Tips For Planting Over Your Septic Tank's Leach Field

24 May 2015
 Categories: , Blog


If you've never had a home with a septic system before, you might not be familiar with how to deal with the leach field. Believe it or not, there are some options for you to landscape the area over your septic system, but you'll need to make your choices carefully. Understanding what's acceptable and why is the best place to start.

Why Does Leach Field Landscaping Matter?

There are many reasons to consider landscaping your septic system's leach field. When you plant things over that space, it contributes stability to the soil. If you're concerned about erosion, this is a good place to start. And, plants will help to improve the oxygen exchange process that keeps your soil at its best. You can use sod or other shallow-rooting plants for this. By choosing colorful flowers or other foliage, you can cover the space with something that adds color and beauty to your lawn.

How Do You Choose the Plants for Your Leach Field?

It's important to remember that you can't plant just anything on top of your leach field. If you opt for plants that root deeply or have heavy growth, you risk damaging your septic system pipes. Since aggressive and thick roots can actually grow through pipes, it's best to skip these in your planting area. Instead, look for flowering annuals, perennials and plants intended as ground cover. All of these things have shallow, gentle root systems that won't put your pipes at risk. You can also plant ornamental grasses for a more natural yard appearance.

What Should You Know About Drain Lines?

Don't put any more soil over the leach field unless you're trying to restore a space that has eroded. If you do need to till the soil or do other work, make sure you know where the drain lines are. Since drain lines are usually closer to the surface than other pipes, you risk puncturing one if you aren't careful.

Planting over a leach field and septic system can give you the continuity you need to create flawless landscaping and avoid unsightly bare spots. Before you plant anything in the area, talk to a plumbing professional about how your septic system was installed so that you know where the lines are and can plan all of your work accordingly. The better prepared you are, the more successful your new planting will be at covering your septic system and protecting the whole area. Companies like Rob's Septic Tanks Inc can provide valuable insight to help with this process.