Landscaping Around a Septic System: Things to Avoid

If you’ve read our previous blog post detailing 17 everyday items you should avoid flushing down your toilet, you already know what could lead to needing emergency septic service.

We’ve also previously answered your most frequently asked questions about septic tanks and introduced how your residential septic systems works here on the Biros Septic & Drain Cleaning blog. However, did you know that certain landscaping practices can also damage your septic system?

Today, we will be exploring things you need to know about landscaping around your septic tank so that you don’t cause problems or damage as you work in your yard.

Location of Access Port

We know that sometimes a septic tank’s access port can be a bit of an eyesore—something you don’t like to see. While you may want to use landscaping to disguise it, keep in mind that you shouldn’t cover it up completely. Why? Well, you don’t want to make your septic tank’s access port challenging to access!

You’re going to need to know where the access port is so that technicians can clean and service your septic tank. We suggest you mark the location with a potted plant, riser cover, or a landscaping feature such as a birdbath. When it’s time to service your system, this will make things SO much more accessible.

Don’t have a septic riser and would like one installed? Biros Septic can help with that! We can also assist in finding any existing septic tanks or sewer lines on your property as well.

Characteristics of Safe Vegetation

If you want to decrease the chances of septic tank damage, certain vegetation types are preferable to plant above and around your tank. Look to use herbaceous plants—those with non-woody stems—as these are less likely to grow deep roots, which could penetrate your pipes. If you want to plant any vegetation over your septic tank other than grass, we suggest you use drought-resistant perennials.

Characteristics of Potentially Damaging Trees

Because of their roots, you’ll want to avoid planting any shrubs or trees directly on top of your septic system—including the drainfield. It’s best to keep trees at least as far away as they are tall.

Have a 20-foot-tall tree? Keep it at least 20 feet away from your septic tank. Have a 50-foot-tall tree? Keep it 50 feet away—you get the gist.

If you want to plant trees or plants such as bamboo, pine, poplar, or any other tree type with roots that grow aggressively, you’ll need to locate those even further away. Additionally, you may want to install root barriers to help keep aggressive tree roots in their place.

Prevent Heavy Traffic

Traffic above your septic tank is problematic as it can cause the soil to become compacted and creates pressure that could damage your tank. Arrange your landscaping in such a way that heavy foot or vehicle traffic is avoided near the septic tank and drainfield. Whenever ever possible, remember to divert any traffic around the area—and don’t park on your drainfield.

Placement of Architectural Features

While retaining walls, stone walkways, and fire pits look lovely on your property, be mindful that these heavy architectural features should always be kept far, far away from your septic tank. When placed above your septic tank, these features can cause you a lot of grief from possible tank leaks and pipe ruptures.

Placement of Swimming Pools

Before you put an above-ground or in-ground pool on your property, you’ll want to make sure you locate your septic tank and drainfield. You should never build a structure over any portion of your septic system or drainfields. It’s best to keep your above-ground pools at least 15 feet away from the septic system or drainfield and in-ground pools at least 25 feet away.

Do You Need To Schedule An Appointment For Emergency Septic Service?

Biros Septic & Drain Cleaning can help you! Got a clog or a backup? When you’re looking for 24-hour septic service, we’re the ones to call.

At Biros, we use the latest state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge gear—such as rooters, high-pressure water jets, and cameras—to deliver the most thorough septic tank cleaning services and inspections to our customers.

If you’d like to learn more about our professional septic service at Biros, have any additional questions about your septic tank, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment for septic system service—contact us today! We’re happy to help.

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