Serving Northern Virgina / Washington DC Metro Area Customers Since 1987
Septic systems require much care both under and above the soil. When landscaping your drainfield, keep the health of your septic system in mind. The correct plants and grass planted on a drainfield can actually help reduce soil erosion, remove moisture, and add nutrients, all benefiting your septic system. Landscaping over your drainfield can also deter the area from being paved over or parked on, which can significantly damage the septic system.
When choosing plants for your drainfield, look for shallow-rooted plants, groundcovers, ornamental grasses, ferns, and wildflowers. Drainfield plants should be low-maintenance and require a very low amount of water, as excess water in the soil can reduce the drainfield's ability to treat wastewater. Grass is a wonderful choice for drainfield landscaping, and can be either mowed into a traditional lawn or allowed to grow as an unmowed space. Do not place vegetables over your drainfield, as their deep roots can damage septic pipes.
In the same vein, avoid planting trees and shrubs on your drainfield, as their extensive root systems can severely damage the septic system. Many tree species with deep and aggressive roots, such as pine, cypress, elm, poplar, beech, eucalyptus, maple, and walnut trees, should be kept at least 100 feet away from the nearest septic component. Bamboo and willow trees should never be planted near a drainfield, as their root systems aggressively seek out water. Trees with less aggressive root systems include cherry, crabapple, dogwood and oak trees, but should still be planted well away from the drainfield.
For more tips on drainfield landscaping and septic system health, contact Soils and Environmental Services, Inc. Serving the Northern Virginia and Washington DC residential and commercial markets since 1987, Soils and Environmental Services, Inc. specializes in designing alternative septic system designs and assessing septic tank options for homes, commercial properties, and sub-divisions.
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.