veggie garden near leach field?


Old 03-10-04, 09:40 AM
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Question veggie garden near leach field?

How close to my septic leach field can I plant my vegetable garden (no root veggies)? Hard to really tell since I just moved in to the 50 year old house a few months ago, but I don't think I'll be planting over any lines, but I might be about 10-20 feet away from the edge of the field.
Old 03-10-04, 09:13 PM
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The water that comes from the leach field into the soil should not be contaminated.

Here is an article on the subject from the University of Virginia.

Hope this helps.
Old 03-13-04, 06:34 AM
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There are many countries (Korea) that use human waste as fertilizer. This has been the practice for years. Of course it is not used fresh and is composted but they have been around for a couple centuries now.

The biggest thing is that when soil is amended those properties leech into the soil ... from where they are placed pretty much straight down. Water carries these items to their lowest point and there it dissipates. That's like using treated lumber or railroad ties for raised beds. Unless you plant right next to the timber it is highly unlikely that any unwanted additives will affect your veggies.

The only possible problem would be the roots invading and clogging your lines. With annuals and the distance you mentioned I see no problem at all. But then again ...
Old 03-14-04, 11:15 PM
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Smile Your call seems to be favored

Hi clynnsilva

[SIZE=4]Vegetable Gardens and Drainage Fields[/SIZE]

Sometimes the ideal place to put a vegetable garden seems to be over the leach field, raising the question of bacterial and viral contamination from the effluent. Soils vary a great deal in their ability to filter viruses and bacteria. Clay soils work best, eliminating bacteria within a few inches of the drain trenches, but sandy soils may allow bacterial movement for several feet.

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. If you must plant vegetables, take the following precautions. Do not plant root crops over drain lines.

Leafy vegetables could be contaminated by rain splashing soil onto the plant, so either mulch them to eliminate splashing or don't grow them. Fruiting crops are probably safe; train any vining ones such as cucumbers or tomatoes onto a support so that the fruit is off the ground.

Thoroughly wash any produce from the garden before eating it. Do not construct raised beds over the field; they might inhibit evaporation of moisture.


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