Can You Have A Septic Tank Without A Leach Field?

Can You Have A Septic Tank Without A Leach Field


Are you living in places without a standard sewage system? You will know about a septic system. Your septic tank system is an on-site structure that helps you treat and break down all liquid and solid waste in your compound. One issue with the septic system is that it takes a lot of space.

Can You Install A Septic Tank Without A Leach Field?

You can install your septic tank system without a leach field. If you don’t have a space to install the leach field, your home or land is close to a sensitive water body, or probably your intending land fails the percolation test. If this is you, you will need an alternative to a typical septic system.

You will have to consider installing a recirculating sand filter or evapotranspiration system; They are expensive to set up and as effective as the conventional septic system for waste treatment. Do you have more questions concerning this? You will find answers to these questions and more below.

Circumstances When You Can Have A Septic Tank Without A Leach Field

Under normal circumstances, you should install a leach field with your septic tank. However, if you have an old septic system and don’t have a space in your compound to accommodate a leach field, you may not need a leach field. Other reasons are;

  1. Your Intended Field Cant Absorb Wastewater

    As mentioned earlier, your leach field breaks down the wastewater by making it seep into the soil. Inside the soil, microbes and bacteria will act on the wastewater to carry out other treatments so that the water going into the groundwater system will be clean.
    Before you construct your leach field, carry out a seep test on the soil to check whether the soil can retain and absorb water or not. If your soil did not pass the seep test, it indicates that you should not build a leach field on that soil; if you do, it will lead to flooding.

  2. You Have An Old Type Of Septic System

    If you bought an apartment, farmland, or property built some hundred years ago, you might not be able to locate where the septic tank is, talkless of the leach field. Apartments or lands like this do not use the conventional septic system for water treatment; thus, you would not have a leach field. The wastewater flows from the tank into a nearby dam, stream, or river.

  3. Some Types Of Septic Systems Do Not Need A Leach Field

    Some septic systems do not require a leach field to function correctly. This kind of septic system will disperse water effectively without a leach field. You won’t need a leach field if you have this septic system.

  4. There Is No Space For The Leach Field

    This is an issue that rarely occurs. Some regulations guide installing a septic system, and these regulations clearly state the minimum plot of land that you need to build a septic system. If you plan to build a septic system without a leach field because you don’t have much space, you break the law.

  5. If Your Intended Field Has A hollow Water Table

    If you want to build a septic system with a low water table, the system can work without a leach field. When wastewater flows from your pipe into the soil, microbes and bacteria need significant space and time to treat the water effectively. If the water table of your soil is too close to the surface, then the condition will not be ideal for the microbes and bacteria to treat the wastewater completely.

  6. There Is A Water Body Close To Your Home

    If your land or home has a water body that is liable to water pollution, you don’t need to install a leach field. The wastewater from the leach field will most likely mix with the water body before microbes and bacteria treat it thoroughly; this will affect the water body negatively.

How Does A Septic Tank Leach Field Work?

Your septic tank leach field is one of the essential components of your septic system. It’s an underground waste treatment structure that consists of lines and pipes. Sand and gravel cover these pipes, and you will find small holes by the sides and bottoms of the pipes. The wastewater will pass through the lines, and the holes will ensure that it percolates into the sand or nearby soil.

The non-liquid waste will remain inside the septic tank, while bacteria and microbes will treat and purify the wastewater.

Common Septic Tank Leach Field Issues

When you notice an issue on your septic tank, there is every possibility that the problem is coming from your leach field. Solid waste or wastewater can compile at the bottom of the leach field, and this will prevent adequate drainage. There are several reasons for this, and they can include;

  • You are flushing substances such as paints, grease, and complex chemicals.
  • Your pipes are old or rusty.
  • Installers mistakenly damaged the top layer of the leach field during construction.
  • The pipes are not functioning well because of plant roots.
  • The quantity of wastewater is more than the capacity the system can handle. 

Types Of Septic Tanks Without A Leach Field

  1. The Evapotranspiration System

    This kind of septic system has a leach field, but it’s different from the ordinary leach field. The evapotranspiration septic system’s leach field has a layout that comes with waterproof materials. The wastewater coming from the tank will not get into the soil but instead evaporates into the atmosphere. This kind of septic system functions effectively in an environment with enough heat and an arid atmosphere to absorb the wastewater.

  2. The Circulating Sand Filter System

    This kind of septic system has a sealed chamber inside which you use sand to separate effluent. You can build this underground or above the ground. The wastewater coming from your land flows into the septic tank, and the pump chamber will direct it into the sand sieve. The sand sieve contains a concrete or PVC chamber filled with sand.
    The wastewater from the pumping section will flow into the filter from the top; then, a force will direct the effluent from the pipes down the sand. The wastewater then goes through a final treatment in the sand before it flows into a water body close by.

How Does The Septic System Work?

A septic tank is an underground system that uses chemical and natural processes to break down and treat wastewater in your house. A typical septic system will have a septic tank, leach field, and several pipes that control how the wastewater flows in and out of the system.

Before deciding whether or not to install a leach field with your septic tank, the first thing you need to understand Is how the septic tank system works. Its primary function is to treat and return wastewater to the water cycle. Everything that flows into your septic tank will become wastewater and flows into the leach field through the tank.

Every substance you flush down your toilet, bathroom, washing machine, or bathtub is sludge, scum, or liquid wastewater. Once those substances get into the tank, bacterias break them down, and the pretreated wastewater will flow through the pipes into the soil. The soil will filter, absorb, and treat wastewater until it percolates to groundwater.

The soil will remove bacteria and viruses from the wastewater.

Parts Of The Septic System

  1. Septic Tank

    The septic tank can be rectangular or cylindrical; it must be large and made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. You will bury it under the ground on your land. You must install a septic tank if you don’t link your home to a sewage system.

  2. Pump Tanks

    Pump tanks are not an essential part of your septic system, but they are helpful for the effective operation and maintenance of the system. Your pump tank contains the effluents pump that makes sure that any solid substance does not escape into the leach field.
    The pump tank also has the control floats that monitor when to turn on or off the pump and, lastly, the high-water alarm that functions whenever the pump fails to signal high volume in the septic tank.

  3. Leach Field

    The leach field is a part of your septic system where the effluents from the septic tank flow into. It contains drain pipes, stones, and a layer of unsaturated soil. The leach field is responsible for waste distribution into the soil, which will later flow back to the water table.

Do All Septic Tanks Have Leach Fields? 

The answer to this question is in two ways, depending on the circumstances. Some states specifically clarify that you can’t build a septic system without a leach field; in some states, all septic tanks must have a leach field. Also, you will have to pump and empty your septic tank frequently without a leach field, implying that you spend more.

If you don’t want to spend more on your septic tank maintenance, you must install a leach field with the tank. Contrary to what’s above, there are situations when you can have a septic tank without a leach field. In cases like this, you will pump all the liquid that should go to the leach field to the nearby sewage system for treatment and dispersal.

Also, when your septic tank does not have a leach field, you can treat the liquid and then pump it into a shallow evaporation pond or sprinkle it on the area to dry.


Installing a septic tank on your land is very important for effective waste treatment, so is installing it with a leach field. However, whether or not to install a leach field with your septic system is a decision you will have to make. You will have to weigh every option, as several factors determine which kind of leach system to install and whether or not it will require installing a leach field. If you can’t do it alone, you can invite experts to guide you through.

Scroll to Top