How Far Can A Garden Be From An Open Septic Tank? (Question)

While there are no specific distance mandates on vegetable gardens and septic fields, staying 10 to 20 feet outside the perimeter of your septic system’s drainage field is a safe bet for clean veggies and an effective septic system.

How far should a vegetable garden be from a septic tank?

Mark the garden’s borders with stakes. According to the University of California Small Farm Program, fruits and vegetables should be planted at least 10 feet from a septic system or leach field to avoid bacterial contamination.

Is it safe to plant a garden near a septic tank?

Untreated wastewater, also known as sewage, can be a health hazard. The most important reason you should not install a vegetable garden on top of, or right next to, a septic system disposal field is because the plants can become contaminated by wastewater that has not yet been renovated by the field.

Can you put a garden over a septic tank?

Gardening over septic tanks is not only permissible but also beneficial in some instances. Planting ornamental plants on septic drain fields provide an oxygen exchange and help with evaporation in the drain field area. Plants also help control erosion.

Can you put a raised garden over a septic field?

Tip. A raised garden can interfere with the functioning of a septic or drain field. Installing a raised garden bed over the leach lines is not recommended.

How close can you plant next to a septic field?

These estimates should be considered a bare minimum, and to reduce the risk, the trees should be planted even further away from the drain field. Shrubs with less aggressive root systems should never be planted any closer than 10 feet and small less aggressive trees no closer than 20 feet from the drain field.

Can you put a greenhouse over a septic field?

A greenhouse can be erected on a septic field to grow certain types of plants. The greenhouse should not have permanent foundations, which could easily damage the septic system. Do not plant directly into the ground over a septic field, as the plants could absorb contaminants released by the system.

What plants can you grow near your septic system?

If you must grow trees and shrubs, shallow-rooted kinds are better to grow around septic tank drain fields. Shallow-rooted trees and shrubs include:

  • Dogwood trees.
  • Japanese maple trees.
  • Eastern redbud trees.
  • Cherry trees.
  • Azalea shrubs.
  • Boxwood shrubs.
  • Holly shrubs.
  • Dwarf tree varieties.

Can you plant arborvitae near septic?

A common hedging plant for narrow spaces is pyramidal arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Fastigiata,’ or its greener cultivar ‘Emerald Green’). From my observation, it forms a dense root mass that would run into the septic field unless contained, but could provide a decent screen with a confined root run.

How deep is a leach field?

A standard leach line is considered to be three (3) feet wide and three (3) feet deep with a length as required.

What can you do on top of a septic field?

Put plastic sheets, bark, gravel or other fill over the drainfield. Reshape or fill the ground surface over the drainfield and reserve area. However, just adding topsoil is generally OK if it isn’t more than a couple of inches. Make ponds on or near the septic system and the reserve area.

How far should a garden be from a septic tank?

Fruits and vegetables should be planted at least 10 feet away from an aseptic system or leach field, according to the University of California Small Farm Program, in order to minimize bacterial contamination of the crop. Planting yoursepticfield is typically seen as a nice idea, but it is not the best location for a vegetable garden. Planting root crops above drain lines is not recommended. It is possible that leafy vegetables will be polluted by rain splashing soil onto the plant; thus, either mulch them to prevent splashing or don’t grow them.

Listed below are some useful “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to gardening in a septic tank friendly manner:

  1. DO keep your plantings shallow
  2. DON’T plant trees too near to your septic system
  3. DO use shrubs that don’t demand a lot of water or are drought resistant
  4. DON’T plant trees too close to your septic system
  5. DO NOT grow vegetables in close proximity to your sewage tank
  6. DO prepare ahead

DO keep your plantings shallow; DON’T plant trees too near to your septic system; DO use shrubs that don’t demand a lot of water or are drought resistant; DON’T plant trees too close to your septic system. Don’t grow vegetables in close proximity to your sewage tank; DO have a strategy ahead of time.

Safe Plants to Grow Over Septic Tanks & Drain Fields

When some trees and bushes are planted near septic tanks and drain fields, their vigorous roots can cause harm to the tanks and drain fields. Find out which plants are the most dangerous to cultivate near a septic system and which ones are the safest.

Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields

Keep in mind that you should not become so concerned about the possibility of root damage to septic systems that you avoid planting in these places completely. It is not only permissible, but really desirable, to cultivate the appropriate kind of plants in this location. Plants will help to prevent erosion and will also help to absorb some of the surplus rainwater from the drainage system. Growing tall fescue grass, Kentucky bluegrass, or other lawn grass over that section of earth should be the bare minimum solution to the problem.

Plants such as creeping Charlie, stonecrop, and jewelweed will proliferate and cover a septic area effectively.

Because of their thin root systems, they are less prone to infiltrate and destroy the subsurface infrastructure.

It goes without saying that there are several instances of such plants, so you will want to limit down your options.

  • If the location is sunny, try planting one of these 10 great perennials for sunny locations: However, if the location does not receive much sunlight, you will most likely be pleased with these shadow garden plants. Septic tank drain fields have soil that is sometimes wetter than usual, sometimes saltier than average, and sometimes a combination of the two. Make sure to cover both bases with perennials that can withstand both damp soils and salt, such as bee balm, hollyhocks, and wild violets. When it comes to plants growing over septic systems, deer will not turn their noses up at them
  • Therefore, if you have a problem with this large pest eating your plants in your area, you will want to consider deer-resistant perennials and deer-resistant ground covers, as well as spring bulbs and ornamental grasses that deer do not eat

It is not safe to consume food crops that have been planted in the ground near a drain field since doing so may result in the consumption of hazardous microorganisms. It is preferable to plant shallow-rooted trees and bushes around septic tank drain fields if you must plant trees and plants. The Spruce is an example of a shallow-rooted tree or shrub. K. Dave’s / K. Dave

The Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems

Planting huge, fast-growing trees is often discouraged. However, some of the greatest offenders are trees and shrubs with root systems that are aggressively seeking out sources of water, which makes them particularly difficult to control. They are not picky about the water source from which they draw their water, which means the pipes in your septic tank drain field are completely fair game. Weeping willow trees are a well-known example of this. There are several trees and bushes to avoid, however the following are only a few examples: If you have avoided planting any of the most dangerous plants right over your septic tank drain field, you should still be concerned about the consequences.

Any huge, mature trees that may be growing in close proximity to your septic system continue to pose a threat.

As a result, a mature specimen 50 feet tall should be at least 50 feet distant from the viewer.

In the event that this is not practicable, root barriers can be installed to try to prevent tree roots from accessing your septic drain field (similar to the bamboo barriers used incontrolling invasive bamboo). The Spruce Tree K. Dave’s / K. Dave

The Basics of How Septic Systems Work

Septic systems are used to treat wastewater in rural regions that do not have access to sewer systems. An underground, waterproof container, the septic tank is where wastewater from your toilets, showers, sinks, and clothes washer is stored after it has been removed from your home via a pipe. Solids (sludge) and scum are separated from liquids in a septic tank, which is intended to do this. Solids sink to the bottom of the container. The slime rises to the top of the heap. The liquids create an intermediate layer between the scum and the sludge, separating them from the other two layers.

  1. The introduction of more wastewater from the residence serves as a stimulus for their expulsion.
  2. Upon discharge, liquids are channeled into a much bigger portion of the septic system known as the “drain field,” “leach field,” or “leach pit.” Typically, a drain field is composed of a number of perforated PVC pipes that are installed in subterranean trenches.
  3. Drain field cloth can be used to protect dirt from getting into the holes.
  4. “Percolation” is the term used to describe how wastewater moves through the earth.
  5. The evaporation of excess moisture from the soil will take care of any excess moisture unless you (inadvertently) do something to hinder it.
  6. The Spruce / written by K.

Planning a Septic Field Garden

Sewage treatment facilities (septic systems) are used in rural regions that do not have sewage lines. An underground, waterproof container, the septic tank is where wastewater from your toilets, showers, sinks, and clothes dryer is stored after it has been transported out of your home. Solids (sludge) and scum are separated from liquids in a septic tank, which is intended to do so. Solids are attracted to the bottom of the container. Everything starts from the bottom and works its way up. Between the scum and the sludge, a layer of liquids forms in the center.

  1. Increased wastewater from within the house acts as a trigger for their expulsion.
  2. Their discharge transports the liquids to a much bigger component of the septic system known as the “drain field” or “leach field,” depending on how they are constructed.
  3. Usually, crushed stone or gravel is used to fill the ditches.
  4. Water can escape the pipes through perforations in the crushed stone or gravel, and subsequently into the soil below, due to the perforations.
  5. The evaporation of excess moisture from the soil will take care of any excess moisture unless you (inadvertently) do something to prevent it.

You will have to hire a septic service to pump the sludge and scum out of your septic tank at some point (usually after approximately three years). David K. Dave’s The Spruce.

  • Increasing the amount of soil in the region Using excessive amounts of mulch
  • Providing more water to the plants than is strictly necessary

Could you please tell me what native plants I can plant on the drain field?

A formal garden or an informal garden over your septic system might be challenging to design. You want a beautiful yard, but you don’t want it to come at the price of causing damage to your onsite waste water system. The majority of rural Michigan houses have an onsite waste water system (septic system), which consists of a septic tank and a water drainage field to dispose of the treated water once it has been treated. In a state with over 1.3 million septic systems, homeowners can choose to have their septic system installed in the front, side, or rear of their property, which will take up a significant amount of area in their backyard.

  • If you follow a few simple dos and don’ts, you can keep your onsite water treatment system in good condition while still enjoying the landscape you desire.
  • The use of just shallow-rooted flowers and grasses over the drain field will be emphasized by some sources.
  • Another option is to choose plants that are drought tolerant so that the mound does not need to be watered as often.
  • For the ordinary homeowner, this jumble of information can be perplexing and overwhelming.
  • I believe that the root system may reach depths of up to 15-20 feet and is composed of fibrous roots.

About septic systems

A formal garden or an informal garden over your septic system might be difficult to maintain. While you would like to have a beautiful yard, you don’t want it to come at the price of causing damage to your onsite waste water treatment system. An onsite waste water system (septic system) is installed by the majority of rural houses in Michigan. This system includes a septic tank and a water drainage field for the disposal of treated waste water. With over 1.3 million septic systems in the state, homeowners can choose to have their septic system installed in the front, side, or rear of their property, which will take up a large portion of their backyard.

  • It’s possible to maintain your onsite water treatment system while still having the landscaping you desire by following a few simple dos and don’ts.
  • The use of just shallow-rooted flowers and grasses over the drain field will be emphasized by one resource.
  • Another option is to choose plants that are drought tolerant so that the mound does not require any additional watering.
  • This jumble of information might be perplexing to the ordinary house buyer.

According to my estimation, the root system can reach depths of up to 15-20 feet and is composed of fibrous roots. One client remarked, “That appears to be in direct conflict with the idea for a shallow root system!”

  • A soil absorption or drain field is a series of ditches lined with perforated pipe that is laid on a gravel bed or a sand bed. Drain field surrounded by a three- to four-foot mound of sand elevated above ground level.
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These fields are structured to drain the external water from rain and snow melt out from the field rather than into it when they are properly designed and constructed. In turn, the surface soils in the drain field become drier than those in other parts of the landscape as a result of this phenomenon. This suggests that the plants you choose for this location should be drought tolerant. Avoid having a lot of people strolling or driving through your drain field. This causes the soil to become compacted, reducing its capacity to effectively drain water.

Irrigation systems should never be installed over a drainage field.

If your drain field area is flooded, has standing water, or accumulates rainwater, it is strongly advised that you stop here and contact for a septic examination.

Choosing plants that do not interfere with septic system operations

The ability to select the most appropriate plants for a given site is essential for creating a successful landscape. When selecting native plants for over drain fields, look for ones that thrive in arid climates such as the prairie. Plant material is available in a variety of forms, including seed mixes, chosen plants, and plugs. Native plants will absorb the increased nutrients in the soil, keeping them from entering the groundwater as rapidly as they otherwise would. Aside from that, because they do not grow in water-saturated circumstances, the roots of dry prairie plants do not block sewage system pipes.

These plants are looking for extra moisture and will most likely infiltrate holes and pipes that have been left exposed.

Their thin roots, on the other hand, need constant surface watering and frequent lawnmower traffic to keep the lawn in good shape.

It does need some weeding and the removal of seasonal dead plants, though.

A few choices for a short grass dry prairie, may include:

  • Wildflowers In sunny spots, plant the following forbs: butterfly weed, sky blue aster (also known as smooth aster), white aster (also known as white aster), sweet everlasting (also known as Canada milk vetch), Lance leaf Coreopsis (also known as purple prairie clover), Pale Purple Coneflower (also known as Rough Blazing Star), Royal Catchfly (also known as Royal Catchfly), Lupine (also known as Dotted Mint), Beardtongue (also Consider the following plants for shaded locations: Astilbe, Hardy Begonia, Turtle Head, Ferns, Sweet Woodruff, and Lady’s Mantle
  • And Grasses and Sedges are a type of plant that grows in a grassy or sedgey environment. Rushes include Sideoats Grama, Little Bluestem, Prairie Dropseed, Plains Oval Sedge, June grass, and Prairie Brome, among others. Shrubs Over any component of a septic system, it is not suggested to plant any type of tree. In the event that you decide to plant trees and shrubs, make sure to pick an upland type and to plant it far enough away from the drain field or mound so the dripline of the mature tree will fall outside of it. Plants that bloom in spring include: Arum, Anemone/Windflowers, Crocus (including Hyacinths), Iris (including Lilies), Daffodils, and Tulips (Note: some of the bulbs listed have been naturalized, but not all of them are native.)

Finally a few reminders:

  • Water-loving plants, bushes, and trees should not be planted in close proximity to your septic system. Growing vegetables over your septic system is not recommended due to the potential of bacterial contamination and the health hazards associated with it. It is not necessary to add more soil to your drainfield. It is necessary to have a septic examination performed if the soil in your drain field region is constantly moist or has standing water, or if you have water backing up into your home. It’s possible that your field failed
  • It is essential that you maintain a layer of vegetation over your drain field in order to keep the dirt in place and keep the system running properly. When planting, try to avoid tilling the soil too much. It is possible that you will upset or damage your drain pipes.

More resources for planting over septic systems:

Michigan State University Extension: For a comprehensive list of Michigan native flora, see their website. For an overview and a plant list, see the Purdue Extension Bulletin HENV-15-W. Clemson Extension Bulletin: For a list of plants as well as some helpful hints. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is responsible for Septic systems in Michigan are covered in detail in this section. As soon as you see any indicators of issue with your septic system, contact your local County Health Department and have your septic system drained and thoroughly examined at the earliest opportunity.

Home*A*Syst (WQ 51) andManaging Your Septic System (WQ 39) are two instructional products that may be obtained for little or no cost from the MSU Extension Bookstore.

Related MSU Extension News articles:

  • Waste management for household septic systems is covered in three parts: Waste management for household septic systems – Part One
  • Waste management for household septic systems – Part Two
  • Waste management for household septic systems – Part Three.

MSU Extension Educator Beth Clawson can be contacted for additional information about the Michigan Septic System Education program. For additional information on landscaping with native plants, contact Michigan State University ExtensionNatural Resources educators, who are working around the state to provide water quality educational programming and support to residents. You can reach out to an educator using MSU Extension’s “Find an Expert” search engine by searching for “Natural Resources Water Quality” in the keywords field.

Septic Tank Cleaning Winter Garden, FL

As a homeowner, one of your top considerations should be the maintenance of your septic tank. If you put off repairs and cleaning, you may wind up with problems that are considerably more expensive to fix than you anticipated. Give us a call if you’re looking for a business that provides septic tank cleaning that Winter Garden, FL residents can count on. We’ll make certain that your septic tank is clean and ready to be used once it’s cleaned. When it comes to cleaning or repairing your septic tank, we provide a wide range of services that you may choose from.

Shelley’s Septic Tanks provides septic tank pumping services to both residential and commercial clients, ensuring that your septic tank functions properly all year long.

Tank cleaning is a vital component of preventative maintenance.

  • Real estate certifications
  • Compliance
  • Pump-outs
  • Drain field repairs
  • And the installation of new septic tanks are all services that we provide.

Compliance, pump-outs, drain field repairs, and the installation of new septic tanks are all included in the price of the service.

septic system — Butte County Septic — Magneson Tractor Service Inc.

Welcome to the World Wide Web! This is the location where messages propagate rapidly, regardless of their legitimacy. However, this was occurring long before the advent of the internet, through the basic medium of word of mouth. With the abundance of information available and flowing, it can be difficult to discern between realities and urban legends. We’ve chosen to put the record straight on a few common misconceptions concerning septic tanks and systems in order to help others from making the same mistakes.

Starting With a New Septic Systems Requires Seeding

What exactly is seeding? It does exactly what it says on the tin: it assists your system and bacteria in growing by providing “seeds,” or in this case organic material. Also, we’ve heard of everything under the sun, including flushing a whole pound of yeast, manure, worms, and other such methods of waste disposal. This is a fallacy! Your septic system does not require your assistance to get up and running. Simply said, the system must be followed.

You have enough “seeding” powers in your human waste to get it started. The one area in which the truth does show through is in maintaining the health of your system, particularly if you tend to use a lot of antibacterial or bleach products. This takes us to the second myth we’ll look at.

Additives Keep Old Systems Running Great

You’ve undoubtedly heard someone make this assertion. Do you have an outdated system or a system that isn’t performing as efficiently as it should? Just add a few ingredients and you’re done! However, the idea that septic additives can perform miracles is a fallacy. Septic tanks that are properly balanced do not require any assistance. Some septic treatments that are commercially available either include corrosive pesticides that can cause harm to the bacterial colonies in your system or are pricey yeast extracts that are not effective (yes, like the stuff used to make bread).

This is especially useful if your family uses a lot of antibacterial and bleach-based products, which is something you should avoid, but that’s a topic for another discussion.

Pump Your Septic Tank every 5-7 years

A typical family may fill a septic tank to operational level in less than a week, without having to make any changes to their ordinary water usage. It is not necessary to pump the septic tank just because it is full or has reached a specific age. Simply let your healthy system to carry out its functions. In reality, as long as your tank is sized adequately for your home and your property is kept in good condition, your system will continue to break down and handle waste for many more years than you may expect.

Prior to booking a pumping appointment, you should always get your system examined.

There are a few situations in which you should refrain from pumping your tank, but we’ll cover those in more detail in a future blog article.

Once Installed, Septic Tanks Take Care of Themselves

In less than a week, an ordinary household may fill a septic tank to operational level, without having to change their typical water usage. Just because a septic tank is full or has reached a specific age does not necessitate its pumping. Leave it to your well-functioning system to take care of business. In reality, as long as your tank is sized adequately for your home and your property is kept in good condition, your system will continue to break down and treat waste for many more years than you may think.

Prior to booking a pumping appointment, you should always get your system checked.

Although there are several situations in which you should avoid pumping your tank, we’ll discuss these in more detail on another blog post.

You’ll Only Need One Septic System

In most cases, septic systems will not survive a lifetime. With adequate care and maintenance, systems can endure for 25 to 30 years on average. If you want your system to last as long as possible, learning how to do regular maintenance is priority number one. However, there are certain fallacies about septic systems that need to be dispelled. Understanding which stories are factual and which are nothing more than old wives’ tales can be difficult. Do you have any questions regarding some of the advice you’ve received?

Do you have a disturbing myth that you would want us to investigate?

Thaw Frozen Septic Line

Household septic systems perform admirably well, even under the most extreme weather conditions. Septic lines and holding tanks, on the other hand, can freeze if the correct conditions exist. Is it possible for septic systems to freeze when the “proper” circumstances are present? Water that remains stationary at sub-freezing temperatures. The thermal protection provided by a subterranean system, as well as the flushing and warming actions of frequent use, prevent ice development in the majority of septic systems.

  • In our particular scenario, our system was doomed to failure.
  • Our comparatively short septic line, which did not have the luxury of snow to keep it warm, was almost likely over the frost line and cold enough to form ice.
  • The system was chilly, and all that was required for it to generate ice was motionless water.
  • The furnace, to be precise.
  • Our septic line quickly became clogged with ice as a result of the continual supply of low-flow water that was introduced to our cold system.
  • Keep the system warm and avoid introducing low-flow continuous water sources into the system, to put it simply.
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Septic Systems Freeze For Many Reasons

  • Insufficient depth of the septic line – the line was built above or too close to the frost line. Below compacted soil (driveways, walks), a septic line should be installed since compacted soils tend to freeze deeper. Snow cover is insufficient or compacted, resulting in a reduction in the insulating effect of snow. There is a lack of vegetation or grass cover, which is important since vegetation functions as a soil insulator. a lack of or inadequate heat being provided to the system as a result of its occasional usage

Risks factors for a frozen septic system – things that allow ice to form

  • Infrequent system usage – system use flushes pipes and contributes heat to the system
  • Infrequent system use The use of a continuous low volume water supply (such as furnace condensation drainage or a leaking faucet) allows for the accumulation of ice without the advantage of a flushing mechanism. a septic line that is improperly pitched or has low areas in the line’s trip allows water to not entirely depart the septic pipe, allowing it to freeze

Use of the system on a regular basis – using the system cleanses pipes and adds heat to it. The use of a continuous low volume water supply (such as furnace condensate drainage or a leaking faucet) allows for the accumulation of ice without the use of a flushing mechanism. a sewage line that is improperly pitched or has low areas in the line’s travel path where water cannot completely escape the septic pipe and freezes

Your septic line is frozen, now what? Easy; thaw it out!

To repair a frozen septic system, you will need to defrost the ice that has formed and is preventing the system or line from functioning properly. This is something I accomplished myself, and it is certainly something you can do as well. Before you get started, you should definitely consider contacting a professional that specializes in defrosting frozen septic systems to assist you. When my machine stopped for the first time, I did just that. The problem was resolved in 15 minutes for a total cost of $250.

If the prospect of being clean and toasty in your own house while someone else takes care of the repair appeals to you, put down the book and pick up the phone right now.

You may even be able to enhance your septic system and avoid future freeze ups as a result of your efforts. For those still on board and willing to take the initiative, get yourself some pretty old clothing and continue reading.

OVERVIEW | Thaw a frozen septic line

To repair a frozen septic system, you will need to defrost the ice that has formed and is preventing the system or line from working properly again. That’s something I did on my own, and it’s something you can do too. Make a thorough consideration of hiring a professional that has experience in defrosting frozen septic systems before you get into this. That’s exactly what I did the first time my system went down. Problem solved in 15 minutes for $250 and at no additional charge. The decision to defrost a septic line on your own is a matter of risk against benefit, as is the case with most tasks.

You will gain from the process and learn more about your system if you choose to do it yourself.

For those still on board and willing to take the initiative, put on some extremely old clothing and continue reading.

SUPPLIES LIST | Thaw a frozen septic line

Many systems include two access covers (one for the major or “solid” compartment and another for the secondary or “liquid” compartment), with the primary compartment being the more common. We’re looking for the cover that protects the area where the septic line from the house enters the holding tank (see photo) (typically the cover closest to the house).

  • Open septic tank access cover.
  • It is frequently necessary to use a pry bar or a crow bar to raise the concrete cover from the frozen ground in this situation. If the ground is frozen, spend some time to trench out the earth near to the lid if you have the opportunity.

  • Prepare water supply hose.
  • To prevent the hose from spinning while it is running through the septic system, use a brass nozzle on the garden hose (Thanks to Nancy for the great tip). The length of the nozzle should be more than the diameter of the pipe (which is normally 4 inches in diameter). If you are utilizing hot supply water, keep in mind that the garden hose may soften, making it harder to move the hose farther. PEX tubing can be used in place of garden hose if you want to utilize hot water during the installation.

    (Many thanks to David for the suggestion!)

  • Connect hose to a water source.
  • In an ideal situation, you would choose a source that was isolated from your residential water supply, so that you could be certain that nothing from the septic systems contaminated your drinking water supply. Unfortunately, this may not be a viable choice in the short term. The usage of a hose faucet or a utility faucet that draws water from your house should be done with caution since any water that backflows into your domestic water supply might cause a health risk to you or your family. I attached a hose fitting from my utility room to my hot water pipe, which worked well.

    Although hot water is not required, it will help to expedite the process of eliminating the ice blockage.

    The majority of PVC drain and sewage pipe is certified for temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the temperature limit of PVC, it may be a good idea to avoid thawing services that utilize steam to clear pipes, since the heat from the steam might cause the pipes to crack and break.

  • Locate the septic pipe outlet coming from the house.
  • Many will be equipped with a “T” baffle and will enter the tank from the side closest to the home (supply). Having located the line, you will need to insert the hose into the septic system with the nozzle first, so that it is facing the obstruction (heading back to the house). It may be necessary to bend the hose slightly in order to get the nozzle into the septic pipe (I used a 6′′ nozzle and had to bend the hose slightly in order to get it in past the baffle.)

  • Turn on your water source and advance hose into septic pipe.
  • Attempt to feed the hose into the pipe until it meets with resistance (this should be the ice blockage). The nozzle will now be aimed straight towards the ice, causing it to melt. As the ice melts, you will be able to advance the hose further and farther until the ice has completely melted and you have passed past the obstacle. It should be quite evident when the ice has removed, depending on the volume of waste water in the septic line that was behind the obstruction in the first place. I experienced a significant increase in the volume of water returning to the septic tank, and the water became soapy with white suds.

  • Remove the hose from the septic pipe before turning off the water supply.
  • Feed the hose into the pipe until there is no more movement (this should be the ice blockage). The nozzle will now be aimed straight at the ice, delivering a stream of water. With each passing minute, the ice melts away, and you will be able to advance the hose further and farther until the blockage is completely removed. It should be pretty evident when the ice has been removed, depending on the level of waste water in the septic line behind the obstruction. When this happened to me, the volume of water returning to the septic tank rose substantially, and the water became soapy and sudsy.

  • Fix the underlying problems causing line freeze
  • You should try to determine the underlying reason of your system’s freeze and make any necessary repairs after you have successfully thawed the frozen line. There are several wonderful resources accessible on the internet, and I have included a few of them here. See the following articles for further information on preventing a frozen septic system:

    1. Using a large-capacity furnace condensate tank and pump system, it is possible to prevent septic line freezing caused by high-efficiency furnace condensate drainage. installing a Septic Heater to prevent ice formation in your septic system

    IMAGE GALLERY | Thaw a frozen septic line

    How to Defrost a Frozen Septic System (with Pictures) The primary holding tank of a septic system should be located and its lid should be opened. Cover for a septic holding tank. Remove the concrete lid from the holding tank.

    50-foot non-kink garden hose with a 6-inch spray nozzle Septic system line that has frozen, with the cap off and ready to defrost. Back flow prevention valve installed in the water supply. The hose was passed into the septic line while the flush water was turned on.

    FOLLOW UP | Thaw a frozen septic line

    1. Using this method, you may defrost a frozen sewer system. The primary holding tank of a septic system should be located and opened. Protective cover for the septic holding tank. The concrete cover above the holding tank should be lifted. Hose and nozzle are 50 feet long and non-kink. frozen septic system pipe, with the lid removed in preparation for defrosting. Backflow prevention valve installed in the water supply. Using the flush water as a guide, the hose was fed into the septic system.

    How Your Septic System Works

    Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.

    Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.

    Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:

    1. All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.

    The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.

    Do you have a septic system?

    Check out the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority’s animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system operates to learn more.

    • You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
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    How to find your septic system

    The water comes from a well. You do not have a meter on the water pipe that enters your home. Whether it’s on your water bill or your property tax statement, it says “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” You have septic systems in your neighbors’ yards.

    • Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
    • Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
    • Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it

    Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!

    A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:

    • Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
    • It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
    • A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield

    Is it okay to plant a garden over a leach field?

    Planting over a septic leach field (drain field) is possible, but it must be done with caution to avoid contamination. If you just have a little amount of garden area on your home, the leach field may be the only place you can plant flowers or vegetables. Growing shallow-rooted plants over the drainage region is advised since they aid in the removal of surplus moisture and nutrients from the soil as well as the reduction of soil erosion. A range of different herbaceous perennials, annuals, and groundcovers can be safely and efficiently planted in addition to turf grass, which is the most common choice.

    About Septic Systems

    The majority of residences in rural regions, where city sewer connections are not readily available, have their own septic systems, which are comprised of a septic tank and a leach field. The septic tank decomposes organic matter and removes oil, grease, and particles from the waste water generated by a home. Septic tank effluent is released to an underground network of perforated pipes, which allow the liquid to gently flow back into the surrounding soil.

    Water that percolates through the soil and into the water table in a well working septic system is free of hazardous bacteria and nutrients before it reaches the water table.

    Planting Considerations

    Planting over a leach field requires special care since plant roots can block drain pipes and cause damage to the drain field, which can be a costly problem to repair after it has occurred. Several herbaceous perennials are relatively risk-free choices since their roots will not grow deep enough to reach the sewer lines. Because they require less irrigation and because their roots will not seek to penetrate the continually moist soil around the drain pipes, drought resistant plants are favored.

    1. Additional considerations include minimizing the quantity of water supplied over the leach field, since saturated soil can inhibit effluent evaporation and increase the likelihood of groundwater pollution.
    2. Solid woody plants have deeper roots that have the potential to clog drain lines in a very short period of time.
    3. Planting a tree towards the end of the drainage line, where there is less water to attract the roots in the direction of the leach field, is an option if you absolutely must.
    4. The roots of a tree will normally reach at least as far from the trunk as the tree’s height from the ground.
    5. The detergents and cleaning chemicals that are flushed down the toilet are often alkaline, and this can cause the pH of the soil to rise over time.
    6. Furthermore, residential effluent typically contains significant quantities of sodium, particularly if you use a water softener.
    7. It is not a good idea to plant vegetables over a leach field.
    8. A further consideration is that many vegetable gardeners are apprehensive about growing their food plants on soil that is regularly contaminated with household pollutants.
    9. The increased soil depth created by the beds may reduce evaporation and reduce the effectiveness of the septic system’s efficacy.

    Suggested Perennials

    Astilbe Astilibespecies
    Barrenwort Epimediumspecies
    Barren strawberry Waldsteinia ternata
    Beardtongue Penstemon digitalis
    Black-eyed-Susan Rudbeckia hirta
    Blanket flower Gaillardiaspecies
    Blazing star Liatrisspecies
    Butterfly milkweed Asclepias tuberosa
    Catmint Nepeta racemosa
    Columbine Aquilegiaspecies
    Cranesbill Geraniumspecies
    Daylily Hemerocallisspecies
    Dianthus Dianthusspecies
    Globe thistle Echinops ritro
    Goldenrod Solidagospecies
    Hens and chicks Sempervivumspecies
    Hosta Hostaspecies
    Knautia Knautia macedonica
    Lamb’s ears Stachys byzantina
    Lupine Lupinusspecies
    Moss phlox Phlox subulata
    Mullein Verbascum species
    Poppy Papaverspecies
    Purple coneflower Echinacea purpurea
    Russian sage Perovskia atriplicifolia
    Spurge Euphorbiaspecies
    Stonecrop Sedumspecies
    Tickseed Coreopsis species
    Wild bergamot Monarda fistulosa
    Woodland sage Salvia nemerosa
    Yarrow Achilleaspecies

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    Do you have any questions? The Ask UNH Extension Infoline provides practical assistance in locating answers to your inquiries about your home, yard, and garden. Call us toll free at 1-877-398-4769 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, or send an e-mail to [email protected]

    Things You Can (and Can’t) Put on Your Septic System’s Leach Field

    Istockphoto.com Designed to break down organic waste from the residence, septic systems are capable of segregating waste into two types: liquids and solids. While the solid sludge that accumulates at the bottom of the tank must be pumped out at regular intervals, the wastewater can either be treated and reused as irrigation for crops or simply discharged into a septic field, which is typically comprised of perforated piping that is set in gravel trenches and buried about 1 to 2 feet below ground level.

    To find out how to utilize a septic field without endangering or interfering with the septic system, continue reading this article!

    YouCanPlant Vegetation That Benefits the System

    However, contrary to common thought, it is really a good idea to include some types of plants in a septic field to help with the process of evapotranspiration and to decrease the adverse effects of erosion, which can leave the field vulnerable to damage. You can plant a variety of shallow-root plants in your septic field to help improve the aesthetic appeal of your property while also benefiting the health of your system. Some examples of shallow-root plants to consider planting include holly shrubs, boxwood shrubs, azalea shrubs, hollyhocks, violets, wild violets, and spring bulbs.

    istockphoto.com

    YouCan’tPlant Vegetation That Harms the System

    Even though it’s not a common concept, it’s a good idea to include specific plants in your septic field since they may help with the process of evapotranspiration and prevent the damaging effects of erosion, which can leave your field vulnerable to damage. Shallow-root vegetation such as holly bushes, boxwood shrubs, azalea shrubs, hollyhocks, wild violets, and spring bulbs are examples of shallow-root vegetation that may be planted to assist increase the visual appeal of the septic field while also benefitting the septic system.

    Dogwood and cherry trees are examples of shallow-root plants that may be planted in close proximity to a septic field.

    YouCanInstall an Open-Air Kennel

    However, if you have a dog and want to provide it with a safe place to play without worrying about it running away, you may build a basic open-air kennel on top of your sewage field, which will reduce the amount of weight that is placed on top of the septic field. Although it should be emphasized that the roof and any form of floor that would lie on top of the grass are not permitted since these modifications would obstruct the evapotranspiration process in the grass. The most basic definition of a suitable open-air dog kennel is a gated space where the dog may run about freely.

    Aside from that, make certain that the fence posts are set away from the septic field pipes to avoid accidently damaging a pipe when digging a posthole for the fence. istockphoto.com

    YouCan’tInstall Structures

    Construction of structures around septic fields is not recommended and cannot be done in certain areas. As previously stated, Numerous individuals have suggested floating decks, tiny shelters, and even simple gazebos to help block out the sun; however, each of these modifications poses a risk to the septic system and should be avoided. Septic fields cannot be securely constructed over decks because they are too heavy; in addition, decks impede access to the system by inhibiting the establishment of grass and other useful flora, which helps to lessen the adverse effects of erosion.

    It is not always true that a gazebo is too heavy for the field, but any building that shuts out the sun causes erosion in the field, which is why even an open-air kennel cannot be covered.

    YouCanSet Up a Lightweight Swing Set

    Some people may consider this large field to be a waste of space, but children and pets may play freely in it without encountering any difficulties, making it an ideal location for a lightweight swing set for the kids. Because of its tiny size and lightweight construction, this type of playground equipment is often reserved for children under the age of ten. These considerations also make it feasible to put up a swing set for some outside recreation time. Just make sure that the swing set does not have any large roofed portions that may obscure the sun and cause damage to the beneficial plants in the surrounding region before purchasing it.

    YouCan’tInstall Semipermanent Playground Equipment

    A permanent or semipermanent play structure may seem like an excellent idea given the amount of open space afforded by the septic field, but this might result in a slew of difficulties if it is not done properly. Large play structures are sometimes excessively heavy, placing strain on the septic field and potentially bending or breaking pipes that are only a foot or two below the surface of the ground. This type of play structure also normally requires a plastic sheet to assist prevent flooding and erosion surrounding the playground; however, when this barrier is placed over a septic field, it interferes with the process of evapotranspiration, which can result in both erosion and flooding in the field.

    istockphoto.com

    YouCanSet Up Volleyball and Badminton Courts

    It is feasible to construct a couple of poles that can support a volleyball or badminton net without interfering with the septic system, however a regulation court with the required flooring is not recommended in this situation. Even though the grass should be left undisturbed and exposed to allow the current plants to help the septic field with evapotranspiration, a basic court may be created without causing any damage to the septic system by usingrope to create a temporary barrier around the area.

    It’s important to remember that a volleyball court should only contain four people at a time, which means that a full-size volleyball court that can seat 12 people isn’t a smart option owing to the additional weight that would be placed on the pipes.

    YouCan’tInstall Tennis or Basketball Courts

    Tennis and basketball vary from volleyball and badminton in that they often require a paved surface in order to be played correctly. If you want to pave over your septic field for any purpose, whether to create a parking area, a patio, or to establish a tennis or basketball court, you should think twice. Because of the inclusion of concrete, not only does the process of evapotranspiration become impossible, but it also adds a large amount of weight to the septic field pipes, which may lead them to collapse.

    YouCanBuild a Fence

    The process of installing a fence in the yard becomes more difficult in the presence of an aseptic system because you must ensure that the postholes can be excavated and the posts installed without harming the septic field pipes is completed safely and without incident. When using an exact plan that specifies where the pipes are to be laid, it is feasible to construct an enclosed septic field, or even a pipeline that runs directly over it. Remember to take the time to carefully map out the exact location of the fence posts and to continue with caution while digging the holes for these supports.

    Additionally, ensure that the system may still be accessed for maintenance when it is required to do so.

    YouCan’tAdd a Pool or Water Features

    Pools, ponds, and streams are all wonderful additions to a property, but they must be maintained away from septic fields to avoid contamination. The presence of ponds or streams that are too close to the septic field increases the possibility of them becoming wastewater runoff points, lowering the efficacy of the system and generating areas surrounding the residence where hazardous pollutants, such as E. coli, can concentrate. Due to the fact that they must be dug out and erected in the ground where the septic pipes are located, inground pools should be a no-brainer, but even above-ground pools can cause issues.

    Additionally, the weight of the pool, especially when it is full, will likely crush the pipes and cause the entire septic system to backup.

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