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Improved Wastewater Treatment Courtesy of a Leaching Bed

Improved Wastewater Treatment Courtesy of a Leaching Bed

Exterior renovationsImproved Wastewater Treatment Courtesy of a Leaching Bed

When it comes to a septic system, the tank is usually the one thing that comes to mind. Yet, the leaching field, which is out of sight, out of mind… is nonetheless a vital component of this installation. Its proper functioning is primordial, with regard to you and your family and the surrounding community and environment. 

A leaching bed, or drainage field, is where bacteria and microorganisms found in your septic system will systematically break down waste matter. Should it fail, the entire wastewater treatment system will be affected. 

We’ll explain the functioning of a leaching bed, as well as what your role is in ensuring its proper working order. 


The Functionality of a Septic Drain Field

septic tank drain field

Source: Canva

On average, Canadians use 329 litres of water a day. Yet residents of the province of Quebec use, on average, 400. There’s no need for great mathematical solving to understand that, if a household has several occupants, the septic system will have to treat a significant amount of wastewater daily.

Wastewater will ideally be channelled due to gravity between the septic tank and the pipes. When necessary, it will be directed toward the leaching bed with the use of a pump. Since bacteria require oxygen to treat wastewater, the leaching bed is built in non-water-saturated soil (surface water or phreatic zone), and free of all porous elements (asphalt, concrete, shed, etc.). 


Wastewater Treatment

A leaching bed is an underground network that treats and redirects septic tank wastewater. Wastewater, which is partially treated by the septic tank, is channelled to perforated pipes that are part of the leaching bed with the help of a pump or gravity. The wastewater will then percolate through a bed of gravel, which is a process that’s designed to eliminate pollutants before the water is released into the ground. 


Decomposition of Contaminants

During this last step of the treatment process, microorganisms found in the soil digest and eliminate residual filth (suspended solids, organic chemical products, viruses, bacteria). Their role consists of breaking down the contaminants found so that the wastewater seeping into the soil, mixing with groundwater, is rendered clean. The whole process prevents contaminating the phreatic zone.


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What’s the standard size of a leaching bed?

septic tank drain field

Source: Canva

The size of a leaching bed depends on both the choice of equipment and the property’s requirements (number of persons in the household or number of bedrooms).

For big installations, 10-cm wide pipes (4 inches) can be 30 metres long (100 feet), each positioned within 4 inches of each other. The pipes are typically sitting 90 to 120 cm deep (36 to 48 inches), and are laid on a 30-cm thick bed of gravel (12 inches), protected by a layer of backfill.  

Therefore, a standard leaching bed will require 1,938 square feet of grass-covered land to suit a 3-bedroom residence. While this may seem rather big, and such an amount of space isn’t always readily available, there are options tailored for smaller pieces of land. A modified leaching bed is one of the most commonly employed solutions. Not only is it cheaper, but it’ll make do with 646 square feet of space.


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Difference Between a Conventional and Modified Leaching Bed

septic tank drain field

Source: Canva

As you’ve probably gathered, a leaching bed solely relies on bacteria and microorganisms found in the septic tank, as well as the soil’s filtration capabilities, to treat wastewater. 

While bacterial colonies are often subjected to unfavourable conditions caused by chemical products and detergents discharged into the system, the soil’s filtration abilities depend on several factors: soil composition, slope, surface area, depth of phreatic zone, permeability, etc. 

As such, the water, which is more or less treated, is eventually channelled into groundwater and water streams. 


Conventional Leaching Bed

The design, layout, and size of a leaching bed are contingent on the amount of wastewater to be treated (number of bedrooms in a household), the soil’s capacity to absorb water, and the depth of the phreatic zone.



  • 20- to 35-year service life (35 years in low-sloped, porous soil, and regularly maintained);
  • Roughly $6,000; it’s the cheapest system;
  • No energy use;
  • Aesthetic, solely requires a slight slope;
  • No annual maintenance fees.



  • High risk of clogging;
  • Risk of poor wastewater drainage;
  • Higher risk of soil pollution given the size of the field;
  • The specific land area shouldn’t have a slope exceeding 10 to 30% (based on the chosen treatment system).


Modified Leaching Bed

Especially sought-after between 1980 and 1990, a septic system with a modified leaching bed is still the most commonly used conventional installation to date. It’s definitely preferred, not only for reasons related to cost and simplified functioning but also because it’s suited to smaller pieces of land. 

While a conventional leaching bed requires an empty 1,938 square feet of grass-covered land for a 3-bedroom household, the modified leaching bed will provide the same advantages while solely requiring a 646-square-foot plot. 

Not unlike a conventional septic system, a modified leaching bed also consists of side-by-side absorption trenches and an absorption bed designed to filter pre-treated wastewater. This more compact system has a secondary treatment system—a modified filter—on top of a primary system.  



  • More compact than a standard leaching bed;
  • Worthwhile price;
  • No maintenance fees, except to empty the septic tank;
  • Simplified functioning.



  • Has an effective service life of about 15 years, but can see 25 years;
  • The entire absorption surface area has to be excavated and then filled with crushed stone, which means much more significant earthworks. 
  • The surface area in question must have a slope of 10% or less.
  • The rock, groundwater, or porous or not soil layer must be at least 1.2 m (48 inches) below ground.


Absorption Wells

Absorption wells are the recommended solution when the land’s surface area can’t accommodate a leaching bed. Absorption wells, or infiltration wells, don’t require drains or trenches, they can be installed in confined spaces, meaning land with a limited surface area (323 square feet for three bedrooms). The filtration process is done via the wells’ walls.  



  • Suitable for small surface area plots (323 square feet for three bedrooms).



  • The ground in question must be twice as porous as what’s needed for the other wastewater treatment systems;
  • Solely three-bedroom or less households can benefit from this option.



septic tank drain field

Source: Canva

Wastewater overflows are hazardous to both human beings and the environment. For that reason, laws have been introduced to ensure that the installations aren’t only adequately built (solely authorized contractors can proceed with a septic system installation) but also properly maintained.

As such, septic systems will be deemed viable as long as there’s no evidence of direct environmental pollution or health hazards, as stipulated in Section 20 of the Environment Quality Act: 

No one may emit, deposit, issue or discharge or allow the emission, deposit, issuance or discharge into the environment of a contaminant in a greater quantity or concentration than that provided for by regulation of the Government.

The same prohibition applies to the emission, deposit, issuance or discharge of any contaminant the presence of which in the environment is prohibited by regulation of the Government or is likely to affect the life, health, safety, welfare or comfort of human beings, or to cause damage to or otherwise impair the quality of the soil, vegetation, wildlife or property.

Therefore, if a septic system is deemed ineffective, the government may force the homeowner to replace it. Lastly, note that it’s illegal to alter your septic system yourself, or replace it yourself. 


How much does a septic system cost?

Installing a septic system (septic tank, leaching bed, and artisan well) costs between $15,000 and $45,000. To that amount, one can add soil percolation test fees. 

The overall cost is influenced by several factors, which explains the considerable discrepancies:

  • number of residents in a home;
  • the chosen system, the complexity of installation;
  • the chosen contractor;
  • region where the system will be installed, etc.


Maintenance and Compliance

When it comes to a septic tank or leaching bed maintenance (emptying the tank), one must budget between $150 and $250. For an inspection meant to confirm the system’s overall compliance, one will spend between $300 and $500. 

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Last modified 2023-08-31

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Flux-cored arc welding is a well-known method used among DIYers, it rarely requires gas, and appeals to most for its numerous advantages. However, note that it isn’t suitable for all types of work. The Fundamentals of Flux-Cored Arc Welding Source: Canva Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), also known as dual-shield welding, is a type of welding method that: uses a flux-cored wire and; an electric arc; is gasless and; can be used in windy conditions (self-shielded). Flux-cored arc welding machines are single-phase devices into which a spool is inserted. What’s a flux-cored wire? When using a flux-cored arc welding device, the spooled wire used isn’t solid, unlike the one employed in MCAW (Metal-Cored Arc Welding). Instead, it’s a tubular electrode wire filled with powder. This powder serves as the flux, acting as the bonding agent between the pieces that will be welded together. The flux-cored wire is: Wrapped in a metal sheath (0.8 mm to 3.2 mm wide). Continuously spooled. Fed at a constant speed (up to 3.28 ft [1m] per minute). The flux-cored wire is placed on a spool and passes through a wire feeder that guides it to the welding torch’s nozzle. The faster the wire unwinds, the higher the welding intensity. But that’s not all; to adequately weld using a flux-cored wire, the stick-out is of crucial importance. What’s the stick-out when flux core welding? The stick-out refers to the appropriate length between the contact tip and the piece to be welded. Typically, it’s 0.6 inches to 1 inch (15 to 25 mm) depending on usage, with a maximum tolerance of 0.11 inches (3 mm). Why is that important? Because if the stick-out is too short, the welding wire will end up being too close to the contact tip, resulting in overheating and creating blowholes in the metal piece. On the other hand, if it’s too long, the wire itself overheats, causing an increase in slag, which is the substance that shields the weld. Electric Arc An electric arc is formed between the welding machine’s contact tip and the metal piece (object to be welded). Its purpose is to generate intense heat, melting the piece to be welded and flux-cored wire resulting in the creation of a “molten pool.” The electric arc is generated by a variable direct current, with an intensity ranging from 40 to 700 amps, depending on the following factors: Welding position Size of the metal pieces Size of the flux-cored wire Bonding The higher the amperage, the smoother and more stable the electric arc will be, making it easier to handle and forming a well-defined molten pool. A Gasless Process The term “gasless” for flux-cored arc welding isn’t entirely accurate for two reasons: Firstly, a shielding gas is naturally generated during the welding process. As the flux-cored wire disintegrates and the parts melt, carbon dioxide is produced. This gas forms a shield around the weld during the welding process. Secondly, while a shielding gas can be added to the welding process, it isn’t mandatory. Welders have the option to save on gas consumption by using a specially formulated aluminum flux-cored wire for welding. Ideal Outdoor Welding Method Flux-cored wire welding is an ideal outdoor welding method used on worksites because it typically doesn’t require an external gas supply. Since there’s no external shielding gas, the wind doesn’t blow it away, making the process more practical and often used on large worksites, such as when constructing bridges. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Why use this welding method? Source: Canva Flux-cored arc welding often competes with 3 other types of welding: Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW); Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW); Submerged Arc Welding (SAW). If one welding method can replace another in numerous circumstances, the question is, why choose flux-cored arc welding? The answer lies in its cost-effectiveness compared to gas welding methods. While some DIYers just want to stick with flux-cored welding, it’s essential to note that this method isn’t always suitable. What can you weld with a flux-cored wire? Source: Canva According to the American Welding Society (AWS), flux-cored arc welding is suitable for the following materials: Carbon steel Stainless steel Low-alloy steel Nickel alloys Cast iron Hardfacing alloys However, certain materials aren’t suitable, including titanium, zirconium, magnesium, and copper alloys. And the list doesn’t end here. The depth of flux-cored arc welding is rather impressive. However, it can cause metal parts and supports to warp or distort, making it unsuitable for thin sheet metal, such as 0.6 mm sheets. Therefore, the bodywork of a vehicle can’t be welded with flux-cored welding machines. Attempting to do so would result in blowholes, distortions, and a shoddy end result. 10 Advantages of Flux-Cored Arc Welding High and variable deposition rate based on the flux-cored wire used. Deposits a larger amount of metal compared to arc welding. Possibility of working in windy conditions. Faster work compared to using TIG or shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) methods. Fewer welding repairs. Welding can be done in all directions since the flux-cored wire is small in size. Better welding penetration than SMAW. Gasless welding is a possibility depending on the flux-cored wire used. Continuous spooling, therefore there’s little time spent on changing the wire. Very good mechanical characteristics.

8 min read 31 May 2023

Elevate Your Outdoor Experience with a Balcony Awning

Are you yearning for the ultimate outdoor experience this summer? Look no further than a patio or balcony awning, a perfect solution that fulfills both your practical requirements and aesthetic desires. By selecting the perfect model, you can revel in its multitude of advantages, basking in shade and protection from the scorching sun during heatwaves, while also reaping the benefits indoors as your AC unit enjoys a well-deserved respite. It's a great way to enhance both backyard space and home comfort. We'll walk you through the different models and the many options available to help you choose the one that suits both your outdoor space and your lifestyle. This summer, let your awning extend beyond your balcony or patio to delight your senses. Why install a balcony awning? Source: Canva Living in a region where summers never seem to stretch out long enough, a balcony awning allows people to spend more time outdoors. Come rain or shine, a balcony awning can turn your outdoor space into a wonderful little cocoon. It’s an undeniable value added to your outdoor space and it takes your patio game up to a whole other level. Why settle for merely decorating your deck when you could transform it into a whole new space that expands beyond the confines of your home? Your new outdoor dining area or living room could be the perfect place to gather with friends, but it could also be the perfect living space for the whole family. 7 Advantages of Having a Balcony Awning It’s an exceptionally comfortable space to relax or gather with guests. It personalizes your backyard and contributes to the uniqueness of the space. By shielding you from rain or sunshine, it allows you to fully benefit from the summer months. It’s a value added to your property. It’s a long-term investment: a well-maintained awning can easily last 15 to 20 years, 30 even. It envelops a part of your home with shade, helps keep rooms cooler, and saves you up to 17% on air-conditioning costs by creating zones of shade in certain areas in your home. In an exposed backyard, it adds a sense of privacy to your patio or deck, shielding you from prying eyes. How to Choose a Balcony Awning Source: Canva Before settling for one particular awning, you have to consider several factors, such as: The square footage to cover; Sun exposure; Wind strength. You also need to determine whether or not you want to use it as a shelter when it's raining. Consider whether you want it to be fixed or retractable, so you can enjoy the sun from time to time, or the starry night sky. Since there’s a wide range of models available on the market, it’s best to think over your decision to ensure you’re making the right choice based on your long-term needs. Don't buy one on a whim! Some flashy models may appeal to you at first, but may not meet your long-term needs. Keep in mind that it’s best to choose patterns and colours that blend in with the rest of your house—siding and style—rather than succumbing to a favourite that won’t necessarily, once the spell has worn off, meet your needs down the line! 5 Fan-Favourite Brands of Awnings Based on the space to cover and the property’s architecture, some brands could be a better fit compared to others. Here are a few brands that stand out from the crowd, awning-wise. Mitjavila Made in Quebec, Majavila awnings offer great flexibility and are available in various sizes, both manual and motorized. Also worth noting: they're easy to repair, if necessary. BAT Here’s an Italian best, a meticulously crafted model, with over 500 colours, variable slopes, and motors to suit all needs. The ultimate sun and rain protection. Corradi A high-quality, European-looking, retractable awning. It features a fixed, waterproof structure made of aluminum or exotic wood. While the colour scheme is rather limited, people still steer toward it due to its smartphone feature. Bellon With over 125 years of experience in the industry, Bellon offers its own exclusive brand, developed to meet the needs of residents of Quebec. This results in a wide range of fabrics and flexibility in terms of awning slope. Bellon also offers awning fabric storage, cleaning, and repair services. Stobag Yet another well-known brand, hailing from Switzerland. Available in 300 patterns and colours to give your outdoor space a unique look. A Tailor-Made Awning for Your Home Every year, a lot of people mistakenly choose to invest in a low-end awning, which proves to be just so. Albeit cost-effective at first, it deteriorates rather quickly and offers very few advantages when compared to a custom-made awning. Aside from its superior quality in general, the first advantage of a custom-made awning is that it’s perfectly fitted to your outdoor space to fully meet your various needs. Designed based on the size of your patio, it perfectly blends in to enhance your décor. You also have access to a huge selection of colours and patterns that perfectly match your house. It takes 3 to 4 weeks to design and manufacture a made-to-order awning. By just grabbing one off the shelves, you can install it the same day; however, an awning that’ll last for years surely is worth waiting around for a few weeks. Also, the manufacturer almost always offers installation services. Some models can be installed by the homeowners themselves, but most of the time, it’s best to call in professionals. A poorly installed awning may cause both damage and injury. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! The Different Types of Outdoor Awnings Source: Canva Choose from various models with tinted glass, opaque or clear tops, and UV protection. Enjoy numerous configurations, with or without a valance. Let us guide you through the diverse choices to find your perfect awning. Fixed or permanent awning A fixed awning is permanent, in the sense that its structure remains in place all season, or year-round, depending on the model selected. If the awning is made of canvas, it should be carefully removed before winter and stored in a warm, dry area. Retractable or manual awning A retractable awning is kind of like a wall-mounted sunshade. It's fixed to a building wall and has retractable brackets that allow it to be folded away as required. It provides cover on hot summer days and can be retracted when you're out on the patio, looking to soak up the warmth of the sun at the beginning or end of the summer. It can be manually retracted using a hand crank. In winter, the awning has to be retracted since the freeze could damage it. For added protection, a custom-made cover or case can be purchased to prevent rodents from nesting in it during the cold season. NOTE: The retractable awning can also be freestanding if you’re not inclined on having it affixed to the side of your house. It’s a practical concept if you’re a tenant and aren’t allowed to alter the exterior shell of a structure. Motorized awning (remote-controlled) Investing in a remote-controlled, retractable awning means getting the most out of the summer months. Versatile and ultra-functional, it suits all patios to help shield you from the sun and bad weather. It retracts by means of a motor connected to a wall switch or remote control. Some home-automated awnings can also be controlled via a smart device. This means you can remotely control the awning if unexpected rainfall jeopardizes your patio furniture. WE LOVE the wind and rain sensor that automatically retracts the awning when the wind picks up or rainfall occurs. A range of settings enables the awning to withstand different weather conditions. And, as an added bonus: the retractable awning and patio heater can be connected! Glass awning The fixed or permanent glass awning allows you to benefit from your outdoor space, at all times, no matter the weather. Your patio furniture is always protected and you’ll never have to postpone outdoor gatherings due to bad weather. These are custom-made and ideal for decks, patios, or balconies, and, as an added bonus, said structure allows you to significantly limit the heating value inside your home! Designed to withstand the harshest weather, there's no need to worry, winter or summer. Now that's something to feel good about! Aluminum composite structures guarantee up to 30 years of service life, while 5 mm thick tempered glass is synonymous with peace of mind, come rain or shine. Opt for clear or opaque panels or a combo of both. Last but not least, make sure your structure can withstand the weight of snow and is certified by local engineers. The Different Awning Materials Source: Canva Polycarbonate and aluminum are two quality materials used to manufacture awnings. It’s two really good options. Here’s essential information about each option: Aluminum Pros More resistant and durable than polycarbonate Doesn’t fade Withstands extreme weather conditions, including hurricanes Average service life of 18 years Easy soap-and-water cleaning Higher resale value Cons More expensive than polycarbonate Heavier (requires heavy-duty anchors) Limited colour range, but can be painted More prone to corrosion if exposed to salt water or chemical products Polycarbonate Pros More affordable Withstands the weight of snow Doesn’t deteriorate over time Available in a wide range of colours and finishes Slightly more sheer so it doesn’t obstruct views Lighter, doesn’t require any structural support Easier to install Cons Doesn’t withstand extreme weather conditions as well Made with PVC plastic, which can crack Less cold-resistant Not as UV ray-resistant More high-maintenance Turns yellow or gray if not cleaned with bleach every year

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