Can I plant near 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.
What can you put around a septic tank?
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 do you landscape a septic tank cover?
Find what fits in your yard and climate.
- 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.
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.
How do you landscape a septic tank mound?
Plant shrubs or perennial plants on the berms around the mound or along the edges where the berms meet the flat part of your yard. Avoid planting shrubs or anything with deep roots on the mound itself.
Can you put mulch over septic tank?
Gardens. Landscape fabric, plastic, bark, or mulch should not be used over your septic system. These materials reduce air exchange while bark and mulch also retain excess moisture. Adding more than a few inches of soil over the drainfield, such as for raised beds, limits air exchange and can lead to compaction.
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)
Should septic tank lids be buried?
In most cases, all components of the septic tank including the lid are buried between 4 inches and 4 feet underground. Unless the septic tank has special risers that position the lid at ground level, you’ll have to dig for it.
Can you plant bushes 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.
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.
Can you landscape over a leach field?
Planting over a septic leach field (drain field) is possible if it is done with care. Growing shallow – rooted plants over the drainage area is recommended because they help remove excess moisture and nutrients from the soil and reduce erosion.
What can be planted on a septic mound?
Herbaceous plants, such as wildflowers and grasses, are good choices for mound plantings. Grasses are especially desirable due to their fibrous root systems which hold soil in place. Grasses also provide year-round cover. These plants are propagated by seed or plants.
Can you put anything over a septic field?
To maintain the integrity and longevity of your drainfield, you should never put anything heavy on top of any part of it. You shouldn’t even drive over the drainfield, as the vehicle can crush the drainfield lines. Heavy items cause soil compaction.
Landscaping Around a Septic System: Do’s and Don’ts
Riverside, California 92504-17333 Van Buren Boulevard Call us right now at (951) 780-5922. A big number of large plants, patios, and other structures are likely to be absent from the region surrounding your septic system. Indeed, conventional thinking is that you should avoid both large landscaping and septic systems in the vicinity of one other. This is a reasonable guideline to follow since roots can entangle themselves around pipes and cause them to burst. Plants, on the other hand, can absorb excess rainfall and decrease erosion, so landscaping around your septic system might not be such a bad idea after all.
You don’t want roots to penetrate the perforations and clog the system, so keep them out.
Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts
- 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. When planting 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. If you have any trees or shrubs growing in your yard in the future, consider how their development may impede access to the septic tank lids, leach field, and sprinkler system. Using a potted plant, riser cover, or lawn ornament just above your access hatch, you may mark the position of your access hatch. When it comes time to dig it up, it will be much simpler to do so. Allow tall Kentucky bluegrass or another type of lawn to grow over the plot of ground that serves as a septic tank cover. Consider the benefits of growing perennials. Because both grasses and perennials have a shallow root structure, they should have no negative impact on your tank or drain field. Make use of tiny, non-woody groundcovers to disguise weeds. Think about planting shallow-rooted trees and vegetation (such as cherry trees, dogwood trees, holly bushes, azalea shrubs, and boxwood shrubs) in the area around your septic system, but make sure they are at least 10-15 feet away from the tank.
- Get so concerned about plants and grasses hurting your septic tank that you completely demolish the surrounding region. Some grasses and plants are particularly effective at collecting excess rainwater surrounding the drain field, hence reducing the likelihood of drainage problems. Overwatering your lawn may encourage freshly planted plants to flourish more quickly. Overwatering can cause soil to contract over your leach field, which can cause your septic system to get clogged. Root vegetables can be grown in the vicinity of your system. If these nutrient-absorbing plants are planted too near together, they may cause problems with microorganisms.
- Install plastic sheeting or ponds to keep the water out. These characteristics obstruct effective drainage from the tank to the leach field. Overlook the septic tank or leach field and construct walkways and high-traffic routes
- Don’t forget that the placement of fencing and gates might have an impact on septic pumper truck access. The hoses on the truck are quite heavy, and we do not recommend that you use them to cross fences. The majority of pumpers like to have access within 50 feet of their vehicle. Planting plants or trees around the septic system is a good idea. Forestry professionals recommend planting trees 20 feet or more away from water, but trees that are known to hunt for water should be planted 50 feet or more away from water. 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.
Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields
As long as you choose the landscaping for the region around your septic system with care, you won’t have to be so concerned about the possibility of septic system damage caused by roots that you refrain from planting in these places entirely. 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. The ideal plants to use around your septic tank and drain field are perennials and grasses (including decorative grasses).
Small, non-woody ground coverings are a wonderful choice for the same reason: they are low maintenance.
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.
The following are examples of shallow-rooted plants and shrubs:
- Dogwood trees, Japanese maple trees, Eastern redbud trees, cherry trees, azalea shrubs, boxwood shrubs, and holly shrubs are examples of ornamental trees and shrubs.
The Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems
Planting huge, rapidly 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:
- The following are examples of plants and trees: Pussywillow bushes, Japanese willow shrubs, Weeping willow trees, Aspen trees, Lombardy poplar trees, Birch trees, Beech trees, and Elm trees The majority of maple trees, with the exception of Japanese maples
- American sweetgum trees
- Ash trees
- Tulip trees
It is advised that a layer of vegetation, such as a lawn, be placed over the drain field to help hold the dirt in place and boost the effectiveness of the system. Certain principles, on the other hand, should be followed in order to avoid costly and unpleasant situations. Perhaps the greatest piece of advise would be to keep trees and bushes out of the landscaping surrounding this location. The most important factor should be the best possible functioning of your septic system, but each homeowner will need to do a cost/benefit analysis of the plants they choose on an individual basis.
If you suspect that encroaching tree roots are causing damage to your system, please contact us at (951) 780-5922 as soon as possible. If you have any questions, we have specialists standing by to help you resolve them and get your system back up and running.
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.
Benefits of using landscaping plants around septic tanks
Your septic tank may suffer harm if certain contaminants, such as paint or grease, are introduced into it. You are probably well aware of this fact. Many people are unaware that some landscaping methods might really cause harm to their septic systems. The following are six things you should be aware of while landscaping around your septic tank in order to avoid causing difficulties or damage by accident. Access Port’s Geographical Location It is OK to use landscaping to conceal the entry port to your septic tank; however, it is not acceptable to totally conceal it.
- Use a landscaping element such as a birdbath or any fixed lawn decoration to point out the position of your access port if you don’t want it to be totally hidden entirely.
- You want to limit the vegetation that grows over your septic tank to little plants with shallow roots that do not penetrate the soil too deeply.
- When water-hungry plants grow down to the pipes, their roots have the ability to pierce the pipes in their quest for water.
- Trees that have the potential to cause damage are classified according to three characteristics: Large bushes or trees should not be planted in or near your septic tank under any circumstances.
- In order to avoid clogging the septic tank, a 20-foot-tall tree should be placed at least 20 feet away from it.
- Even if they are located a long distance away, trees with actively growing roots can cause damage to septic tanks and pipelines.
Protective vegetation over your drain field is eaten away by grazing animals, exposing the internal components of your septic system.
There are several methods for discouraging grazing near your septic tank.
Additionally, you may install animal repellents around your drain field, which deter animals by emitting unpleasant sounds or odors that they find undesirable.
Having any form of traffic over your septic tank is a major issue.
A truck or anything else that is heavy puts strain on the earth above your septic tank, causing it to rupture.
Placement of footpaths above your septic tank is not recommended.
Your landscape may benefit from the addition of architectural elements such as retaining walls, stone paths, and fire pits.
If you want to incorporate architectural elements into your landscaping, make certain that these elements are located far away from your septic tank or wastewater treatment plant.
Get in contact with Walters Environmental Services if you want to learn more about maintaining your septic tank in excellent health.
Trees and plants
Much to the foundation of your customer’s home, tree roots may grow deep into a septic system and cause damage to the pipes and tanks within it, which means you should avoid planting trees with deep roots in the region where your customer’s septic system is located. Even though it’s a tiny sapling, the roots of some trees, such as white oaks, hickory, walnut, evergreen figs, and others, may grow quite fast once established. This means that trees should not be planted within 30 feet of a septic system, or else they will cause problems later on.
Another excellent rule of thumb to follow when selecting plants to be placed near a septic system is to choose plants with shallow roots that will not require a lot of water to thrive.
Excess water in the region might pose problems for plants that demand a lot of water, which can make things worse for those who have to water their plants frequently.
Water-resistant plants with shallow roots, such as ground cover, blooming perennials and annuals, and herbaceous plants, are the ideal alternatives to recommend to your consumers.
Grass, gardens and maintenance
Overall, the most secure approach of beautifying your customer’s septic region is to plant grass to cover the area and cover it completely. It will swiftly absorb extra moisture from the soil, allowing it to continue to filter wastewater as efficiently as it did previously. Regardless of where you are located, there should be a variety of grass selections available for your consumers to pick from. Just make sure that anything they select will be simple to maintain, as you don’t want anything that would need the transportation of mowers and other heavy equipment to the area for upkeep.
However, I strongly urge against doing so.
If consumers inquire about the possibility of installing raised beds in the space as an alternative, tell them that the additional weight of the beds might put undue strain on the pipes below that lead from the septic tank to the field or on the tank itself, depending on the situation.
Remind them to check their septic system on a regular basis.
Make sure they are aware that it must be professionally inspected for problems and pumped out on a regular basis. EPA guidelines indicate that you have your septic system examined every one to three years, and that it be pumped every three to five years, depending on the size of your system.
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
Planting On Your Septic Systems, Landscaping Ideas for Your Drain Field
In the event that you want to plant over your septic drain field, When it comes to landscaping around a septic tank, there are a few plants you may use safely, and then there are the ones you should avoid.
Is it possible to grow plants over your septic drain field? If so, which plants are the most beneficial and which are the most detrimental? We will discuss landscaping and gardening ideas for septic tank owners in this post, which is written in English and Spanish.
Landscaping and Planting Ideas for your Septic Drain FieldSeptic Tank
It is important to consider the following while planting near your septic drain field: A few plants can be used to landscape around a septic tank, and then there are some that should be avoided. It is possible to grow plants on top of your septic system’s drain field. Are there any plants that stand out as particularly good, and which ones stand out as very bad? Septic tank owners in British Columbia will find landscaping and gardening suggestions in this article useful.
Septic Field Landscaping, is it necessary?
In a nutshell, sure. There are a variety of factors contributing to this. Perhaps most persuasive is the fact that planting on a septic drain field can assist to stabilize the region and lessen the likelihood of the soil cover eroding in the future. Erosion can cause damage to the drain field, which can be extremely expensive to repair because the drain field is often the most expensive component of a septic system. Besides that, plants have the ability to take surplus nutrients and moisture from the soil.
- The capillary action of the vegetation’s roots will also suck some of the wastewater out of the soil, which will aid in not only cleaning the water but also in removing some of the soil moisture from the environment.
- The planting of grass or low root plants is often required by code to aid in transpiration, erosion management (as previously indicated), and to provide insulative characteristics in cold areas, among other things.
- Landscape design over the septic tank will conceal the lids and access locations, while planting on the septic field will provide you with a lush grass and abundant plant life.
- Planting on your septic drain field with the appropriate grasses and plants not only improves the performance of the system, but it also completely conceals any underground infrastructure.
- Because the root systems of some plants can penetrate and cause damage to the pipes or other components inside the drain field, this is a major reason for this.
So, what should you consider when planting on a septic drain field?
In an ideal situation, you would choose plants that would fulfill your house or business landscaping needs while also maintaining the drain field as free of deep-rooted vegetative or weather risks as feasible. Finding out about a plant’s rooting tendencies and water requirements is the most straightforward approach to determine whether or not it is suitable for a drain field. Look for shallow-rootedherbaceous plants that are already established in your location or that have been acclimated to the average rainfall quantities in your region.
Choosing flora that is both shallow-rooted and drought-tolerant will help you to decrease your effort to a bare minimum totally. These kind of plants should require little to no watering, if any at all.
Some of the plants that are safe for your drain field are:
- Holly shrubs, boxwood shrubs, azalea shrubs, Holly Hocks, wild violets, and spring bulbs are some of the options.
Some trees that are septic safe, including fruit trees, include:
- Dogwood trees, Japanese maple trees, Eastern Redbud trees, and cherry trees are examples of such trees.
When planting fruit trees near a drain field, extreme caution should be exercised, especially if there is a surface breakout from the septic system. Pathogens such as Escherichia coli and Enterobacter spp., which can be transferred from the septic drain field to the trees, have been identified. It is recommended by North Dakota University that a root barrier be erected, since this will prevent roots from entering into the septic lines. A typical rule of thumb, while not always applicable, is to maintain a distance between the septic system and the tree that is proportional to the height of the tree.
Some of the worst plants and trees to cover a septic drain field or septic tank are:
- When planting fruit trees near a drain field, extreme caution should be exercised, especially if there is a surface breakout from the septic system present. Pathogens such as Escherichia coli and Enterobacter spp., which can be transferred from the septic drain field to the trees, are a possibility. As recommended by North Dakota University, it is necessary to establish a root barrier. This will prevent roots from entering into the septic system. While this is not always the case, a basic rule of thumb is to maintain the septic system at a distance proportional to its height from the tree.
It is also not suggested to grow shrubs with extensive root systems, such as Caryopteris (also known as Bluebeard or blue mist spirea). Planting vegetation with a deep root structure, water-loving roots that will develop aggressively deep and perhaps block or harm the pipes in the septic drain field is something you should avoid. As previously stated, septic systems – especially the drain field – may be quite expensive to repair. Furthermore, a faulty system might get extremely clogged and can have a negative influence on the environment.
(For example, avoid planting immediately before a major rainstorm.) You want the plants to establish themselves fast in order to reduce the likelihood of soil erosion.
Irritating the drain field can cause the soil to become saturated to an unacceptably high degree, preventing the effluent from evaporating and, as a result, increasing the likelihood of groundwater pollution.
Maintaining septic drain field vegetation
As much as you may want to plant over the drain field so that it integrates smoothly with your landscape and you forget that it exists, this is not the ideal option in most cases. Maintain visibility of your drain field, or make people aware of it through other methods, such as a plant barrier or fence. Holding big social events is discouraged; mowing the grass is OK; however, foot traffic should be kept to a minimum. If you are unclear of any potential conditions that might have a detrimental impact on your system, always consult with your Septic System Installer.
This is OK, as long as they are at least 50 feet away from your septic system and drain field, which is recommended.
Keep these trees at least 20 feet away from the septic tank and drain field, or as far away as the mature height of the tree allows you to go.
Can I plant a vegetable garden over the Septic System?
Because of the wastewater that seeps into the soil through the drain field pipes, the soil can become extremely wet and nutrient rich. The thought of using this by planting a fruit or vegetable garden over a drain field may seem like a good idea at first glance. Unfortunately, this is not encouraged – especially when it comes to creeping plants and root crops like turnips. Due to the fact that the vegetation will be in close contact with soil that is likely to be contaminated with disease-causing organisms such as viruses and bacteria, this is the case.
- However, leafy crops that grow near to the ground are also at danger of contamination because irrigation water that has spilled onto the foliage might contaminate the foliage.
- In general, the higher the crop is in height, the smaller the chance of contamination is to be found.
- It is quite likely that if you have a water softener in your home, your water softening system is adding salt to your septic system every time it regenerates, which is harmful to your health.
- In addition, depending on your septic system, the wastewater that ends up in your drain field may still include residue from home chemicals such as laundry detergent, which can be harmful.
- Furthermore, gardening tasks such as ploughing, deep digging, rototilling, and fence post placement must be included in.
- Raised garden beds, on the other hand, can have a substantial impact on the usual evaporation rate of wastewater from the soil.
- Herbaceous plants such as annuals, perennials (including bulbs), and decorative grasses will be the best choices for your septic drain field.
- In a previous section, we discussed the advantages of shallow-rooted herbaceous plants over alternative deep-rooted and woody-rooted options.
- Covering the drain field with more dirt unless the amount is insignificant or the material is being used to repair an area that has been eroded or dragged up by the removal of another plant should be avoided.
- Tilling the soil– If at all possible, avoid doing this. Please keep in mind that the pipe for your septic system drain field might be as near as 12 inches from the soil surface, and in some cases much closer.
- Gloves– When dealing with the soil from your drain field, it is essential that you wear gloves. A virus might be present in the water leaking from your septic system into the drain field, and if it came into touch with your skin, eyes, or mouth it could cause you to get extremely sick.
- Use of groundcovers– If you are selecting a groundcover for your drain field, such as a native grass or creeper, avoid using species that are known to form a thick, dense canopy over the drain field. In order for your septic system to work efficiently, the effluent in the drain field must be allowed to evaporate, which cannot occur if the ground cover is too thick.
- Native species– Select plants that are native to your area and have a high level of adaptability. It will be less necessary for you to fertilize or water the drain field area as a result.
- Make sure that there is no foot traffic on the septic drain field in order to limit the likelihood of damage occurring. Choose low-maintenance plants that don’t require a lot of attention or mowing
A selected listing of plants for use on septic drain fields
The following are some more suggestions for plants that do well in drain fields in British Columbia. This list is not exhaustive, so make sure to conduct more research to confirm that the plants you pick will survive in the circumstances that are typical of your region before purchasing them. Fescue, lawn, and ornamental grasses are examples of grasses. Meadow mixtures with wildflowers Groundcovers that are tolerant of the sun Kinnickinick heathers (Calluna) are a kind of heather (Arctostaphylos) Soapwort is a kind of plant that is used to make soap (Saponaria) Groundcovers for Providing Shade Bunchberry is a kind of berry (Cornus) Ferns that are indigenous to the area Mosses that are indigenous to the area Sweet Woodruff is a flowering plant that is native to the United States (Galium) Ginder in the wild (Asarum) Wintergreen (Gaultheria) is a plant that grows in the winter.
Landscaping Around a Septic System
Unlikely as it may seem, the space around your sewage system does not contain any huge plants, patios, or other permanent objects. After all, the conventional and popular sense holds that you should avoid both constructing and heavy landscaping near a sewage system unless absolutely necessary. This is a wonderful rule of thumb to keep in mind as you go with your landscaping tasks because it is broad and generic in nature. Building swimming pools, patios, and huge trees in the vicinity of your sewage system is a certain way to ruin your day if you enjoy it when it operates correctly.
It’s true that there are excellent and poor methods to go about it, and that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss right now.
Ideally, I’d want to incorporate some landscaping around the septic system.
- Grasses: Yes, provided that the grass species does not necessitate the use of heavy machinery for upkeep. When it comes to flower beds, the answer is “yes.” However, if we’re talking about woody plants, raised gardens, or crops, this isn’t the case. No, trees are not allowed. Maintain a distance of at least 30 feet between trees and your septic system. Regular inspection and pumping of your septic system are recommended, as is checking for root systems that have infiltrated your septic system
The Grass is Greener…
Grass is a fantastic plant for the space around your septic tank. It joyfully absorbs excess moisture from the soil surrounding it, allowing your septic field to continue to treat wastewater properly and efficiently as a result of this. Although almost any sort of grass will suffice, you’ll want to make certain that it’s simple to maintain with frequent, light mowing. In an ideal situation, you’ll want to minimize the amount of maintenance to a bare minimum. Basically, you don’t want any type of maintenance that necessitates driving large mowers or other machines over pipes that are close to the surface of the ground.
- Most likely, you or your client will take a look out at the large open space around the septic drain field and believe that it would be ideal for planting crops.
- Here’s why: anything that grows there will have benefited from wastewater to grow, and do you really want to eat that tomato that sprung out from the fruits of your intestines to satisfy your hunger?
- Raised beds can be used as an alternative in this situation, however they may not be the greatest option.
- It is preferable to locate them to the side of the drain field, away from the septic tank, if at all possible.
Putting Down Roots
But what about plants that aren’t meant to be consumed? Is it permissible for me to establish a garden in the area just for aesthetic reasons? Well, it’s possible. However, you should stay away from any plants that require a lot of water to survive and develop. The trouble with really thirsty plants is that if they don’t receive enough water, they’ll send deeper roots into the ground, which might cause problems with your plumbing. What about plants that don’t require an excessive amount of water?
What makes you think you’re going to clog up those specific works?
In order to successfully landscape around a septic system, pick plants that have shallow root systems and which are recognized for being drought-resistant in their native environment. Flowering annuals and perennials are an excellent choice; however, plants with woody stems should be avoided.
Trees + Your Septic System = Bad News
As you might guess, if planter boxes and heavy machinery may cause issues with your drain field and septic tank, the odds are fairly strong that planting trees is a terrible idea in general, too. Yes, you are accurate. Roots may cause significant damage to your pipes and septic tank in the same way that they do to your home’s foundation. Trees with deep roots, in particular, can do significant damage, so it’s better to keep them at least 30 feet away from your drain field and tank.
Maintenance on your septic system should be performed on a regular basis. Similarly, the landscaping around your septic system should be checked on a regular basis as well. In order to maintain the integrity of your tank, you should have it examined every three years and pumped every three to five years. Keep an eye out for any renegade roots that may have made their way into potentially harmful region while you’re getting this done. If a network of roots manages to thread its way into your system and infiltrate your pipes or tank, that is the last thing you want to happen.
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.
A Guide to Landscaping Around Your Septic Tank – Scott Robbins Septic Tank Service
Septic tanks need little upkeep and, if maintained properly, can survive for several years without requiring replacement. Nonetheless, being proactive is crucial, particularly when it comes to landscaping and hardscaping. No matter if you have an existing septic system or are considering building a new one, this guide will help you keep things running smoothly.
How Landscaping Affects a Septic Tank System
Despite the fact that the majority of the system is below, the above-ground environment can have a substantial influence on its performance. Extra weight on or near the system, such as that caused by huge trees, gardening sheds, dirt roads, sandboxes, decks, patios, or other hardscaping elements, can cause damage to the pipes or tank and compress the soil in the drain field. It is possible that compacted soil will be unable to filter wastewater adequately, resulting in backups. Tree roots are also a danger since they have the potential to penetrate the pipes.
Drain fields are intended to filter wastewater before it is absorbed by the soil and the surrounding plants.
How to Prevent Problems
It is possible to design a beautiful environment around a septic system without endangering the system. Hardscaping should be avoided directly above the tank and pipes, as well as in the drain field. It is also not permitted to park cars or construct temporary buildings in the area. Keep the area around the septic system free of barriers, such as plants and trees, to ensure that maintenance and repair professionals can get to it quickly and easily. In order to minimize extra moisture in the drain field, sprinkler systems should be installed at least 10 to 15 feet away from the tank, and large-root trees and shrubs should be planted between 20 and 100 feet away from the tank.
Shallow-rooted perennials such as violets, daffodils, marigolds, impatiens, zinnias, and petunias will not cause any damage to the tank or septic system because of their shallow root systems.
Scott Robbins Septic Tank Service in Davidson County, North Carolina, will help you schedule routine septic tank maintenance.
To make an appointment, call (336) 880-0859 and talk with a helpful member of their staff, or visit their website to learn more about the services they provide.
What Should You Plant Over the Septic System?
Among the plants seen here are creeping phlox, dwarf boxwood, hebe,thyme, and iris, all of which are deemed acceptable for planting over a septic field.
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Get articles, news, and videos about Onsite Systems delivered directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Plus, there are Onsite Systems. Receive Notifications As you go about your daily pumping rounds, you’ve seen the many different ways that homeowners may sabotage their septic systems by using bad landscaping or making other ill-informed land-use decisions. When the driveway becomes overcrowded, people park their automobiles on top of the septic system. They build a wooden deck over the septic tank, making it difficult for you to get to it.
- They promote root infiltration, soil compaction, and broken and damaged drainlines, and then wonder why they’re having trouble maintaining the septic tank.
- On Bowen Island in the British Columbia province of Canada, there is a landscape and garden designer by the name of Wynn Nielsen.
- A presentation on landscaping around a septic system was recently prepared by Nielsen to assist disgruntled property owners – who may not be aware that they have a septic system or who may not even be aware that they do have one – who are confused about how their system operates.
- In Nielsen’s experience, landscaping designers are often late to the game when properties are being developed, because landowners have formed preconceived views about how they want to use their lots before the designers arrive.
- According to her, “septic fields tend to occupy the most appealing portions of a lot, and people tend to want to utilize them.” “People want to build patios, decks, and hot tubs on their properties.
- I’m the one who has to break the terrible news to you that you won’t be able to accomplish that without causing damage to the septic field.
- “It would be wonderful if there were greater awareness of the end-user.” The majority of pumpers are gearing up for the start of the hectic season.
- Some of Nielsen’s presentation may be useful in explaining how each planting option might affect the effective usage and lifetime of a customer’s septic system to them in your presentations.
Additionally, Nielsen has these words of wisdom for septic pumpers and installers: If homeowners have a lot of questions and worries regarding their landscaping, they should not be shy about calling in an expert.
STEER CLEAR OF THESE
Your knowledge of the first guideline of planting around a septic system includes knowing to avoid thirsty plants that have deep roots. Water-loving trees such as willows, birch, silver maple, elm, beech, walnut, and linden, according to Nielsen, should be kept at a safe distance from homes. The use of aggressive, dense ground coverings that will interfere with the evaporation process, such as pachysandra, cotoneaster and periwinkle, is discouraged, according to her. Others to stay away from because of their aggressive roots include vines and wisteria, as well as bittersweet, morning glory, campsis, and hops.
- Any species of bamboo
- Any plants with very strong lateral root development
- Any other trees with a particularly strong lateral root growth Pond grasses that thrive in water and grow in vast quantities
- Clematis native to the area (self-seeding)
- Cedars (with the exception of genetic dwarfs)
- Vinca stolonifera
Prairie grasses and meadows can be no-mow and can prevent driving across septic fields, both of which are beneficial characteristics, leading some people to believe they are desirable. Nielsen, on the other hand, believes that they are frequently poor alternatives for the septic field. The prairie grasses and perennials contain some of the longest, tangliest, and strongest roots on the planet, according to Dr. Smith. Prairie grasses have vigorous roots that are good at searching out water sources such as perforated drainpipes as a result of their drought-resistant characteristics.
- While cedars are beautiful, they may be a nuisance when they grow next to a septic field.
- When homeowners insist on planting trees with significant lateral root development, encourage them to take a deep breath and wait.
- The owners of landscape-intensive yards must be cautioned not to plant vegetables over the septic field as this might cause serious problems.
- They are cautioned, however, that disturbing the soil with these annual crops is detrimental to the septic system, and that the wastewater may include diseases that can be transmitted to the edibles.
GO AHEAD AND PLANT THESE
While typical lawns are permitted for use over septic systems, Nielsen notes that many homes are moving away from that type of ground cover that requires a lot of upkeep and requires a lot of water.
She cites a few grass kinds that are commonly considered to be superior than others. Alternatives that are less risky include:
- Eco-grass and fescues that have been pre-mixed
- The tufted fescues, the feather grass, the pennisetum, and the deschampsia are examples of small grasses. Plants that look like grass, such as mounding mondo grass, liatris, liriope, and armeria
Eco-grass and fescues that have been pre-mixed Turfgrass, feather grass, pennisetum and deschampsia are all examples of small grasses. Plants that look like grass, such as mounding mondo grass, liatris, liriope, and armeria, are also available.
CONSIDER LAND USAGE
Most of the time, homeowners employ Nielsen to design a landscaping plan after a site has been created and a home has been constructed. Developers and septic installers, on the other hand, should incorporate a landscape designer earlier in the process in order to ensure the greatest possible use of the site, according to Nielsen. According to Nielsen, the position of the septic field is frequently dictated by the land’s topography, and it is typically the flattest, sunniest section of the property that is also the greatest location for intensive horticulture.
“These choices have a negative impact on their capacity to use property that they have paid a lot of money for, which is unfortunate,” Nielsen adds.
They aren’t considering how the homeowner will wish to make use of the property while making their decisions.
Nielsen hopes to educate residents about septic systems and perhaps preserve a few septic systems as a result of her landscaping presentation and getting to know the pumping specialists on Bowen Island she is visiting.