Septic tanks are necessary for rural areas for a tidy life and to provide a water supply. They are buried in the ground and so the question arises, how deep are septic tanks buried? Also, before we start planting plants in the yard, we need to know how far from the septic tank we can plant without endangering plants. Informations about the depth and position of the covers are extremely important. Keep that in mind if you are moving into a new house and make sure to check it out with the previous owner. On average, dig around 4 inches to 4 feet underground.
How to locate a septic tank?
If you aren’t sure where a septic tank is located in your yard, look for it. Look for sewer pipes and follow them (usually they go through the basement and are 4 inches thick). When you find the pipes, it should lead you to a septic tank. Another option, instead of walking around the yard and looking for a septic tank, you can also get information about where it’s located by phone. Call the county to list the records for your house. As for all other works, you will need a building permit to build a septic tank and your permit should be preserved in the county. In addition to the building permit, in the municipality, you can also find drawings showing where the septic tank is located, and what it looks like, how many covers there are, and similar information.
Where to bury it?
The minimum distance at which you are 'allowed' to build a septic tank is 10 feet and preferably 10 to 25 feet away from the house. Less than 5 feet away from home isn’t good.
Can I plant plants above the septic tank?
Although most plants would wither if you planted them above a septic tank, there are still some species to which this place will suit. Therefore, you need to choose the right type of plant and if you succeed, the plants can even help prevent erosion around the tank and also can draw in excess moisture. You can ‘hide’ the septic tank if you wish, by planting tall grass above it so the yard will look tidier. In addition to grass, plants that have shallow root systems can thrive above septic tanks (for example perennials). Since they have short roots, these plants won't harm the tank. Depending on the type of plant you are planting, make sure it has adequate light or shade as needed. Consider that the soil around the septic tank will be salty and wet, so choose the type of plant that these conditions favor.
Which plants aren't good to choose for planting above the septic tank?
Above the septic tank, you can plant everything but we have stated which plants will succeed and now we will say which ones won't. We said that plants with short roots will succeed which means that those with larger roots who grow quickly won't, like trees and shrubs. Their roots grow quickly and take all the water from the soil and there is a high chance that the roots will damage your septic tank pit. To avoid repairing the damage that the roots of the plants could cause, it’s best not to consider plants with large roots at the very beginning.
How does a septic tank work?
In order to be able to maintain something, fix it, and take care of it, you need to know how it works. The main role of the septic tank is to purify wastewater. Water from showers, toilets, sinks, and the like, ends up in the same pipe and that pipe carries the water all the way to the septic tank. The septic tank must therefore be watertight so that all dirty water doesn’t end up in the ground. In the interior of the septic tank, it looks like this: solids fall to the bottom while the water remains in the middle of the pit and the scum rises up. Water will eventually come out of the pit through pipes, will pass through a pipe filled with gravel and stone, and then 'purifying' enters the groundwater while solids remain at the bottom so it's necessary every 3 years (on average) to clean the septic tank to be empty and ready for reuse.
Septic tanks are buried in the ground to prevent the penetration of impurities into groundwater. Another addition to burying is that the septic tank becomes almost invisible so it doesn’t spoil the look of your yard, which most owners want to achieve. To further hide the septic tank, you can plant plants above it, just be careful in choosing the species you are planting. And finally, when choosing a tank size, choose the one that suits your needs and empty it regularly in order to avoid any additional repair costs.