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Old 02-20-2010, 12:24 PM
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Default Questions about edible gardening near a septic tank



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It is time to plow up an area for what is to become my garden this year, and I have a serious question to ask the community.

How close is to close to the septic tank, or septic lines? My non shaded area is at a premium and I need the details of safety risk to my food about this. A few websites say not to worry, or to not plant anywhere near it.

Anyone with experience is welcome to chime in as I have to make a decision soon.
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Old 02-20-2010, 12:32 PM
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How old is your system?

If it is fairly new and/or in good shape, I wouldn't worry about gardening near the tank or lines.

I wouldn't grow root crops around the drainfield for sure
... perhaps keep the whole garden away from that just for the yuk factor.

I think fruit trees would be good there, as they would benefit from the extra moisture.
I'd be more worried of contamination from soaps and household chemicals than I would be squeemish about human waste.

My drainfield is in the corner of the sheep pasture ... the grass is always a bit greener there.
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Old 02-20-2010, 10:45 PM
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depends on how will your system is working and how deep the lines are. planting near the tamk is not a issue unless it is leaking.
Old 02-21-2010, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-hunter View Post
How old is your system?

If it is fairly new and/or in good shape, I wouldn't worry about gardening near the tank or lines.

I wouldn't grow root crops around the drainfield for sure
... perhaps keep the whole garden away from that just for the yuk factor.

I think fruit trees would be good there, as they would benefit from the extra moisture.
I'd be more worried of contamination from soaps and household chemicals than I would be squeemish about human waste.

My drainfield is in the corner of the sheep pasture ... the grass is always a bit greener there.
The system is probably 5-8 years old, but is functioning properly. No leakage as far as I am aware. I don't plan to plant on top of it by any means, probably 50-100ft away at the closest.

Thanks for the infomation!
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:42 PM
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My garden is 50' (up hill )from my septic and i have had no issues.
Old 02-21-2010, 07:44 PM
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Might be good for doing raised bed herbs. Tractor tires work great, I have em all around the yard
Old 02-21-2010, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-hunter View Post
How old is your system?

If it is fairly new and/or in good shape, I wouldn't worry about gardening near the tank or lines.

I wouldn't grow root crops around the drainfield for sure
... perhaps keep the whole garden away from that just for the yuk factor.

I think fruit trees would be good there, as they would benefit from the extra moisture.
I'd be more worried of contamination from soaps and household chemicals than I would be squeemish about human waste.

My drainfield is in the corner of the sheep pasture ... the grass is always a bit greener there.
Tree roots and septic systems do not do well together and have proven to be very expensive to repair, once the tree roots take over. Just a FYI.
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vatrader01 View Post
Tree roots and septic systems do not do well together and have proven to be very expensive to repair, once the tree roots take over. Just a FYI.
I have seen tree roots get into perforated pvc pipe, and bust concrete and clay tile. Usually when one sees a blowout in a field drainage tile near a lakeshore or river outlet, you can bet that a root got in there and plugged the tile.

My septic system is about ten years old. The pvc has a fabric around it that is supposed to keep roots from penetrating.

... but you make a good point vatrader, thanks.
Old 02-21-2010, 08:09 PM
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If you have to be near the the tank and you are concerned, do your gardening in raised beds.
Old 02-21-2010, 08:16 PM
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What kind of Septic system Gravity, Pump (ie low pressure drain field) mound, sand filtration, doble mound etc...Gravity would show great drainage and should not be any problem way from the junction or distribution box. The most potent area on a Gravity system will be the first 20-30 feet on the drain lines. A pressure system with 2 or more tanks and a pump is the same toxicity over the entire drain field..The sand and mound systems, I am not familiar enough to say...However Gravity Or anything else should have 18-24 inches of dirt on top of the lines and gravity should pull everything down..away from your garden...
Old 02-21-2010, 08:24 PM
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50 feet is a LONG ways away, what exactly are you worried about? you think turd juice is gonna seep 50 feet ???!!!!



and just so everybody knows in mexico they use human waste like we use cow manure here. NASTY!!!
Old 02-25-2010, 03:06 AM
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The only danger from human manure for fertilization is that it may not be completly composted so that it doesn't kill off the microorganizisms that attack humans. If there is any doubt, I wouldn't plant root vegetables where it has been used recently. That far from a drainage field should be good, though. The ground itself acts like a filter to some extent.
If you get too much fertilizer on some plants, like tomatoes, they will put all their growth in foliage and not the fruit so much.
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