Having a septic tank can be a bit of an issue for those with green thumbs. Septic tanks take up a considerable amount of space together with the leach field. If you're short on space, you may not know where to put your garden when you decide that you want to put your green thumb to good use.
In addition to this, the ground above leach fields always looks quite green and healthy even when a drought is scorching up the rest of the yard. This may make it seem like this is the ideal spot for your garden, but is this really a good idea?
Should You Have a Garden on Top of Your Septic Tank?
As far as the top of your septic tank is concerned, putting a garden there is a terrible idea. This is not necessarily because the septic tank poses a threat to the garden. It's the garden that poses a threat to the septic tank.
Plowing or tilling the soil can damage the septic tank depending on how high the top is. If you build up soil for a raised bed, this also poses a huge risk for the septic tank since the added weight can damage some components.
Should You Put Your Garden on Top of the Drain Field?
The main risk with having a garden on top of a drain field is the possibility of viral and bacterial contamination of the plants. If you are getting regular septic tank cleaning and your septic tank is operating as it should be, there is little risk of this happening, but it's often difficult to tell if the septic system is working as it should be without the help of a contractor.
Clay-like soils around the system will also eliminate organisms after only a few inches, but sandy soils can allow the bacteria to move a few feet. Due to the difficulty in knowing how well the system is operating at any given time, it's a lot safer to simply avoid having a garden on the drain field. Instead, you can put ornamental flowers or grass in this area.
Where Should You Put Your Garden?
As far as the septic tank and leach field are concerned, it's recommended that your garden be at least 10 feet away. Trees and shrubs with aggressive roots should be at least 50 feet away from the leach field. Rooting crops and leafy vegetables are also not recommended too close to the leach field.
For more information, get in touch with a company such as Eckmayer Inc.