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Question about vegetable gardens

Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior MemberPosts: 7,911 Senior Member
I have an area in my back yard that is perfect for starting a vegetable garden. It is right over the drainfield for my septic system. The area is about 15 feet wide and about 35 feet long. The grass that grows over it is lush and green and grows much faster than the surrounding grasses that are there. The drainfield is about 10-12 inches below ground and I believe that the grass is much more healthy because of the water and nutrients that percolate up to the surface. My question is: is there a health risk of planting over the drainfiled and having the bacteria that is contained in the drainfield get absorbed by the vegetables growing there? Any information would be appreciated.
JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!

Replies

  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Planting over the drainfield is a bad idea. The bacteria in the ground from the drainfield can contaminate what you grow. The anaerobic bacteria growing in septic tank and field lines can cause some really nasty infections and diseases. I'd not plant anywhere near the field lines. Better to back off from that area and use commercial fertilizer for the garden plants.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
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  • DrawbarFlatsDrawbarFlats Posts: 788 Senior Member
    edited April 2020 #4
    I wouldn't. Leach lines also seep all the household chemical products that are drained and flushed. Phosphates, commonly found in laundry detergents,  is probably the reason the grass is always lush and green around your leach line. Frankengrass I call it. 

    Edit: What GunNut and TennMike said too.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Plenty of great and cheap commercial fertilizers for vegetable gardens at Lowes and Home Depot.  Just skip anything with weed killer stuff in it.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    There was a lack of water available to select soldiers in the Korean War. The local farmers fertilized their crops with human waste. Terrible disease and infection occured when in desperation they drank the near by water.
  • PFDPFD Senior Member Posts: 1,726 Senior Member
    edited April 2020 #7
    I think an e-coli outbreak about a year ago was traced to "runoff" from a cattle processing plant holding pen being too close to a lettuce farm.

     I agree, fertilizer is cheap.
    That's all I got.

    Paul
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,749 Senior Member
    Is it safe, though, if your stuff don't stink? Asking for a friend.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,911 Senior Member
    I knew that what is in a septic system is dangerous if consumed, but I wasn't sure if the root systems filtered that out or not. I will definitely stay away from that area if I start a garden. I have enough room in the back that I can place the growing area far away from the drainfield. Thanks for the input.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,664 Senior Member
    Lush grass over a septic is a sign of a poor draining leach field.


    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,911 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio said:
    Lush grass over a septic is a sign of a poor draining leach field.


    Yeah, I know. It's been a problem from 3 years after we had the house built. I have to keep dumping septic tank bio-cleaners in the toilet just to keep the water below ground. Part of the problem is that we get torrential downpours often in this area, that will sometimes convert almost all of my back yard into a shallow pond. It usually drains quickly once the rain stops, but still I think the ground is saturated during the summer months. The alternative is replacing the drainfield, which is an expensive proposition.

    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,985 Senior Member
    Here's another thought. Divert your greywater, particularly from the washing machine. My father and I both did this back in the day, used the water to hydrate our ground cover on the lower banks of the fill pads our homes were on. In my case, it stopped an overflowing leach system cold - never had another problem with it. Washing machine puts a butt load of water into the system. Use a good root killer in the tank - and Roebic twice a year to keep it perking!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,911 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    Here's another thought. Divert your greywater, particularly from the washing machine. My father and I both did this back in the day, used the water to hydrate our ground cover on the lower banks of the fill pads our homes were on. In my case, it stopped an overflowing leach system cold - never had another problem with it. Washing machine puts a butt load of water into the system. Use a good root killer in the tank - and Roebic twice a year to keep it perking!
    I use Robic and Septic Pig now. It works to keep the water level below the surface by making the ground under the system less mucked up. I have already plumbed a PVC line out of the laundry room, into the garage and out the side wall about 2 years ago. That change alone made a big difference in the amount of surface percolation that I had previously before installing the new drain line. Putting bleach into the washes had something to do with upsetting the chemical balance in the septic system as well. On the whole, the system works better but not quite as it should.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,575 Senior Member
    Had to replace my drain field last year.  Expensive, !!!! but it had to be done.  In my neck of the woods, as far as I know, there is no "gray water" drain.  My house is old enough to have had one, but it doesn't.  Just me, so I don't use a hellava lot of water.  My understanding of gray water would include dish and laundry detergent...right?  Would this be bad for a garden?
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,664 Senior Member
    Gene L said:
    Had to replace my drain field last year.  Expensive, !!!! but it had to be done.  In my neck of the woods, as far as I know, there is no "gray water" drain.  My house is old enough to have had one, but it doesn't.  Just me, so I don't use a hellava lot of water.  My understanding of gray water would include dish and laundry detergent...right?  Would this be bad for a garden?
    I would think the bleach would be
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio said:
    Gene L said:
    Had to replace my drain field last year.  Expensive, !!!! but it had to be done.  In my neck of the woods, as far as I know, there is no "gray water" drain.  My house is old enough to have had one, but it doesn't.  Just me, so I don't use a hellava lot of water.  My understanding of gray water would include dish and laundry detergent...right?  Would this be bad for a garden?
    I would think the bleach would be

    The bleach would be bad for plants. But the dishwashing and laundry detergent is actually pretty good fertilizer. The bleach screws up the pH of  the soil big time, and stunts the plants.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • sgtrock21sgtrock21 Senior Member Posts: 1,933 Senior Member
    GunNut said:

    The only time I had E Coli was from deer poop contaminated leaf lettuce.
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