Juju2016
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:54 pm

Planting fruit trees near a septic tank

Hi!

Can a fruit tree growing beside a septic tank be contaminated by human pathogens? I have friends who got sick after eating a ripe jackfruit, which was harvested directly from the tree growing beside a functional septic tank. (It was the tree's first ripe fruit if I'm not mistaken.)

All five of them experienced diarrhea an hour or so after eating the fruit and it persisted for about a day or two. One of the five started vomiting and would no longer eat or drink so he was admitted to the hospital. He was diagnosed with amoeba.

Well this sounds silly, but, is the tree contaminated with amoeba? Don't plant roots filter pathogens? Because if the tree is really contaminated, its fruit won't be safe to eat and should be cut down. But I don't have adequate knowledge of gardening so I would like to be enlightened before jumping into conclusions.

Thanks!

JONA
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Posts: 799
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: Planting fruit trees near a septic tank

Hi juju,
Yes there is a possibility for for some pathogens to contaminate fruit from septic tanks.
Beside the danger of handling and splash etc contamination, there are some pathogens that could transfer to the fruit via the tree itself.
The risk maybe fairly slight.....but it is a risk non the less.
The other problem is damage to any pipe work via the trees roots too.
John

Juju2016
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:54 pm

Re: Planting fruit trees near a septic tank

Thanks!

ButterflyLady29
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Posts: 1031
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:12 am
Location: central Ohio

Re: Planting fruit trees near a septic tank

We ate mulberries from a tree that grew close to my great-grandparents outhouse and never got sick from them. Hubby grew up eating raspberries that grew next to his grandparents outhouse and never got sick from them. Outhouses contain raw sewage and waste, not quite the same as a water and waste filled tank.

Without knowing exactly what amoeba affected them it's pretty difficult to say where they got it but a very common source of contamination through food is external contamination. That is when there is something on the skin of the fruit that didn't get washed off before the fruit was cut or someone handled the fruit without washing their hands.

I don't know if there is some place that could test the tree for the amoeba or not but it's something I would check into.

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