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Can You Landscape Over a Septic Drain Field?

Can You Landscape Over a Septic Drain Field?

If you are among the twenty percent of homeowners in the United States who are not connected to a centralized sewer system, then chances are that you have a septic system installed. Septic systems are sensitive and take up a significant portion of under your yard. Homeowners often ask us at Septic Connection whether it is safe to landscape over a septic drain field. Like many things in life: it depends. Yes, you can landscape over a septic drain field, but you must be aware of some limitations and risks. This article will hopefully clear up any worries. If you have any questions or concerns, call Septic Connection. We are your trusted leader in septic system services.

What Is the Drain Field?

The drain field, also called the leach field, is a vital part of the septic system. Wastewater and liquids that leave the septic tank are discharged into the drain field through perforated pipes. The water is evenly distributed over the drain field area and percolates through the soil. Waste, pathogens, and toxins in the liquids are treated by microbes, bacteria, and organisms so that underground water sources are not contaminated.

What Sort of Landscaping CAN Be Done on Or Near A Drain Field?

Now that we understand the mechanism and importance of the drain field, we can explore the appropriate way of landscaping over a drain field. Landscaping over a drain field is not necessarily a dangerous thing. In fact, some plants can actually help the drain field. For example, certain plants prevent erosion and soak up excess moisture from the area so that the drain field is not overworked. Acceptable plants are those with shallow and non-hostile, shallow roots. If you want to plant shrubs and trees, then be sure to research their roots. Long and aggressive roots will be explained in the next section.

Types of Plants, Trees, And Shrubs to Avoid

Much like humans, vegetation needs water to survive. Some plants, trees, and shrubs, however, like to have more water than others. Trees, shrubs, and plants that have long, aggressive roots can go off in search of water if they don’t receive sufficient amounts with your helps. If you insist on having these types of plants, trees, and shrubs, then be sure to plant them far enough from the drain field so that their roots do not penetrate through the drain field’s pipes. Also, be sure to take good care of them so that they do not go off to search for water in your drain field’s pipes.

Vegetables and Fruits

We cannot blame you for wanting to grow vegetables and fruits. Self-sufficiency is something we, at Septic Connection support. However, the nature of the drain field makes this option a risky one. Consider the risk of bacterial contamination. We advise against growing vegetables and fruits if you plan to eat them. You can, however, grow them for other purposes such as compost and aesthetics. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry! Consider growing vegetables and fruits far away from the wastewater in the drain field. Contact our office now to schedule septic tank pumping and cleaning services in  your area.