- 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.
Can you cover septic tank with grass?
Grass Covering. While grass is an option over the drain field, nothing permanent should be planted on top of the septic tank cover since regular maintenance and pump-outs are a must to keep your septic system running efficiently. Fencing. Use fencing sparingly, carefully, and shallowly.
What can you put on top of 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.
What is the best grass to plant over septic field?
Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses are generally the best choices for use on a septic drain field. Ornamental Grasses:
- Sporobolus heterolepis – Prairie Dropseed *
- Stipa gigantean – Giant Needle Grass.
- Stipa tenuissima – Texas Needle Grass.
- Tridens flavus – Purpletop *
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)
Why is the grass dying over my septic tank?
When you notice brown patches or lines over your septic system, it’s likely that the soil under the grass isn’t getting enough water. When it’s hot and sunny, the shallow soil can dry out quickly, keeping your grass from getting the moisture it needs.
Why doesn’t grass grow over my septic tank?
Lawn grass species prefer moist, high pH soil, and direct sunlight. Growing grass over a septic tank can be challenging due to the acidic, low-pH soil resulting from sewage runoff into the leach field.
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 I put pavers over septic tank?
You can’t build a paver patio on top of a septic tank, and doing so could be against the planning laws of your state or local area. Septic tanks can take very little weight without getting damaged, and you’ll also need access to the tank in the future too. You shouldn’t build a deck on one either.
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.
What should you avoid with a septic tank?
You should not put these items into your commode:
- Cat litter.
- Coffee grounds.
- Cigarette butts.
- Dental floss.
- Disposable diapers.
- Sanitary napkins or tampons.
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.
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.
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.
Growing Grass Over a Septic Field
Some homeowners may be apprehensive about planting anything over the drain field of their septic system. Deep plant roots can cause damage to the drainage pipes of the system, and the material discharged into the soil as a result of system operation might produce circumstances that make it difficult for some plants to flourish. Planting grass over the drain field of a septic system, on the other hand, can be advantageous.
Septic Field Function
Solid waste is separated from liquid waste in a septic tank, and liquid wastewater is discharged from the tank through a network of drain pipes. As a result of the drain lines, wastewater is able to gently permeate the soil of the drain field, where it is filtered by bacteria in the soil. Despite the fact that these microorganisms do not require oxygen to survive, they are less efficient in compacted or saturated soil than they are in loose or unsaturated soil. As a result, it is normally suggested to limit heavy traffic on the drain field and to prevent excessive moisture from running over the region.
The installation of grass over a septic drain field helps to reduce soil erosion while also improving the exchange of oxygen and the removal of soil moisture. Those elements contribute to the efficient operation of the septic system and its drain field. For planting over a septic drain field, turfgrass is appropriate since its roots are less prone than other plants to block or harm the drain pipes.
It is not necessary to add more dirt when growing grass over a septic system’s drain field, unless it is a tiny amount of material to restore an eroded region or to replace soil that has been removed by the removal of a plant. When tilling the soil prior to planting, proceed with caution and avoid using a rototiller if at all possible. Septic system drain pipes can be as near as 6 inches to the soil surface, depending on the design. As a result, tilling too deeply or forcefully may cause damage to the lines.
When you add more topsoil to your drain field, you run the risk of blocking the exchange of air and water that is important for the drain field.
Use grass species that are well-adapted to the circumstances in your location in order to ensure that the grass you plant does not have an adverse effect on the efficient operation of the drain field. You will be able to minimize or restrict the use of fertilizers and soil amendments if you employ such species, which will help to ensure that the drain field’s function is not compromised. When selecting a grass, look for one that requires little maintenance and is drought-tolerant so that, after it has been established, irrigation may be reduced to a bare minimum.
Among other things, the “Meyer” cultivar of zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica “Meyer”), which is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, requires little fertilizing and can withstand drought and changing soil conditions, is an excellent example.
Sundevil bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon “Sundevil”), hardy in USDA zones 7 through 10, also tolerates a broad variety of soil conditions; it is heat- and drought-tolerant, but requires frequent dethatching to maintain its appearance.
Why Is There Dead Grass Over My Septic Tank?
iStock/Getty Images image credit: singjai20/iStock
In This Article
- Don’t water the grass that has died. The septic tank is operational
- Grass that is lush and green
- Precautions and septic tanks are recommended.
The presence of dead grass above your septic tank is, strangely enough, a favorable indicator. It indicates that your septic system is most likely operating as it should be doing. In dry or warm weather, the grass becomes brown because it is not receiving enough water, which is mainly owing to the shallow layer of soil above the tank. Watering the brown grass, on the other hand, is the worst thing you can do.
In dry or hot weather, dead grass above the septic tank shows that the septic drain field is absorbing and filtering the wastewater into the surrounding soil. When the temperature cools down and the rainy season approaches, the grass will begin to recover.
Don’t Water the Dead Grass
Even though brown grass over your septic tank is an unsightly annoyance, your lawn should recover in the fall months. The addition of extra water to the brown grass limits the ability of your leach field to absorb wastewater from your home and may potentially result in the failure of your wastewater treatment system. Even when the grass becomes brown because there isn’t enough soil to maintain its root system, you shouldn’t deposit topsoil over your tank or leach field since it will clog the drains and create flooding.
- Increasing the quantity of dirt in your system limits the amount of air available to the microorganisms that break down the wastes in your system, which might result in the system failing altogether.
- The solids, also known as sludge, settle in the septic tank, where beneficial bacteria break them down and dispose of them properly.
- Water from the middle tank drains from the tank to the leach field through a network of drain pipes that are strategically placed across the leach field.
- Even after it has been cleaned by microbes in the soil, the remaining wastewater filters through the groundwater.
- Compacted soil, as well as moist, soggy soil, has less oxygen in it, which inhibits the capacity of the microorganisms to perform their functions properly.
- You have liquid waste accumulating in the trenches of your leach field because the soil is unable to absorb any additional water from your home.
- A blocked or broken line connecting the home to the septic tank, as well as a clogged baffle on the tank, can cause wastewater to escape into the soil and pollute the environment.
Toilets that are sluggish to drain, sewage smells, and sewage backing up into the house or appearing on the leach field are all indications that something is wrong. Most septic tanks require pumping out every one to three years in order to operate at peak functionality.
Precautions and Septic Tanks
Make sure not to dig too far into the ground when planting over your septic system. Drain lines can be as close to the surface of the soil as 6 inches. Drain lines are not always visible. When working with soil over a septic system, it is important to use gloves, safety goggles, and a mask in order to limit exposure to potentially hazardous organisms. Make certain that the tank lid and any other covers or hatches are properly secured; accessing a septic tank can be a life-threatening mistake owing to the fumes released by the decaying sludge.
It is recommended to use ornamental grasses and herbaceous plants such as catmint (Nepeta spp.
in zones 3-9), and vervain (Verbena spp.
You should avoid planting any produce over a sewer system since you run the danger of bacterial contamination of your food.
Green Grass over the septic tank, Brown Grass, Snow Melt over the septic tank Indicate Septic System Condition
- If you notice melting snow or poor quality of grass cover, you can use this space to ask or comment about where to find a septic tank or soak beds.
InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Condition of the septic tank and drainfield Location indications based on the color of the grass or the amount of snow melt: Greener grass, browner grass, and melting snow are all indicators of the health of the septic system, including the septic tank, the pipe, and the drain field. This page explains what these terms signify and offers ideas and techniques for additional study in order to identify the problems described above as a result.
For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page.
Snowmelt over the Septic Tank or Drainfield – what do they mean?
We have recently moved into a house with a septic system for the first time. We had the septic tank examined and emptied as part of our home improvement project. We observed that there is a brilliant green patch of grass just above the septic tank that is distinct in color from the rest of the grass in the yard. Now that the snow has melted away over the same septic tank location, the situation has reversed. It appears that the ground beneath the tank is heated and that the tank is defrosting the earth.
Is this a usual occurrence?
– Thank you so much for your assistance.
Reply: your septic system clues sound normal but here is how we can check for developing septic system trouble:
Snow melt and even greener grass over the septic tank may be typical, but it might also indicate a problem with the system. Good news would be the lack of any scents (SEPTIC SYSTEM ODORS) or damp or soggy areas (SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS), as well as the absence of any sewage backup into the residence (SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS) (SEWER BACKUP PREVENTION). It is also important to note that snow melt over drainfield trenches (as shown in the top photo of this page) is not always an indicator that the system is failing.
Take some shots of the area over the tank with snow melt (and later with greener grass) and, while you’re at it, take some photos of the region where you believe the drainfield is located so that we can all see whether there are any depressions, snowmelt, damp patches, or other problems.
This is a regular occurrence and is not a cause for concern. Photos of snow melting over septic tanks may be seen atVISUAL CLUES LOCATE THE SEPTIC TANK for more information.
Guide to Diagnosing Snowmelt or Green Grass Over the Septic Tank
Opening the inspection cover over the septic tank outflow end will quickly reveal the presence of this issue. If the sewage level is only as high as the bottom of the tank outlet pipe, where it flows through the tank wall, this is considered regular operation. If the level of sewage rises over the bottom border of the horizontal section of the outlet pipe, this indicates that the outlet pipe or drainfield is clogged with sewage. You may get more information and photographs about this method at SEPTIC TANK BAFFLES.
Explanation of Greener Grass over the Septic Tank
If the tank cover was dug for service, it is possible that someone seeded the area around the tank, resulting in greener grass over the tank. Alternatively, healthier lawns around the septic tank might indicate that the tank is leaking around its cover, which would be an odd occurrence and a warning indication of problems. Backing up pipes to the leachfield (or, in the worst case scenario, a failed leachfield) might result in wastewater draining too slowly out of the septic tank or even backing up into the building.
Explanation of Brown Dead Grass over the Septic Tank
In addition, if the tank top is not too deep below earth, it is possible to find browner grass growing over a septic tank. If you have a shallow septic tank top, this indicates that there will be less soil thickness, which will result in soil dryout during dry weather, which will result in dead grass in that particular region. If you’re interested in learning how deep your septic tank may be, check outSEPTIC TANK DEPTH Finding the location of a septic tank is frequently assisted by visual indicators that begin beyond the region where the main waste line exits the house.
Several visual clues that assist in locating the septic system are discussed in greater depth atVISUAL CLUES LOCATE the SEPTIC TANK.
- A former building owner may have left stones, slates, stakes, or other markings to indicate the position of a septic tank pumpout access cover
- However, this is not always the case. Cast iron or white or black plastic pipes sticking out of the ground, perhaps between 10′ and 20′ from the house, and especially if they are 4″ to 6″ in diameter and are cast iron or white or black plastic, may indicate vent or cleanout locations on the waste line between the building and the septic tank, or they may indicate where the tank is located. The installation of a 6″ top 8″ “riser” pipe with a cap near to ground level (which may be painted green by the homeowner) by certain septic pumping firms is used as a rapid access port to pump the septic tank. If one removes the pipe cap and glances inside, maybe with a torch, it is simple to determine whether or not one of these ports is directly above the tank. When there are symptoms of impending collapse, such as soil subsidence, it is not safe to walk over or near septic tanks. Electrical boxes protruding from the ground may indicate the location of electrical connections feeding electrical components that are utilized in some septic systems, according to some reports. Examples include septic tanks that use effluent pumps to transfer effluent to an uphill position, pumping chambers that use sewage grinder pumps to send sewage to an uphill septic tank and drainfield, and drainfields that use effluent pumps to move effluent to an uphill location. A video demonstrating a septic tank with a pumping station and its electrical connections can be seen atSeptic 101 part 1: Septic Tanks and Pumping Stations. How to locate the septic system in this video
- Rectangular depressions of approximately 4 ft. x 8 ft. On the other hand, it is possible that soils have settled away from the septic tank and created an elevated rectangular area on rare occasions. One of our sites experienced this because the bottom of the septic tank was situated on bedrock, and after backfilling, certain soils around the tank settled and compacted, but the tank itself did not move
- A rectangular region with less grass growth – this is due to the fact that the tank is not sunk very deeply and so has less dirt above it
- If the tank is leaking or backing up and spewing effluent around itself, the grass will grow more lushly in the vicinity of the tank. Depressions in the earth, each measuring around 2 sq.ft., that may indicate a past excavation for tank pumping
- Snow melt: In regions where snow falls, portions of melted snow may be seen at the top of the septic tank’s tank wall (or areas of a failing leach field). Photograph of this clue, which shows drainfield trenches as depressions in the snow, may be found on the websiteVisualClues to Location. Drawings or drawings depicting the position of a septic tank can occasionally be found in a building’s basement or crawl space, scribbled on a surface at the point where the main waste pipe exits the structure, indicating that the tank is in the correct place. Of course, a conscientious previous owner may have left a sketch on a piece of paper for the new owners to find. AtRECORDS to LOCATE the DRAINFIELD, an example of a drawing for finding septic system components can be found. Wet spots on the ground that may indicate a clogged drainfield. Pipes ending in streams, lakes, or swamps, or at the boundary of a property, may indicate an overflow drain that was installed to deal with a malfunctioning septic system. Septic smells may also indicate an overflow drain. This is a shot of one of these that is most likely found in a DRAINFIELD
- I’d like to express my gratitude to reader (anonymous) for addressing the significance of snowmelt or greener grass above the septic tank (12/2010)
- Thank you to Donica Benwho, in her letter of November 11, 2007, warns against the dangers of digging into hidden electrical cables, which we will examine further at a later date. Safety Procedures for Septic Tanks and Cesspools
- Identifying the source of the problem – is there a problem with the septic system or with the building drain system? Septic Tank Safety: Safety Warnings for Septic Inspectors, Septic Pumpers, and Homeowners Regarding Septic Systems, Septic Tanks, and Cesspools
- Condition of Septic Tanks- How to Inspect Septic Tanks and Evaluate the Septic Tank Condition, including the condition of the baffles and sludge levels, as well as damage and signs of septic failure
- Form OF SEPTIC DRAINFIELD: factors for the shape and placement of a septic drainfield or leaching bed
- LOCATION OF THE SEPTIC DRAINFIELD: where to look for the septic drain field or leaching bed
- Procedural for Drainfield Inspection Leach Fields – how to check and diagnose septic drainfield problems.
Previous building owners may have left stones, slates, stakes, or other marks to indicate the position of a septic tank pumpout access cover; however, these markings are no longer needed. Cast iron or white or black plastic pipes sticking out of the ground, perhaps between 10′ and 20′ from the home, and especially if they are 4″ to 6″ in diameter and are cast iron or white or black plastic, may indicate vent or cleanout locations on the waste line between the building and the septic tank, or they may indicate where the tank is located.
- If one removes the pipe cap and glances inside, maybe with a torch, one can easily determine if one of these ports is directly above the tank.
- In certain septic systems, electrical boxes protruding out of the ground may serve as markers for the position of electrical connections feeding electrical components utilized in the system.
- At Sewage 101 part 1: Pumping Station and Electrical Connections, you may see a video that shows a septic tank with a pumping station and electrical connections.
- Depressions that are approximately 4 ft.
- rectangular in shape.
- One of our homes experienced this because the bottom of the septic tank was situated on bedrock, and after backfilling, certain soils around the tank settled and compacted, but the tank itself did not move.
- Areas of more lush grass growth – if the septic tank is leaking or backing up and pouring effluent around itself, the grass will be greener in the vicinity of the tank.
At VisualClues to Location, you may view a snapshot of this clue depicting drainfield trenches as depressions in the snow.
As a last note, a caring previous owner may have left a sketch on paper for the current owners to enjoy.
Wet spots on the ground that may indicate a clogged drainage system.
This is a snapshot of one of these that is most likely found in a DRAINFIELD.
Precautions for Septic and Cesspool Safety Identifying the source of the problem – is there a problem with the septic system or with the building drainage system?
Condition of Septic Tanks- How to Inspect Septic Tanks and Evaluate the Septic Tank Condition, including the condition of the baffles and sludge levels, as well as any signs of septic failure Form OF SEPTIC DRAINFIELD: factors for the shape and location of a septic drainfield or leaching bed.
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INSPECTION OF SEPTIC TANK GRASS OR SNOWMELTat An online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, and issue preventive information is available at Apedia.com. Alternatively, have a look at this.
INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES:ARTICLE INDEX to SEPTIC SYSTEMS
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Groundcover solutions for septic tanks
- In my front yard, I have an empty place that will not support grass growth since it covers the top of my septic tank lid with only an inch or two of dirt. It would have been impossible to create a mound on the spot by adding enough soil for sod to grow, so I devised a temporary solution by placing landscaping blocks over the spot and building a shallow planter over it. This allowed me to increase the soil depth over the spot to approximately 4-5 inches within the planter. The site is on the east side of the home and receives direct sunlight for the majority of the day, with the exception of the early morning hours, which are shaded by a huge oak tree. Can you recommend a ground cover that I can grow in a planter that will do well (or at the very least better) on the soil that I have available? RobertA: Plantings over septic systems is a source of contention for many residents of the Treasure Coast. As in Robert’s situation, sometimes the problem is over the tank
- Nevertheless, many others have problems with plants over the drain field. Planting should be done with caution in any case. Sometimes the septic system components are put in the midst of a yard and covered with turf grass to disguise their presence. Using this method in level, well-draining settings is not a bad idea because turf grass has limited root systems when it is cut and does extremely well in full sun. YARD DOC: African iris flowers herald the arrival of spring. YARD DOC: A giant airplant that is well worth preserving in your Florida garden. Some septic systems feature tanks that are elevated or mounded as a result of the circumstances under the earth, and drain fields can be damp environments. These systems provide more difficult planting circumstances than other systems. When it comes to planting near septic systems, the conventional idea is to choose shallow-rooted, herbaceous plants to stabilize the soil and reduce erosion rather than trees. Deep-rooted plants, such as huge, woody trees and shrubs, should be avoided at all costs. It is common for the depth of a plant’s root system to be determined by a mix of factors including the plant species, soil type, availability of water, and soil conditions. All plants, including trees, develop root systems in the top 6 to 12 inches of soil, which are responsible for the majority of the effort of taking water and nutrients from the soil. As the plants age, their roots may become deeper, allowing them to better anchor and support the plant. On-going replacement of plants in the vicinity of septic systems with younger plants with smaller root systems on a planned basis every few years is one strategy that might be used to avoid deeper root formation. Here are a handful of my favorite groundcovers for landscapes on the Treasure Coast’s sunny, arid climate. Known as beach sunflower, Helianthus debilis is an excellent choice for coastal gardens since it holds sand together and is salt resistant. Coontie (Zamia floridana or Coontie) is a drought-tolerant, Florida native that grows in sun and part shade and resembles a fern. It is the home of the Florida Atala butterfly. Perennial peanut is a pretty, low-growing plant that prefers full sun, very well-drained soil, little foot traffic, and low levels of nitrogen fertilizer, if at all. Carol Cloud Bailey is a landscape consultant and horticultural who works in the Los Angeles area. Inquiries should be directed to [email protected], or visit for additional information.
Do’s and Don’ts for Landscaping Around a Septic System
When not installed properly, several landscape elements and plants have the potential to cause catastrophic damage to septic tanks and drain fields. For this reason, appropriate installation is essential. The spring and early summer —when most people are thinking about landscaping around their septic system—is an especially critical time of year to keep in mind some of the most essential do’s and don’t’s when it comes to landscaping around your septic system. Continue reading to find out which plants or grasses can really assist you in maintaining the health of your septic system, and which landscaping decisions could result in costly repairs.
Planting Do’s and Don’ts
- To grow over the section of ground that contains the septic tank, you can use tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, or any other lawn grass (including decorative grass). Consider the benefits of growing perennials. Plants such as grasses and perennials have shallow root systems that should not cause any damage to your tank or drain field. Plants such as wild violets, hollyhocks, and bee balm are just a few examples of perennials that may thrive in the vicinity of a septic system, which is frequently wetter and saltier than the rest of the lawn. 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. Think about allowing weeds to grow over that region if the only other alternative is to leave it unattended for a while.
- Allow tall fescue grass, Kentucky bluegrass, or other lawn grass (including ornamental grass) to grow over the strip of ground that serves as a septic tank’s foundation
- Consider making a permanent garden out of perennial flowers. Plants such as grasses and perennials have shallow root systems that should not cause any problems in your tank or drain field. Plants such as wild violets, hollyhocks, and bee balm are just a few examples of perennials that may thrive in the vicinity of a sewage system, which is frequently wetter and saltier than the surrounding lawn. If you have any trees or shrubs growing in your yard in the future, consider how their development may impact access to the septic tank lids, leach field, and sprinkler system. If the only other alternative is to leave the spot vacant, consider allowing weeds to take over.
Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts
- Make use of tiny, non-woody groundcovers to disguise weeds. For areas near your septic system, shallow-rooted trees and vegetation may be appropriate, but keep them at least 10-15 feet away from your tank. If you’re searching for nice shallow-rooted options, cherry trees, dogwood trees, holly shrubs, eastern redbud trees, azalea shrubs, and boxwood shrubs are all excellent choices.
- 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.
These are some helpful hints to assist you avoid the most common mistakes that homeowners make during the planting season, which are listed above. If you stay away from deep-rooted plants and avoid compacting the soil over your tank or leach field, you should be able to maintain a beautiful lawn that does not cause septic problems. Additionally, consider placing a potted plant or lawn ornament over the lid of your tank to make it simpler for sewage pumping specialists to access your tank. When it comes time to pump it out, we’ll have an easier time finding it this way.
Lawn Over Septic Tank
You may use these suggestions to help you avoid the most common mistakes that homeowners make while planting their gardens throughout the planting season. It’s possible to have a beautiful lawn without having to worry about septic problems if you avoid deep-rooted plants and don’t compress the soil over your tank or leach field. Consider placing a potted plant or lawn ornament over the top of your tank to make it simpler for sewage pumping specialists to access it.
When it comes time to pump it out, we’ll have an easier time finding it. To schedule a septic tank pumping service call to keep your yard and household in tip-top form this time of year, call Front Range Septic at (970) 302-0457 now.
Grass over septic tank needs care
These are some helpful hints to assist you avoid making the most common blunders that homeowners make during the planting season. If you stay away from deep-rooted plants and don’t compress the soil around your tank or drain field, you should be able to have a beautiful lawn that won’t cause septic problems. Consider placing a potted plant or lawn ornament over the lid of your tank to make it simpler for sewage pumping specialists to access your tank. When it comes time to pump it out, we will have an easier time locating it.
Septic System Tips
These are some helpful hints to assist you avoid the most common mistakes that homeowners make during the planting season. If you stay away from deep-rooted plants and don’t compress the soil around your tank or drain field, you should be able to maintain a beautiful lawn that won’t cause septic problems. Consider placing a potted plant or lawn ornament over the top of your tank to make it simpler for sewage pumping specialists to access your tank. That makes it easier for us to locate it when it’s time to pump it out.
- Annually inspect the tank in your septic system. Septic tanks should be pumped out on average every 3 to 5 years, depending on usage. It is possible that an inspection by you or a professional will reveal that you need to pump more or less often. Pumping the septic system on a regular basis guarantees that sediments do not flow from the tank into the drainfield. It is possible for solids to ruin a drainfield, and pumping will not restore a failed drainfield to operation. Reduce the amount of water you use. Reducing the quantity of wastewater that enters your on-site sewage system may help to extend the life of the system. Excessive water consumption is the most common cause of system failure. To minimize water use in the home, do the following:
- Showers, toilets, faucets, and other bathroom and kitchen fixtures that conserve water should be used. Ensure that each appliance, such as a dishwasher or washing machine, is run and drained individually. Fix all leaks from faucets and toilets as soon as possible. Spread out your laundry throughout the course of the week and avoid doing incomplete loads
- Water from downspouts and roofs should be directed away from the drainfield. Additional water from these sources may interfere with your drainfield’s ability to function correctly. Keep automobiles and trucks away from septic systems. Tank Drainfields are a type of drainage system. This helps to keep pipes from breaking and dirt from being compacted during the construction process. Compacted soils are incapable of absorbing water. Make use of a detergent that is free of phosphates. Algae issues in adjacent lakes and streams can be prevented by using phosphate-free laundry detergents
Keep the following points in mind to ensure that your on-site sewage system is in perfect functioning order:
- Use of Garbage Disposal Should Be Limited A trash disposal increases the amount of particles and grease in your system, which might cause drainfield failure. Use of septic system tank additives or “miracle” system cleaners is not recommended. Because they enable sediments to flow into and clog the drainfield, some of these chemicals can actually cause damage to your on-site sewage system. Ground and surface water can be contaminated as a result of the chemicals. In Bethel, OH, Septic Systems Tank is a company that provides Septic Systems Tank services. Water from hot tubs should not be flushed down the toilet or into the onsite sewer. Massive amounts of water are detrimental to the system, and chlorine can eliminate vital microorganisms that are present in the water. Ensure that hot tubs are drained onto the ground and away from the drainfield, rather than into a storm drain. Solid wastes should not be flushed into the on-site sewage system. Diapers, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, tampons, condoms, and grease are examples of such waste. It is not advisable to flush strong chemicals down the toilet, including cleaning products. Using household chemicals, such as drain cleaners, paint thinners, and floor cleaners, can destroy vital microorganisms in your septic system tank, contaminating ground and surface water. Don’t build patios, carports, or use landscaping plastic over the drainfield to keep it clear. It is recommended that you plant grass around your septic tank and drainfield to keep them covered. The compaction of soil and the paving of roads prevents oxygen from reaching the soil. It is necessary for bacteria to break down and purify sewage in order for them to thrive.
Landscaping Your Drainfield: QuestionsAnswers
Your drainfield represents a significant financial commitment. Treating it properly and keeping it from harm may save you a great deal of time, effort, and money over time. Our septic system tank service is available to assist you in extending the life of your system.
- What may I plant in the area around my drainfield? Drainfields benefit greatly from the presence of grass. Grasses can be used as a decorative plant, groomed in a standard lawn, or left unmowed in a meadow setting. Alternatively, groundcovers and ferns can be used (see questions 11 and 12 for more details). The secret to successfully planting over a drainfield is to use shallow-rooted plants that require little upkeep and consume little water. It is important to remember that if your tank covers are covered, the plants that grow over the tank – from the intake to the exit – will need to be removed every 3 to 4 years for inspection and pumping
- What is the maximum distance that trees and plants can be from the drainfield? Maintain a minimum distance of 30 feet between your drainfield and any trees or heavy vegetation. If you do decide to plant trees near a drainfield, you should speak with an expert to explore your options and requirements beforehand. In most cases, trees and bushes have vast root systems that seek out and develop into moist regions, such as drainfields
- However, this is not always the case. Is it permissible to grow a vegetable garden over my drainfield? No. The practice of growing vegetables over a drainfield is discouraged. Watering vegetables is necessary, because too much water in the soil diminishes the soil’s capacity to handle wastewater. Some plants have strong roots that might cause damage to drainfield pipes. It is also possible to damage pipes during bed preparation, such as rototilling or extensive digging. What do you think about using landscaping plastic or cloth under the mulch? No. The use of plastic in the drainfield soil limits the essential air exchange. Even spreading mulch or bark over the drainfield is not suggested due to the fact that it hinders air circulation and absorbs moisture. Is it possible to construct a carport or camping pad over the drainfield? Perhaps a tennis court or a relaxing hot tub would be wonderful. No, for a few of reasons. It is important to avoid driving over the drainfield since pressure from automobiles and heavy equipment compacts the soil and can cause pipes to get damaged. Second, impermeable materials such as concrete and asphalt restrict the amount of water that evaporates and the amount of oxygen that is available to the soil. The proper decomposition of sewage by soil microorganisms is dependent on the presence of oxygen. What do you think about building my carport over the replacement space? No. There should be no development or compaction in the authorized drainfield replacement area (reserve area). Is it okay for cattle to graze on the drainfield? Is it really only one horse? It is recommended that livestock be kept away from drainfields. During the winter, cattle tramples and muddy the soil
- During the summer, they compress it even further. As previously stated, this is detrimental to the soil’s ability to exchange oxygen. Please accept my apologies
- Even one horse is not suggested. My drainfield receives rainwater that is directed there. Is this an issue for you? Yes. It is recommended that downspouts and rainwater runoff from hard surfaces such as driveways and patios be directed away from the septic system tank and drainfield. A shallow trench uphill from a drainfield can assist in diverting water away from the drainfield. Is it possible to construct a sprinkler system in close proximity to the drainfield? It is recommended that water lines be at least 10 feet away from all components of the septic system. Make certain that all sprinkler lines are equipped with certified backflow prevention devices
- . and may I build a retaining wall and install drains in the area behind the house? You should never cut through a drainfield to install drains (interceptors, French drains, curtain drains, or retaining walls) or to install retaining walls within 30 feet of any part of the septic system. French drains are renowned for transporting pollutants from septic systems into bodies of water or streets
- All right, you’ve told me everything I’m not allowed to do. Can you tell me what I can do to make my drainfield seem more appealing? Growing plants for your drainfield will be very different from any other landscaping experiences you may have had previously. First and foremost, it is not advisable to work the soil, which means that no rototilling should be done. Some sections of the system may be barely 6 inches below the surface of the ground. Adding 2 to 3 inches of topsoil should not be a problem, but adding more may cause problems. Second, the plants must be low-maintenance and water-intensive in order to be effective. If you choose plants for your drainfield that, once established, will not require regular watering, you will be in the greatest position. What can I do to make the drainfield area appear more natural? A meadow that has a mixture of natural grasses and shallow-rooting flowers may be both visually appealing and beneficial to animals. The use of wildflowers and bulbs to design the drainfield is a simple approach to provide 2 to 3 seasons of color while still being minimal maintenance. Bulbs such as daffodils and crocus are easy to naturalize, and both are drought tolerant and perennial, meaning they will come back year after year.
When selecting wildflower seed, there are several important considerations:
Check to check that the seed is still alive and not a remnant from the previous year’s harvest. Many of the mixtures now available may not be well suited for our climate in the Pacific Northwest. Seed selection must be dependent on the quantity of sunlight available, just as it was with the plant lists above. Most landscaping or plant wholesalers have a selection of native seed mixes that may be used in a variety of sun and shade conditions. The seed mixture should contain a combination of annual and perennial seeds.
Packets of wildflowers shipped from out-of-state may contain weeds that are considered a nuisance in our state, so be cautious when purchasing them.
If there is grass growing in your drainfield now, you cannot just put the seed over the grass and expect it to grow back.
The grass must be kept out of the area until the seed has germinated and has grown to a size that can compete with the grass for nutrients.
If we have a dry month, irrigate the seeds twice a week by sprinkling them with water. For additional information on how to properly maintain your system, call Gullett Sanitation Services at (513) 734-2227 in Bethel, Ohio, for excellent wastewater services.
5 Things Homeowners Should Know About Their Septic Drain Field
There are certain distinctions in care, usage, and budgeting that you should be aware of, whether you’re a new homeowner with an existing septic system or considering about purchasing or building a home without sewer hookups. This document outlines three ways in which your budget will be affected if your wastewater is treated using a septic system. 1. You will not be required to budget for municipal sewer service. Because the municipal wastewater system normally processes all of the water, the cost of city sewage service is sometimes determined by how much water you purchase from the city.
- A large number of homes with septic systems also rely on wells for fresh water rather than municipal water, which means you’ll likely save money in that department as well.
- It is necessary to include septic maintenance in your budget.
- Although you are not required to pay the city for the usage of your septic system, you will be responsible for the costs of maintenance if you want the system to continue to function properly.
- It is possible that these maintenance and repair expenditures will build up over time, so you may want to consider setting up an emergency fund to cover any unforeseen repair bills.
- You’ll also need to budget for the cost of a single inspection and begin saving for the cost of a tank pump.
- Spreading the expenditures out over several months is the most effective budgeting strategy, even for an expense such as tank pumping that does not occur every year, because it allows you to better estimate the costs ahead of time.
- You may need to set aside money for septic tank replacement.
The tank and leach field may not need to be replaced if you have a reasonably recent septic system and plan to sell your home within a few years.
If, on the other hand, your home’s septic system is more than a decade old, you’ll want to start looking into how much a new system would cost you as soon as possible.
For example, if the previous owners did not do routine maintenance or if the system was installed on clay soil, the system may need to be replaced.
It is a prudent decision to begin putting money aside in anticipation of this eventuality.
When you have a septic system, you may use these three strategies to budget differently.
Make an appointment with us right away if you’re searching for someone to pump out your septic tank or to complete an annual examination of your septic system. Our experts at C.E. Taylor and Son Inc. would be happy to assist you with any septic system assessment, maintenance, or repair needs.
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
- Riverside, California 92504 (17333 Van Buren Boulevard). Get in touch with us right now at (951) 780-5922 Large plants, patios, and other structures are unlikely to be present in the region surrounding your septic system. Indeed, conventional wisdom holds that you should avoid both substantial landscaping and septic system installation in the vicinity of your home or business. Due to the fact that roots may entangle themselves around pipes and cause damage, this is a reasonable guideline to follow. 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 as you might imagine. When it comes to planting around septic tanks, the drain field pipes are the primary source of concern. If roots penetrate the perforations and block the system, you should take precautions to prevent this. Unless all of the components of this finely calibrated system are working properly, the outcome will be an expensive malfunction.
- 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.
- Take such extreme precautions to avoid destroying your septic tank that you completely demolish the surrounding landscape. A few types of grasses and plants are particularly effective in absorbing excess moisture around the drain field, hence reducing the likelihood of drainage problems. Overwatering your lawn will encourage the growth of freshly planted plants. It is possible to overwater your leach field, causing it to get compacted and clogging up your septic system. In the region where your system is located, you may grow any root veggies that you choose. If these nutrient-absorbing plants are planted too close together, they may cause problems with germs.
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:
- Trees that are huge and fast-growing should generally be avoided when planting. Aside from that, trees and shrubs with active root systems are among the greatest offenders, since they seek out and use water at an alarming rate. Their preference for the water supply they use means that the pipes in your septic tank’s drain field are completely fair game for them. Among the most well-known examples are weeping willow trees. Many trees and bushes should be avoided, however the following are only a few examples:
Planting huge, fast-growing trees is often discouraged. However, some of the greatest offenders are trees and shrubs with root systems that are active in their search for water sources. They are not picky about the water source from which they draw their water, which means that the pipes in your septic tank drain field are fair game.
Weeping willow trees, for example, are well-known for their weeping. There are several plants and bushes that should be avoided, but here is a short selection:
Septic tanks should be drained every two to three years, according to our recommendations. This interval is intended to extend the life of your drainage system to the greatest extent possible. Remember that paying for routine maintenance is significantly less expensive than replacing your drainage system, not to mention the damage that will be done to your yard if you have to have it replaced.
Where is my septic tank located?
Locate the main drain exiting through the foundation in your basement by going down to the basement level (it will generally be a four inch cast-iron or PVC pipe). Take a tape measure outdoors and measure 11′ out from the base of your home, at the point where the pipe enters the wall. Most of the time, your intake cover will be positioned here, around 6′′ to 2′ underground.
Can you help me located my septic tank?
Sure. If you are unable to locate your tank using the techniques described above, our specialists will most likely be able to locate it for you using a probe that they carry on their trucks. Alternatively, for a little cost, we may provide an electronic finding service using a flushable transmitter if the above method fails.
What is that gurgling noise I hear in my pipes?
Gurgling happens when air is drawn into the pipe at the same time that water is being drained away from the system. Unless it is accompanied by additional symptoms such as a sluggish emptying toilet or a clogged sink, you may usually disregard it without a second thought.
Should I get any smell from my septic system?
Septic systems do not emit any odors when they are performing as intended. If you have any restrooms, sinks, or drains that you do not use on a regular basis, try pouring water through them all to fill up any empty P-traps that may have accumulated. After attempting the above steps, check your vent stack (the little pipe that runs through your roof) to determine if there is a blockage.
Should my septic tank be full when I open the cover?
It should be near to the top of the container, but not protruding through the lid. Inlet and exit pipes should be visible at or above liquid level, although they should be seen only from a short distance above or below liquid level. We recommend calling us if you see that the water level has risen above the intake or exit pipes of your drain.
Why is there a wet spot in my yard?
Wet areas indicate that a drain field is not capable of managing all of the wastewater that is being directed into it. If you have been consuming an excessive quantity of water, you should have your septic tank flushed and keep an eye on your water consumption levels. Then you’ll need to contact us for a free quotation on repairing or replacing your drainage system.
How important is the outlet baffle in my septic tank?
The septic tank is unquestionably the most critical component of the entire system. If it is lost or damaged, you must get it repaired or replaced immediately. The exit baffle helps to prevent the drain field from being blocked with particles from the septic tank’s waste collection. Your drain field will fail if you do not have it, resulting in an extremely expensive repair.
Can I flush old medicine down the drain?
Antibiotics, in particular, should be avoided. Antibiotics kill bacteria, yet microorganisms are necessary for the proper functioning of septic tanks. Old medications can deplete your system’s resources even as quickly than excessive bleach.
Are water softeners safe?What about garbage disposals?
Both are completely safe as long as the remainder of your septic system is in excellent working order. Due to the fact that they both place additional pressure on your system, you should have your tank pumped every two years to assist keep your system running smoothly. Also, keep in mind that a lot of the things you put down the garbage disposal will not break down in your septic tank, so avoid using it too frequently. Coffee grounds should never be disposed of in the garbage disposal.
What is the difference between a leach field and a drywell?
It is made up of several long thin pipes or plastic chambers that are put in parallel lines to form a leach field. Each lateral line is approximately 50 feet in length, and a leach field will normally have between three and six of these lateral lines in total. A drywell is a big cylinder of pre-cast concrete that has been perforated and is surrounded by crushed stone. Drywells are no longer often used these days due to the need for groundwater separation in most areas (they go too deep in the ground).
Are bacterial/chemical septic tank treatments a substitute for routine pumping?
No. While treatments can help to enhance the bacterial activity in the tank, they will not address the waste produced by the bacteria (sludge) or the oily film that builds on the tank’s surface (scum). Every couple of years, you should have your septic tank emptied to eliminate the layers that have built up.
Can I drive over my septic field?What about the septic tank?
In most cases, no. Lawn tractors are OK; however, virtually everything else is not. It is possible to do major damage to your drainage system by driving a pickup with a load of wood over your drain field. Don’t even think of driving your boat and trailer through it! It is also not recommended that septic tanks be driven across unless they have been built with a traffic carrying cover.
Can I install a deck over my septic tank?
In most cases, no. If you want to do so, make sure to leave the outlet side of the tank open for servicing and avoid breaking the tank when laying your footings.
Can I install an above-ground swimming pool over my leach field?
In no way, shape, or form. This will have a huge influence on your drainage and will almost certainly result in difficulties down the line. Never put anything permanent over your drainage area, including garden sheds and workshop structures, because it might cause flooding.
Why is the grass greener over my leach field?
Drought-resistant drainage fields provide a consistent supply of water and “fertilizer,” resulting in an ideal environment for the growth of lush, robust grasses.
What can I plant over/near my leach field?
It is recommended to use grass for this purpose, although any plants or flowers with shallow root systems can be used instead. You should avoid growing food crops for the sake of your personal health, and you should avoid planting plants or trees with large root systems since they can clog your drain field (this is known as root infestation).
Do you offer scheduled service or a reminder system?
Both are available from us. Depending on your circumstances, we may set up your account to get service on a regular basis with no further action necessary on your side, or we can phone and notify you when service is due on your system and you can choose when you would want it to be conducted at your convenience.
In addition, we send out reminder letters to our home clients to inform them when their service is due.
Do you offer group discounts?
Yes. Please contact our office to discuss your specific situation and allow us to put together a custom proposal for you to consider. Many homeowner’s communities, lake associations, condominium associations, and mobile home parks are now on our client list, and we’d love to add your organization to our growing roster of delighted clients.
Will a ride-on lawn mower hurt my drain field?
No. Your leach field will not be harmed by ride-on mowers or other lawn and garden maintenance equipment. However, vehicles such as automobiles, pickup trucks, and rubber-tired heavy equipment such as backhoe loaders should avoid it at all costs.
What kind of cleaners can I use?
You may use any sort of cleaner in your home; just make sure you don’t use too much of any one type of cleaning. Keep in mind that bacteria are required for your septic tank to function properly, and most cleansers are anti-bacterial. The tank can replenish the bacteria it need, but only if you don’t overload it with too much oxygen.
What materials/chemicals can I flush down the drain?
Because septic tanks rely on bacteria to break down waste, anything that kills bacteria can pose a problem if utilized in large quantities in the tank. If possible, reduce the quantity of bleach and other cleaning agents, as well as anti-bacterial soap, that you flush down the toilet. Keep an eye out for toilet paper that states it is suitable for septic systems. Condoms, tampons, diapers, and cigarette butts should not be flushed since they will not decompose in your toilet tank.
My tank has a broken cover, what can I do about it?
Bacteria break digest waste in septic tanks. As a result, anything that kills bacteria can cause you problems if utilized in large quantities. Avoid flushing as much bleach, other cleaning agents, and anti-bacterial soaps down the toilet as much as possible. Keep an eye out for toilet paper that says it is suitable for septic systems. No condoms, tampons, diapers, or cigarette butts should ever be flushed down the toilet since they will not decompose in the water.
How many loads of laundry can I do every day?
A maximum of one load each day per bedroom would be the upper limit. It’s best if you can keep it to a minimum, and make sure to spread your washing out over the course of the week to avoid overloading your septic system.
What does the little pipe sticking out my roof do?
It is the vent pipe for the plumbing system in your home. It should be able to keep any scents out of your house. If it becomes obstructed or if the prevailing winds carry the odor back down around the house, please contact us immediately. To keep odors under control, charcoal filters are available for purchase.