Planting on top of Septic drain field

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4 years 8 months ago #547539 by Sjk70
Can anyone tell me if it is okay to plant on top (literally) of a septic drain field.

We have had so many conflicting messages and we’re now very confused.

We’ve ordered 60 various native grasses believing we can plant on top of the drain field. We’re now being told we can’t.

Our septic tank/waste water system is modern (less than 6 months).

Thanks

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4 years 8 months ago #547540 by iSor
While you can’t plant on top of the perforated purple pipeline itself you can plant between the actual pipelines of the drain field as the roots will be below the pipe.
In our case, we had the septic tank installers dig very shallow trenches with a small machine between our three rows of natives in which to lay the pipes. The pipes were then covered with dirt and we were told to keep stock off the area which was already fenced off. The two year old plants loved it and took off after that exercise.
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4 years 8 months ago #547574 by muri
What kind of septic system have you got as each system is different.
Did you ask the drain layer what they suggest as usually vegetation is encouraged to mop up the excess moisture created.
The age of the septic doesnt indicate what you can or cannot plant.
I have a gravity fed syphon system and the lines are 1m down and covered in gravel so I can plant trees that are shallow rooting such as citrus or similar.
What grasses did you order out of interest as some prefer wet and some dont tolerate the wet

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4 years 2 months ago #549981 by Manta
What type of septic system do you have in place? We are thinking of putting a house on a rural property and are looking for a good quality, low maintenance system?

Did you go with Oasis, Hynds?

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4 years 2 months ago #549990 by tonybaker
check with your council first as to what systems are approved for your area.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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4 years 2 months ago #549991 by Manta
Both. Septic tank and secondary purifier system

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4 years 2 months ago #550012 by LongRidge
You would be very, very unwise to plant anything over a drainage field other than grasses with small root systems. It's a real pain having to dig up a line, unblock it, and re-join it. And it is likely to need replacing at some stage.. It has taken me lots of digging to find an appropriate place to cut my existing one (the second one) to put a join in to set up a new field.
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4 years 2 months ago #550013 by Alan Gilbert
Here in the Far North we were required to plant on our drip field. (Just as well, since most of it was planted out already!) The local council even provided a list of suggested plants which would help the excess water to disappear.

With secondary treatment systems, the perforated pipes are laid on top of the ground and covered with mulch, which has to be topped up every few years.

You're not supposed to plant fruit trees, still less veges, but once the thing has been signed off many people plant whatever they damn well please. Certainly the plum trees that were already there bear delicious fruit in happy abundance, and since our secondary treatment plant pumps out water that is purified to a reasonable degree we have no qualms about eating the fruit. The chances of any bacteria getting from poo to plum are zero. Indeed, with all the handling supermarket fruit goes through, I would think fruit from that source is far more likely to be contaminated.

So I would suggest that you do whatever has to be done to get certification, then go your own sweet way.
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1 month 2 weeks ago #559529 by Millymoth
Hi Alan, are the plumb trees sitting right on the effluent field or are they just nearby? I'm trying to work out how far away for the field I can plant trees. Cheers

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1 month 1 week ago #559535 by tonybaker
I would think the concern would be with the tree roots invading the drains? I think the preferred option would be to have grasses actually on top of the field with trees at the end, obviously not willows etc.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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1 month 1 week ago #559536 by krustz
It’s advisable to avoid deep-rooted plants, trees, and shrubs as they can damage the septic system. Since you’ve ordered native grasses, they should be suitable for planting over the drain field.

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1 month 6 days ago - 1 month 6 days ago #559544 by Stikkibeek
A local school nearby has a part of the old playground planted out on what is now a drainage field. Waste is church  and filtered and the liquid pumped out through a multitude of pipes. (about 250 children) The area concerned was a useless wet part every winter, so you'd think it not suitable ground, However they put huge quantities of tree chip mulch on top and planted in native flax and then, swan plants and the monarch butterflies are prolific. A lot depends on the kind of ground, and locality to determine what is best.
Our own one is on the side of a hill, and only has pasture on top

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
Last edit: 1 month 6 days ago by Stikkibeek. Reason: Additions

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