Thanks for Septic 101 follow-ups, A couple more quesions...greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Thanks to all of you who've replied to my earlier posts regarding my new septic system. You've all given me food for thought. I guess the only issue I have at this point is where the system is located - kinda smack-dab in the middle of my property!!!!
A couple of other questions - Is it OK to allow horses and other animals to graze over the leaching field? and/or What about a vegetable garden??
Rudy in Washington County, Indiana
-- Rudy (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 21, 2002
that should be a problem,, unless you till it,, so rasied beds may be better,, and carefull with the watering,, you would be adding water to your leach fields. Wouldnt do root crops either. It will depend greatly on what type of soil you have now,, how it drains,, ect.
-- Stan (email@example.com), January 21, 2002.
My horses are on the leach field. Havent had any problems, KNOCKING VERY LOUDLY ON WOOD.
-- tracy (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 21, 2002.
We grazed goats, and a heifer, over the leach field. The grass was always greener there;) I would not garden over it, but knew a lady who did, and of course, the crops did well.
-- mary (email@example.com), January 21, 2002.
A septic system and drain field is something I am planning on, so my interest in this subject. This site, Organic Gardening, http://www.organicgardening.com/Q&A/septicgardens.html, might answer a lot of your questions. It states "First, you don't want to work any organic matter into a sand mound to help grow things," he explains, "because the purpose of the mound is to get RID of organic matter; and any you add will just compromise its ability to do so efficiently. AND it needs to evaporate moisture off the top—so no mulch either." (Which makes weed control of crop plants a real problem, and it can get REAL dry up there, AND all the experts I spoke with warned that you should NEVER water a mound or drain field— they're there to get RID of moisture and you'd be working against that function.). This link, Virginia Cooperative Extension, http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/envirohort/426-617/426-617.html, talks about vegetable gardens and drainage field. They say, A properly operating system will not contaminate the soil with disease-causing organisms, but it is very difficult to determine if a field is operating just as it should. If at all possible, use your septic drain field for ornamentals and plant your vegetables elsewhere. Fruiting crops are probably safe; train any vinning ones such as cucumbers or tomatoes onto a support so that the fruit is off the ground. I personally thing that tomato roots can go too deep, especially in sandy drain field soil and possible clog or crush your drain pipes.
-- BC (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 21, 2002.