Trees and shrubs should be planted at least 10 feet away from the edges of any septic system (tank and fields). If trees or shrubs are planted too close to the septic area, the roots of these plants seek the water inside the septic system. As the roots grow into the gravel and septic pipes, they push dirt into the system. Over time the roots push more and more dirt into the system, until finally the gravel and pipes are filled with dirt and roots, making the system ineffective. The picture featured above shows a pipe that is completely filled with roots and dirt.
There should be no vegetation, except grass, growing over or around your septic system. Grass assists the septic fields as some of the water surfaces for evaporation and transpiration. Keeping the grass over a septic system properly mowed promotes the evaporation and transpiration process.
However, if the fields are beginning to fail, water will surface in puddles, making the ground swampy. Thick grass patches or soft ground are also indicative of a failing system.
Why do a septic inspection before a home purchase?
Septic systems have a limited life, between 10-50 years, depending upon the soil conditions where the home is built. Just like many other home components (roof, siding, driveway, etc.) a septic system occasionally requires replacement. Therefore, before buying a home, it is important to have the septic system inspected. Inspections determine the condition of the septic tank; whether it requires replacing due to leaks or old age. An inspection can also detect if the fields (the largest component of a system) are currently working. During an inspection the fields are intentionally given a large load of water. If the fields are clogged or operating poorly, it will be indicated during the testing. Such conditions would suggest that field replacement should be considered.
A family in Yorktown Heights, NY was having septic system problems; their septic system was in “failure” or no longer functioning properly. A system is determined to be in failure when either the toilets and sinks do not drain properly or the waste water is puddling on the surface in the yard.
A Mahopac, NY client’s septic system was in failure. All septic systems have a limited life. After years of use the fields become clogged with septic sludge and no longer process the septic water properly.
A family in Montrose, NY was relocating. When a home inspection was done, their septic fields were found to be in failure. They contacted Precision Excavating Inc. to come up with a solution to the septic failure so that they could sell their home.