Can You Plant Trees When You Have a Septic Tank in NZ?
While it has been a popular misconception that you cannot landscape your backyard by planting flowers or shrubs if you have a septic system, this is not true. However, you must be careful while choosing plants for your landscaping. Planting trees or shrubs known for their aggressive root systems near septic tanks and drain fields is not a good idea. Discover what can you put on top of a septic tank in this CST Group article.
What Trees are Good Around Septic Tanks?
Our clients often ask what trees are good around septic tanks. Even though septic tanks are engineered to withstand almost anything, experts generally do not recommend planting on your septic drain field. Root systems provide trees with a primary method of absorbing water, and these roots will extend toward the most abundant source of water in your yard: your septic drainage field.
How Far Should Trees be from Septic Tank & Septic Drain Field NZ?
How far should trees be from septic tank systems? If trees are planted too close to a septic system, their roots will naturally grow in the direction of the wet drainage field around the system. Trees with smaller, less complex root systems are less risky near a septic system but should still be planted at least 5 metres away.
Avoid Planting Fast-Growing Shrubs
Do not plant shrubs that aggressively seek water sources or grow quickly, as these plants can damage the pipes in your septic tank’s drain field. You would be better off planting smaller, drought-resistant shrubs whose roots will not disturb your septic pipes.
Avoid Planting Vegetables Near Septic Systems
Gardeners might wonder if they can grow vegetables near a septic field. Planting food crops in the dirt next to a drain field is risky because of the potential for contamination. Vegetable roots go downward to seek water and nutrients and, if planted too close to your drain field, they will quickly encounter sewage. People who eat these plants risk viruses borne on pathogens. It’s best to keep your vegetable garden away from the septic field and use that space for decorative plants only.
Flowers and Grass are Safe to Plant Near Septic Systems
When landscaping your system, grass and flowers are your best bet. The roots aren’t a problem because they’re so short, so they’re unlikely to cause any issues. Besides, planting grass and flowers over your drain field reduce soil erosion and promote nutrient absorption, which is vital to the efficient operation of your septic system.