- Plant tall native grasses with fibrous roots around the opening to conceal the tank lid from view. Place a light statue, bird bath or potted plant over the septic lid. Septic tank risers and covers are an alternative to concrete and blend into green grass.
How do you landscape a septic tank?
Direct all surface drainage away from the septic system. Use shallow-rooted plants (see plant list above). Tree and shrub roots can grow into the drainlines, clogging and breaking them. Avoid water-loving plants and trees.
How can I make my septic tank look nice?
Some of these lightweight lawn ornaments include: statues, birdbaths, and potted plants. Not only will they cover up your septic tank, they will make your property look a lot prettier. Rocks Are a Really Great Idea: Rocks that made to make your landscape prettier are a perfect way to conceal your septic tank.
What can you put over a septic tank?
Perennials and grasses (including ornamental grasses) work best around your septic tank and drain field. Their shallow root systems are less likely to invade the underground system and cause it damage. For the same reason, small, non-woody ground covers are a good choice.
What to plant around septic tanks?
Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses are generally the best choices for use on a septic drain field. Ornamental grasses also offer the advantages of having a fibrous root system that holds soil in place, and providing year-round cover.
Are long showers bad for septic systems?
Washing frequent, small loads of laundry or taking exceptionally long showers every day is all it takes to overload your septic system with too much water. The primary treatment tank needs time to break up solids before partly-treated water can enter the drain field.
Can you grow grass over septic tank?
Grass Benefits Grass planted over a septic drain field prevents soil erosion and improves the exchange of oxygen and the removal of soil moisture. Turfgrass is ideal for planting over a septic drain field because its roots aren’t likely to clog or damage the drain lines.
How can I hide my septic tank in my yard?
The Do’s For Hiding Your Septic Tank
- Plant tall native grasses with fibrous roots around the opening to conceal the tank lid from view.
- Place a light statue, bird bath or potted plant over the septic lid.
- Septic tank risers and covers are an alternative to concrete and blend into green grass.
Is it OK to cover septic tank lids?
If you have a traditional septic system, the tank should be pumped every 3-5 years. That means that the septic lids should be accessible every 3-5 years. You can use almost any temporary, movable objects to cover your lids, like: Mulch (but not landscaping)
Can you put a trampoline over a septic tank?
Never place anything heavy over it, think sheds, or above ground pools, etc. It’s probably not the best place to set up your kids’ trampoline or swing set either. Keep the area around your tank free of trees and shrubbery as their roots can clog and damage the tank and lines.
Can I plant a garden over my septic field?
Planting over a septic leach field (drain field) is possible if it is done with care. If you have limited space on your property where you can garden, the leach field may be the only spot for landscaping. Vegetable gardening over a leach field is not recommended.
Why is grass green over septic tank?
Greener grass over the septic tank may be the result of someone seeding that area if the tank cover was excavated for service. A backing up pipe to leachfield (or worse, a failing leachfield) could cause effluent to drain too slowly out of the septic tank or back up even into the building.
How far should a fire pit be from a septic tank?
A fire pit built into the ground needs to be at least 10 feet from a septic tank or leach field. Septic tanks are typically buried only 4 inches to 4 feet from the surface. Putting a source of extreme heat over the top of septic pipes can cause them to melt or burst, which could collapse them inward.
Can you put a deck over a septic tank?
You should never build a deck over a septic field; doing so will prevent the natural draining and dissipation of the effluent. This can ruin the septic system, not to mention releasing foul smells into the air all around your deck. The dissipating effluent can also rot the deck from underneath.
Can you plant a tree over a septic tank?
You definitely shouldn’t plant large shrubbery or trees anywhere near your septic tank. Any trees planted in your yard should be at least as far away from the septic tank as the tree is tall. For example, a 20-foot-tall tree should be planted at least 20 feet away from the septic tank.
Landscaping for Septic Systems
Septic systems that are properly built, put on the land, and serviced on a regular basis can survive for many years. When it comes to your septic system, prevention is key to maximizing its lifespan and minimizing its costs of operation. The two most common reasons of a malfunctioning septic system are improper (or a lack of) maintenance and physical damage to the system. Protecting Your Investment: Inspecting Your Septic System contains detailed information on routine maintenance and inspection of septic systems (PDF).
Plan Ahead to Protect Your Septic System
The design of your landscape should not interfere with the natural function of your irrigation system. Examine your yard with an eye towards the future. Plan to build a storage shed or other structure? Do you want to build a deck, patio, or anything else? Construction on or near your septic system might result in damage to the tank, pipes, and soil beneath the system. Sprinkler lines, decks, patios, storage sheds, sand boxes, swing sets, and other structures, whether paved or dirt, should be kept away from the septic tank, drainfield, and reserve area.
It is also essential to have access to your septic tank and other components of your septic system in order to do maintenance and prepare the drainfield before beginning.
Make use of your common sense and design your home around your septic system.
Before commencing any landscaping work, make sure you check with Clark first.
Call the Department of Environmental Health at 360-397-8428.
Marking Components for Access
Routine maintenance is an important aspect of keeping your septic system in good operating order, and it’s made easier when the components are clearly labelled and easy to find. Many landowners are concerned about the visibility of above-ground access ports on newer tanks, which are difficult to conceal. A tierred planter box or bench can be used to conceal these ports, and it can be simply relocated to enable for servicing to be performed. When it comes to older tanks, access ports are typically buried six inches to two feet down, making them difficult to discover when it comes time to pump.
Make use of risers, which may be obtained from local septic pumpers, to cover access ports, after which they can be disguised as previously stated.
Managing Water and Soil Properly
Downspouts and other surface water runoff should be directed away from your system. Water from your home’s septic system is the only type of water that it is intended to handle.
Additionally, excessive rainfall, manual watering in large quantities, sprinklers, and ponds stress the soil, resulting in septic system failure. Irrigation systems and water features should be installed at least ten feet away from the edge of your irrigation system’s perimeter.
Vehicles and Equipment.
Prevent the amount of traffic that passes through the system in order to reduce soil compaction. Compacted soils retain less oxygen, lower the efficacy of soil organisms in treating wastewater, and diminish the overall effectiveness of the system. It is important to keep vehicles bigger than a riding mower away from the drainfield to minimize soil compaction and damage to the leach line. If you have to cross the drainfield with a heavy vehicle, make sure the soil is dry and use track boards to distribute the weight evenly across the ground.
Compaction is also caused by large animals. Choosing to allow animals to graze on the drainfield area increases the likelihood of your septic drainfield being less effective. When animals are permitted to graze the drainfield during the rainy season, they should be removed before the grazing causes the soil to become exposed. Gardens. Landscape fabric, plastic, bark, or mulch should not be put over a septic system since they might cause damage. These materials, such as bark and mulch, limit air exchange while also retaining excess moisture.
A vegetable garden requires irrigation and involves constant cultivation and digging, both of which can cause damage to pipes and other components, especially if sections of your irrigation system are only six inches below the surface of the earth.
As a result, food gardens should be established in a different location.
Root vegetables can get into your drain lines.
Shallow-rooted plants that require little upkeep and require little water are the best choice for planting over a drainfield or near your septic system. Planting grasses or herbaceous vegetation that may be disturbed should be done over the tank so that you won’t be afraid to harm them if you accidentally damage them. The roots of grass and other herbaceous plants can aid in the removal of surplus moisture and nutrients from the soil, as well as the proper operation of the septic system. Plants that do not require division on a regular basis will reduce the amount of digging and potential harm to the drainfield.
It is possible to grow ornamental grasses in addition to keeping a typical lawn.
Other herbaceous plants can be utilized, but avoid those that demand a lot of irrigation on a regular basis.
Small-rooted plants that attract animals such as butterflies or birds can also be used in conjunction with larger plants.
To find more more about plants or gardening ideas, call the WSU Clark County Extension Master Gardners at 564-397-7725 or visit their website. Whatever plants you pick, your landscaping may be both visually appealing and low-maintenance, while also protecting your septic system from damage.
Landscaping Septic Systems
Table 1: Native plants with shallow roots that are ideal for use in landscaping sewage systems. Sources
- Septic System Management – Landscaping and Other Activities on Your Property – Well Water Program of the Oregon State University Extension G. Andrews’ Gardening with Native Plants was published in 2000. Clark County Public Works, Water Resources, and other departments Planting on Your Septic Drain Field – Virginia Cooperative Extension (2004
- Virginia Cooperative Extension). S. Day and E. Silva, eds. Landscaping Your Septic System – Washington Sea Grant Program (2013
- In English). T. King and J. Holdcroft, eds. Landscaping Your Drainfield – Washington State University Island County Extension, 2001. Maleike, R. (n.d.)
- Landscaping suggestions for those who have a septic system. Water Wastewater Program for the City of Seattle and the County of King. Landscaping Your Drainfield was published in 2005. Clallum County Health and Human Services
- Landscaping Your Drainfield– Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department
- Clallum County Health and Human Services
Erin Harwood worked on the adaptation. Extension programs are offered to anyone, without regard to their financial status. Originally published in October 2005; updated in 2019. Notify your local Extension office if you find any evidence of noncompliance. Links to external websites are provided on our pages for the convenience of our visitors. It should be noted that WSU Extension is not responsible for the content of these external websites, nor does it monitor or regulate the information included on them.
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 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.
- 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.
- Solid woody plants have deeper roots that have the potential to clog drain lines in a very short period of time.
- 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.
- The roots of a tree will normally reach at least as far from the trunk as the tree’s height from the ground.
- 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.
- Furthermore, residential effluent typically contains significant quantities of sodium, particularly if you use a water softener.
- It is not a good idea to plant vegetables over a leach field.
- A further consideration is that many vegetable gardeners are apprehensive about growing their food plants on soil that is regularly contaminated with household pollutants.
Unfortunately, building raised beds over the drainage region is also not a viable option. The increased soil depth created by the beds may reduce evaporation and reduce the effectiveness of the septic system’s efficacy.
|Barren strawberry||Waldsteinia ternata|
|Butterfly milkweed||Asclepias tuberosa|
|Globe thistle||Echinops ritro|
|Hens and chicks||Sempervivumspecies|
|Lamb’s ears||Stachys byzantina|
|Moss phlox||Phlox subulata|
|Purple coneflower||Echinacea purpurea|
|Russian sage||Perovskia atriplicifolia|
|Wild bergamot||Monarda fistulosa|
|Woodland sage||Salvia nemerosa|
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The Do’s and Don’ts of Landscaping Around Your Septic Tank
Because a septic system might be an eyesore, why not include it into your landscaping design? When concealing your septic system, we recommend that you keep the following points in mind: 1. DO:
- Plants that do not require a lot of water should be used. This stops plant roots from looking for water and interfering with your system’s functionality. Make use of herbaceous plants with shallow roots, such as flowers and ground cover. Examine the mound to see whether there has been any animal activity. Control any animal disturbances as soon as they occur. When planting in quarts, gallons, or plugs, make sure to keep your plants somewhat near to one another to prevent erosion. This will help restrict the growth of weeds. Place a potted plant, riser cover, or lawn decoration just above the site of your access hatch to indicate its location. When it comes time to dig up the hatch, this will make things much simpler. Plants and grasses native to the area should be preferred over vegetables. They do not require any additional irrigation.
- Planting plants or trees around the septic system is a good idea. A minimum distance of 20 feet should be maintained between trees, however trees that are known to hunt for water should be placed a minimum of 50 feet away from one another. Planting shrubs near the system is a good idea. Vegetables that are nutrient-rich can be grown on a septic system. However, contamination is a worry depending on how efficiently your soil filters microorganisms, even if it appears to be excellent for a garden. Susan Day, an expert on urban forestry at Virginia Tech, advocates planting aboveground veggies rather than root vegetables in close proximity as a safeguard. Disrupt the drainage system by constructing ponds, using plastic sheeting, or planting plants that require a lot of upkeep. Increase foot traffic in regions that are already established. The greater the amount of foot traffic, the more compacted the earth gets.
Always remember to take into consideration the complete septic system, from the trench or mound to the soil absorption area, while designing your landscaping. Maintaining and inspecting your septic system should be simple.
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.
- The introduction of more wastewater from the residence serves as a stimulus for their expulsion.
- 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.
- Drain field cloth can be used to protect dirt from getting into the holes.
- “Percolation” is the term used to describe how wastewater moves through the earth.
- The evaporation of excess moisture from the soil will take care of any excess moisture unless you (inadvertently) do something to hinder it.
- The Spruce / written by K.
Planning a Septic Field Garden
When it comes to planting near septic tanks, the drain field pipes are the most important thing to consider. If roots penetrate the perforations and clog the system, it is best to remove them immediately. All of the components of this meticulously calibrated system must be in good working order, or else the consequence is a complete disaster (and a costly one). While annual flowers such as impatiens are shallow-rooted enough to be used as septic-field plants, the fact that they must be replanted every year makes them less than ideal for this purpose.
If you are digging in a drain field, you should always wear gloves to protect your hands.
All of the following are terrible ideas because they may interfere with the regular evaporation process, which is responsible for removing excess moisture from the environment:
- Increasing the amount of soil in the region Using excessive amounts of mulch
- Providing more water to the plants than is strictly necessary
Mound System Landscaping Ideas Rogers MN
Just though your yard has aMound Septic Systemdoesn’t rule out the possibility of it being attractively manicured. A raised septic mound hill can take up a significant amount of space in your yard. Make it more interesting by using colorful plants and flowers. Installers of Mound Systems, as well as other types of septic tank systems, may be found in the Rogers, Minnesota region.
We are occasionally awestruck by the originality and vibrancy of Septic System Landscaping Ideas that we see in our community. Choosing low-maintenance vegetation may improve the appearance of your property while also improving the health of your septic system.
Protect Septic Hill From Erosion
A mounded septic hill can take up a significant amount of space in your yard. Elevated septic mounds can be as vast as ninety feet in length and as high as four feet in height, depending on their location. This can provide a significant barrier for Rogers MN homeowners who wish to maintain a beautiful yard while also increasing the value of their house. Until anything goes wrong with your mound system and you have to replace it, you may not understand how precious your system is. Smart Landscaping IdeasthatReduce Soil Erosionof the elevated mound itself are an excellent approach toProtect Your Septic Systemfrom the Elements.
Plants Used on Septic Mound
Septic System Landscaping Ideas may be found in abundance on the website of the University of Minnesota. There are a wide choice of brightly colored flowers that should thrive in the environment of the Twin Cities and Central Minnesota. Allow yourself to be imaginative, but make sure you select plants that require little maintenance.
- Prairie Clover (Dalea)
- Prairie Onion (Allium stellatum)
- Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum)
- Rough Blazing Star (Liatris aspera)
- Violets (Viola)
- Wild Bergamot (Mondarda fistulosa)
- Wild Geranium (Geranium spp. )
- Wild Geranium (Geranium spp
Low Maintenance Garden
Low-Maintenance plants should be used on septic hills since they require less maintenance than other plants. Native grasses or perennials with a shallow root system and minimal watering requirements are best for this situation. You should never irrigate a Mound System for fear of causing damage to the Organic Sewage Treatment Process that is taking place below ground. Your Low Maintenance Garden should have anything from 6 inches to 30 inches of dirt surrounding it to ensure that it is well-drained.
Have a good time with your Landscape Design.
Mound Septic System Installer
A Ground Septic Systemis a significant financial commitment that may provide excellent Organic Wastewater and Sewage Waste treatment. You can rely on the experience of CSI Custom Septic, Inc. to design and install a system that is tailored to the unique needs of your house. An Attractive Landscape Designcan be excellent for increasing the value of your home as well as maintaining the health of yourMound System. Quality Septic Services, including Mound System Design and Installation, can be obtained by contacting CSI Custom Septic Inc.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiding Your Septic Tank
No matter how beneficial your septic tank pumping system is to your everyday life, they are not always the most attractive addition to your landscaping. To make your grounds more attractive while also concealing your septic tank system, you will want to do everything you can to disguise your septic tank pumping system. These suggestions will assist you in concealing your septic tank without causing any damage to it. Planting trees in close proximity to it is not recommended: The use of trees on a property in Callahan, FL, according to many, is a smart method to conceal anything that is not visually appealing on the land, such as their septic tank pumping system.
- It is recommended that you never grow trees closer than twenty-five feet away from your septic tank’s pumping system.
- Either: Grass may appear to be a simple and quick option for concealing your septic tank pumping system, but it is not.
- When you need your system repaired or have periodic maintenance performed on it, you will have to dig up the grass every time it is needed.
- Animals must be kept away from your septic tank system for the following reasons: Animals should be kept away from your septic system.
- Building a fence is also detrimental: Despite the fact that constructing a fence will conceal your septic tank, you need exercise caution when determining how deep you should bury the fence posts.
- Additionally, if the posts are put in the drain field, it has the potential to compress the drain field and render it ineffective.
- They may also enhance the aesthetics of your yard by planting flowers and trees.
Waste from your system has the potential to move into your vegetable garden before it is properly handled, causing your vegetables to become polluted and unsafe to consume.
These goods may put a lot of strain on your system and inflict a great deal of harm to it as a result.
Plant Grass Around the Lid: Planting grass right on top of your septic tank lid is never a smart idea owing to the fact that it will make maintaining it much more difficult.
Do A Lightweight Lawn Ornament may be placed on top of it: Items that are too heavy should never be placed on the top of your septic tank pumping system.
Statues, birdbaths, and potted plants are just a few examples of the lightweight lawn decorations available.
The Use of Rocks Is a Fantastic Idea: Rocks that are intended to enhance the appearance of your environment are an excellent choice for concealing your septic tank.
Their transitory nature and ease of movement ensure that they will not be in the way when you need to have your septic tank pumping system serviced at your property in Callahan, FL.
Instead of concealing the septic tank, it enhances its appearance by painting it a bright color.
Paint the Lid: If none of the above options for hiding your septic tank appeal to you, you can always paint the lid of the tank.
If you want to improve the appearance of your septic tank system, this is a quick and simple solution.
It is a lovely alternative to a faux rock cover, and it will also contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of your yard.
Just remember to include any permanent items to cover your septic tank so that you will be able to readily access it when it is in need of maintenance or any other form of repair when you are through. Bert Norman’s Plumbing may be reached at 904-225-5888 for all of your plumbing requirements.
- Among the cities in Florida are Fernandina Beach (FL), Jacksonville (FL), North Jacksonville (FL), University (FL), Downtown Jacksonville (FL), Oceanway (FL), Lakewood (FL), Arlington (FL), Amelia Island (FL), Yulee (FL), Callahan (FL), Imeson (FL), Riverside (FL), Airport (FL), Town Center (FL), Regency Square (FL), Mayport (FL), Atlantic (FL), Neptune (FL), and Jacksonville Beach (FL).
6 Things to Know About Landscaping Around Your Septic Tank
You’re undoubtedly already aware that dumping some items into your sewage system, such as paint or grease, can cause harm to your septic tank. However, you may not be aware that certain gardening methods can actually cause harm to your septic system. In order to avoid unwittingly causing difficulties or damage to your septic tank, here are six things you should know regarding landscaping around your septic tank. 1. The location of the access point. It is OK to use landscaping to conceal the entry port to your septic tank; however, you must not totally conceal it.
- One option to conceal your access port without totally concealing it is to use a landscaping element such as a birdbath or any other fixed lawn decoration to mark out its position on the property.
- Characteristics of Vegetation that is Safe It is possible for some species of vegetation to grow above and around a septic tank without the risk of septic tank damage rising.
- You should also limit the vegetation that grows above your tank to plants that do not require a lot of water.
- In order to grow anything other than grass over your sewage tank, use perennials that are drought-resistant to the elements.
- Characteristics of Trees that Have the Potential to Be Destructive Large bushes or trees should not be planted anywhere near your septic tank under any circumstances.
- In the case of a 20-foot-tall tree, it is recommended that it be placed at least 20 feet away from the septic tank.
- Trees with actively growing roots can cause damage to septic tanks and pipelines, even if they are located a long distance away.
Grazing animals consume the protective vegetation that covers your drain field, exposing the components of your septic system to the elements.
There are a lot of methods you may use to keep livestock from grazing on your septic tank.
You may also apply animal repellents around your drain field, which deter animals by emitting unpleasant sounds or odors that they find uncomfortable.
Preventing vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Your landscaping should be planned and your yard should be put out in such a way that cars do not drive over the area where your septic tank is positioned.
Foot traffic, in addition to car traffic, can cause damage to a septic tank.
As an alternative, if possible, direct foot traffic away from the area.
The Positioning of Architectural Elements You could choose to include architectural elements into your landscaping, such as retaining walls, stone paths, or fire pits.
If you plan to incorporate architectural elements into your landscaping, be certain that these elements are located far away from your septic tank. Get in contact with Walters Environmental Services if you want to learn more about maintaining your septic tank in excellent working order.
Landscaping on or near Septic Drain Fields
Sewage treatment systems are intended to transport wastewater away from a residence or building, enabling the particles to separate from the liquids. Figure 1 shows a holding tank outside of the residence where particles are digested by bacteria. The liquids, or effluent water, flow out of the tank through a series of perforated drain pipes, allowing the percolation of wastewater away from the home and into an area known as the drain field (Figure 2). (also called a leach field). Before it reaches groundwater, the liquid is filtered by sediment and rock layers, while bacteria continue to decompose the effluent.
- Nutrient sources for algal blooms along coastlines and as pollutants in lakes, rivers, streams, and springs include contaminants from the environment such as nitrogen and phosphorus.
- Image courtesy of the UF/IFAS GCREC Urban Soil and Water Quality Laboratory.
- One technique to guarantee that your septic system operates at peak performance is to properly landscape the area around the drain field.
- Homeowners, landscape management experts, and Extension agents who work in horticulture, natural resources, agriculture, and family services will find the information offered here to be beneficial.
Managing Water around the Drain Field
Because the drain field is typically located beneath other portions of residential property that are considered suitable for landscaping, it is important to take precautions to ensure that the plants on and surrounding the drain field do not penetrate or interfere with the drain field’s function. As a result, overcompaction and heavy traffic through the drain field must be avoided if the helpful bacteria that break down toxic waste products are to thrive (Dickert 2010). Roof and gutter runoff should be diverted away from the drain field, and irrigation systems should not be directed at or built in these locations.
More water flowing over and down through the drain field means fewer opportunities for contaminants to be filtered out before entering the groundwater under the surface.
In order to avoid costly damage to the system and the environment when landscaping, installing irrigation, or performing any other type of construction around a home or business that has a septic system, it is critical that a detailed property survey be completed that shows the location of the drain field.
Plants for the Drain Field
It is feasible to landscape the drain field, which can aid in the prevention of soil erosion. Furthermore, the suitable plants can assist in regulating a portion of the gas exchange essential for the septic system to function effectively. Only shallow-rooted plants, on the other hand, are permitted on or near the drainage field. Plants with large, deep roots, tap roots, or plants with a woody root system structure can not only prevent the system from functioning properly, but they can also cause damage to the system by growing into the pipes, requiring costly repairs and even causing backups of wastewater into and around the home, which can be very unpleasant (Dickert 2010).
- It is possible to assess soil salinity at the UF/IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (ESTL;).
- They have roots that are shallow and fibrous in nature.
- It is not recommended to fertilize the turfgrass that grows over the drainfield.
- However, avoid planting any large or tall grass species because their root systems can become invasive and cause damage to the surrounding area.
- Drain fields can be covered with a variety of grasses, including St.
- A lawn made of Saint Augustinegrass (figure 2).
- Edible crops and vegetable gardens should not be grown on or near a septic tank or drain field because there is a risk that harmful germs or pollutants will enter the food chain.
- Furthermore, the additional fertilizer and irrigation used in gardens will simply contribute to the nutrient load that is carried down the drain field.
- Planting herbaceous plants on or around the drain field is an excellent alternative if turf cannot be planted or is not desired.
- Making sure you plant the correct plant in the right area is crucial to not just the proper performance of your septic system, but also to the longevity of the plant in its own right.
- Because a flooded drain field might be an indication of a failing septic system, plants that exhibit symptoms associated with excessive watering may indicate that a septic system check is required to be performed.
Milkweed is seen in Figure 3. Credit: Mary Lusk, University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agriculture
Additional Landscape Considerations
If you want to landscape on or near a septic drain field, keep in mind that the pipes can be just a few inches into the soil and 18″–36″ diameter, with pipes spaced 8 to 10 feet apart. You should avoid the following practices:
- Increasing the amount of dirt in the region
- Preparing the ground for sowing by tilling it
- Plastic, bark, rock, or any sort of mulch can be used to cover any portion of the drain field area. Plants that need the use of more fertilizer or irrigation
- Making use of landscape cloth
- Excavating using shovels or other instruments to a depth of less than 6 inches
- Planting any type of tree or plant on or near the drain field is prohibited.
Tree roots may quickly grow 2–3 times the breadth of the tree’s canopy, therefore putting a huge tree within 20 feet of a drain field, such as one that is 30 feet in diameter, is a recipe for septic system failure (Dickert 2010). A thorough inspection of the drain field designs might help you avoid making costly mistakes in the future.
Remember to avoid making any changes aboveground that might have an influence on the drain field below. The use of plants with shallow roots can assist in avoiding erosion and even filtration of some pollutants, while the use of plants with deep, expansive root systems, as well as plants that require a lot of upkeep or division over time, might result in septic failure. The soil, through processes like as filtration and absorption to soil particles, can remove some pollutants from the septic system region, but the soil is responsible for the vast majority of pollutant removal (Toor et al.
Given that septic tank effluent reaches the drain field soil at a depth below the rooting zone of most landscaping plants, plant absorption and removal of contaminants from the soil is limited (Lusk et al.
Don’t drive across or use a drain field for heavy activities to avoid compacting the soil above the drain field, and don’t dig into the drain field to avoid causing serious septic system damage.
G. M. Dickert’s Landscape Design for Septic Drain Fields was published in 2010. HGIC 1726 is a unique identification number. Clemson Cooperative Extension, Greenville, South Carolina. Lusk, M., and colleagues 2017. 455–541 in Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology47 (7): 455–541 in “A Review of the Fate and Transport of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Pathogens, and Trace Organic Chemicals in Septic Systems.” Toor, G., Lusk, M., and Obreza, T. (2001). 2011. System for the Treatment and Disposal of Sewage on-site: Nitrogen.
The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is located in Gainesville.
Tips When Decorating Near Your Septic System
Septic systems are required for all homeowners, but they are not the most aesthetically pleasing addition to any landscape design. The most effective technique to conceal this requirement is to cover it with plants so that it blends with the surrounding scenery. When decorating near your septic system, caution must be exercised, and the following suggestions will assist you in doing so safely and with beautiful results.
What Not to Do
- Landscape and outdoor décor projects that are too extensive around your septic system might cause harm to the system. Planting a tree within 25 feet of a system will ultimately cause difficulties for the system. As the tree’s extensive roots spread across their surrounding area, they may ultimately encircle the entire field-line, causing sewage to back up into your property and resulting in a significant repair expense. Large-growing shrubs are just as hazardous as trees in terms of air pollution. Make a selection of tiny plants, flowers, and grasses to be used to embellish the area surrounding your septic tank. Fencing, whether it is a wooden privacy fence or a chain-link fence, should not be installed in close proximity to your septic system. Since the fence post installation requires digging deep holes, it is possible that the installer will accidentally dig into a line or other component of the system, causing damage. Even if no damage is done during the fence installation process, the fence will almost certainly be harmed in the future when the septic system requires maintenance or replacement. It is recommended that you keep fruit and vegetable gardens away from the system since the produce might become tainted if the system should fail. In addition, if produce plants are planted too close to the septic system, they will be destroyed during routine system maintenance or replacement procedures. Keep large, heavy objects away from your septic system. Keep an automobile, golf cart, motorbike, or other sort of motorized vehicle away from your system’s installation area. It is not permissible to construct or erect a structure on top of your system (such as a picnic table or gazebo). Although the tank lid is strong and durable, it is not intended to support the weight of vehicles or buildings. Maintain a minimum distance of one foot between any decorations and an above-ground pressure transducer (if your system has one).
You may use anything that is light weight and easy to maneuver to beautify the area around and on top of your septic system. Construct a rock garden, a little bird or butterfly refuge, or a bright potted flower garden to display your work of art. Another option for outdoor décor is art that can be changed to correspond with the changing of the seasons.
Septic Tank Riser
It is one of the most straightforward and cost-effective methods of camouflaging a septic system to install a tank riser that covers the tank and mixes in with the surrounding grass.
Nothing will be able to tell that there is a sewage system beneath the surface of the ground if you place a few potted flowers and imitation rocks along the edge of the riser and a light weight bird bath on top.
Faux rocks are lightweight and have a realistic appearance, much like the genuine thing. Useful for outdoor décor, and it’s simple to relocate when the septic tank has to be serviced on a regular basis. When you add a few ornamental elements to your rock garden, such as a porcelain frog and a gazing ball, you will have created a tranquil outdoor space that is ideal for resting.
Make a mosaic out of shattered tiles by painting the tank lid and using it as a muralor. The lid serves as a huge, concrete canvas on which you may paint or draw creative artwork to liven up your yard or garden.
Septic systems that are in good working order are beneficial to your family, your budget, and the environment. You can safeguard your septic system and save money on costly repairs by following a few easy procedures. Your groundwater, as well as the lakes, rivers, and beaches of Puget Sound, will benefit as well!
What is a septic system?
Consider them to be similar in size to a sewage treatment facility, but considerably smaller. They collect, store, treat, and dispose of the items that you flush or pour down the toilet. Various sorts of systems are available to choose from. Some are straightforward, requiring merely a tank and a drainage area. Others are more complicated, necessitating the use of pumps, filters, or materials that have been particularly created. For further information, please see our 3D septic system models.
A maintained septic system keeps you and the environment healthy and helps:
- Reduce the likelihood of individuals becoming ill as a result of untreated sewage
- Reduce the likelihood of groundwater and surface water becoming contaminated
- You will save money and your system’s life will be extended.
Our role is to:
- Consult with septic system specialists to approve the design, placement, and installation of the system
- Property owners should be educated on the need of keeping their septic systems in good working order.
What are the regulations?
- Environmental Health Code, Chapter 1, General Provisions
- Environmental Health Code, Chapter 2, On-Site Sewage
- Environmental Health Code, Chapter 3, Water Regulation
- Appeals Process for Orders and Decisions of the Health Officer
- Environmental Health Code, Chapter 1, General Provisions
- The Septic Systems 101 webinar is available online
- Designers and Engineers —A list of designers and engineers that are qualified to work in Pierce County is available online
- Septic Systems 101 webinar is available online
- Installation Companies —A list of companies that have been certified to work in Pierce County
- Fee Schedule — Fee Schedule for On-Site Sewage, Wells, and Water Resources Services
- Complaints can be lodged against a Pierce County Septic Service Company or a person. A list of firms that have been certified to work in Pierce County’s septic system service industry.
Have questions? We have answers!
For further information, please contact us at [email protected] or (253) 649-1925.
A Solution to Hide Septic Tank Lids
The 9th of June, 2012 In response to a client’s recent inquiry about what to do with an area that has open septic tank lids (see photo), I decided to relate how I assisted another client in solving a similar situation some years ago. Although it is necessary to be able to access these lids, this does not imply that you must stare at these unpleasant objects. Here’s how we resolved the issue for this particular customer. Septic lids that are unsightly should not be the focal focus of your landscaping!
After cleaning up the space and preparing it for planting, we planted low-growing, spreading grasses and perennials throughout the area.
On top of one of the lids of the newly planted area, we placed a huge urn, which we had recently purchased, as a centerpiece.
Six months after planting, the plants have begun to fill in.
You can’t even see that the lids are open!
The Japanese Forrest Grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’) is planted in a ‘wave’ in between the lids and performs an excellent job of concealing them thanks to its low-growing cascade tendency and low-growing habit.
Another point of view, a year later Do you have any additional suggestions for concealing septic tank lids that you’ve tried? Do you have any comments or feedback? Please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Thank you!