- Draw a landscaping plan to lay out the location of the shrubs. Plant shrubs near the end of septic drain lines where the soil is drier or at least 10 feet away from the septic tank and septic field lines. 5 Plant shrubs at the base or on the side slopes of septic mounds, keeping plants at least 10 feet from the septic lines.
Can plants grow in a septic tank?
Perennials and grasses (including ornamental grasses) work best around your septic tank and drain field. Their shallow root systems are less likely to invade the underground system and cause it damage. For the same reason, small, non-woody ground covers are a good choice.
What can you plant in a septic drain field?
Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses are generally the best choices for use on a septic drain field. Ornamental grasses also offer the advantages of having a fibrous root system that holds soil in place, and providing year-round cover.
Can I plant a garden on my septic field?
Gardening over septic tanks is not only permissible but also beneficial in some instances. Planting ornamental plants on septic drain fields provide an oxygen exchange and help with evaporation in the drain field area. Plants also help control erosion.
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 you grow grass over septic tank?
Grass Benefits Grass planted over a septic drain field prevents soil erosion and improves the exchange of oxygen and the removal of soil moisture. Turfgrass is ideal for planting over a septic drain field because its roots aren’t likely to clog or damage the drain lines.
Can you grow vegetables over a septic field?
Planting over a septic leach field (drain field) is possible if it is done with care. If you have limited space on your property where you can garden, the leach field may be the only spot for landscaping. Vegetable gardening over a leach field is not recommended.
Why is grass green over septic tank?
Greener grass over the septic tank may be the result of someone seeding that area if the tank cover was excavated for service. A backing up pipe to leachfield (or worse, a failing leachfield) could cause effluent to drain too slowly out of the septic tank or back up even into the building.
Why is my grass dying over my drain field?
As temperatures increase, grass draws more moisture from the soil beneath it. The soil above leach lines is shallower than the soil in the rest of the lawn, so it holds less water compared to the rest of the lawn, causing grass directly above the lines to dry out and turn yellow.
How do you landscape a leach field?
Put plastic sheets, bark, gravel or other fill over the drainfield. Reshape or fill the ground surface over the drainfield and reserve area. However, just adding topsoil is generally OK if it isn’t more than a couple of inches. Make ponds on or near the septic system and the reserve area.
How far should a vegetable garden be from a septic tank?
Mark the garden’s borders with stakes. According to the University of California Small Farm Program, fruits and vegetables should be planted at least 10 feet from a septic system or leach field to avoid bacterial contamination.
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.
How close to a septic tank can I plant vegetables?
While there are no specific distance mandates on vegetable gardens and septic fields, staying 10 to 20 feet outside the perimeter of your septic system’s drainage field is a safe bet for clean veggies and an effective septic system.
Can you plant shrubs on a septic field?
Avoid growing water loving plants, shrubs, and trees near your septic system. Do not grow vegetables over your septic system because of the risk of bacterial contamination and the health risks association with it.
Can you plant arborvitae near septic?
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 build 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.
Landscaping Around a Septic System: Do’s and Don’ts
Riverside, California 92504-17333 Van Buren Boulevard Call us right now at (951) 780-5922. A big number of large plants, patios, and other structures are likely to be absent from the region surrounding your septic system. Indeed, conventional thinking is that you should avoid both large landscaping and septic systems in the vicinity of one other. This is a reasonable guideline to follow since roots can entangle themselves around pipes and cause them to burst. Plants, on the other hand, can absorb excess rainfall and decrease erosion, so landscaping around your septic system might not be such a bad idea after all.
You don’t want roots to penetrate the perforations and clog the system, so keep them out.
Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts
- Plants that do not require a lot of water should be used. This stops plant roots from looking for water and interfering with your system’s functionality. Make use of herbaceous plants with shallow roots, such as flowers and ground cover. When planting quarts, gallons, or plugs, make sure to keep your plants somewhat near to one another to prevent erosion. This will help restrict the growth of weeds. If you have any trees or shrubs growing in your yard in the future, consider how their development may impede access to the septic tank lids, leach field, and sprinkler system. Using a potted plant, riser cover, or lawn ornament just above your access hatch, you may mark the position of your access hatch. When it comes time to dig it up, it will be much simpler to do so. Allow tall Kentucky bluegrass or another type of lawn to grow over the plot of ground that serves as a septic tank cover. Consider the benefits of growing perennials. Because both grasses and perennials have a shallow root structure, they should have no negative impact on your tank or drain field. Make use of tiny, non-woody groundcovers to disguise weeds. Think about planting shallow-rooted trees and vegetation (such as cherry trees, dogwood trees, holly bushes, azalea shrubs, and boxwood shrubs) in the area around your septic system, but make sure they are at least 10-15 feet away from the tank.
- Get so concerned about plants and grasses hurting your septic tank that you completely demolish the surrounding region. Some grasses and plants are particularly effective at collecting excess rainwater surrounding the drain field, hence reducing the likelihood of drainage problems. Overwatering your lawn may encourage freshly planted plants to flourish more quickly. Overwatering can cause soil to contract over your leach field, which can cause your septic system to get clogged. Root vegetables can be grown in the vicinity of your system. If these nutrient-absorbing plants are planted too near together, they may cause problems with microorganisms.
- Install plastic sheeting or ponds to keep the water out. These characteristics obstruct effective drainage from the tank to the leach field. Overlook the septic tank or leach field and construct walkways and high-traffic routes
- Don’t forget that the placement of fencing and gates might have an impact on septic pumper truck access. The hoses on the truck are quite heavy, and we do not recommend that you use them to cross fences. The majority of pumpers like to have access within 50 feet of their vehicle. Planting plants or trees around the septic system is a good idea. Forestry professionals recommend planting trees 20 feet or more away from water, but trees that are known to hunt for water should be planted 50 feet or more away from water. Planting shrubs near the system is a good idea. Vegetables that are nutrient-rich can be grown on a septic system. However, contamination is a worry depending on how efficiently your soil filters microorganisms, even if it appears to be excellent for a garden. Susan Day, an expert on urban forestry at Virginia Tech, advocates planting aboveground veggies rather than root vegetables in close proximity as a safeguard. Disrupt the drainage system by constructing ponds, using plastic sheeting, or planting plants that require a lot of upkeep. Increase foot traffic in regions that are already established. The greater the amount of foot traffic, the more compacted the earth gets.
Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields
As long as you choose the landscaping for the area 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 areas 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 consideration should be the best possible performance of your septic system, but each homeowner will need to conduct 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.
What plants can I grow in the septic field?
In the event that you have a green thumb, you may be wondering if you might plant a garden around your septic tank system. They present a difficult challenge since not all crops are appropriate for growing on drain fields. You must also exercise caution since excessive tilling and deep-rooted plants have the potential to cause the system to collapse. Some plants thrive in this environment more than others, and some water-loving plants, trees, and bushes may quickly outgrow their surroundings, encroaching on pipes and causing the septic system to fail if proper precautions are not followed.
Plants with shallow roots, such as grass, are the most common choice, but groundcovers and climbers can also be successfully planted.
Additionally, avoid installing raised garden beds over the absorption trench because this can impede the evaporation process and reduce the effectiveness of your septic system’s performance.
Overview of Septic Systems
It is usual to find septic systems in rural locations when the municipal sewage system is not readily available. Septic systems are made up of two parts: an aseptic tank and a leach area. The wastewater runs from the house to the septic tank, where the organic matter is decomposed and the water is recycled. Sludge, scum, and effluent are segregated into three layers: sludge, scum, and effluent. It is necessary to discharge the effluent (liquid waste) onto a leach field, where the soil absorbs the hazardous nutrients and cleanses the water before it reaches the groundwater table.
What plants can be grown over a leach field or absorption trench system?
Plants with shallow roots (flowers, hedges, and grasses) are the best options because septic tanks are typically installed a depth of one meter underground. The best options are plants with shallow roots (flowers, hedges, and grasses) because they will not extend deep enough to affect the pipes or the septic tank. Grass can be grown very effectively directly over a leach field. Shallow-rooted plants, climbers, and shrubs can be grown in the surrounding areas but should not be grown directly over an absorption trench.
Fast-growing trees, such as cedars and weeping willows, should be avoided at all costs.
Allow our septic system professionals to assist you.
Tips for choosing the right plants for around your home wastewater treatment system
- When it comes to septic systems, shallow-rooted plants and grass are your best allies. Plants that survive with minimal water or that are drought-tolerant are the most desirable
- Choosing plants that can survive in a saline climate is important.
Factors that influence the vegetation around your septic system
- Soil quality, nutrient levels, drainage, pH level, effluent quality, climate conditions, and plant soil sensitivity are all factors to consider.
Chemicals such as detergents, fabric softeners, and household effluents can raise the level of salt in the soil surrounding an absorption region. Check the pH level of the soil before planting; if the soil is alkaline, it may be preferable to pick plants that can withstand high salt levels.
Avoid planting trees near your septic system
When it comes to planting around a sewage system, trees are a no-no. When the strong roots reach deep enough in quest of moisture and nutrients, they can swiftly penetrate and obstruct the flow of water via the pipes.
It is not advised to put trees or even plants on top of septic tanks or treatment systems. If you wish to grow trees or bushes, make sure they are planted far enough away from the septic system so that the roots do not reach the unit or drains of the system.
Plants safe for Septic Systems
This is not an exhaustive list, and you should consult your local nursery before making any final decisions about the plants you will be growing on or around your septic system.
- If you have any questions about which plants to use on or around your septic system, you should consult your local nursery before making a final decision.
- Bougainvillea, Snake Vine, Jasmine, Happy Wanderer, Glory Vine, Japanese Honeysuckle, and other flowers and plants
- Hibiscus of the Swamp
Our expert septic management advice
- Planting vegetables, fruits, bushes, and trees in close proximity to your septic system is not recommended. It is beneficial to have plants or grass growing over the leach field because it holds the soil in place and aids in the absorption of nutrients, which helps to avoid soil erosion and ensures effective operation of the septic system. No extra dirt should be placed over the drain field. Keep your hands protected anytime you are working in the garden over or around the drain field. In addition, growing plants increase oxygen exchange and soil moisture removal through transpiration, which are both important for plant growth. Immediately contact your localwastewaterseptic specialistif you notice water accumulating in the drain field or if water is backing up into your property. It is possible that your drain field has failed and that you will require an assessment and repairs. During the planting process, avoid excessive tilling of the soil, since this may cause damage to the pipes
Your Local Septic System Professionals
In South-East Queensland, locations such as the Gold Coast, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, and Logan may be able to provide you with professional septic assistance. Interested in learning more about septic systems and the plants that can be safely grown over the leach field? Give us a call on 1300 722 517 or fill out our quotation request form.What plants can I grow in the septic field? There are a number of plants that can be safely grown over the leach field. Allow our professionals to assist you.
Not what you’re looking for?
More information about septic, sewage, and wastewater systems may be found by using the search box provided below.
Why Use Express Wastewater Solutions?
- We are able to offer the optimum solution for your wastewater needs since we are not a manufacturer and are not bound to a certain technology.
- Because we do this on a daily basis, we have built a close-knit experienced team that can handle every step of the process – from blueprints and council paperwork through excavations, electrical, and plumbing – without sacrificing quality. We take care of everything to ensure that the procedure is as stress-free and speedy as possible.
FREE 30 MINUTE WASTEWATER CONSULTATION
- A free 30-minute phone consultation with one of our specialists will guide you through the process if you have never installed a home sewage treatment plant before
- Thus, we provide this service to guide you through the process.
STREE FREE INSTALLATIONS
- The entire wastewater installation process is handled by us
- We can deal with all of the trades, the municipality, and everything else, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
QUALIFIED, LICENSED PROFESSIONALS
- Have confidence in the fact that Express is a team of certified and insured specialists that will do your task correctly the first time
FREE EXPERT ADVICE
- Not sure which system is best for you, or want to know if your current system is up and running efficiently? Simply give one of our knowledgeable wastewater specialists a call, and they will be more than delighted to assist you
SAVE UP TO $10,000 ON REPAIRING YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM
- We will always attempt to fix your system rather than replacing it if it is not necessary to do so, which will normally save you a significant amount of money, often up to and beyond $10,000.
Septic System Guide: How It Works and How to Maintain It
As soon as you flush the toilet in most urban environments, the waste is piped away to the nearest sewage treatment plant. Garbage is processed at this factory, which separates it into two types of waste: water that is clean enough to be dumped into a river and solids known as residual waste. The remaining material is either disposed of in landfill or utilized as fertilizer. Septic systems, which are used in places where there aren’t any sewage treatment plants, provide a similar function, but on a much smaller scale.
What are Septic Tanks and How Do They Work?
Septic tanks are normally composed of concrete or heavyweight plastic and have a capacity of 1000 to 2000 gallons, depending on the manufacturer. In the tank, there are two chambers that are divided by a portion of a wall. The waste from the residence is channeled into the bigger room. Solids sink to the bottom of the chamber, and liquids make their way through a partial wall into the smaller second chamber, which is located above it. Anaerobic bacteria, which are found naturally in the environment, digest the solids and convert them into water, carbon dioxide, and a tiny amount of indigestible debris.
Septic Fields Distribute Liquid Effluent
The second chamber has an output pipe via which the liquid (known as effluent) from the tank is discharged to a disposal or leach field, depending on the situation. It is drained into the earth by a network of perforated pipes or through perforated plastic structures known as galleries, which are constructed of perforated plastic. It is common practice to lay the pipe or galleries in a bed of gravel, which aids in dispersing the liquid. During the course of the effluent’s percolation through the soil, the soil absorbs remaining bacteria and particles, resulting in water that is safe to drink by the time the water reaches the aquifer deeper down.
They are not much deeper than that since a large quantity of water escapes through evaporation or is transpired by grass growing above ground.
If you have sandy soils that drain too rapidly, you may not be able to treat the wastewater properly.
Sometimes the water cannot be disposed of properly because the natural soils include a high concentration of silt or clay.
Topsoil and grass are applied to the mound, which allows more water to leave through transpiration and evaporation than would otherwise be possible.
Septic Systems Rely on Gravity, Most of the Time
The majority of septic systems rely on gravity to transport liquid from the house to the tank and then to the field. However, depending on the slope of the lot, the tank or the field may need to be higher than the home. A pump, or occasionally two pumps, are required to do this. If the tank is higher than the house, a grinder pump that liquefies particles will be installed in a pit in the basement or crawlspace of the residence. Wetland pumps are essentially heavy-duty sump pumps that are used between a tank and an irrigation field.
When the amount of effluent in the pit reaches a specific level, a float activates a switch, which then activates the pump, which empties the pit.
How to Treat Your Septic System
The majority of septic systems rely on gravity to transport liquid from the home to the tank and then to the field. However, depending on the slope of the lot, the tank or the field may need to be higher than the house. Pumps are required for this to be successful; sometimes two pumps are needed. If the tank is higher than the house, a grinder pump will be installed in the basement or crawlspace of the home, liquefying solids. Sewage pumps are essentially heavy-duty sump pumps that are used between a tank and a field.
An electric float detects the presence of effluent in the pit and activates the activation of the pump and draining of the pit when it reaches a certain level.
How Often Do You Need to Pump A Septic Tank?
You should have a septic provider pump out the particles from your tank every two years, at the absolute least. A manhole at the surface of the tank will provide the pump operator access, but older systems may necessitate digging a hole in the tank’s top so the pumping hatch can be exposed. Unless the tank is continuously pumped, sediments will build up in it and ultimately make their way into the leach field, clogging it. You’ll know it’s occurring because untreated effluent will rise to the surface of the tank and back up into the home, causing it to overflow.
Pumping the tank on a regular basis can ensure that the leach fields continue to work eternally.
What to Do if Your Septic System Fails
Pumps in a pumped septic system will ultimately fail, just as they will in any mechanical system. Most pumps are equipped with an alarm that sounds when the effluent level in the pit is greater than it should be, indicating that the pump has failed and has to be replaced. This is a job that should be left to the professionals. Visit the following website to locate a trusted list of installation and septic system service companies in your area:
- The National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association’s Septic Locator
- The National Association of Wastewater Technicians
- And the National Association of Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association
It is rare for a homeowner to have to worry about their septic system because it is well-maintained and doesn’t cause problems.
If you keep the tank topped off and the lawn mowed, you should be able to enjoy decades of trouble-free service.Are your home’s systems and appliances covered against unanticipated maintenance costs? If this is the case, you might consider purchasing a house warranty.
- Home Warranty Coverage for Roof Leaks
- Septic Warranty Coverage and Costs
- And more. Plans for protecting your mobile home’s warranty
- What Is Home Repair Insurance and How Does It Work? How to Find the Most Reasonably Priced Home Appliance Insurance
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
Generally, avoid planting large,fast-growing trees. 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 tuned system must be in proper working order, or else the result 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
WHICH PLANTS AND LANDSCAPING ELEMENTS SHOULD NEVER GO OVER A SEPTIC SYSTEM?
By Admin on November 12, 2020 Your efforts to live as environmentally conscious as possible, as a responsible homeowner, are likely already underway, with practices such as recycling, composting, and purchasing energy-efficient equipment among your list of accomplishments. As a septic tank owner, you want to be sure that anything you put into your tank and septic field is causing the least amount of ground contamination as is reasonably practicable. Fortunately, there are a number of modest improvements you can do immediately to make your septic system even more ecologically friendly than it already is.
- Have your septic tank inspected and pumped on a regular basis.
- A bigger septic tank with only a couple of people living in your house, for example, will not require pumping as frequently as a smaller septic tank or as a septic tank that must manage the waste products of multiple family members will require.
- When in doubt about how often to pump your septic tank, consult with a professional for advice.
- In addition to locating and repairing any damage, a professional can ensure that the septic field is in good working order and that your septic tank is functional, large enough to handle your family’s waste, and not causing any unwanted pollution in nearby ground water.
- Avoid flushing non-biodegradable items down the toilet or down the toilet.
- Items that are not biodegradable are unable to properly decompose in the septic tank and might cause the system to get clogged.
- In addition to causing issues in your house, septic system backups can damage ground water in the area surrounding your septic field.
Towels made of paper Products for feminine hygiene Grease or fats are used in cooking.
grinds from a cup of coffee Even if you have a trash disposal, the food scraps that you flush down the drain and bring into your septic system may cause unanticipated harm to your plumbing system.
Food scraps can enhance the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in the wastewater, which can disturb the natural bacterial balance of the septic tank, among other things.
Practice Water Conservation Cutting back on water consumption is one of the most straightforward methods to save money while also protecting the environment and keeping your septic system from being damaged.
Your tank will ultimately fill too rapidly as a result of this, and the layer of waste floating on top of the tank will be pushed into the septic field and, eventually, into the ground water surrounding your field.
The following are some basic steps you can take to make your septic system more ecologically friendly: save water, maintain your septic system and tank, and recycle wastewater. To get answers to any of your septic tank-related issues, get in touch with the experts at Upstate Septic Tank, LLC.
Gardening tips for septic tank owners
Planting a kitchen garden or landscaping your yard is one of the most straightforward methods to improve the appearance of your home’s curb appeal. However, if you possess a septic tank, you are not permitted to engage in any type of gardening. Some plants have root systems that are invasive and can cause significant harm to the septic system. Septic tank and drain field roots can penetrate and cause catastrophic damage to the system if they are not properly maintained. Because of this, you must create a landscape plan that is compatible with the septic tank and drain field.
Plan any future gardening ahead of time if you have a septic tank
Probably the most essential gardening advice is to plan ahead of time. Preparing for any future gardening endeavors ahead of time will save you a great deal of time and frustration in the long run. Think about any future projects – e.g., do you intend to set up a shed, a deck or a patio? In addition to altering the shape of your garden, any future building might have far-reaching effects for the operation of your septic tank. Septic tanks and drain field areas should be clear of sprinkler lines, concrete patios, sheds, sandboxes, and swing sets, among other things.
- Also, keep in mind that you must have a designated space set aside in case you need to repair your septic tank or drain field in the future for whatever reason.
- Planning ahead also requires labeling components in order to make them more accessible in the future.
- You may use a tiered planter box to conceal these ports because they are lightweight and can be moved quickly to get access to the ports.
- Use birdbaths and feeders, potted plants, sundials, lawn decorations, and sculptures to make it simpler to find the ports when it’s time to do routine maintenance or when it’s time to pump the water.
- The risers can be disguised in the manner described above after they have been placed.
Soil and water management tips
This gardening advice will assist you in preventing your system from being hydraulically overloaded. When planning your garden, keep in mind that any downspouts or surface water runoff should be directed away from the septic tank or drain field. The septic system is designed to handle just the wastewater generated by the residence, and any surplus water can produce hydraulic overload, which is one of the leading reasons of septic system failure. It is important to remember to install an irrigation system on your property at least 10 feet away from the border of your septic system when you are installing one.
Moving as little as possible over the septic system will assist to lessen the likelihood of soil compaction.
The efficacy of aerobic bacteria, which aid in the treatment of wastewater in the drainfield, is reduced as a result of this.
If moving heavy machinery is unavoidable, make sure to use a tracking board to ensure that the weight is distributed evenly throughout the machine.
Large animals, in addition to heavy machinery and human activity, can contribute to soil compaction by burying themselves in the ground. As a result, you should not allow animals to graze on the drainfield.
Gardening tips for the kitchen garden
The placement of mulch, landscaping fabric, bark, or plastic over the septic system is a gardening advice that is sometimes forgotten. While doing so, you’ll be helping to limit air exchange while simultaneously retaining any surplus moisture. Compaction can happen from the addition of just a couple of inches extra soil across the drain field area, as a result of the loss in air circulation. As a result, you should avoid planting any plants that would need the use of a raised garden bed. In order to maintain a kitchen garden, it will be necessary to till the soil and water it frequently.
Hydraulic overload might also occur as a result of the watering of the garden.
The root vegetables have the potential to penetrate the soil into the drain field, where they will get polluted, whereas the leaf vegetables have the potential to become contaminated from the soil when it splashes on the leaves when watering is taking place.
Landscaping tips for septic tank owners
It is recommended that grass be the sole plant to grow over the drainfield or over the septic tank to avoid clogging the system. This is due to the fact that grass has a shallow root structure and that its roots are not as invasive as the roots of certain plants. Because it helps to absorb any surplus moisture and nutrients from the soil, grass is actually beneficial to the septic system. This helps to increase the efficiency of the septic system overall. Grass is extremely durable and will, as a result, provide excellent cover throughout the year.
The unmowed meadow is a natural-looking option that may be achieved by utilizing a meadow mix that includes native grasses and some shallow-rooting flowers, for example.
What to avoid planting in your garden if you have a septic tank
Generally speaking, any plant that is thirsty or that has deep roots should not be planted near a septic system as a rule of thumb. In fact, if you are unsure about the plants you are considering utilizing, it is best to stick to the tried and true grass. Some plants, such as pachysandra and periwinkle, form a dense ground cover that is aggressive and can obstruct the evaporation process. Such plants should be avoided in the vicinity of a septic system. A cautious list of plants that should be avoided at all costs due to their invasive root systems is provided below.
- Plants such as vines (including wisteria), morning glory, bittersweet, hops, campsie, woody vines, native clematis, and large-scale pond grasses that thrive in water Anything that has a complex roots structure, such as cedars or even shrubs, is considered a cedar.
Planting trees in close proximity to the septic tank is not recommended. This is due to the fact that trees have the ability to quickly extend their roots underground. However, if your property is large enough, you may be able to plant some trees away from the septic tank location, but only trees with a vertical root system should be used in this situation.
Also, avoid trees that are water-loving, such as the birch, silver Marple, willows, beech, elm, linden, and walnut, as well as other conifers.
You may easily destroy your septic system by practicing bad landscaping habits and making other irresponsible land-use decisions, for example. To be sure, some of the difficulty stems from the fact that landscape designers frequently arrive on the scene too late in the game. Working with what you have, on the other hand, may help you create beautiful landscaping results without causing any damage to your septic system. Simply following the above-mentioned gardening advice will ensure that your system remains healthy for a longer period of time while simultaneously improving the appearance of your house.
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order. Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract.
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
• The total amount of wastewater produced by a household The amount of solids in wastewater is measured in cubic meters. a measure of the size of the septic tank
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Approximately 70 gallons of indoor water are consumed by each individual in a normal single-family house on a daily basis. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on how often it occurs. Septic systems collect and treat all of the water that a household sends down its pipes. When a family conserves water, less water is discharged into a storm drain or into the septic tank. Improved septic system performance and reduced failure risk are two benefits of water conservation. With the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program, you may conserve water in a variety of ways and buy goods that are more water-efficient.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household.
Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
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.
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.
- 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
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.