Serving Northern Virgina / Washington DC Metro Area Customers Since 1987
Landscaping your Northern Virginia drainfield is not only a way to dress up your yard, but can also be beneficial to your septic system. The correct plants or grass planted on a drainfield can help reduce soil erosion, remove moisture, and add nutrients, as well as protect your drainfield from being paved over or parked upon - two things that are detrimental to your septic system's functioning.
When landscaping your drainfield, do not work the soil, as parts of your septic system can be only inches under the surface. Avoid adding more than two or three inches of topsoil to the drainfield. Do not place mulch or bark over the drainfield and never place landscape plastic or fabric over your drainfield.
Acceptable plants for most drainfields include shallow-rooted plants, including groundcovers, ferns, ornamental grasses, and wildflowers. All plants on a drainfield should be low-maintenance and low-water-use species. Grass is the ideal cover for drainfields, and can be ornamental, mowed in a traditional lawn, or allowed to grow as an unmowed meadow.
Keep trees and shrubs at least 30 feet away from the drainfield, as they generally have extensive root systems that grow into wet areas, such as drainfields.
Avoid planting a vegetable garden over your drainfield, as bed preparation can cause damage to pipes and your system, and vegetable deep roots can damage septic pipes. What's more, vegetables need watering, and excess water in the soil reduces the drainfield's ability to treat wastewater. When landscaping your drainfield, take care to leave septic tank risers uncovered so they remain accessible to service inspectors.
For more drainfield landscaping and other septic system questions, contact SES. Based in Warrenton, Virginia, SES has provided expert septic system inspections, service, maintenance and repairs to Northern Virginia systems since 1987.
SES is one of only three businesses to be licensed as a Responsible Management Entity. Loudoun County Virginia was the first in the Nation to establish requirements for an RME based on EPA recommendations. SES manages several communities required to have an RME.