Proper  Landscaping  On  and
Around  Your  Septic System
                The drainfield is a vital part of your septic system. Having the right landscaping
                on and around your system is important as tree and shrubbery roots can grow
                into the drain lines. Also, other heavy items like cars and livestock can break
                drain lines. Strong roots and heavy items can cause the drainfield to fail. And if
                the drainfield fails, your system fails.
     septicsmart
       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
 icate your septic tank and drainfield. Then make
sure the area is clear of:
                               Underground sprinkler
                               lines
                               Decks and patios
                               Sports courts
                               Storage sheds
                     Swing sets
                     Sand boxes
                     Driveways
                     Vehicles
                     Swimming pools
                             Plant native, drought-tolerant plants. These are
                             some of the best for your septic system and its drainfield:
                             Grass:
                              Fescue
                              Lawn
                              Ornamental grasses
                              Wildflower meadow mixes

                             Groundcovers for sun:
                              Bugleweed (Ajuga)
                              Carpet heathers (Calluna Vulgaris)
                              Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster)
                              Ground ivy (Glechoma)
                              Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos)
                              Periwinkle (Vinca)
                             Groundcovers for shade:
                              Bunchberry (Cornus)
                              Chameleon (Houttuynia)
                              Ferns
                              Mosses
                              Sweet woodruff (Galium Odoratum)
                              Wild ginger (Asarum)
                              Wintergreen (Gaultheria)
                             Follow Septic Sam's landscaping do's and don'ts:
                             Don't:
                              Plant a vegetable garden on or near the
                               drainfield.
                              Put plastic sheets, bark, gravel or other
                               fill over the drainfield.
                              Reshape or fill the ground surface
                               over the  drainfield and reserve
                               area. However, just adding topsoil is
                               generally OK if it isn't more than a
                               couple of inches.
                              Make ponds on or near the septic
                               system and the reserve area.
                            Do:
                             Plant grass or keep existing native
                              vegetation. These are the best covers
                              for your drainfield.
                             Direct all surface drainage away from
                              the septic system.
                             Use shallow-rooted plants (see plant
                              list above). Tree and shrub roots can
                              grow into the drainlines, clogging and
                              breaking them.
                             Avoid water-loving plants and trees.
                             Make sure the tank lid is secure.
                            For more SepticSmart tips, visit www.epa.gov/septicsmart
                                    EPA-832-F-14-009  September 2014

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