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View Full Version : no fun on the new septic system-so wtd?



suz
Aug. 18, 2011, 02:03 PM
it's finally in and functional so life should be good, right?
but no-o-o, the area is totally off limits to everything but plain grass.
not that i'd plant a veg garden, but no picnic table, dogs or whatever. i have to fence it completely to enforce the stay off lawn rule.

so what do i put inside the fenced septic field?
the worry is soil compaction or loss, so no weight or traffic basically.

maybe a rabbit or three in a very secure fenced yard?
gravestones? both? rabbits to eat the grass around the gravestones?
i hate the thought of mowing it week after week after week...

what would you do with it?

SGray
Aug. 18, 2011, 02:05 PM
roses?

ReSomething
Aug. 18, 2011, 02:11 PM
I love my lagoon. It has frogs and looks fairly natural.

We had a septic field at the other house and we had to keep the cars off of it but using it for a little graveled area with a container garden was permitted, and the little table and chairs for sitting outside in the afternoons. Didn't get used much but I guess that was the idea.

2DogsFarm
Aug. 18, 2011, 02:31 PM
I have a Septic Garden.

Right over the tank I've planted some perennials, nothing with real deep roots, grasses and what grows there by itself (aka: weeds).

Last year it was taken over by Queen Anne's Lace - pretty :yes:
This year it's common ragweed - not so pretty :no:

Drainfield is the same with a couple of junk trees - mulberry, Chinese elm.
My "Wildflower Meadow".

Less mowing for me :cool:

5chestnuts
Aug. 18, 2011, 03:36 PM
it's finally in and functional so life should be good, right?
but no-o-o, the area is totally off limits to everything but plain grass.
not that i'd plant a veg garden, but no picnic table, dogs or whatever. i have to fence it completely to enforce the stay off lawn rule.

so what do i put inside the fenced septic field?
the worry is soil compaction or loss, so no weight or traffic basically.

maybe a rabbit or three in a very secure fenced yard?
gravestones? both? rabbits to eat the grass around the gravestones?
i hate the thought of mowing it week after week after week...

what would you do with it?
What type of septic field do you have?

Your description sounds like you have an alternative system where the drain lines are only a few inches under the soil, not your typical old style run-of-the-mill 3' deep lines.

So....?? What type do you have?

SGray
Aug. 18, 2011, 04:50 PM
I have a Septic Garden.

Right over the tank I've planted some perennials, nothing with real deep roots, grasses and what grows there by itself (aka: weeds).

Last year it was taken over by Queen Anne's Lace - pretty :yes:
This year it's common ragweed - not so pretty :no:

Drainfield is the same with a couple of junk trees - mulberry, Chinese elm.
My "Wildflower Meadow".

Less mowing for me :cool:


you'll want to get rid of those trees on your field or they will fill up the lines with roots (ask me how I know :no: )

CatOnLap
Aug. 18, 2011, 05:59 PM
our septic field has gone through many incarnations.
Firstly, our state of the art septic distribution field is buried 4 feet below the surface- not much vegetation except shrubs and trees has roots that deep, so the first few years I planted all manner of wildflowers. That was beautiful but weeding and seeding got to be a bore, so then we piled manure on top in piles and planted squash vines and had giant pumpkins and lots of squash and also corn growing. Then we got tired of squash and the corn always managed to get eaten by the deer. So we planted a very smooth lawn and now we use it as a croquet court. No kidding! Its also been the site for stand up comedy and bands on a stage. When they say no traffic, they mean don't drive anything on it and don't let horses gallop over it. Foot traffic is fine.

JanM
Aug. 18, 2011, 08:19 PM
Just don't use Charmin toilet paper or you'll find out what "white logs" and really expensive digging mean.

I would plant a ground cover that will only get so high and not grow more, plus that way you wouldn't have to do anything with it. Or wildflowers. If it really makes you nervous to have traffic from animals or people on it then put a nice fence around it that is removable for service vehicles.

Whatever you do, don't invest a bunch of money, because at least part of it may have to be replace or dug up for pumping out some day. If you put a bundle into it you'll start crying when they dig it up. If you want grass don't sod, but have the hydroseed people spray it or just get a spreader and do grass seed that way. If you get some of the newer prairie grass mixtures they might not grow much anyway. Some only need regular mowing once a month or so even with a lot of rain. I think some also grow about 4-6 inches and stop growing, so you wouldn't need to mow it.

deltawave
Aug. 18, 2011, 08:50 PM
We just have grass on the mound and mow it. No riding, alas--it's the only "hill" on the whole place--but a few brief trips with the mower every couple of weeks is not going to do much harm in the grand scheme of things.

Janet
Aug. 18, 2011, 10:36 PM
We have a mound, and we are REQUIRED to have 4 willow trees, arranged in a square on the edges of the mound.

Bank of Dad
Aug. 18, 2011, 11:12 PM
So wierd. We have a concrete tank and there is a drain line that was buried in rock about 3-4 feet deep. This was put in about 10+ years ago. Two horses are in the field all summer. No bad effects for the horses and no problems with the system.

SonnysMom
Aug. 19, 2011, 03:39 PM
Whatever you do, don't invest a bunch of money, because at least part of it may have to be replace or dug up for pumping out some day. If you put a bundle into it you'll start crying when they dig it up. If you want grass don't sod, but have the hydroseed people spray it or just get a spreader and do grass seed that way. If you get some of the newer prairie grass mixtures they might not grow much anyway. Some only need regular mowing once a month or so even with a lot of rain. I think some also grow about 4-6 inches and stop growing, so you wouldn't need to mow it.
We get ours pumped every 3 years, township rules. We have a concrete manhole cover on the gravel parking area so it doesn't need to get dug up. In our area there is normally a pumping access of some kind.
We have a septic tank that collects solids and then the liquid drains into the drain field. We don't drive across the drain field or the tank cover with cars/trucks. We do mow the drain field. It is just part of the yard.

I am glad we have an access for pumping it out. Having to dig it up every 3 years would be a PITA

Janet
Aug. 19, 2011, 03:48 PM
Whatever you do, don't invest a bunch of money, because at least part of it may have to be replace or dug up for pumping out some day.

The septic TANK will need to be dug up (unless it has surface level access) for pumping out, but there should not be any need to dig up the drain field.

deltawave
Aug. 19, 2011, 03:51 PM
Not all septic systems are alike! Ones with drain fields require that the drain field area not be compacted or trampled in order to function optimally. Sometimes the tank or pipes are fairly close to the surface and this area is also somewhat fragile.

And lots of people GET AWAY WITH putting horses on or abusing their drain fields. Doesn't mean it's ideal. :) A new system is a hefty five-figure bill, and not having a septic system is sort of a no-go. ;) Our system/field gets babied a little; it's just not worth abusing it.