What You Should Know About Landscaping Over Your Leach Field

Posted on: 26 June 2015

Septic system leach fields benefit from proactive landscaping. When you plant any greens over the leach field, it provides some stability to the soil, reducing the risk of erosion. The plants will also help improve the oxygen exchange that keeps the soil around your leach field healthy. A standard layer of sod is sufficient for this, but you can invest in flowers and thorough leach field landscaping if you want to help improve your property's appearance.

Choosing Plants for a Leach Field

Be selective about what you plant over a leach field. Anything with thick, heavy root systems may cause damage to the pipe system. And, plants that have aggressively growing roots are a threat to the integrity of the pipe walls. Instead, look for plants with gentle growth and a shallow root system. Perennials, flowering annuals and even ornamental grass will work well.

Considering the Drain Lines

Don't add any additional soil over the leach field unless you're repairing erosion. If you have to till the soil or use any equipment over the leach field, be aware of where the plumbing lines are. Drain lines aren't usually very deep below the surface, so you need to be attentive to the risk of damage.

Preserving the Leach Field Function

Don't choose plants that will need frequent dividing or hands-on care. This disturbs the soil repeatedly, which can jeopardize the integrity of the pipes. If you opt for ground cover, don't choose anything that will have a thick canopy. You want to be sure that sunlight will still reach the soil. That sunlight is essential, because it prevents the development of a cool, moist environment that will interfere with the oxygen exchange and evaporation. Skip the mulch for the same reason – it keeps the sun's rays away from the soil.

Prioritizing Safety

If you're opting to plant in your leach field by hand, wear gloves at all times. This protects your hands from any potential bacteria exposure. Whether you're planting or weeding, any time you come in contact with the soil, protect your skin.

Adding landscaping to your leach field may help you create the attractive, seamless yard you've been wanting. Additionally, the plants can help minimize erosion and keep the soil stable. Talk with a septic system specialist like McDermott Septic Tank Pumping before you plant. This way, you can get professional support to choose things that aren't going to cause damage to the septic system.