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Planting do’s and dont's on and around your septic tank…

Septic tanks can be costly to install but they are a necessity for homeowners who are not on mains drains! Taking more of an interest in how you landscape on and around the septic tank can help avoid damage, costly repairs and the inconvenience a non-working tank can bring.

You don’t have to have a bare patch of grass above a septic tank or soakaway and its actually beneficial to plant the right vegetation here to prevent erosion and to soak up excess moisture from the drain field.


1. Make sure you select plants that have shallow roots. Here is a list of some of our favourites;

Bee balm


Wild Violets

Fox glove

Oriental poppy


2. Try to direct all surface drainage away from the septic system making sure the area is never too waterlogged.

3. Make sure you mark the area around your access hatch to allow for accessibility.

4. Create a walk away around the system and try to make sure that it is not a heavy footfall area.

5. Clear the area of all items such as swings, seating, trampolines and sheds etc…


1. Plant vegetables and fruit around the septic tank and soakaway area! Whilst they may bloom well, eating them may entail ingesting harmful bacteria.

2. Planting long rooted plants can cause root damage to the pipes and tank. Avoid plants like;

Birch trees

Beech trees

Weeping willow


3. Carrying out lots of gardening on top of where the soakaway and tank are can damage them - the less work and gardening you do around these areas the better.

4. Whilst adding extras such as mulching, barks and plastic sheets might be tempting to make the area look nice, these will fill and block the drain field which can lead to flooding.

5. Water the plants around this area more than you need to!

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