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.Put plastic sheets, bark, gravel or other fill over the
Septic drain field – Wikipedia
. 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 can you put over 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.
How do you cover a septic tank area?
The Do’s For Hiding Your Septic Tank
- Plant tall native grasses with fibrous roots around the opening to conceal the tank lid from view.
- Place a light statue, bird bath or potted plant over the septic lid.
- Septic tank risers and covers are an alternative to concrete and blend into green grass.
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 I pour a concrete slab over my septic tank?
You should never pave over your septic tank. Although soil compaction is not a major issue for septic tanks, there are other dangers presented by placing an insecure septic tank underneath concrete and heavy vehicles.
Should a septic tank lid be covered with dirt?
The lid covers should fit tightly — if they don’t, a company that specializes in septic repairs should be called to fix them. A septic tank stores the solids from drains and needs to be pumped out about every two years, so it’s not a good idea to cover the area — you need to always be sure where to find the tank.
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 do I hide my above ground septic tank?
- Plant tall grasses or shrubbery around your septic tank.
- Put on a pair of gardening gloves.
- Sprinkle desired seed into the holes and water the area lightly with a garden hose.
- Erect fencing around the tank to hide it.
- Disguise the tank base with a bird bath.
- Hide the tank base with a fake rock.
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 you put a trampoline over a septic tank?
Never place anything heavy over it, think sheds, or above ground pools, etc. It’s probably not the best place to set up your kids’ trampoline or swing set either. Keep the area around your tank free of trees and shrubbery as their roots can clog and damage the tank and lines.
What 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.
Can I put pavers over septic tank?
You can’t build a paver patio on top of a septic tank, and doing so could be against the planning laws of your state or local area. Septic tanks can take very little weight without getting damaged, and you’ll also need access to the tank in the future too. You shouldn’t build a deck on one either.
Can you put hot tub over septic tank?
Installing a hot tub above septic components can cause significant damage, easily dislodging or even crushing the pipes in your septic drainfield.
Can you put a fire pit over a septic tank?
Can You Have A Fire Pit Over A Septic Tank. When you are building a DIY fire pit, you should never place it over a septic tank. Moreover, it would be best if you didn’t put it in the leach field for safety reasons related to underground pipes and methane gas.
Do septic tanks need to be airtight?
Septic tanks need to be watertight. The riser should be sealed to the top of the tank and the riser cover should be sealed to the riser with butyl rubber or some other flexible sealant. No liquid should enter or leave the tank.
Should I install a riser on my septic tank?
Having a riser in place can also significantly reduce the cost of septic tank maintenance over time through the ease of access and time on the job saved. Plus you will be spared digging up your lawn every time as well.
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
However, contrary to common thought, it is really a good idea to include some types of plants in a septic field to help with the process of evapotranspiration and to decrease the adverse effects of erosion, which can leave the field vulnerable to damage. You can plant a variety of shallow-root plants in your septic field to help improve the aesthetic appeal of your property while also benefiting the health of your system. Some examples of shallow-root plants to consider planting include holly shrubs, boxwood shrubs, azalea shrubs, hollyhocks, violets, wild violets, and spring bulbs.
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
It is feasible to construct a couple of poles that can support a volleyball or badminton net without interfering with the septic system, however a regulation court with the required flooring is not recommended in this situation. Even though the grass should be left undisturbed and exposed to allow the current plants to help the septic field with evapotranspiration, a basic court may be created without causing any damage to the septic system by usingrope to create a temporary barrier around the area.
It’s important to remember that a volleyball court should only contain four people at a time, which means that a full-size volleyball court that can seat 12 people isn’t a smart option owing to the additional weight that would be placed on the pipes.
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.
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.
A smart choice for ground coverings is tiny, non-woody ground covers for the same reason. It goes without saying that there are several instances of such plants, so you will want to limit down your options. Consider the following growth conditions as a good place to start:
- 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.
- The Spruce Tree K.
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.
A septic service must be hired at some time (usually after three years) to pump away the sludge and scum that has accumulated in the septic tank. The Spruce / written by K. Dave
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
Landscaping Around a Septic System: Do’s and Don’ts
Riverside, California 92504-17333 Van Buren Boulevard Call us right now at (951) 780-5922. A big number of large plants, patios, and other structures are likely to be absent from the region surrounding your septic system. Indeed, conventional thinking is that you should avoid both large landscaping and septic systems in the vicinity of one other. This is a reasonable guideline to follow since roots can entangle themselves around pipes and cause them to burst. Plants, on the other hand, can absorb excess rainfall and decrease erosion, so landscaping around your septic system might not be such a bad idea after all.
You don’t want roots to penetrate the perforations and clog the system, so keep them out.
Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts
- Plants that do not require a lot of water should be used. This stops plant roots from looking for water and interfering with your system’s functionality. Make use of herbaceous plants with shallow roots, such as flowers and ground cover. When planting quarts, gallons, or plugs, make sure to keep your plants somewhat near to one another to prevent erosion. This will help restrict the growth of weeds. If you have any trees or shrubs growing in your yard in the future, consider how their development may impede access to the septic tank lids, leach field, and sprinkler system. Using a potted plant, riser cover, or lawn ornament just above your access hatch, you may mark the position of your access hatch. When it comes time to dig it up, it will be much simpler to do so. Allow tall Kentucky bluegrass or another type of lawn to grow over the plot of ground that serves as a septic tank cover. Consider the benefits of growing perennials. Because both grasses and perennials have a shallow root structure, they should have no negative impact on your tank or drain field. Make use of tiny, non-woody groundcovers to disguise weeds. Think about planting shallow-rooted trees and vegetation (such as cherry trees, dogwood trees, holly bushes, azalea shrubs, and boxwood shrubs) in the area around your septic system, but make sure they are at least 10-15 feet away from the tank.
- Get so concerned about plants and grasses hurting your septic tank that you completely demolish the surrounding region. Some grasses and plants are particularly effective at collecting excess rainwater surrounding the drain field, hence reducing the likelihood of drainage problems. Overwatering your lawn may encourage freshly planted plants to flourish more quickly. Overwatering can cause soil to contract over your leach field, which can cause your septic system to get clogged. Root vegetables can be grown in the vicinity of your system. If these nutrient-absorbing plants are planted too near together, they may cause problems with microorganisms.
- Install plastic sheeting or ponds to keep the water out. These characteristics obstruct effective drainage from the tank to the leach field. Overlook the septic tank or leach field and construct walkways and high-traffic routes
- Don’t forget that the placement of fencing and gates might have an impact on septic pumper truck access. The hoses on the truck are quite heavy, and we do not recommend that you use them to cross fences. The majority of pumpers like to have access within 50 feet of their vehicle. Planting plants or trees around the septic system is a good idea. Forestry professionals recommend planting trees 20 feet or more away from water, but trees that are known to hunt for water should be planted 50 feet or more away from water. Planting shrubs near the system is a good idea. Vegetables that are nutrient-rich can be grown on a septic system. However, contamination is a worry depending on how efficiently your soil filters microorganisms, even if it appears to be excellent for a garden. Susan Day, an expert on urban forestry at Virginia Tech, advocates planting aboveground veggies rather than root vegetables in close proximity as a safeguard. Disrupt the drainage system by constructing ponds, using plastic sheeting, or planting plants that require a lot of upkeep. Increase foot traffic in regions that are already established. The greater the amount of foot traffic, the more compacted the earth gets.
Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields
As long as you choose the landscaping for the region around your septic system with care, you won’t have to be so concerned about the possibility of septic system damage caused by roots that you refrain from planting in these places entirely. It is not only permissible, but really desirable, to cultivate the appropriate kind of plants in this location. Plants will help to prevent erosion and will also help to absorb some of the surplus rainwater from the drainage system. The ideal plants to use around your septic tank and drain field are perennials and grasses (including decorative grasses).
Small, non-woody ground coverings are a wonderful choice for the same reason: they are low maintenance.
It is not safe to consume food crops that have been planted in the ground near a drain field since doing so may result in the consumption of hazardous microorganisms.
It is preferable to plant shallow-rooted plants and bushes in the vicinity of septic tank drain fields if you really must. The following are examples of shallow-rooted plants and shrubs:
- Dogwood trees, Japanese maple trees, Eastern redbud trees, cherry trees, azalea shrubs, boxwood shrubs, and holly shrubs are examples of ornamental trees and shrubs.
The Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems
Planting huge, rapidly growing trees is often discouraged. However, some of the greatest offenders are trees and shrubs with root systems that are aggressively seeking out sources of water, which makes them particularly difficult to control. They are not picky about the water source from which they draw their water, which means the pipes in your septic tank drain field are completely fair game. Weeping willow trees are a well-known example of this. There are several trees and bushes to avoid, however the following are only a few examples:
- The following are examples of plants and trees: Pussywillow bushes, Japanese willow shrubs, Weeping willow trees, Aspen trees, Lombardy poplar trees, Birch trees, Beech trees, and Elm trees The majority of maple trees, with the exception of Japanese maples
- American sweetgum trees
- Ash trees
- Tulip trees
It is advised that a layer of vegetation, such as a lawn, be placed over the drain field to help hold the dirt in place and boost the effectiveness of the system. Certain principles, on the other hand, should be followed in order to avoid costly and unpleasant situations. Perhaps the greatest piece of advise would be to keep trees and bushes out of the landscaping surrounding this location. The most important factor should be the best possible functioning of your septic system, but each homeowner will need to do a cost/benefit analysis of the plants they choose on an individual basis.
If you suspect that encroaching tree roots are causing damage to your system, please contact us at (951) 780-5922 as soon as possible.
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.
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.
Planting On Your Septic Systems, Landscaping Ideas for Your Drain Field
In the event that you want to plant over your septic drain field, When it comes to landscaping around a septic tank, there are a few plants you may use safely, and then there are the ones you should avoid. Is it possible to grow plants over your septic drain field? If so, which plants are the most beneficial and which are the most detrimental? We will discuss landscaping and gardening ideas for septic tank owners in this post, which is written in English and Spanish.
Landscaping and Planting Ideas for your Septic Drain FieldSeptic Tank
Water is a precious resource in most rural and regional parts of British Columbia, and access to a public sewer system can be difficult to come by in many of these locations. As a result, many households and businesses in British Columbia require a septic system in order to function properly – both to conserve water and because there are no other waste disposal choices available when outside of the city sewage system. If your family or business relies on a septic system to manage waste, you will be acutely aware of the financial outlay you have invested in the system’s purchase, installation, and ongoing maintenance.
- Because of this, it is critical to understand not just how your septic system works, but also how landscaping and planting can have an influence on the lifetime of your septic field.
- What is the operation of a septic drain field?
- The wastewater from your toilet, shower, kitchen sink, dishwasher, and washing machine runs to your septic system if your house or company does not have connection to a public sewer.
- So, how exactly does a septic system function?
- In your septic system, waste gradually separates, with liquids rising to the top and solid, inorganic waste (such as sand, synthetic fibers, and small pieces of plastic) settling to the bottom as sludge as time goes on.
- Tank sludge must be pumped out at regular intervals, often every few years, to guarantee that the septic system continues to work effectively and lasts for an extended period of time.
- The sewage system, as well as recycling This’soil absorption area’ is also referred to as a leach field or a septic drain field, depending on who you ask.
After a few preliminary phases, the ultimate treatment and distribution take place in this location.
(See Figure 1).
It is necessary for the effluent to drain at a sufficient rate in order for the organisms to operate efficiently.
Observations on Mound Systems In certain septic systems, such asAbove Ground Septic Systems or Sand Mound Septic Systems, the drain field is elevated above ground in an artificial mound, allowing for better drainage.
In regions where specific environmental factors (such as a high water table, shallow soil cover, and/or when the land drains too rapidly or too slowly) preclude the installation of a standard septic system, the system was created to address these issues.
Mound systems operate in much the same way as typical below-ground systems; however, the mound itself must be stabilized in order to prevent erosion and other disturbances that might cause damage to the drain field.
Septic Field Landscaping, is it necessary?
In a nutshell, sure. There are a variety of factors contributing to this. Perhaps most persuasive is the fact that planting on a septic drain field can assist to stabilize the region and lessen the likelihood of the soil cover eroding in the future. Erosion can cause damage to the drain field, which can be extremely expensive to repair because the drain field is often the most expensive component of a septic system. Besides that, plants have the ability to take surplus nutrients and moisture from the soil.
- The capillary action of the vegetation’s roots will also suck some of the wastewater out of the soil, which will aid in not only cleaning the water but also in removing some of the soil moisture from the environment.
- The planting of grass or low root plants is often required by code to aid in transpiration, erosion management (as previously indicated), and to provide insulative characteristics in cold areas, among other things.
- Landscape design over the septic tank will conceal the lids and access locations, while planting on the septic field will provide you with a lush grass and abundant plant life.
- Planting on your septic drain field with the appropriate grasses and plants not only improves the performance of the system, but it also completely conceals any underground infrastructure.
- Because the root systems of some plants can penetrate and cause damage to the pipes or other components inside the drain field, this is a major reason for this.
So, what should you consider when planting on a septic drain field?
In an ideal situation, you would choose plants that would fulfill your house or business landscaping needs while also maintaining the drain field as free of deep-rooted vegetative or weather risks as feasible. Finding out about a plant’s rooting tendencies and water requirements is the most straightforward approach to determine whether or not it is suitable for a drain field. Look for shallow-rootedherbaceous plants that are already established in your location or that have been acclimated to the average rainfall quantities in your region.
Choosing flora that is both shallow-rooted and drought-tolerant will help you to decrease your effort to a bare minimum totally. These kind of plants should require little to no watering, if any at all.
Some of the plants that are safe for your drain field are:
- Holly shrubs, boxwood shrubs, azalea shrubs, Holly Hocks, wild violets, and spring bulbs are some of the options.
Some trees that are septic safe, including fruit trees, include:
- Dogwood trees, Japanese maple trees, Eastern Redbud trees, and cherry trees are examples of such trees.
When planting fruit trees near a drain field, extreme caution should be exercised, especially if there is a surface breakout from the septic system. Pathogens such as Escherichia coli and Enterobacter spp., which can be transferred from the septic drain field to the trees, have been identified. It is recommended by North Dakota University that a root barrier be erected, since this will prevent roots from entering into the septic lines. A typical rule of thumb, while not always applicable, is to maintain a distance between the septic system and the tree that is proportional to the height of the tree.
Some of the worst plants and trees to cover a septic drain field or septic tank are:
- Pussy Willow Shrubs, Japanese Willow Shrubs, Aspen Trees, Lombardy Poplar Trees, Birch Trees, Elm Trees, Maple Trees (other than Maple Trees), American Sweet Gum Trees, Ash Trees, Tulip Trees, Walnut Trees, Willow Trees, Cypress Trees, and Pine Trees are some of the plants that grow in this area.
It is also not suggested to grow shrubs with extensive root systems, such as Caryopteris (also known as Bluebeard or blue mist spirea). Planting vegetation with a deep root structure, water-loving roots that will develop aggressively deep and perhaps block or harm the pipes in the septic drain field is something you should avoid. As previously stated, septic systems – especially the drain field – may be quite expensive to repair. Furthermore, a faulty system might get extremely clogged and can have a negative influence on the environment.
(For example, avoid planting immediately before a major rainstorm.) You want the plants to establish themselves fast in order to reduce the likelihood of soil erosion.
Irritating the drain field can cause the soil to become saturated to an unacceptably high degree, preventing the effluent from evaporating and, as a result, increasing the likelihood of groundwater pollution.
Maintaining septic drain field vegetation
As much as you may want to plant over the drain field so that it integrates smoothly with your landscape and you forget that it exists, this is not the ideal option in most cases. Maintain visibility of your drain field, or make people aware of it through other methods, such as a plant barrier or fence. Holding big social events is discouraged; mowing the grass is OK; however, foot traffic should be kept to a minimum. If you are unclear of any potential conditions that might have a detrimental impact on your system, always consult with your Septic System Installer.
This is OK, as long as they are at least 50 feet away from your septic system and drain field, which is recommended.
Keep these trees at least 20 feet away from the septic tank and drain field, or as far away as the mature height of the tree allows you to go.
Can I plant a vegetable garden over the Septic System?
Because of the wastewater that seeps into the soil through the drain field pipes, the soil can become extremely wet and nutrient rich. The thought of using this by planting a fruit or vegetable garden over a drain field may seem like a good idea at first glance. Unfortunately, this is not encouraged – especially when it comes to creeping plants and root crops like turnips. Due to the fact that the vegetation will be in close contact with soil that is likely to be contaminated with disease-causing organisms such as viruses and bacteria, this is the case.
- However, leafy crops that grow near to the ground are also at danger of contamination because irrigation water that has spilled onto the foliage might contaminate the foliage.
- In general, the higher the crop is in height, the smaller the chance of contamination is to be found.
- It is quite likely that if you have a water softener in your home, your water softening system is adding salt to your septic system every time it regenerates, which is harmful to your health.
- In addition, depending on your septic system, the wastewater that ends up in your drain field may still include residue from home chemicals such as laundry detergent, which can be harmful.
- Furthermore, gardening tasks such as ploughing, deep digging, rototilling, and fence post placement must be included in.
- Raised garden beds, on the other hand, can have a substantial impact on the usual evaporation rate of wastewater from the soil.
- Herbaceous plants such as annuals, perennials (including bulbs), and decorative grasses will be the best choices for your septic drain field.
- In a previous section, we discussed the advantages of shallow-rooted herbaceous plants over alternative deep-rooted and woody-rooted options.
- Covering the drain field with more dirt unless the amount is insignificant or the material is being used to repair an area that has been eroded or dragged up by the removal of another plant should be avoided.
- Tilling the soil– If at all possible, avoid doing this. Please keep in mind that the pipe for your septic system drain field might be as near as 12 inches from the soil surface, and in some cases much closer.
- Gloves– When dealing with the soil from your drain field, it is essential that you wear gloves. A virus might be present in the water leaking from your septic system into the drain field, and if it came into touch with your skin, eyes, or mouth it could cause you to get extremely sick.
- If you are dealing with the soil from your drain field, make sure to use gloves. In certain cases, the water seeping from your septic system into the drain field may include microorganisms that might make you very sick if they came into contact with your skin, eyes, or mouth.
- Native species– Select plants that are native to your area and have a high level of adaptability. It will be less necessary for you to fertilize or water the drain field area as a result.
- Make sure that there is no foot traffic on the septic drain field in order to limit the likelihood of damage occurring. Choose low-maintenance plants that don’t require a lot of attention or mowing
A selected listing of plants for use on septic drain fields
The following are some more suggestions for plants that do well in drain fields in British Columbia. This list is not exhaustive, so make sure to conduct more research to confirm that the plants you pick will survive in the circumstances that are typical of your region before purchasing them. Fescue, lawn, and ornamental grasses are examples of grasses. Meadow mixtures with wildflowers Groundcovers that are tolerant of the sun Kinnickinick heathers (Calluna) are a kind of heather (Arctostaphylos) Soapwort is a kind of plant that is used to make soap (Saponaria) Groundcovers for Providing Shade Bunchberry is a kind of berry (Cornus) Ferns that are indigenous to the area Mosses that are indigenous to the area Sweet Woodruff is a flowering plant that is native to the United States (Galium) Ginder in the wild (Asarum) Wintergreen (Gaultheria) is a plant that grows in the winter.
Growing Over Septic Tanks: Choosing Plants To Grow On A Septic System
Liz Baessler is the author of this piece. Septic drain fields are a challenging landscape design challenge. They frequently cover a big area of ground that would appear weird if it were left uncultivated. In the case of a property with a lot of shade, it can be the only sunny spot accessible to you. In a dry area, it can be the only place where there is any moisture. On the other hand, not everything that may grow on a septic drain field is considered safe. Continue reading to find out more about selecting plants that are compatible for septic systems.
Growing Over Septic Tanks
What is a septic drain field, and how does it work? Basically, it’s a more environmentally friendly alternative to sewer systems, which are typically found on rural estates. A septic tank is a device that separates solid waste from liquid waste. Liquid waste is transported underground through long, broad, perforated pipes that are buried deep into the ground. The wastewater is discharged gradually into the soil, where it is broken down and cleansed by bacteria before finally reaching the groundwater table and entering the water supply.
It is critical, however, to select the appropriate plants for growing on a septic system.
Septic Field Plant Choices
Whether or whether it is safe to produce vegetables on a septic field is a matter of disagreement. Root vegetables should be avoided at all costs, and mulch should be laid down to prevent wastewater from splashing up on leaves and fruit throughout the growing season. Really, if you have another location where you can grow your veggies, it is preferable to do it there. Flowers and grasses are a better option than shrubs. Due to the fact that the perforated pipes are typically 6 inches (15 cm) below ground, plants that are suitable for septic systems have shallow roots.
If possible, consider plants that require little maintenance and don’t need to be divided every year – this will assist to decrease pedestrian traffic.
- Butterfly weed, Sedum, Lily of the Nile, Tulip, Daffodils, Hyacinth, Crocus, Foxglove, Black eyed Susan, Primrose, and more flowers
When planting on a septic drain field, restrict digging to a bare minimum and use gloves at all times to avoid contamination. This page was last updated on Learn more about Flower Garden Maintenance in General.