4 Things To Know About Your Septic System Drainage Field

Posted on: 16 January 2018

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Your septic system drainage field is the area where water that you send to your septic tank is filtered back out into the ground. You need to make sure you understand how to take care of your septic tank drainage field.

Grass Is the Best Coverage

You are going to want to cover up your septic system drainage field somehow. One of the best ways to cover up your septic system drainage field is with grass. You can use traditional grass that needs to be mowed, or you can create more of a meadow. Another great coverage option are groundcover plants with shallow roots.

Grass and groundcover plants are best because their roots will not reach your septic system and destroy it. They are also inexpensive plants to replace when you have to dig up your septic system and have it pumped.

Keep Trees & Shrubs Away

In general, it is smart to keep trees and shrubs away from your septic system drainage fields. Trees and shrubs have root systems that will go really deep in order to find sources of water. Their roots could reach down to your septic tank and cause damage to the pipes and equipment that makes up your septic tank.

Keep Plastic & Fabric Away from Drainage Field

You need to make sure that you don't put landscaping fabric or plastic over the top of your septic tank. Fabric and plastic will reduce the amount of air that is exchanged with the soil and ground. Plastic and fabrics on the ground can also cause the ground to retain water and prevent the proper evaporation of water that will keep your drainage system working properly.

Keep Livestock Away from Your Drainage Field

You should not allow livestock near your drainage field. Livestock can compact the soil in the spring and summer. In the winter, when the ground is wet, the livestock will trample and muddy up the soil. Both of these actions can compromise your soil's ability to exchange oxygen. Even just one livestock animal can compromise your septic system drainage field.

Don't Grow Vegetables Over Your Drainage Field

You should not grow vegetables over your drainage field either. With a garden, you will have to water it constantly, which will cause excess water to leach into the soil. Excess water will compromise the drain fields natural ability to filter the water that is released from your septic system. Digging and rototilling can also damage pipes that are not that deep underground. Also, you run the risk that your food crop could be contaminated with sewage when growing food on top of your septic tank drainage field.

Try to limit activity around your septic system drainage field. You are going to want to keep trees, shrubs and livestock away from your septic system drainage field. Limit vegetation to plants with short root systems that will not interfere with your septic system drainage field, like ground cover plants, grass and ferns. 

For more information on septic tank cleaning, contact a professional.