Planting Around Septic Lids - Knowledgebase Question

Edgewood, WA
Question by parms
October 13, 2002
We have 4 septic tanks each with a green lid that are located next to our patio, their spaced about 5 feet apart. The area gets sun/part shade. I'm looking for plants that will help to hide these lids yet still allow for access to them. Any ideas would be appreciated. I've had good success with your plants

Answer from NGA
October 13, 2002


Unfortunately, it's not a good idea to plant anything but lawn over any part of a septic field. Septic fields are designed to provide good drainage off the site; anything you do to change this can cause troubles. Also, septic systems do need periodic maintenance, and you don't want to build anything that will get in the way of this.

At the absolute very most, you might plant some shallow-rooted annual flowers around the edges of the lids--but I would check with a local expert (preferably the company that installed the septic system) before doing even that. Especially don't plant any trees or shrubs which have roots that can invade the pipes and cause the system to fail. It's very expensive to remedy this.

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