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Planting trees is a creative way to add more privacy or shade to your yard, but it’s not as simple as planting them anywhere you’d like. Owning a septic system requires advanced planning when landscaping your yard. The location you plant a new tree is the difference between business-as-usual and costly repairs. In order to protect your system and prevent any future problems for yourself or your septic service provider.
Curious to know why planting over a septic tank, lines, or leach field is not recommended? Check out these common problems that arise from trees and septic systems.
At the minimum, a tree planted over a septic system creates issues for the people pumping or repairing your system. When adding anything to your yard, there needs to be clear access to the septic tank. It’s not uncommon for people to accidentally build a deck, wall, or other outdoor structure over their septic tank access cover, but the same rule of thumb applies to trees. Once you identify where the tank is, make sure you don’t plant above it.
Even if you make sure the tree isn’t directly above the system, there are multiple ways that a tree presents a potential danger to the septic system. Most commonly, tree roots are the main perpetrator. Roots from plants, especially trees, are notorious for growing into pipes. If there aren’t already roots around your system, it’s best to avoid adding them.
Trees also present a problem if they fall or are cut down and land onto your leach field. Depending on the weight, and location of the tree and your system, it’s possible that this damage affects pipes or the leach field by compacting the soil and rock that needs to accept the effluent to drain into the ground. Having any new trees planted a safe distance away from your system (usually at least 25 feet) ensures that neither roots or the tree itself can damage your tank, pipes, or leach field.
When in doubt, consulting with your local septic system experts is the safest way to landscape or plant trees at a home with a septic system. Wind River Environmental offers services that help avoid or resolve problems related to tree roots in your drain lines.
Sign up on our website to schedule any residential septic services – or call us at 1-800-499-1682. If you have any questions about how trees in your yard are affecting your septic system, don’t hesitate to contact WRE today!