Dani2
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Massachusetts

septic system query

:? Help! I have a septic system and a leach field and was told not to plant a vegetable garden directly over the system but I can't find any information on how far away I should stay.

Dani2
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Thank you for you're reply. It was the civil engineer who designed the system who told me not to plant over the septic system but he couldn't tell me how far away to stay. Are you saying that I can plant right next to the leach field but just not directly over it?

Dani2
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Thanks again for replying. Wouldn't you know, the leach field is the only part of the yard that gets full sun so I'll try to keep the plants as far away as I can. Maybe I can try a vertical garden to keep the footprint small but still give the plants as much sun as possible.

pickupguy07
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:06 pm
Location: GA

OK.. that made ME have a question..
I have a septic tank also.
When we tilled up my garden this year we planted between the laterals (leach field I guess some call it)
MY laterials are 'fairly' deep in the ground (I guess a foot or better down to the top of the gravel that covers them)
(Dad said not to worry about hitting them with the tiller.)
WE plan to widen the garden next year.. and it will run directly over one of the laterals for the length of the garden.

So now you got me questions....
do you not want to plant the veggies over the laterals because of fear the roots may grow into them...

Or it for fear that the plants will absorb the water from the septic tank. I know everyplace I have read it says not to put human waste into a compost pile.. So I was wondering if the plants sucking up the water out of the septic tank might be something akin to this..??
Life is great..... but if you get lemons - compost them :-)
Near Atlanta GA... newbie to gardening & Composting

Dani2
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Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Massachusetts

The Civil Engineer who designed the system indicated that by the time the sewage goes through the system and gets discharged into the leach field, it should be safe for edible plants. His concern (and mine) is that planting right on top of the leach field causes damage to the field, reducing its ability to function properly and causing premature failure of the system. I still don't have any idea how far away to stay to avoid this so I'm planning to plant vertically and use containers as much as possible. We still have a couple of weeks here before we will be frost free.

pickupguy07
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:06 pm
Location: GA

my leech systems are fairly deep where my garden is as it runs back and forth down a slope.
UP at the top where my garden is It is over a foor down to the gravel. My is built where it has the leech drains,.. then about 6 or so inches of gravel on top of thay.. then a foot or so of dirt on top of that.

Since most garden plans root fairly shallow... I am guessing I shouldn't have a problem with roots getting into the lines.. but just to be safe... sounds like I should check the "average" depth for various plant roots, and anything that goes pretty deep.. just avoid planting them on top of the lines.??
Life is great..... but if you get lemons - compost them :-)
Near Atlanta GA... newbie to gardening & Composting

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tomf
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Location: Oregon

The leach feild should be about 3 feet down, that is law in Oregon.

Dani2
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Massachusetts

I don't think the potential problem is from plant roots but rather from disturbing the soil structure. His recommendation was to plant nothing but grass over the leach field and to keep trees at least 20 feet away. Grass has a massive and deep root structure but it stabilizes the soil and prevents compacting and erosion.

pickupguy07
Senior Member
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:06 pm
Location: GA

ok thanks
Life is great..... but if you get lemons - compost them :-)
Near Atlanta GA... newbie to gardening & Composting

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