What Can I Plant Above A Septic Tank? (Best solution)

Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses are generally the best choices for use on a septic drain field. Ornamental grasses also offer the advantages of having a fibrous root system that holds soil in place, and providing year-round cover.Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses are generally the best choices for use on a septic drain fieldseptic drain fieldThe drain field typically consists of an arrangement of trenches containing perforated pipes and porous material (often gravel) covered by a layer of soil to prevent animals (and surface runoff) from reaching the wastewater distributed within those trenches.https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Septic_drain_field

Septic drain field – Wikipedia

. Ornamental grasses also offer the advantages of having a fibrous root system that holds soil in place, and providing year-round cover.

Can you plant a garden on top of a septic field?

The most important reason you should not install a vegetable garden on top of, or right next to, a septic system disposal field is because the plants can become contaminated by wastewater that has not yet been renovated by the field. Plants on disposal fields can absorb wastewater pathogens.

What plants are safe to plant near septic systems?

Here are some example of trees and shrubs with shallow root systems that are safe to plant near your septic system:

  • Japanese Maple Trees.
  • Holly Shrubs.
  • Dogwood Trees.
  • Cherry Trees.
  • Boxwood Shrubs.
  • Eastern Redbud Trees.
  • Azalea Shrubs.

What do you put above a septic tank lid?

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. Artificial Landscape Rocks are light weight and easily slip over the cover for quick access when needed.

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 plant vegetables over a septic tank?

Septic tank vegetable gardens are not recommended. Although a properly functioning septic system should not cause any problems, it is very hard to tell when the system is working 100 percent efficiently. Vegetable plant roots grow down in search of nutrients and water, and they can easily meet wastewater.

Can you plant trees around a septic tank?

There is still a danger posed by any large, mature trees that may be growing anywhere near your septic system. The general rule is that such a tree needs to be at least as many feet away from your septic drain field as it is tall. So a specimen 50 feet tall at maturity should stand at least 50 feet away.

Can I plant hydrangeas near septic tank?

You would have no problems with the septic 9′ away – the hydrangea roots will extend approx as far as its widest stems, they don’t have an extensive root system.

Can you plant arborvitae near septic tank?

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

Can you plant flowers over a septic tank?

Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses are generally the best choices for use on a septic drain field. Ornamental grasses also offer the advantages of having a fibrous root system that holds soil in place, and providing year-round cover.

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)

Can you put raised garden beds over septic field?

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

Can I build a deck over a drain field?

You should never build a deck over a septic field; doing so will prevent the natural draining and dissipation of the effluent. This can ruin the septic system, not to mention releasing foul smells into the air all around your deck. The dissipating effluent can also rot the deck from underneath.

Can you 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.

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.
  • Plants that demand less water should be used. There will be no root exploration and no interference with your system as a result of this. Flowers and ground cover are examples of herbaceous plants with shallow roots. In order to minimize erosion while planting in quarts, gallons, or plugs, you should space your plants somewhat near to one another. Additionally, weeds will be suppressed by this method
  • 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. Using a potted plant, riser cover, or lawn ornament just above the access hatch, you may mark the position of your access hatch. When it comes time to dig it up, it will be much simpler. Grass the piece of ground that contains the septic tank with tall Kentucky bluegrass or another type of grass. Consider making a permanent garden out of perennial flowers. Greaves and perennial plants have shallow root systems that should not do any damage to your tank or drain field
  • However, annual plants have a deeper root structure. Compact non-woody groundcovers should be used instead of large shrubs. Think about planting shallow-rooted trees and vegetation (such as cherry trees, dogwood trees, holly bushes, azalea shrubs, and boxwood shrubs) in the vicinity of your septic system, but keep them at least 10-15 feet away from the tank.
  • 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.

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.

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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

Growing Over Septic Tanks: Choosing Plants To Grow On A Septic System

Liz Baessler is the author of this piece. Septic drain fields are a challenging landscape design challenge. They frequently cover a big area of ground that would appear weird if it were left uncultivated. In the case of a property with a lot of shade, it can be the only sunny spot accessible to you.

In a dry area, it can be the only place where there is any moisture. On the other hand, not everything that may grow on a septic drain field is considered safe. Continue reading to find out more about selecting plants that are compatible for septic systems.

Growing Over Septic Tanks

What is a septic drain field, and how does it work? Basically, it’s a more environmentally friendly alternative to sewer systems, which are typically found on rural estates. A septic tank is a device that separates solid waste from liquid waste. Liquid waste is transported underground through long, broad, perforated pipes that are buried deep into the ground. The wastewater is discharged gradually into the soil, where it is broken down and cleansed by bacteria before finally reaching the groundwater table and entering the water supply.

It is critical, however, to select the appropriate plants for growing on a septic system.

Septic Field Plant Choices

Whether or whether it is safe to produce vegetables on a septic field is a matter of disagreement. Root vegetables should be avoided at all costs, and mulch should be laid down to prevent wastewater from splashing up on leaves and fruit throughout the growing season. Really, if you have another location where you can grow your veggies, it is preferable to do it there. Flowers and grasses are a better option than shrubs. Due to the fact that the perforated pipes are typically 6 inches (15 cm) below ground, plants that are suitable for septic systems have shallow roots.

If possible, consider plants that require little maintenance and don’t need to be divided every year – this will assist to decrease pedestrian traffic.

  • Butterfly weed, Sedum, Lily of the Nile, Tulip, Daffodils, Hyacinth, Crocus, Foxglove, Black eyed Susan, Primrose, and more flowers

When planting on a septic drain field, restrict digging to a bare minimum and use gloves at all times to avoid contamination. This page was last updated on Learn more about Flower Garden Maintenance in General.

What Should You Plant Over the Septic System?

Always wear gloves while planting on a septic drain field and keep digging to a bare minimum. Learn more about General Flower Garden Care in this article that was last updated on.

Interested in Onsite Systems?

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.

  1. They promote root infiltration, soil compaction, and broken and damaged drainlines, and then wonder why they’re having trouble maintaining the septic tank.
  2. On Bowen Island in the British Columbia province of Canada, there is a landscape and garden designer by the name of Wynn Nielsen.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. “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.
  8. 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.

  1. While cedars are beautiful, they may be a nuisance when they grow next to a septic field.
  2. When homeowners insist on planting trees with significant lateral root development, encourage them to take a deep breath and wait.
  3. The owners of landscape-intensive yards must be cautioned not to plant vegetables over the septic field as this might cause serious problems.
  4. 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

It is possible for prairie grasses and meadows to be no-mow and to restrict traffic across septic fields, which are both beneficial, and hence people consider them to be desirable. Nielsen, on the other hand, believes that they are frequently inappropriate selections for the septic field. Her research has revealed that prairie grasses and perennials have some of the longest, tangliest, and hardest roots in existence. Prairie grasses have vigorous roots that are good at finding out water sources such as perforated drainpipes as a result of their drought-resistant character.

  1. In the vicinity of the septic field, cedars are beautiful, but they are an eyesore.
  2. Refuse to allow homeowners to plant trees with robust lateral root development if they insist on doing so.
  3. For example, a tree that will grow to 30 feet in height should be maintained 36 feet away from your septic field, according to Nielsen.
  4. Some customers, according to Nielsen, believe that the drainfield, with its nutrient-rich effluent distribution, is an ideal location for growing vegetables.

It is important to note that disturbing the soil with these annual crops is detrimental to the septic system, as it may result in germs being transferred to the edibles.

  • 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

“Lawns are not particularly environmentally friendly. Most animals do not thrive in them, but we still have children and dogs, who enjoy running about on them,” she explains. “They are also a terrific location for youngsters to play.” As an alternative to standard lawns, Nielsen advises drought-tolerant plants with short, fibrous root systems that are hardy in your area and can thrive in both sun and shadow situations, depending on the situation. Her top recommendations include the use of microclover/ecograss/carex pensylvanica dwarf, the introduction of white clover, carpets (thyme, sedums, low-growing ground coverings), shallow, short/soft rooted perennials, bulb/corm/rhizome/tubers in lawns, and moss in the landscape.

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Another option for adding interest to the landscape without putting the septic system at danger is to intersperse annuals or bulbs throughout the ground cover, according to Nielsen.

Furthermore, the newer dwarf tree and shrub kinds do not pose the same threat as their larger counterparts.

Fibrous root systems are found in a variety of shrubs including boxwood, potentilla, daphne, and choisya, as well as the euonymous and hebe.

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.

My task would be a lot simpler if I had done a bit more planning ahead of time. 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.

Planting On Your Septic Systems, Landscaping Ideas for Your Drain Field

Most of the time, homeowners employ Nielsen to design a landscaping plan after a site has been created and a house has been constructed. While Nielsen believes that involving a landscape designer earlier in the process will result in the greatest possible use of a property, he does not believe that this is always the best practice. 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 extensive landscaping.

It’s terrible that these decisions may sometimes make it difficult for people to utilize property that they have spent a lot of money for, according to Nielsen.

” This means they aren’t thinking about how the homeowner will wish to make use of the land.

Landscaping and Planting Ideas for your Septic Drain FieldSeptic Tank

Water is a precious resource in most rural and regional parts of British Columbia, and access to a public sewer system can be difficult to come by in many of these locations. As a result, many households and businesses in British Columbia require a septic system in order to function properly – both to conserve water and because there are no other waste disposal choices available when outside of the city sewage system. If your family or business relies on a septic system to manage waste, you will be acutely aware of the financial outlay you have invested in the system’s purchase, installation, and ongoing maintenance.

  • Because of this, it is critical to understand not just how your septic system works, but also how landscaping and planting can have an influence on the lifetime of your septic field.
  • What is the operation of a septic drain field?
  • The wastewater from your toilet, shower, kitchen sink, dishwasher, and washing machine runs to your septic system if your house or company does not have connection to a public sewer.
  • So, how exactly does a septic system function?
  • In your septic system, waste gradually separates, with liquids rising to the top and solid, inorganic waste (such as sand, synthetic fibers, and small pieces of plastic) settling to the bottom as sludge as time goes on.
  • Tank sludge must be pumped out at regular intervals, often every few years, to guarantee that the septic system continues to work effectively and lasts for an extended period of time.
  • The sewage system, as well as recycling This’soil absorption area’ is also referred to as a leach field or a septic drain field, depending on who you ask.

After a few preliminary phases, the ultimate treatment and distribution take place in this location.

(See Figure 1).

It is necessary for the effluent to drain at a sufficient rate in order for the organisms to operate efficiently.

Observations on Mound Systems In certain septic systems, such asAbove Ground Septic Systems or Sand Mound Septic Systems, the drain field is elevated above ground in an artificial mound, allowing for better drainage.

In regions where specific environmental factors (such as a high water table, shallow soil cover, and/or when the land drains too rapidly or too slowly) preclude the installation of a standard septic system, the system was created to address these issues.

Mound systems operate in much the same way as typical below-ground systems; however, the mound itself must be stabilized in order to prevent erosion and other disturbances that might cause damage to the drain field.

Septic Field Landscaping, is it necessary?

In a nutshell, sure. There are a variety of factors contributing to this. Perhaps most compelling is the fact that planting on a septic drain field can help to stabilize the area and reduce 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 draw some of the wastewater out of the soil, which will aid in not only treating the water but also in removing some of the soil moisture from the environment.
  • The planting of grass or low root vegetation is often required by code to aid in transpiration, erosion control (as previously mentioned), and to provide insulative properties in cold climates, among other things.
  • Landscape design over the septic tank will conceal the lids and access areas, while planting on the septic field will provide you with a lush lawn 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:

  • Pussy Willow Shrubs, Japanese Willow Shrubs, Aspen Trees, Lombardy Poplar Trees, Birch Trees, Elm Trees, Maple Trees (other than Maple Trees), American Sweet Gum Trees, Ash Trees, Tulip Trees, Walnut Trees, Willow Trees, Cypress Trees, and Pine Trees are some of the plants that grow in this area.

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

It is also not suggested to plant 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 grow aggressively deep, and perhaps block or damage the pipes in the septic drain field, is something you should avoid at all costs. Having said that, septic systems — especially the drain field – may be quite expensive to repair. Furthermore, a faulty system might get extremely clogged and can have a detrimental effect on the environment.

(For example, don’t plant right before a severe rainstorm arrives.) You want the plants to establish themselves as early as possible in order to reduce the likelihood of soil erosion occurring.

Drain field irritation can cause soil saturation to reach unacceptably high levels, impeding effluent evaporation and, as a result, increasing the possibility of groundwater pollution.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. In general, the higher the crop is in height, the smaller the chance of contamination is to be found.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Furthermore, gardening tasks such as ploughing, deep digging, rototilling, and fence post placement must be included in.
  6. Raised garden beds, on the other hand, can have a substantial impact on the usual evaporation rate of wastewater from the soil.
  7. Herbaceous plants such as annuals, perennials (including bulbs), and decorative grasses will be the best choices for your septic drain field.
  8. 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
  • And
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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.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. You should also limit the vegetation that grows above your tank to plants that do not require a lot of water.
  4. In order to grow anything other than grass over your sewage tank, use perennials that are drought-resistant to the elements.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Trees with actively growing roots can cause damage to septic tanks and pipelines, even if they are located a long distance away.

4.

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.

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

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

About Septic Systems

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

Planting Considerations

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

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

Unfortunately, building raised beds over the drainage region is also not a viable option. The increased soil depth created by the beds may reduce evaporation and reduce the effectiveness of the septic system’s efficacy.

Suggested Perennials

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

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Make Sure to Choose Appropriate Plants to Grow Above Your Septic System

Have you ever given consideration to which plants should be planted where in your yard? Have you ever given any consideration to where the roots of those plants would eventually grow? Keep in mind that understanding where different utility lines and services are on your property is an important part of keeping your home safe; keep this in mind the next time you plant something in the backyard. If you are still hesitant, keep in mind that you may always request a Colorado utility locate by dialing 811.

Your Best Choices and a List of What to Avoid Planting

Because of their tenacious roots, many trees and bushes can cause significant damage in and near septic tanks and drain fields. Which plants were the most difficult to grow over a septic system, and which ones were the safest options to use?

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. Small, non-woody ground covers and grasses (including decorative grasses) are the best plants to utilize around your septic tank and drain field because their shallow root systems are less likely to infiltrate and cause harm to your subterranean system.

Consider the following growth conditions as a good place to start:

  1. If the location is sunny, try planting one of these 10 great perennials for sunny locations: However, if the location does not receive a lot of sunlight, you will likely be happier with these shade-garden plants
  2. The soil near septic tank drain fields is occasionally wetter than normal, occasionally saltier than usual — and occasionally both — depending on the season. Make sure to cover both bases with perennials that can withstand both damp soils and salt, such as bee balm, hollyhocks, and wild violets.
  1. When it comes to plants growing over septic systems, Bambi will not turn his nose up at them
  2. Therefore, if you have a problem with this large pest eating your plants in your area, you should look into deer-resistant perennials and deer-resistant ground covers, as well as spring bulbs and ornamental grasses that deer do not consume

The growing (and eating) of food crops on the earth near a drain field is not recommended 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 following are examples of shallow-rooted plants and shrubs:

  1. 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:

  1. A variety of willow plants, including pussy willow and Japanese willow, aspen trees, Lombardy poplars, birch trees, beech trees, and elm trees
  2. The majority of maple trees (apart from Japanese maples)
  3. American sweetgum trees
  4. Ash trees
  5. Tulip trees

Consider the following scenario: you have avoided planting any of the most hazardous plants immediately over your septic tank’s drain field. Are you sure you’re out of the woods? No! Despite this, any huge, mature trees that may be growing anywhere near your septic system represent a threat to your health and safety. The basic guideline is that a tree of this size must be at least as far away from your septic drain field as it is tall — and that is the very minimum distance required. 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 in controlling invasive bamboo).

Why You Have to Be So Careful Planting Over Septic Tank Drainfields

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 perfect working order, or else the result will be a disaster – and a pricey one at that. Despite the fact that annual flowers are shallow-rooted enough to be used as septic-field plants, the fact that they must be planted every year makes them less than ideal.

If you are digging in a drain field, you should always wear gloves to protect your hands.

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