Landscaping While Living On Septic

As a homeowner, we understand landscaping and curb appeal is important. You want your home to be inviting and look amazing, but when you live on a septic system, there are things you need to think about to keep your system safe.

Here are a few things to think about when landscaping around septic systems:

Do not cover your disposal field or septic tank opening with concrete, pavers, etc.

Tanks – Restricted access to all openings on the top of the septic tank does not allow for proper maintenance pumping and will result in a corroded septic tank and potential overflow issues to the disposal field. If you plan to put pavers over the tank, make sure you have risers installed for proper access,

Disposal Field – All disposal fields need to breathe, they are doing a job under the soil and they need to be left in an open, unused area of your property. This also discourages anyone from driving over or parking on your disposal field.

Remember any weight over the top of septic systems can compromise the pipes below them.

Do not plant trees or shrubs close to your system.

Tree roots in Arizona will travel crazy lengths across your property to access the effluent water that is discharged to your disposal field. You’ll have a gorgeous tree, but your system will become entangled and be destroyed. Always pick the toilet over the tree!

Know the EXACT location of your ENTIRE septic system before building other structures like pools, sheds, driveways etc.

Many homeowners know where their septic tank is located but have no clue what kind of disposal field that they have, let alone where it is located. If you are planning to do any renovation or large landscaping project, be sure to call the Priority Team to help you locate your entire system! 

Another part of this, is keep in mind, most septic system disposal fields will need to be replaced at some point. Most are designed to last 30-40 years before they become saturated and need to be put in another area of the property. We call this area the RESERVE field. When planning any construction or tree planting, always keep an area that is as big as your current disposal field, open and available, so that when that field needs to be replaced, you won’t have the big expense of removing mature trees or tearing down structures. 

Direct all surface drainage away from your septic tank and be smart with irrigation.

Any run-off water should always be redirected from the septic system area. Pooling water over a system is never a good thing. It is important if you live on irrigation, that you are properly irrigating and not allowing water to sit more than 24 hours over the system.

Below are some photos of creative ways homeowners on septic have landscaped their systems. Just because you live on land with a septic system does not mean you can’t come up with some creative ways to love your landscaping!

If you are still not sure where your septic system is located, Priority Pumping offers septic system locating services. Our team of professionals will locate and map out your entire system for you, so you know how to plan for your future landscaping needs.

Picture of Tanya Wilson

Tanya Wilson

Tanya Wilson is the owner and CEO of Priority Pumping. She loves the wastewater industry and all of the opportunities for consumer education.

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