If your home uses a septic system to dispose of its wastewater, then you need to be very careful about how you landscape the areas of your yard that contain the system's components. Septic tanks, leach lines, and leach fields can all be seriously damaged by landscaping products that are not appropriate for installation near them. To prevent avoidable septic system damage from landscaping, follow these important tips:
Tip: Locate Each of the Septic System's Parts Underground
Since your septic system is located underground, you need to identify its location before you begin any landscaping projects. If you do not know where the system is located, then you can obtain a copy of its installation permit from your local building department. The permit will have a map you can use to find your septic system's parts.
Tip: Never Install Solid-State Surfaces Over Any Part of Your Septic System
Once you have located your septic system, then you must avoid installing any solid-state materials over the top of it. This is because the weight can damage the system's underground plumbing and will restrict necessary airflow to the leach lines and leach field. Additionally, your septic tank needs to be accessible for times when it needs to be pumped out.
For example, the weight of a patio or garage can cause septic tanks and leach lines to collapse under their weight. Additionally, installations of sheds, sandboxes, or children's playsets over leach fields cause a lack of airflow to the soil. Your septic system needs the airflow to correctly function.
Tip: Never Add Soil or Gravel on Top of a Septic System's Leach Lines or Leach Field
Your septic system's leach lines and leach field are buried at a certain depth to allow oxygen to circulate through the soil above them. If you dump a bunch of soil or gravel on top of these areas, then they will not work as effectively to process wastewater. For this reason, you should never put extra dirt or gravel on top of your septic system.
Tip: Route Sprinkler Systems Away from Your Septic System
Excessive water in the area of your home's septic system will cause the system to flood and wastewater to back up into your home. To avoid this, you need to install any landscaping sprinklers a fair distance away from your septic system. This will keep the soil surrounding your system drier. Finally, keeping your sprinkler plumbing away from your septic system will also prevent flooding if a sprinkler pipe ruptures and leaks water into your septic system.
For more information, talk to a professional like River City Septic & Excavating.