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 chemicals are in septic tank?
- Septic tank chemicals consist of caustic chemicals that are either derivatives of acids or alkalis. Chemicals that are commercially available that are used for the wellness of your plumbing contain these same chemicals. Essentially, they are used to unclog the pipes.
What can you put on top of a septic tank?
Perennials and grasses (including ornamental grasses) work best around your septic tank and drain field. Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields
- Dogwood trees.
- Japanese maple trees.
- Eastern redbud trees.
- Cherry trees.
- Azalea shrubs.
- Boxwood shrubs.
- Holly shrubs.
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.
Should you cover your septic tank?
You should cover your tank up with something that can be easily moved when you need to move it. Animals Need to Stay Away from Your Septic Tank System: Keep animals away from your septic system. It is not a good idea to grow a vegetable garden to cover up your septic tank pumping system though.
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 plant flowers over a septic tank?
Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields Perennials and grasses (including ornamental grasses) work best around your septic tank and drain field. Cover both bases with perennials such as bee balm, hollyhocks, and wild violets, which tolerate both wet ground and salt.
Can you put a trampoline over a septic tank?
Never place anything heavy over it, think sheds, or above ground pools, etc. It’s probably not the best place to set up your kids’ trampoline or swing set either. Keep the area around your tank free of trees and shrubbery as their roots can clog and damage the tank and lines.
Can you put artificial turf over a septic field?
The answer is YES. Artificial grass has been installed over septic tanks many times. Turf is one of the true Landscaping Alternatives that is modular, meaning you can pull the turf back, pull the base back, fixed a water main or a septic tank and put the base back and reinstall the turf.
Can you put pavers over a septic drain field?
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 greenhouse over a septic field?
A greenhouse can be erected on a septic field to grow certain types of plants. The greenhouse should not have permanent foundations, which could easily damage the septic system. Do not plant directly into the ground over a septic field, as the plants could absorb contaminants released by the system.
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.
What do septic covers look like?
During the search, keep an eye out for a circular lid approximately two feet wide. Septic tank lids are typically green or black plastic; sometimes they are made of concrete. It’s not always easy to find the lid, though, as unkempt grass, dirt, or debris can conceal the septic tank lid.
How do you hide a septic riser?
The easiest way to hide your septic riser is by simply placing something over it, such as a hollow, lightweight landscape rock, a birdbath, a sundial or a decorative lawn ornament.
How long do septic tanks last?
A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.
Landscaping Around a Septic System: Do’s and Don’ts
Riverside, California 92504-17333 Van Buren Boulevard Call us right now at (951) 780-5922. A big number of large plants, patios, and other structures are likely to be absent from the region surrounding your septic system. Indeed, conventional thinking is that you should avoid both large landscaping and septic systems in the vicinity of one other. This is a reasonable guideline to follow since roots can entangle themselves around pipes and cause them to burst. Plants, on the other hand, can absorb excess rainfall and decrease erosion, so landscaping around your septic system might not be such a bad idea after all.
You don’t want roots to penetrate the perforations and clog the system, so keep them out.
Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts
- Plants that do not require a lot of water should be used. This stops plant roots from looking for water and interfering with your system’s functionality. Make use of herbaceous plants with shallow roots, such as flowers and ground cover. When planting quarts, gallons, or plugs, make sure to keep your plants somewhat near to one another to prevent erosion. This will help restrict the growth of weeds. If you have any trees or shrubs growing in your yard in the future, consider how their development may impede access to the septic tank lids, leach field, and sprinkler system. Using a potted plant, riser cover, or lawn ornament just above your access hatch, you may mark the position of your access hatch. When it comes time to dig it up, it will be much simpler to do so. Allow tall Kentucky bluegrass or another type of lawn to grow over the plot of ground that serves as a septic tank cover. Consider the benefits of growing perennials. Because both grasses and perennials have a shallow root structure, they should have no negative impact on your tank or drain field. Make use of tiny, non-woody groundcovers to disguise weeds. Think about planting shallow-rooted trees and vegetation (such as cherry trees, dogwood trees, holly bushes, azalea shrubs, and boxwood shrubs) in the area around your septic system, but make sure they are at least 10-15 feet away from the tank.
- Get so concerned about plants and grasses hurting your septic tank that you completely demolish the surrounding region. Some grasses and plants are particularly effective at collecting excess rainwater surrounding the drain field, hence reducing the likelihood of drainage problems. Overwatering your lawn may encourage freshly planted plants to flourish more quickly. Overwatering can cause soil to contract over your leach field, which can cause your septic system to get clogged. Root vegetables can be grown in the vicinity of your system. If these nutrient-absorbing plants are planted too near together, they may cause problems with microorganisms.
- Install plastic sheeting or ponds to keep the water out. These characteristics obstruct effective drainage from the tank to the leach field. Overlook the septic tank or leach field and construct walkways and high-traffic routes
- Don’t forget that the placement of fencing and gates might have an impact on septic pumper truck access. The hoses on the truck are quite heavy, and we do not recommend that you use them to cross fences. The majority of pumpers like to have access within 50 feet of their vehicle. Planting plants or trees around the septic system is a good idea. Forestry professionals recommend planting trees 20 feet or more away from water, but trees that are known to hunt for water should be planted 50 feet or more away from water. Planting shrubs near the system is a good idea. Vegetables that are nutrient-rich can be grown on a septic system. However, contamination is a worry depending on how efficiently your soil filters microorganisms, even if it appears to be excellent for a garden. Susan Day, an expert in urban forestry at Virginia Tech, recommends growing aboveground vegetables rather than root vegetables in close proximity as a precaution. 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 guidelines, on the other hand, should be followed in order to avoid costly and unpleasant experiences. 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.
Things You Can (and Can’t) Put on Your Septic System’s Leach Field
Istockphoto.com Designed to break down organic waste from the residence, septic systems are capable of segregating waste into two types: liquids and solids. While the solid sludge that accumulates at the bottom of the tank must be pumped out at regular intervals, the wastewater can either be treated and reused as irrigation for crops or simply discharged into a septic field, which is typically comprised of perforated piping that is set in gravel trenches and buried about 1 to 2 feet below ground level.
To find out how to utilize a septic field without endangering or interfering with the septic system, continue reading this article!
YouCanPlant Vegetation That Benefits the System
Istockphoto.com Septic systems are meant to break down organic waste from the residence, separating the waste into liquids and solids as it breaks down the trash. However, while the solid sludge that forms at the bottom of the tank must be pumped out on a regular basis, the wastewater can be treated and reused as irrigation for crops, or it can be simply released into a septic field, which is typically comprised of perforated piping that is set in gravel trenches and buried 1 to 2 feet underground.
To find out how to utilize a septic field without endangering or interfering with the septic system, please continue reading this article!
YouCan’tPlant Vegetation That Harms the System
While there are certain advantages to growing certain types of vegetation on your septic field, if you plant the wrong sort of vegetation, you may have difficulties. In addition to pussy willow bushes and Japanese willow shrubs, aspen trees and birch trees as well as blue mist spireas and edible vegetable plants are examples of vegetation that should not be planted on a septic field. Although a vegetable garden may appear to be beautiful, there is the possibility that hazardous bacteria, such as E.
Raised gardens are also not a smart idea since the additional weight of the soil and bed constructions can cause the septic pipes to become damaged or even collapse.
In certain cases, these root systems can wrap around septic field pipes, causing the septic effluent to be trapped and flooding the surrounding area.
YouCanInstall an Open-Air Kennel
However, if you have a dog and want to provide it with a safe place to play without worrying about it running away, you may build a basic open-air kennel on top of your sewage field, which will reduce the amount of weight that is placed on top of the septic field. Although it should be emphasized that the roof and any form of floor that would lie on top of the grass are not permitted since these modifications would obstruct the evapotranspiration process in the grass. The most basic definition of a suitable open-air dog kennel is a gated space where the dog may run about freely.
Aside from that, make certain that the fence posts are set away from the septic field pipes to avoid accidently damaging a pipe when digging a posthole for the fence. istockphoto.com
Construction of structures around septic fields is not recommended and cannot be done in certain areas. As previously stated, Numerous individuals have suggested floating decks, tiny shelters, and even simple gazebos to help block out the sun; however, each of these modifications poses a risk to the septic system and should be avoided. Septic fields cannot be securely constructed over decks because they are too heavy; in addition, decks impede access to the system by inhibiting the establishment of grass and other useful flora, which helps to lessen the adverse effects of erosion.
It is not always true that a gazebo is too heavy for the field, but any building that shuts out the sun causes erosion in the field, which is why even an open-air kennel cannot be covered.
YouCanSet Up a Lightweight Swing Set
Some people may consider this large field to be a waste of space, but children and pets may play freely in it without encountering any difficulties, making it an ideal location for a lightweight swing set for the kids. Because of its tiny size and lightweight construction, this type of playground equipment is often reserved for children under the age of ten. These considerations also make it feasible to put up a swing set for some outside recreation time. Just make sure that the swing set does not have any large roofed portions that may obscure the sun and cause damage to the beneficial plants in the surrounding region before purchasing it.
YouCan’tInstall Semipermanent Playground Equipment
A permanent or semipermanent play structure may seem like an excellent idea given the amount of open space afforded by the septic field, but this might result in a slew of difficulties if it is not done properly. Large play structures are sometimes excessively heavy, placing strain on the septic field and potentially bending or breaking pipes that are only a foot or two below the surface of the ground. This type of play structure also normally requires a plastic sheet to assist prevent flooding and erosion surrounding the playground; however, when this barrier is placed over a septic field, it interferes with the process of evapotranspiration, which can result in both erosion and flooding in the field.
YouCanSet Up Volleyball and Badminton Courts
A permanent or semipermanent play structure may seem like an excellent idea given the amount of open space afforded by the septic field, but this can result in a slew of difficulties if it is not installed correctly. In general, large play structures are too heavy, placing strain on the septic field and potentially bending or breaking the pipes that are barely a foot or two below the surface of the ground. This type of play structure also normally requires a plastic sheet to assist prevent flooding and erosion surrounding the playground; however, when this barrier is placed over a septic field, it interferes with the process of evapotranspiration, which can result in erosion and flooding in the field.
Septic field operation is impaired by the presence of sand, gravel, and other playground materials, therefore even sandboxes can be detrimental to the system. istockphoto.com
YouCan’tInstall Tennis or Basketball Courts
Tennis and basketball vary from volleyball and badminton in that they often require a paved surface in order to be played correctly. If you want to pave over your septic field for any purpose, whether to create a parking area, a patio, or to establish a tennis or basketball court, you should think twice. Because of the inclusion of concrete, not only does the process of evapotranspiration become impossible, but it also adds a large amount of weight to the septic field pipes, which may lead them to collapse.
YouCanBuild a Fence
The process of installing a fence in the yard becomes more difficult in the presence of an aseptic system because you must ensure that the postholes can be excavated and the posts installed without harming the septic field pipes is completed safely and without incident. When using an exact plan that specifies where the pipes are to be laid, it is feasible to construct an enclosed septic field, or even a pipeline that runs directly over it. Remember to take the time to carefully map out the exact location of the fence posts and to continue with caution while digging the holes for these supports.
Additionally, ensure that the system may still be accessed for maintenance when it is required to do so.
YouCan’tAdd a Pool or Water Features
Pools, ponds, and streams are all wonderful additions to a property, but they must be maintained away from septic fields to avoid contamination. The presence of ponds or streams that are too close to the septic field increases the possibility of them becoming wastewater runoff points, lowering the efficacy of the system and generating areas surrounding the residence where hazardous pollutants, such as E. coli, can concentrate. Due to the fact that they must be dug out and erected in the ground where the septic pipes are located, inground pools should be a no-brainer, but even above-ground pools can cause issues.
Additionally, the weight of the pool, especially when it is full, will likely crush the pipes and cause the entire septic system to backup.
6 Things to Know About Landscaping Around Your Septic Tank
You’re undoubtedly already aware that dumping some items into your sewage system, such as paint or grease, can cause harm to your septic tank. However, you may not be aware that certain gardening methods can actually cause harm to your septic system. In order to avoid unwittingly causing difficulties or damage to your septic tank, here are six things you should know regarding landscaping around your septic tank. 1. The location of the access point. It is OK to use landscaping to conceal the entry port to your septic tank; however, you must not totally conceal it.
- One option to conceal your access port without totally concealing it is to use a landscaping element such as a birdbath or any other fixed lawn decoration to mark out its position on the property.
- Characteristics of Vegetation that is Safe It is possible for some species of vegetation to grow above and around a septic tank without the risk of septic tank damage rising.
- You should also limit the vegetation that grows above your tank to plants that do not require a lot of water.
- In order to grow anything other than grass over your sewage tank, use perennials that are drought-resistant to the elements.
- Characteristics of Trees that Have the Potential to Be Destructive Large bushes or trees should not be planted anywhere near your septic tank under any circumstances.
- In the case of a 20-foot-tall tree, it is recommended that it be placed at least 20 feet away from the septic tank.
- Trees with actively growing roots can cause damage to septic tanks and pipelines, even if they are located a long distance away.
Grazing animals consume the protective vegetation that covers your drain field, exposing the components of your septic system to the elements.
There are a lot of methods you may use to keep livestock from grazing on your septic tank.
You may also apply animal repellents around your drain field, which deter animals by emitting unpleasant sounds or odors that they find uncomfortable.
Preventing vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Your landscaping should be planned and your yard should be put out in such a way that cars do not drive over the area where your septic tank is positioned.
Foot traffic, in addition to car traffic, can cause damage to a septic tank.
As an alternative, if possible, direct foot traffic away from the area.
The Positioning of Architectural Elements You could choose to include architectural elements into your landscaping, such as retaining walls, stone paths, or fire pits.
If you plan to incorporate architectural elements into your landscaping, be certain that these elements are located far away from your septic tank. Get in contact with Walters Environmental Services if you want to learn more about maintaining your septic tank in excellent working order.
Safe Plants to Grow Over Septic Tanks & Drain Fields
When some trees and bushes are planted near septic tanks and drain fields, their vigorous roots can cause harm to the tanks and drain fields. Find out which plants are the most dangerous to cultivate near a septic system and which ones are the safest.
Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields
Keep in mind that you should not become so concerned about the possibility of root damage to septic systems that you avoid planting in these places completely. It is not only permissible, but really desirable, to cultivate the appropriate kind of plants in this location. Plants will help to prevent erosion and will also help to absorb some of the surplus rainwater from the drainage system. Growing tall fescue grass, Kentucky bluegrass, or other lawn grass over that section of earth should be the bare minimum solution to the problem.
Plants such as creeping Charlie, stonecrop, and jewelweed will proliferate and cover a septic area effectively.
Because of their thin root systems, they are less prone to infiltrate and destroy the subsurface infrastructure.
It goes without saying that there are several instances of such plants, so you will want to limit down your options.
- If the location is sunny, try planting one of these 10 great perennials for sunny locations: However, if the location does not receive much sunlight, you will most likely be pleased with these shadow garden plants. Septic tank drain fields have soil that is sometimes wetter than usual, sometimes saltier than average, and sometimes a combination of the two. Make sure to cover both bases with perennials that can withstand both damp soils and salt, such as bee balm, hollyhocks, and wild violets. When it comes to plants growing over septic systems, deer will not turn their noses up at them
- Therefore, if you have a problem with this large pest eating your plants in your area, you will want to consider deer-resistant perennials and deer-resistant ground covers, as well as spring bulbs and ornamental grasses that deer do not eat
It is not safe to consume food crops that have been planted in the ground near a drain field since doing so may result in the consumption of hazardous microorganisms. It is preferable to plant shallow-rooted trees and bushes around septic tank drain fields if you must plant trees and plants. The Spruce is an example of a shallow-rooted tree or shrub. K. Dave’s / K. Dave
The Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems
Planting huge, fast-growing trees is often discouraged. However, some of the greatest offenders are trees and shrubs with root systems that are aggressively seeking out sources of water, which makes them particularly difficult to control. They are not picky about the water source from which they draw their water, which means the pipes in your septic tank drain field are completely fair game. Weeping willow trees are a well-known example of this. There are several trees and bushes to avoid, however the following are only a few examples: If you have avoided planting any of the most dangerous plants right over your septic tank drain field, you should still be concerned about the consequences.
Any huge, mature trees that may be growing in close proximity to your septic system continue to pose a threat.
As a result, a mature specimen 50 feet tall should be at least 50 feet distant from the viewer.
In the event that this is not practicable, root barriers can be installed to try to prevent tree roots from accessing your septic drain field (similar to the bamboo barriers used incontrolling invasive bamboo). The Spruce Tree K. Dave’s / K. Dave
The Basics of How Septic Systems Work
Septic systems are used to treat wastewater in rural regions that do not have access to sewer systems. An underground, waterproof container, the septic tank is where wastewater from your toilets, showers, sinks, and clothes washer is stored after it has been removed from your home via a pipe. Solids (sludge) and scum are separated from liquids in a septic tank, which is intended to do this. Solids sink to the bottom of the container. The slime rises to the top of the heap. The liquids create an intermediate layer between the scum and the sludge, separating them from the other two layers.
- The introduction of more wastewater from the residence serves as a stimulus for their expulsion.
- Upon discharge, liquids are channeled into a much bigger portion of the septic system known as the “drain field,” “leach field,” or “leach pit.” Typically, a drain field is composed of a number of perforated PVC pipes that are installed in subterranean trenches.
- Drain field cloth can be used to protect dirt from getting into the holes.
- “Percolation” is the term used to describe how wastewater moves through the earth.
- The evaporation of excess moisture from the soil will take care of any excess moisture unless you (inadvertently) do something to hinder it.
- The Spruce / written by K.
Planning a Septic Field Garden
When it comes to planting near septic tanks, the drain field pipes are the most important thing to consider. If roots penetrate the perforations and clog the system, it is best to remove them immediately. All of the components of this meticulously calibrated system must be in good working order, or else the consequence is a complete disaster (and a costly one). While annual flowers such as impatiens are shallow-rooted enough to be used as septic-field plants, the fact that they must be replanted every year makes them less than ideal for this purpose.
If you are digging in a drain field, you should always wear gloves to protect your hands.
All of the following are terrible ideas because they may interfere with the regular evaporation process, which is responsible for removing excess moisture from the environment:
- Increasing the amount of soil in the region Using excessive amounts of mulch
- Providing more water to the plants than is strictly necessary
Can You Put A Paver Patio Over A Septic Tank? (Must Read!)
Consider the following scenario: you’ve found the ideal location in your yard for your new patio, but there’s a septic tank in the way. What do you do? Can you just go ahead and build the patio on top of the existing structure? You are not permitted to construct a paver patio on top of a septic tank, and doing so may be in violation of the planning regulations of your state or local jurisdiction. Septic tanks are capable of withstanding just a small amount of weight without becoming damaged, and you will want access to the tank in the future.
It’s also not a good idea to construct a deck atop one. With the help of this article, you will be better prepared to comply with local planning requirements when it comes to constructing a patio on or near your septic tank.
Should I Ever Pave Over My Septic Tank?
The practice of constructing a structure over a septic tank is not advised, and in fact, some counties may have rules against it. If you are aware of the location of your septic tank, you will need to plan your patio around it. What is the reason behind this? First and foremost, why make life difficult for yourself? This means you must have access to your septic tank, and ideally without the need to lift concrete slabs. Sometimes you’ll notice paved sections over tanks with an access hatch in between the pavers.
- This will, without a doubt, help to alleviate the accessibility issue, but it is still far from perfect.
- Immediately after, we’ll go through the various sorts of tanks and their weight-bearing capabilities.
- Discovering the location of your tank before beginning any construction is the moral of this story.
- In this instance, you’ll need to determine whether or not the previous tank was properly refilled.
- If you believe that you may have an old tank on your property, consult with a professional surveyor or engineer for confirmation.
- This is the million-dollar question.
- In order to drain it, you’d have to relocate all of your beautiful furniture and potted plants, and you’d have to prepare yourself for the scent to remain for many days thereafter.
How Much Weight Can Go On Top of a Septic Tank?
When it comes to an old-fashioned steel septic tank, the answer is usually “very little.” Modern septic tanks are often constructed of concrete, which makes them much more durable. Some have a “traffic rating” and axle weights, whereas others do not. But the majority of the advise is to avoid parking on or even driving across a septic tank at all costs. A collapse or partial collapse can result in a devastating accident, with the driver, the car, the tank, and the surrounding property all suffering severely as a result of the incident.
If you are installing a new one, make sure to choose a durable concrete tank that satisfies all of the specifications.
The drain field (also known as a leach field) is the region where the drain lines that flow from the tank are located, and you don’t want these lines to be damaged as much as possible.
Make sure that spot is clearly marked so that no one attempts to park there. Nevertheless, you will not be left with an unsightly and useless area of yard. Then we’ll look at what you can do to protect the area around your septic tank.
What Can You Put Over a Septic Tank? (Can You Cover Them At All?)
So, what are your plans for this parcel of property that has been delineated? Keep the hatch open to allow for easy access (you can always put a lightweight plant pot over it). Over the cover, we’ve also heard of light sculptures and bird feeders being used (these are also a good way to remind people not to park cars or mowers directly over the tank). You could even make a highlight of the hatch itself by decorating it with mosaic tiles or painting a pattern on it. There’s an unexpected amount of information on this on Pinterest!
- Plant grass over the drain field since it helps to keep the soil around the septic tank in good condition.
- Solid waste is separated from liquid waste in the septic tank, which allows it to function properly.
- The bacteria are more efficient in soil that is loose and well-drained.
- As much since possible, choose a native grass that will thrive in your zone without the use of fertilizers, as you want to leave the soil as natural as possible.
- In our most recent post, you may learn more about the many species of natural grass.
- Trees should not be planted anywhere near a septic tank system.
- It should go without saying that a septic tank drain field is not a good location for a vegetable or herb garden to be established.
- It appears to be a fine concept; but, it would be quite difficult to create a deck that is still load-bearing despite the presence of a vast unsupported region above the storage tank.
How Deep Should Septic Lines Be Buried?
Every drain field is unique due to the variations in soil and water table found in different parts of the country. If you’re building new septic lines, consult with a professional first (and as much as we love a DIY yard project, the whole septic tank thing is best handled by the professionals). The overall norm appears to be at least six inches deep, according to the evidence.
This appears to be a shallow depth to us, and according to our study, the optimal depth is between 18 and 36 inches below the surface of the water. This also provides you with a substantial amount of soil cover, which allows your grass roots to securely develop without interfering with the lines.
Where Should Your Septic Tank Be Located?
The requirements for septic tank placement differ from one location to the next, but the general guideline appears to be that the tank should be at least 10 feet away from your residence. According to what we’ve previously discussed, you’ll want to choose a location that won’t impede with your driveway or parking because a car of that weight shouldn’t be able to pass over the tank. Additionally, you will require an area for the septic tank’s drain field and lines, which you will not want to plant anything on or build on in the future.
Again, consult with an experienced drainage engineer who can assist you in determining the ideal location for the tank and drain lines.
The bottom line is that because septic tanks are not weight bearing structures, you cannot construct a patio or deck on top of them. Aside from that, you’ll require continual access, which is another reason why this is a horrible idea. Because it may be against state and municipal planning rules to construct a paver patio over your tank, the last thing you want is to find yourself in trouble with the authorities – or literally in trouble if your patio furniture falls through and into the tank!
What Should You Plant Over the Septic System?
Among the plants seen here are creeping phlox, dwarf boxwood, hebe,thyme, and iris, all of which are deemed acceptable for planting over a septic field.
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Get articles, news, and videos about Onsite Systems delivered directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Plus, there are Onsite Systems. Receive Notifications As you go about your daily pumping rounds, you’ve seen the many different ways that homeowners may sabotage their septic systems by using bad landscaping or making other ill-informed land-use decisions. When the driveway becomes overcrowded, people park their automobiles on top of the septic system. They build a wooden deck over the septic tank, making it difficult for you to get to it.
- They promote root infiltration, soil compaction, and broken and damaged drainlines, and then wonder why they’re having trouble maintaining the septic tank.
- On Bowen Island in the British Columbia province of Canada, there is a landscape and garden designer by the name of Wynn Nielsen.
- A presentation on landscaping around a septic system was recently prepared by Nielsen to assist disgruntled property owners – who may not be aware that they have a septic system or who may not even be aware that they do have one – who are confused about how their system operates.
- In Nielsen’s experience, landscaping designers are often late to the game when properties are being developed, because landowners have formed preconceived views about how they want to use their lots before the designers arrive.
- According to her, “septic fields tend to occupy the most appealing portions of a lot, and people tend to want to utilize them.” “People want to build patios, decks, and hot tubs on their properties.
- I’m the one who has to break the terrible news to you that you won’t be able to accomplish that without causing damage to the septic field.
- “It would be wonderful if there were greater awareness of the end-user.” The majority of pumpers are gearing up for the start of the hectic season.
- Some of Nielsen’s presentation may be useful in explaining how each planting option might affect the effective usage and lifetime of a customer’s septic system to them in your presentations.
Additionally, Nielsen has these words of wisdom for septic pumpers and installers: If homeowners have a lot of questions and worries regarding their landscaping, they should not be shy about calling in an expert.
STEER CLEAR OF THESE
Your knowledge of the first guideline of planting around a septic system includes knowing to avoid thirsty plants that have deep roots. Water-loving trees such as willows, birch, silver maple, elm, beech, walnut, and linden, according to Nielsen, should be kept at a safe distance from homes. The use of aggressive, dense ground coverings that will interfere with the evaporation process, such as pachysandra, cotoneaster and periwinkle, is discouraged, according to her. Others to stay away from because of their aggressive roots include vines and wisteria, as well as bittersweet, morning glory, campsis, and hops.
- Any species of bamboo
- Any plants with very strong lateral root development
- Any other trees with a particularly strong lateral root growth Pond grasses that thrive in water and grow in vast quantities
- Clematis native to the area (self-seeding)
- Cedars (with the exception of genetic dwarfs)
- Vinca stolonifera
Prairie grasses and meadows can be no-mow and can prevent driving across septic fields, both of which are beneficial characteristics, leading some people to believe they are desirable. Nielsen, on the other hand, believes that they are frequently poor alternatives for the septic field. The prairie grasses and perennials contain some of the longest, tangliest, and strongest roots on the planet, according to Dr. Smith. Prairie grasses have vigorous roots that are good at searching out water sources such as perforated drainpipes as a result of their drought-resistant characteristics.
- While cedars are beautiful, they may be a nuisance when they grow next to a septic field.
- When homeowners insist on planting trees with significant lateral root development, encourage them to take a deep breath and wait.
- The owners of landscape-intensive yards must be cautioned not to plant vegetables over the septic field as this might cause serious problems.
- They are cautioned, however, that disturbing the soil with these annual crops is detrimental to the septic system, and that the wastewater may include diseases that can be transmitted to the edibles.
GO AHEAD AND PLANT THESE
While typical lawns are permitted for use over septic systems, Nielsen notes that many homes are moving away from that type of ground cover that requires a lot of upkeep and requires a lot of water.
She cites a few grass kinds that are commonly considered to be superior than others. Alternatives that are less risky include:
- Eco-grass and fescues that have been pre-mixed
- The tufted fescues, the feather grass, the pennisetum, and the deschampsia are examples of small grasses. Plants that look like grass, such as mounding mondo grass, liatris, liriope, and armeria
“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.
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
lawns “Lawns are not very environmentally friendly.” We still have children and dogs, and they are excellent places to romp around on,” she adds. “They don’t create suitable habitat for most creatures,” she says. 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 your preferences. 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 garden.
Nielsen recommends interspersing annuals or bulbs in the ground cover as other options for adding landscape appeal without putting the septic system at danger.
Furthermore, the newer dwarf tree and shrub types do not pose the same hazard as their larger counterparts do.
Boxwood, potentilla, daphne, choisya, hebe, and euonymus are examples of shrubs having fibrous root systems.
Can You Build Deck Over Septic Tank?
It is one of the most exciting and gratifying home remodeling tasks you can undertake to create an outside living space. A finished deck, no matter how complicated or basic, is a wonderful location to spend time with friends and family while also enjoying your house. What might put a kink in your deck-building plans, though, is the question of whether or not you can build a deck on top of a septic tank. Although it is possible to construct a deck over a septic tank, this does not automatically imply that it is a good idea.
Creating a deck over a septic tank requires careful planning and execution.
In this article, you’ll discover the fundamentals of installing decks over septic tanks, as well as the dangers and construction codes related with these projects, allowing you to determine whether or not this is a good idea for your home or not.
Can You Build a Deck Over a Septic Tank?
It is feasible to construct a deck over a septic tank, but it is not necessarily a smart idea. There are a variety of factors that should cause you to stop before deciding to build your deck over a septic tank. Building a deck without disrupting your septic system is a difficult task, and you will need to be resourceful. However, it is not impossible or difficult; it simply takes more preparation and adjustment. Consider it a one-of-a-kind design challenge that will push you to be more creative and strategic in your planning!
Risks of Building Over a Septic Tank
The construction of a deck directly over the tank will make it difficult, if not impossible, to pump out the tank. The tank’s upkeep is extremely vital, and covering the tank with a wood framework makes that task much more difficult to complete. Every three to five years, your septic tank should be drained and emptied, and older tanks may require more frequent maintenance. This makes it unwise to construct a deck over a septic tank unless you are forced to do so by circumstance. It is also critical to preserve the septic lines and drain field in their original condition.
This liquid, which is referred to as effluent, drains out into the drain field and dissipates in the earth and the surrounding air.
When something interferes with the process, however, it becomes readily apparent to the observer.
Building a deck over a septic field is not recommended since it will impede the natural draining and dissipation of the effluent from occurring.
This can cause damage to the septic system, as well as the release of unpleasant odors into the air all around your deck area. The dispersing effluent can also cause the deck to deteriorate from the bottom up. There is nothing more unpleasant than sitting on a deck that smells like a sewer!
Guidelines for Building Decks Over Septic Tanks
Pumping the tank will be difficult, if not impossible, if the deck is constructed directly over it. The tank’s upkeep is quite vital, and covering the tank with a wood framework makes this task much more challenging. Pumping and emptying your septic tank once every three to five years is a must, and older tanks may require more frequent service. As a result, unless you have no other option, it is not advisable to construct a deck over a septic tank. It’s also critical to leave the septic lines and drain field alone throughout the cleaning procedure.
- Exfluent is a liquid that drains into a drain field where it decomposes in the earth and the surrounding air.
- It is readily obvious when something interrupts the process, on the other hand.
- Never construct a deck over an existing septic field since doing so will impede the natural drainage and dissipation of effluent from taking place.
- The effluent that is dispersing might potentially destroy the deck from underneath.
Deck Over Septic Tank: Footings and Framing
If you want to build a deck over a septic tank, you should be aware that each deck footing must be at least 5-10 feet away from the septic tank at all times, depending on where you live in the world. However, doing so may result in the footings being too widely apart to allow for the construction of a structurally sound deck that complies with code. Decks that are too widely apart will droop, and they won’t survive more than a few of years if the footings are placed too far apart. If you discover that your deck layout necessitates the placement of footings that are too far apart, you might want to consider framing the deck with steel rather than wood.
How Big Is a Septic Tank?
Septic tanks are available in a variety of sizes depending on the size of the residence; for example, a two-bedroom ranch will have a significantly smaller tank than a six-bedroom country estate. The Environmental Protection Agency advises sizing the septic tank depending on the number of users and the size of the home, as well as the amount of water that will be used. The usual size of a septic tank is between 750 and 1250 gallons in capacity. This is enough to allow the tank to filter and treat a few years’ worth of water and waste before it has to be replaced.
Tanks extend approximately one foot in each direction for every 250 gallons that the capacity required rises.
Septic tanks are generally made of precast concrete, plastic, fiberglass, or steel, with steel being the least popular due to the high cost and corrosion prone nature of steel tanks.
How Deep Are Septic Tanks Buried?
Contrary to popular opinion, septic tanks are not buried particularly deeply in the ground, as is commonly assumed. Septic tanks that are dug too deeply might be cracked or collapsed by soil weight, causing the effluent to leak and soak into the soil around the tank rather than draining into the drainage field. The majority of septic tanks are buried between 4 inches and 4 feet below ground level. This is dependent on the kind of soil, the slope of the yard, the tank design, and a variety of other factors.
This will assist you in avoiding the placement of deck footings in areas where they might cause harm.
Rules and Codes Regarding Septic Tanks
Before you begin construction on your deck, you should research the building rules in your area that pertain to septic tanks. Construction of a floating deck over an existing septic tank is permitted in some locations. In others, it is prohibited, and violating the law can result in fines and the removal of the deck. Septic tanks, drain lines, and drain field must be positioned at least 10 feet away from building slabs, roadways, decks, and other buildings in some jurisdictions, such as Ohio.
You will never be permitted to build over septic lines or drain fields; these regulations are only applicable to construction near tanks.
These requirements apply not just to decks, but also to other types of construction, such as walls and trees, foundations, slabs, and other types of landscaping.
How Close Can a Deck Be to a Septic Tank?
If possible, the footings of the deck should be at least 5-10 feet away from the tank at all times, depending on where you reside. This might result in the deck’s size being reduced or increased in order to fit these regulations. You may use this site to gather information on septic systems at the state level. Consult your local building codes or chat with a professional plumbing contractor or house inspector to have a better understanding! If your municipality permits footings closer than 5 feet to the tank, it is still advisable to maintain the deck footings at least five feet away from the tank.
Can You Build a Floating Deck Over a Septic Tank?
The construction of floating decks, which are essentially free-standing wooden platforms that are placed at or slightly above grade, should not take place over an existing septic tank. The weight of the deck on the supports might cause the septic system’s ability to properly process and drain waste to become displaced and disrupted. It is possible that you may become the proud owner of the stinkiest floating deck in the city if you ignore this warning. Construction of a hybrid floating deck, which uses underground footings similar to that of a traditional deck while remaining short and distinct from the home, is a straightforward option.
This will create the illusion of a floating deck without putting additional strain on the soil above the septic tank’s ability to sustain weight.
Can You Build a Deck Over a Septic Field?
It is never recommended to construct a deck over a septic field. In order for sewage to flow out into the groundwater or evaporate into the air, septic fields must be built to allow for this. When you disturb the septic field, it causes backup, which causes the ground to become murky with tainted wastewater. The stink and look will be quite visible, and it is possible that the entire septic system will need to be repaired. Even if you are planning to construct on top of an existing septic field, you should properly evaluate the soil to ensure that it is no longer dripping with water.
What Can You Put Over a Septic Tank?
Septic tanks cannot be immediately overtopped except for decks or pergolas that are built on footings more than five feet away from the tank’s inlet and outlet. In addition to septic system components such as concrete slabs, foundations, and shrubs, other constructions can have a negative impact on the system’s health and performance.
It might be difficult to construct a deck over a septic tank. It is feasible, but it is not always a sensible decision. Even if you decide to create the deck, there are a number of considerations to bear in mind. Before you begin construction on a deck over a septic tank, conduct thorough study and planning, and always keep the septic system in mind. Have you ever constructed a structure over a septic tank? Do you have any further questions concerning your forthcoming deck project? Please let us know.
Eugene has been a DIY fanatic for the most of his life, and he enjoys being creative while also motivating others to be creative.