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Serving Northern Virgina / Washington DC Metro Area Customers Since 1987

Septic System Maintenance in Northern Virginia: Preventing Drainfield Erosion

An important part of septic system maintenance in Northern Virginia is taking care of your drainfield. One of the ways you can do that, is by preventing drainfield erosion.

Erosion is caused by water, when the soil isn’t anchored in some way. A drainfield with no grass or other herbaceous plants will erode - because there’s nothing holding the dirt in place. The soil in your drainfield performs a very important function: it purifies the effluent from your septic tank. So it needs to stay where it is needed.

What to Plant on Top of the Drainfield

At the very least, the drainfield should be densely covered in a grass that does well without extra watering. In general, grass and other shallow-rooted herbaceous plants that are not excessively water-loving are best things to plant on top of your drainfield.

Since the pipes of your drainfield are buried about 6 inches down, you need to stay away from any plant or shrub that has thirsty, invasive or fast-growing roots that will clog your drainfield pipes.

Planting on Top of the Drainfield

Some homeowners who want to plant annuals on top of their drainfield, will schedule septic system maintenance at their Northern Virginia homes as early as possible in the spring. Afterwards, they are free to plant their annuals, without a chance of them being disturbed.

You should also talk with the person doing the septic system maintenance, while they’re at your Northern Virginia home. They will show you the best areas on the drainfield to plant your perennials and new turf grass, where they are least likely to be disturbed by future maintenance work.

A few additional items to be careful about: don’t drive a lawn mower (or anything else) over your drainfield. Don’t dig down too deep or too vigorously into the soil, and always wear gloves to protect yourself from harmful organisms in the soil.

For more information about septic system maintenance in Northern Virginia, please call SES Mid-Atlantic LLC, and we will help you locate your drainfield. Serving all of Northern Virginia, the professionals at SES are trusted, knowledgeable, licensed, and insured to provide septic tank maintenance.

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