen area and set fire to it! Just a thought!
  • EricEric Member Posts: 95

    In alaska mound systems are common. Put more dirt.
  • DavelDavel Member Posts: 7
    Frozen Drain Field

  • DavelDavel Member Posts: 7
    Frozen Drain Field

    Bigugh is right I have used one1/2 of a 36" steel culvert pipe and a propane heater to thaw the ground. then in the spring add more dirt
  • Scott BeckstromScott Beckstrom Member Posts: 4
    thank you for advice

    > Bigugh is right I have used one1/2 of a 36"

    > steel culvert pipe and a propane heater to thaw

    > the ground. then in the spring add more dirt

  • Scott BeckstromScott Beckstrom Member Posts: 4
    thank you for the advice

    Just wanted to say thank you for the help I'm glad [email protected] (Katie Rotella) told me about this site I'll come back here often.I didn't know there were so many different things to learn here Thanks again.
  • JackchipsJackchips Member Posts: 344
    What was,

    or is, the outcome, Scott?
  • Scott BeckstromScott Beckstrom Member Posts: 4
    All froze up and waiting for spring.

    We live a few miles away from the Tea south dakota area.
    We had a septic truck come out and pump it on the 28 of January he thought the ball valve in the lift station was froze so after he was done I took the pump apart from the pipe and leaned it to the inside of the lift station plugged it in for a second and the flow was good no restrictions from the pump to the end of the valve so I am kinda guessing the field is frozen I hooked it all back up the pipe sounds hollow when I tap on any part that is inside the lift station and going to the elbow that sends it out to the field.The ground is sunken down about 3 inches the whole outline of the path of the drain field. The realtor is getting back to me on the installer of the system so Im kinda just seeing what direction to head in your advice is helping me greatly. I appreaciate everyones help. The best thing is knowing it can be fixed and that it isn't to messed up that I have to replace it.(I hope) Thanks again
  • mp1969mp1969 Member Posts: 226
    Frozen drain fields

    My dad used to steam out drain fields as long as he could geta hose into the pipe. We had an oil fired boiler on the back of his truck and since we lived in northern Wisconsin we had plenty of calls to do this each winter.
    The ice pulled the hose as ir melted it and we almost always were able to unthaw them>

    Good luck!

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  • MikeMike Member Posts: 68
    The Grave Digger has a trick

    The local grave digger has trick. He takes a metal box the size of the grave and about a foot high. Lays charcoal about 3-4 inches deep over the area, lights it, and covers it with this metal box. Goes back the next day and digs the grave, no frost. Says it doesen't matter how deep the frost is, it always thaws..
  • JackchipsJackchips Member Posts: 344
    Should we

    turn you into CSI-TheWall, Mike?
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