What You Should Know About Planting Over Septic Systems

Posted on: 17 May 2017

Planting over septic drain fields is a good solution to help break down waste, improve filtration through the soils, and stop septic odors from surfacing. The plants you use over a septic system should be chosen wisely to maximize their benefits, as well as prevent problems with the drain field. Here are some tips to help you with choosing the right plants for planting over your septic system:

1. Vegetables and Herbs, Planted a Safe Distance from Septic Drainage

Vegetable and herbs are plants that you do not want to plant near a septic system. In addition, make sure that any vegetable or herb garden is planted a safe distance from any septic waste. If you want to ensure there are not odors from your septic system, you can plant herbs over the septic system, but do not use them for human consumption and just let them grow wild. You can use grey water for irrigation of a vegetable garden, but the water cannot be used directly and needs to have some minor filtration before it is used in gardens.

2. Choosing Plants That Have Shallow Roots to Prevent Damage to Septic System

There are many plants that have shallow root systems, and these are the best choices for planting over your septic system. You will want to avoid planting trees and other plants with deep roots over septic drainage. The roots of some plants may get into the drainage system and damage pipes and other components. When your septic system is installed, consider having a root barrier installed below the top layer of soil to prevent problems with roots. The barrier can be something as simple as a weed mat a few inches below the soil. 

3. Grasses and Wetland Plants That Thrive Over Septic Systems and Improve Filtration

There are also many different types of grasses and wetland plants that can be installed over septic systems. Since the septic system provides plenty of moisture in the soil, many plants will survive over a septic system where they may struggle elsewhere in your landscaping. These plants also help to absorb and filter waste from the effluent that comes from the tank, which helps to prevent problems like soil saturation.

Adding plants to your septic drain field will help improve your septic system if it is done right. Contact a septic service to help with the design and installation of a septic drain field that is designed to use plants as part of the filtration solution.