Why Grass Doesnt Grow Above Septic Tank?

Dead grass over the septic tank during dry or hot weather indicates that the septic drain field is absorbing the wastewater and filtering it into the soil. The grass will recover when the weather cools and the rainy season arrives.Dead grass over the septic tank during dry or hot weather indicates that the septic drain fieldseptic drain fieldThe drain field typically consists of an arrangement of trenches containing perforated pipes and porous material (often gravel) covered by a layer of soil to prevent animals (and surface runoff) from reaching the wastewater distributed within those trenches.https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Septic_drain_field

Septic drain field – Wikipedia

is absorbing the wastewater and filtering it into the soil. The grass will recover when the weather cools and the rainy season arrives.


  • Grass growing over the septic tank needs deep soil to get the nutrients and space it needs to put down roots. Grass failure often results in soil that is too shallow. This is especially important in soil on septic mounds because the nutrients tend to wash downhill away over time, resulting in stunted grass growth.

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.

Why won’t grass grow over my leach field?

A properly designed leach field has several pipes running under the soil that are set in gravel, and then covered with 6 to 12 inches of soil. This thin layer of soil dries out quicker than adjacent soil without drainage pipes, resulting in grass that browns when the rest doesn’t.

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.

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.

What is the best grass to plant over septic field?

Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses are generally the best choices for use on a septic drain field. Ornamental Grasses:

  • Sporobolus heterolepis – Prairie Dropseed *
  • Stipa gigantean – Giant Needle Grass.
  • Stipa tenuissima – Texas Needle Grass.
  • Tridens flavus – Purpletop *

What can you put on top of a septic tank?

Put plastic sheets, bark, gravel or other fill over the drainfield. Reshape or fill the ground surface over the drainfield and reserve area. However, just adding topsoil is generally OK if it isn’t more than a couple of inches. Make ponds on or near the septic system and the reserve area.

Is lawn fertilizer safe for septic systems?

Are Chemical Lawn Treatments Harmful to Your Septic System? When correctly applied, chemical lawn treatments are not harmful to your septic system. Fertilizers, pesticides, and weed killers are designed to dissolve and be absorbed by the soil and underlying root structure of your lawn.

How do I know if my drain field is failing?

The following are a few common signs of leach field failure:

  1. Grass over leach field is greener than the rest of the yard.
  2. The surrounding area is wet, mushy, or even has standing water.
  3. Sewage odors around drains, tank, or leach field.
  4. Slow running drains or backed up plumbing.

Why is the ground soft around my septic tank?

The presence of healthy, lushly growing plants around your septic tank or along the route of your drainage lines indicates wet areas, as does a spongy or damp feel to the ground. Excess moisture might mean that your tank is full or that your drainage pipes are damaged.

Can I pour concrete over my septic tank?

It is never recommended to build a structure over any portion of your septic system. No permanent structures should be built over any portion of the system, but at least in this case the homeowner can pump out their septic tank.

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.

How do I hide my above ground septic tank?

Plant Cover

  1. Plant tall grasses or shrubbery around your septic tank.
  2. Put on a pair of gardening gloves.
  3. Sprinkle desired seed into the holes and water the area lightly with a garden hose.
  4. Erect fencing around the tank to hide it.
  5. Disguise the tank base with a bird bath.
  6. Hide the tank base with a fake rock.

Why Is There Dead Grass Over My Septic Tank?

iStock/Getty Images image credit: singjai20/iStock

In This Article

  • Don’t water the grass that has died. The septic tank is operational
  • Grass that is lush and green
  • Precautions and septic tanks are recommended.

The presence of dead grass above your septic tank is, strangely enough, a favorable indicator. It indicates that your septic system is most likely operating as it should be doing. In dry or warm weather, the grass becomes brown because it is not receiving enough water, which is mainly owing to the shallow layer of soil above the tank. Watering the brown grass, on the other hand, is the worst thing you can do.


In dry or hot weather, dead grass above the septic tank shows that the septic drain field is absorbing and filtering the wastewater into the surrounding soil. When the temperature cools down and the rainy season approaches, the grass will begin to recover.

Don’t Water the Dead Grass

Even though brown grass over your sewage tank is an unsightly annoyance, your lawn should recover in the fall months. The addition of extra water to the brown grass limits the ability of your leach field to absorb wastewater from your home and may potentially result in the failure of your wastewater treatment system. Even when the grass becomes brown because there isn’t enough soil to maintain its root system, you shouldn’t deposit topsoil over your tank or leach field since it will clog the drains and create flooding.

  1. Increasing the quantity of dirt in your system limits the amount of air available to the microorganisms that break down the wastes in your system, which might result in the system failing altogether.
  2. The solids, also known as sludge, settle in the septic tank, where helpful bacteria break them down and dispose of them properly.
  3. Water from the middle tank drains from the tank to the leach field through a network of drain pipes that are strategically placed across the leach field.
  4. Even after it has been cleaned by bacteria in the soil, the leftover wastewater flows into the groundwater.
  5. Compacted soil, as well as moist, soggy soil, has less oxygen in it, which inhibits the capacity of the microorganisms to perform their functions properly.
  6. You have liquid waste accumulating in the trenches of your leach field because the soil is unable to absorb any further water from your home.
  7. A blocked or broken line connecting the home to the septic tank, as well as a clogged baffle on the tank, can cause wastewater to escape into the soil and pollute the environment.

Toilets that are sluggish to drain, sewage smells, and sewage backing up into the house or appearing on the leach field are all indications that something is wrong. Most septic tanks require pumping out every one to three years in order to operate at peak functionality.

Precautions and Septic Tanks

Make sure not to dig too far into the ground while planting over your septic system. Drain lines can be as near to the surface of the soil as 6 inches. Drain lines are not always visible. When working with soil over a septic system, it is important to use gloves, safety goggles, and a mask in order to limit exposure to potentially hazardous organisms. Make certain that the tank lid and any other covers or hatches are properly secured; accessing a septic tank can be a life-threatening mistake owing to the fumes released by the decaying sludge.

It is recommended to use ornamental grasses and herbaceous plants such as catmint (Nepeta spp.

in zones 3-9), and vervain (Verbena spp.

You should avoid planting any produce over a sewer system since you run the danger of bacterial contamination of your food.

Brown Grass Over a Septic System

Septic tanks are often dug behind or to the side of your property in order to be as inconspicuous as possible to you. The installers cover the sewage system with gravel and dirt, allowing your lawn to grow healthy above the system while not attracting attention to the septic tank itself. When your grass becomes brown, it is most likely because the soil is drying up too rapidly – this may make your lawn appear ugly, but it does not indicate that there is a problem with your irrigation system. Brown patches or lines appearing over your septic system indicate that the soil underneath the grass is not receiving adequate water.

This isn’t nearly enough to keep much moisture in.

Watering more often can be beneficial, but the grass should recover on its own as soon as the weather begins to calm off.

Despite the fact that this wastewater delivers additional nutrients to your lawn, making it appear lush and full, it may ultimately become a swampy, unpleasant mess if not addressed by a septic system specialist in a timely manner.

Growing Grass Over a Septic Field

Some homeowners may be apprehensive about planting anything over the drain field of their septic system. Deep plant roots can cause damage to the drainage pipes of the system, and the material discharged into the soil as a result of system operation might produce circumstances that make it difficult for some plants to flourish. Planting grass over the drain field of a septic system, on the other hand, can be advantageous.

Septic Field Function

Solid waste is separated from liquid waste in a septic tank, and liquid wastewater is discharged from the tank through a network of drain pipes. As a result of the drain lines, wastewater is able to gently permeate the soil of the drain field, where it is filtered by bacteria in the soil. Despite the fact that these microorganisms do not require oxygen to survive, they are less efficient in compacted or saturated soil than they are in loose or unsaturated soil.

As a result, it is normally suggested to limit heavy traffic on the drain field and to prevent excessive moisture from running over the region.

Grass Benefits

The installation of grass over a septic drain field helps to reduce soil erosion while also improving the exchange of oxygen and the removal of soil moisture. Those elements contribute to the efficient operation of the septic system and its drain field. For planting over a septic drain field, turfgrass is appropriate since its roots are less prone than other plants to block or harm the drain pipes.

Planting Tips

It is not necessary to add more dirt when growing grass over a septic system’s drain field, unless it is a tiny amount of material to restore an eroded region or to replace soil that has been removed by the removal of a plant. When tilling the soil prior to planting, proceed with caution and avoid using a rototiller if at all possible. Septic system drain pipes can be as near as 6 inches to the soil surface, depending on the design. As a result, tilling too deeply or forcefully may cause damage to the lines.

When you add more topsoil to your drain field, you run the risk of blocking the exchange of air and water that is important for the drain field.

Grass Selection

Use grass species that are well-adapted to the circumstances in your location in order to ensure that the grass you plant does not have an adverse effect on the efficient operation of the drain field. You will be able to minimize or restrict the use of fertilizers and soil amendments if you employ such species, which will help to ensure that the drain field’s function is not compromised. When selecting a grass, look for one that requires little maintenance and is drought-tolerant so that, after it has been established, irrigation may be reduced to a bare minimum.

Among other things, the “Meyer” cultivar of zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica “Meyer”), which is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, requires little fertilizing and can withstand drought and changing soil conditions, is an excellent example.

Why Won’t Grass Grow Around My Septic System?

A septic problem in Illinois has brought Jacob on the line, according to Leslie. What exactly is going on? JACOB: It’s probably a 20-foot radius around the septic tank, at the most. In the backyard, there’s a little circle of grass that doesn’t seem to be growing quite as well as the rest of the yard. I wasn’t sure if that was a sign of a problem or just coincidence. Because there aren’t any issues with the tank itself, as far as I’m concerned. TOM: Is this the location where you would expect the septic field to be, or are we more concerned with the septic tank?

  • JACOB: I just didn’t know what it was.
  • And as the effluent rises in the septic tank, it basically runs into the pipes, where it is dispersed around your yard and finally soaks into the soil, as explained above.
  • It is possible that grass will not grow due to a problem with the septic field.
  • Normally, all of the sewage serves as a fertilizer, making certain areas greener than others depending on the location.
  • JACOB: Let’s see how it goes.

TOM: That’s right. Well, it could be a good spot to get things started. Inspect and clean the septic system as soon as possible. JACOB: All right. Alright. TOM: Best of luck to you on your endeavor, Jacob. Thank you very much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. We appreciate your business.

Lawn Over Septic Tank

Without being able to view your circumstances, Deerslayer’s response is the best approximation. A foul stench would indicate that the tank was leaking sewage, and there would be standing water surrounding the tank if it were. In addition, the grass would be lush and green as a result of the abundance of moisture and nutrients it would receive. You might inquire with the person who placed the tank about if it would be acceptable to add more dirt over it in order to provide the grass roots with more depth to develop.

  • The use of water to irrigate the grass around the tank will be beneficial, but you must be careful not to damage the tank by allowing water to leak through the access doors.
  • You must be able to have access to it in order to have it pushed out of your system.
  • In reality, no state health department that I am aware of advises the use of any type of addition in a system, and I have heard that some even prohibit the use of such additives.
  • Having saying that, there are some things that you should absolutely avoid flushing down the toilet.
  • You may obtain a detailed list by contacting your local health department.
See also:  How Much Does A Septic Tank Drainfield Cost? (Solution found)

no grass over septic tank

In the Pacific Northwest, I’ve noticed that grass will not grow over my septic tank. I pulled up all of the overlaying earth to look into it, but other than a few chunky rocks (which are not the source of the bare region, but are surely contributing to it) and some damp dirt immediately on top of the tank, I’m at a loss for what to do. Is it conceivable that the exhaust from the tank contains poisonous substances that harm the grass? It seems strange to me because I was under the impression that plants flourished in such an atmosphere.

Do you have any particular dirt treatment?

To examine further, I pulled up all of the surrounding earth, but other than some chunky rocks (which are not the source of the bare region, but are surely contributing to it) and damp dirt just atop the tank, I’m at a loss for what to look for.

For some reason, this seems strange to me because I was under the impression that plants flourished in such conditions. What are your thoughts on the root problem and what you would do to get the grass to grow again? What kind of dirt treatment do you have in place? tiabob

No “water” (effluent) should be flowing out of the tank – just a little “heat” should be coming out of it. The wastewater should be channeled through a pipe and discharged onto a leach field or similar structure. What is the depth of the tank’s subterranean location? When grass does not grow above the tank lid, it is possible that the top of the lid is only a few inches below the ground and the grass does not establish a strong root system there. This is only a thought. The leach field should remove all water and gas, and if it does not, the water and gas will show up in your basement, as previously stated.

  • If I were you, I’d take up a few inches of the soil in the region in issue and replace it with some new loam.
  • Never planted anything; this is just extremely old grass from around 20 years ago that had been allowed to mature into “hay” before I arrived on the scene.
  • If I till a space and leave it alone for a year, the grass will come back – the same is true for burning.
  • When you rebuild the soil over the septic tank, incorporate a large bag of peat moss into the mix to increase the amount of water that is retained in the soil.
  • That way, you may add another foot of dirt and, instead of complaining about the browned out region, you can plant a bed of ornamental grass or anything else to brighten the place up.
  • It makes absolutely no difference in the grand scheme of things if you have to dig a little deeper to get to the tank cover opening, and if you have to disturb a section of sod that has perennials planted in it, simply dig it up and replace the perennials.
  • Dennis

Dead Grass over Septic Tank

“Why is there dead grass growing over my septic tank?” some homeowners may wonder. When it comes to finding a solution, it might be difficult because there are several factors that can contribute to the abrupt death of your lush, healthy grass in the vicinity of your septic tank. Dead grass over the septic tank may be a symptom of a failing system, but there are other instances in which dead grass may be a positive indicator, indicating that the septic tank is performing as it should. As if the situation wasn’t complicated enough, dead grass over your septic tank may simply indicate that the soil where the grass is planted is not thick or deep enough to maintain the precise quantity of moisture it need to live in the first place.

In this post, we will discuss the several methods for determining what dead grass over a septic tank reveals about the tank’s condition.

  • Failure of the hydraulic system. This is most likely the most prevalent issue that arises with septic systems. Simply put, this indicates that the septic tank is no longer capable of purifying the waste water it formerly did. Typically, this occurs when a clog occurs in the septic system. Because the contents are not allowed to disperse into the soil, microorganisms are unable to break them down into harmless chemicals. The earth becomes contaminated, which eventually results in the contamination of the grass surrounding it, as shown in the picture. The presence of significant septic tank scents indicates the presence of this problem. The solution to this problem is to choose a septic system installer who has been approved. A proper septic removal permit should be obtained by the installation before opening the septic tank to ascertain if it is, in fact, defective. It is possible that the installation will recommend that you get your septic tank drained out. It’s possible that your septic tank is performing its job properly. The presence of dead grass above the septic tank may indicate that the soil is performing admirably in terms of water absorption from the septic tank, to the point where there is insufficient water left for the grass to maintain its life. Liquid wastes are channeled away from the septic tank and into drain fields. In the case of a septic tank with green grass growing on top of it, it is possible that liquid waste is filling the trenches in the drain field because the earth is too saturated to absorb any more water. As a result, finding dead grass atop your septic tank does not automatically indicate that your septic system is failing. The soil is not sufficiently deep to support root structure. It might just be a case of a very hot summer, or it could be that the layer of soil covering the septic tank is too shallow for the grass roots to develop. The soil may be too thin to retain the proper amount of moisture to feed the roots, and as the roots grow longer, they may encounter resistance from the septic tank, which prevents them from accessing water from the surrounding area. The soil may be too thin to retain the proper amount of moisture to feed the roots. The remedy is as simple as adding a bit additional dirt over the septic system, at the very least 6 inches of topsoil, and then planting grass. Although you should avoid digging too deeply and planting plants that are meant to be eaten over your septic system, there are some good groundcover options that require little water to thrive and can withstand most drought conditions. Bermuda grass, St. Augustine, Centipede grass, Zoysia, Tall fescue, and Buffalo grass are all good choices for groundcover because they require little water to thrive and can withstand most drought conditions. It is best not to irrigate the dead grass since it may regrow in the fall and the additional water may lower the absorption rate of the drain fields.

About The Author

  • If you notice melting snow or poor quality of grass cover, you can use this space to ask or comment about where to find a septic tank or soak beds.

InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Condition of the septic tank and drainfield Location indications based on the color of the grass or the amount of snow melt: Greener grass, browner grass, and melting snow are all indicators of the health of the septic system, including the septic tank, the pipe, and the drain field. This page explains what these terms signify and offers ideas and techniques for additional study in order to identify the problems described above as a result.

For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page.

Snowmelt over the Septic Tank or Drainfield – what do they mean?

We have recently moved into a house with a septic system for the first time. We had the septic tank examined and emptied as part of our home improvement project. We observed that there is a brilliant green patch of grass just above the septic tank that is distinct in color from the rest of the grass in the yard. Now that the snow has melted away over the same septic tank location, the situation has reversed. It appears that the ground beneath the tank is heated and that the tank is defrosting the earth.

Is this a usual occurrence?

– Thank you so much for your assistance.

Reply: your septic system clues sound normal but here is how we can check for developing septic system trouble:

Snow melt and even greener grass over the septic tank may be typical, but it might also indicate a problem with the system. Good news would be the lack of any scents (SEPTIC SYSTEM ODORS) or damp or soggy areas (SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS), as well as the absence of any sewage backup into the residence (SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS) (SEWER BACKUP PREVENTION). It is also important to note that snow melt over drainfield trenches (as shown in the top photo of this page) is not always an indicator that the system is failing.

Take some shots of the area over the tank with snow melt (and later with greener grass) and, while you’re at it, take some photos of the region where you believe the drainfield is located so that we can all see whether there are any depressions, snowmelt, damp patches, or other problems.

This is a regular occurrence and is not a cause for concern. Photos of snow melting over septic tanks may be seen atVISUAL CLUES LOCATE THE SEPTIC TANK for more information.

Guide to Diagnosing Snowmelt or Green Grass Over the Septic Tank

Opening the inspection cover over the septic tank outflow end will quickly reveal the presence of this issue. If the sewage level is only as high as the bottom of the tank outlet pipe, where it flows through the tank wall, this is considered regular operation. If the level of sewage rises over the bottom border of the horizontal section of the outlet pipe, this indicates that the outlet pipe or drainfield is clogged with sewage. You may get more information and photographs about this method at SEPTIC TANK BAFFLES.

Explanation of Greener Grass over the Septic Tank

If the tank cover was dug for service, it is possible that someone seeded the area around the tank, resulting in greener grass over the tank. Alternatively, healthier lawns around the septic tank might indicate that the tank is leaking around its cover, which would be an odd occurrence and a warning indication of problems. Backing up pipes to the leachfield (or, in the worst case scenario, a failed leachfield) might result in wastewater draining too slowly out of the septic tank or even backing up into the building.

See also:  Which Kind Of Septic Tank Is Better For Yhe Environment? (Solution)

Explanation of Brown Dead Grass over the Septic Tank

In addition, if the tank top is not too deep below earth, it is possible to find browner grass growing over a septic tank. If you have a shallow septic tank top, this indicates that there will be less soil thickness, which will result in soil dryout during dry weather, which will result in dead grass in that particular region. If you’re interested in learning how deep your septic tank may be, check outSEPTIC TANK DEPTH Finding the location of a septic tank is frequently assisted by visual indicators that begin beyond the region where the main waste line exits the house.

Several visual clues that assist in locating the septic system are discussed in greater depth atVISUAL CLUES LOCATE the SEPTIC TANK.

  • A former building owner may have left stones, slates, stakes, or other markings to indicate the position of a septic tank pumpout access cover
  • However, this is not always the case. Cast iron or white or black plastic pipes sticking out of the ground, perhaps between 10′ and 20′ from the house, and especially if they are 4″ to 6″ in diameter and are cast iron or white or black plastic, may indicate vent or cleanout locations on the waste line between the building and the septic tank, or they may indicate where the tank is located. The installation of a 6″ top 8″ “riser” pipe with a cap near to ground level (which may be painted green by the homeowner) by certain septic pumping firms is used as a rapid access port to pump the septic tank. If one removes the pipe cap and glances inside, maybe with a torch, it is simple to determine whether or not one of these ports is directly above the tank. When there are symptoms of impending collapse, such as soil subsidence, it is not safe to walk over or near septic tanks. Electrical boxes protruding from the ground may indicate the location of electrical connections feeding electrical components that are utilized in some septic systems, according to some reports. Examples include septic tanks that use effluent pumps to transfer effluent to an uphill position, pumping chambers that use sewage grinder pumps to send sewage to an uphill septic tank and drainfield, and drainfields that use effluent pumps to move effluent to an uphill location. A video demonstrating a septic tank with a pumping station and its electrical connections can be seen atSeptic 101 part 1: Septic Tanks and Pumping Stations. How to locate the septic system in this video
  • Rectangular depressions of approximately 4 ft. x 8 ft. On the other hand, it is possible that soils have settled away from the septic tank and created an elevated rectangular area on rare occasions. One of our sites experienced this because the bottom of the septic tank was situated on bedrock, and after backfilling, certain soils around the tank settled and compacted, but the tank itself did not move
  • A rectangular region with less grass growth – this is due to the fact that the tank is not sunk very deeply and so has less dirt above it
  • If the tank is leaking or backing up and spewing effluent around itself, the grass will grow more lushly in the vicinity of the tank. Depressions in the earth, each measuring around 2 sq.ft., that may indicate a past excavation for tank pumping
  • Snow melt: In regions where snow falls, portions of melted snow may be seen at the top of the septic tank’s tank wall (or areas of a failing leach field). Photograph of this clue, which shows drainfield trenches as depressions in the snow, may be found on the websiteVisualClues to Location. Drawings or drawings depicting the position of a septic tank can occasionally be found in a building’s basement or crawl space, scribbled on a surface at the point where the main waste pipe exits the structure, indicating that the tank is in the correct place. Of course, a conscientious previous owner may have left a sketch on a piece of paper for the new owners to find. AtRECORDS to LOCATE the DRAINFIELD, an example of a drawing for finding septic system components can be found. Wet spots on the ground that may indicate a clogged drainfield. Pipes ending in streams, lakes, or swamps, or at the boundary of a property, may indicate an overflow drain that was installed to deal with a malfunctioning septic system. Septic smells may also indicate an overflow drain. This is a shot of one of these that is most likely found in a DRAINFIELD
  • I’d like to express my gratitude to reader (anonymous) for addressing the significance of snowmelt or greener grass above the septic tank (12/2010)
  • Thank you to Donica Benwho, in her letter of November 11, 2007, warns against the dangers of digging into hidden electrical cables, which we will examine further at a later date. Safety Procedures for Septic Tanks and Cesspools
  • Identifying the source of the problem – is there a problem with the septic system or with the building drain system? Septic Tank Safety: Safety Warnings for Septic Inspectors, Septic Pumpers, and Homeowners Regarding Septic Systems, Septic Tanks, and Cesspools
  • Condition of Septic Tanks- How to Inspect Septic Tanks and Evaluate the Septic Tank Condition, including the condition of the baffles and sludge levels, as well as damage and signs of septic failure
  • Form OF SEPTIC DRAINFIELD: factors for the shape and placement of a septic drainfield or leaching bed
  • LOCATION OF THE SEPTIC DRAINFIELD: where to look for the septic drain field or leaching bed
  • Procedural for Drainfield Inspection Leach Fields – how to check and diagnose septic drainfield problems.

. Continue reading atVISUAL CLUES LOCATE THE SEPTIC TANK, or choose a topic from the closely-related topics listed below, or visit the completeARTICLE INDEX for a comprehensive list of articles. Alternatively, see PLANTS OVER SEPTIC SYSTEMS.

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septic system — Butte County Septic — Magneson Tractor Service Inc.

Welcome to the World Wide Web! This is the location where messages propagate rapidly, regardless of their legitimacy. However, this was occurring long before the advent of the internet, through the basic medium of word of mouth. With the abundance of information available and flowing, it can be difficult to discern between realities and urban legends. We’ve chosen to put the record straight on a few common misconceptions concerning septic tanks and systems in order to help others from making the same mistakes.

Starting With a New Septic Systems Requires Seeding

What exactly is seeding? It does exactly what it says on the tin: it assists your system and bacteria in growing by providing “seeds,” or in this case organic material. Also, we’ve heard of everything under the sun, including flushing a whole pound of yeast, manure, worms, and other such methods of waste disposal. This is a fallacy! Your septic system does not require your assistance to get up and running. Simply said, the system must be followed. You have enough “seeding” powers in your human waste to get it started.

This takes us to the second myth we’ll look at.

Additives Keep Old Systems Running Great

You’ve undoubtedly heard someone make this assertion. Do you have an outdated system or a system that isn’t performing as efficiently as it should? Just add a few ingredients and you’re done! However, the idea that septic additives can perform miracles is a fallacy. Septic tanks that are properly balanced do not require any assistance. Some septic treatments that are commercially available either include corrosive pesticides that can cause harm to the bacterial colonies in your system or are pricey yeast extracts that are not effective (yes, like the stuff used to make bread).

This is especially useful if your family uses a lot of antibacterial and bleach-based products, which is something you should avoid, but that’s a topic for another discussion.

Pump Your Septic Tank every 5-7 years

A typical family may fill a septic tank to operational level in less than a week, without having to make any changes to their ordinary water usage. It is not necessary to pump the septic tank just because it is full or has reached a specific age. Simply let your healthy system to carry out its functions. In reality, as long as your tank is sized adequately for your home and your property is kept in good condition, your system will continue to break down and handle waste for many more years than you may expect.

Prior to booking a pumping appointment, you should always get your system examined.

There are a few situations in which you should refrain from pumping your tank, but we’ll cover those in more detail in a future blog article.

Once Installed, Septic Tanks Take Care of Themselves

Yes, this is correct! In conjunction with their biological processes and gravity flows, septic systems and tanks handle the majority of the job with little assistance from the homeowner. Because they are buried, they are readily forgotten. Despite the fact that you may not be required to take immediate action, your behaviors will have an impact on the overall health of your septic system.

You’ll Only Need One Septic System

In most cases, septic systems will not survive a lifetime. With adequate care and maintenance, systems can endure for 25 to 30 years on average. If you want your system to last as long as possible, learning how to do regular maintenance is priority number one. However, there are certain fallacies about septic systems that need to be dispelled. Understanding which stories are factual and which are nothing more than old wives’ tales can be difficult. Do you have any questions regarding some of the advice you’ve received?

Do you have a disturbing myth that you would want us to investigate?

Septic Systems and Landscaping — Magneson Tractor Service Inc.

Your comprehensive guide to septic-safe flora. You’ve just finished installing your new septic system, and all that’s left is a muddy mess. Alternatively, you may get bored with the monotonous green scenery. You want to improve the appearance of your home while while keeping your yard septic-friendly. Here are some suggestions for landscaping and plants that are septic-safe. Why Should You Plant Near Your Septic System? It’s possible that you were intimidated by the prospect of planting near your septic system.

  1. However, although invasive tree roots can cause havoc on leach fields, certain plants and landscaping can actually improve the effectiveness of your system.
  2. For over your system and leach field, short-rooted plants like perennials and grasses are the ideal option because they are septic safe (including ornamental grass).
  3. Furthermore, they enhance the exchange of oxygen in the soil, which is necessary for filtering the last of the germs from your wastewater before it is discharged.
  4. Herbaceous (non-woody) ground coverings are also a fantastic option for creating a natural look.
  • If the location is bright, try planting one of these perennials for sunlit areas: If the location does not receive a lot of sunlight, you will most likely be pleased with these shade-garden plants. The soil in the vicinity of leach fields is occasionally wetter than usual, occasionally saltier than average, and occasionally both. Plant perennials that are tolerant of both damp soils and salt, such as bee balm, hollyhocks, and wild violets, to ensure that you cover all of your bases. As a result, if you find yourself in the same company as Snow White, you should consider deer-resistant perennials and deer-resistant ground coverings, as well as spring bulbs and attractive grasses that deer do not consume.

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. Any trees or bushes that you plant should be placed as far away from your septic system as possible, regardless of how tall they are. For example, a tree that grows to be 30 feet tall will need to be placed at least 30 feet away from your septic system in order to be effective. It is preferable to plant shallow-rooted trees and bushes around septic tank drain fields if you must plant trees and plants.

  1. Flowers should be limited to blooming annual or perennial bulbs with short roots, or wildflowers if you want to put flowers.
  2. Try to stay with plants that are natural to your region (most of Paradise and Magalia are zones 89).
  3. Check out this site for a list of septic-safe trees organized by zone, or speak with a representative at your local garden shop and advise them that you are landscaping around a sewage system.
  4. They are capable of penetrating and clogging pipes, leach field lines, and even the tanks themselves.
  5. There is no need to water your plants any more than is absolutely essential, nor is there any need to add dirt to the surrounding area.

When gardening in close proximity to your sewage system, always wear gloves. Landscaping in the Surrounding Area Despite the fact that the remainder of your yard is not in direct touch with your septic system, it is crucial to design it correctly.

  • Large trees should be removed from the surrounding area since their roots have the potential to spread far. All trees should be kept at least 100 feet away from your home and septic tank, according to the rule of thumb: Natural or man-made obstacles might be used to deter traffic from passing through your system. This is especially true when it comes to automobile parking. Make it crystal clear! Make sure you don’t park on your septic tank or drainage field. Extra water from your leach field may be diverted away from it through mulch, flowerbeds, rain gutters, and drains.
See also:  Septic Tank Has A Dirty Bottom When Built?

Just because you have a septic system does not imply that your yard must be devoid of vegetation. It is not even necessary to have only grass. Keep septic-safe plants in your yard to prevent the headache of a faulty system while still enjoying your yard and landscaping design.

Should the Grass Be Greener Over the Septic Field?

Question:Last summer was extremely dry, which was beneficial for leach fields but detrimental to the pumping industry. My query is as follows: As a result of this, the drain lines over specific fields (nearly everything here is trench and gravel) displayed dead surface vegetation above the lines, as opposed to the usual brilliant green and healthy strips that such fields normally generate. In these instances, I fear a potential obstruction caused by root infusion, system age and neglect, among other factors.

  1. The surrounding greenery, while being drought-stricken, appears to be in better condition.
  2. Do you think it may be caused by objects that were flushed?
  3. Unless tanks in your region are only pumped when the leach field is failing and effluent is pouring to the surface or the toilet is backing up, I’m not sure why this should be the case in your situation.
  4. After reaching the soil above the trench rock, capillary action pushes the moisture up to the plant roots, allowing them to grow and flourish.
  5. Apparently, according to your initial reply, septic systems in your region are only pumped when trenches become overflowing and individuals experience sewage backup.
  6. When the onsite system cannot handle the volume of wastewater, the sewage backs up, and you are notified.
  7. It’s possible that just a portion of the ditches is filled.


The surrounding vegetation was suffering from the drought, but it appeared to be in better condition than the foliage above the ditches.

For starters, it’s possible that the trenches are still relatively young and that effluent isn’t reaching the top of the trench stones and hitting the topsoil.

When the weather is extremely dry, the vapor may not be able to provide adequate moisture to the flora above the trench rock.

It’s likely that if drop boxes are being utilized, the first trench or trenches will be full of effluent and will have green strips running through them.

Because of the trenches, the grass above them will be brown and brittle.

This effluent will not provide enough moisture to the grass roots for the grass to remain green during periods of extreme heat or drought.

Whether that’s the case, you could open a pipe cap and see if there was sewage in a trench, and if there was, you could figure out how deep the effluent was.

When there is no effluent in the trench, the grass roots or other vegetation growing above the trench will not have a significant depth of soil from which to get their water.

Under the dry circumstances you describe, it is possible that the additional soil depth will not hold enough water to maintain the grass green and healthy.

When it comes to trench rock in your location, how much soil cover is typically applied?

Backfill dirt poured over the trenches may also have a different texture from the original topsoil that existing in the space between each trench, which can cause problems with drainage.

Above the trench rock, it is probable that the topsoil will not be replenished.

Grass roots, or any roots for that matter, will not grow into trench gravel that is contaminated with effluent.

You inquired about the age of the systems and the lack of maintenance in the area.

The lack of maintenance will shorten the life of the onsite system, but it should have no effect on the growth of grass in either wet or dry circumstances, according to the manufacturer.

MAINTENANCE ON A SCHEDULED BASIS If possible, I propose that you set up a monthly maintenance schedule with your clients so that they may have their tanks pumped and cleaned rather of waiting until their sewage becomes backed up.

So the wet or dry years won’t have an impact on your pumping operation.

5 Things Homeowners Should Know About Their Septic Drain Field

There are certain distinctions in care, usage, and budgeting that you should be aware of, whether you’re a new homeowner with an existing septic system or considering about purchasing or building a home without sewer hookups. This document outlines three ways in which your budget will be affected if your wastewater is treated using a septic system. 1. You will not be required to budget for municipal sewer service. Because the municipal wastewater system normally processes all of the water, the cost of city sewage service is sometimes determined by how much water you purchase from the city.

  1. A large number of homes with septic systems also rely on wells for fresh water rather than municipal water, which means you’ll likely save money in that department as well.
  2. It is necessary to include septic maintenance in your budget.
  3. Although you are not required to pay the city for the usage of your septic system, you will be responsible for the costs of maintenance if you want the system to continue to function properly.
  4. It is possible that these maintenance and repair expenditures will build up over time, so you may want to consider setting up an emergency fund to cover any unforeseen repair bills.
  5. You’ll also need to budget for the cost of a single inspection and begin saving for the cost of a tank pump.
  6. Spreading the expenditures out over several months is the most effective budgeting strategy, even for an expense such as tank pumping that does not occur every year, because it allows you to better estimate the costs ahead of time.
  7. You may need to set aside money for septic tank replacement.

The tank and leach field may not need to be replaced if you have a reasonably recent septic system and plan to sell your home within a few years.

If, on the other hand, your home’s septic system is more than a decade old, you’ll want to start looking into how much a new system would cost you as soon as possible.

For example, if the previous owners did not do routine maintenance or if the system was installed on clay soil, the system may need to be replaced.

It is a prudent decision to begin putting money aside in anticipation of this eventuality.

When you have a septic system, you may use these three strategies to budget differently.

Make an appointment with us right away if you’re searching for someone to pump out your septic tank or to complete an annual examination of your septic system. Our experts at C.E. Taylor and Son Inc. would be happy to assist you with any septic system assessment, maintenance, or repair needs.

Grass over septic tank needs care

There are certain changes in maintenance, usage, and budgeting that you should be aware of, whether you’re a new homeowner with an existing septic system or planning to buy or build a home without sewer hookups. Here’s what you should expect. Three ways in which your budget may be affected when your wastewater is handled by a septic system are detailed in this guide: No need to budget for city sewer service in the first place! As a result, since the municipal wastewater system often processes all of the water, the cost of city sewage service is frequently determined by how much water you purchase from the municipality.

  • A large number of homes with septic systems also rely on wells for fresh water rather than municipal water, which means you’ll likely save money in that area as well, as well.
  • It is necessary to budget for septic maintenance as well.
  • Annual inspections and frequent tank pumping are included in these charges, as is the possibility of an occasional repair such as a baffle replacement or tree root extraction.
  • For example, you might create a separate budget category for septic repair and maintenance, or you could include these charges in your existing home maintenance category.
  • Saving around one-third of the cost each year will allow you to save enough money to have your tank pumped once every few years, which is a small investment considering the frequency with which you will need to do this.
  • 3.
  • An average septic system may endure for up to 25 years, and in some cases considerably longer.
  • When selling your home after the septic system has been in place for a few decades, you should be aware that the market value of your home may be significantly reduced.
  • Despite the fact that a well maintained system can endure for 25 years or more, the operational life may be significantly decreased.
  • If you have to replace the entire system (or at least key sections of it) because of these and other circumstances, you should be prepared to do so.
  • If you don’t have adequate emergency cash, a septic system replacement, like any other unexpected significant cost, might leave you in debt.

Make an appointment with us right away if you’re searching for someone to pump out your septic tank or to do an annual septic check. Whether you need help assessing, maintaining, or repairing a septic system, our staff at C.E. Taylor and Son Inc. is happy to assist you.

5 Signs Your Septic Drainfield Has Stopped Working

Unlike municipal septic systems, which consist just of a subterranean tank that collects waste and water, residential septic systems are more complex. Water finally departs the tank through an outlet pipe and into a network of long perforated pipes known as the leech or drainfield after reaching the tank’s interior. The drainfield is equally as vital as, if not more so than, the septic tank in terms of wastewater treatment. In the event that this component of the system begins to fail, prompt action might mean the difference between relatively small repairs and a total drainfield replacement.

Drainage is being slowed.

As long as there is still any water in the pipes of the field, the drains in your home will continue to function, albeit at a slower rate.

The presence of obstructions in the inlet or outlet pipe, as well as several other septic problems that are less difficult to resolve than drainfield problems, might result in delayed drainage.


You may detect puddles or spongy and mushy ground all over the place if you look closely.

A backup occurs when the water level rises to a level that forces sewage up the input pipe and into the lowest drains in your house, which is known as a back up in the system.


Drainfield leaks can provide visible consequences on the surface if the drainfield leaks at a higher rate than typical or contains decaying material that is meant to remain in the tank.

Returning Flow is the fourth step.

If you presume that the tank just need pumping, the service technician may discover water and sewage entering the tank from the outlet in a reverse flow, which would indicate that the tank requires more than pumping.

The presence of reverse flow from the drainfield is an obvious indication that you want jetting or pipe replacement services.

The Development of Odors In the end, you can utilize your sense of smell to detect indicators of drainfield issue.

Any sewage or toilet scents, even if they are weak and difficult to detect, signal that you should have a professional evaluate your home immediately.

This is the most effective way.

Whenever we observe a decrease in drainage capacity, we will inform you of the problem and your choices for resolving it before the system stops processing waste altogether.

In addition, we’re pleased to address any of your questions or concerns concerning your drainfield or septic system in general with a professional response.

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