Re: Planting Trees Near Septic Tank & Drain Field
IF (and that's a big if) the septic tank and interconnecting lines are properly sealed and leak free you should be able to plant trees near them -- with limits. As a general rule of thumb the root zone of a tree roughly matches the canopy, though some species have larger root zones than canopies. So if a tree has a 20' diameter canopy it will also have a 20' diameter root zone. If the root zone encroaches into the area of the septic tank the roots can damage the tank even if it's not leaking; though smaller roots are less likely to cause damage than larger roots. In most cases the pipes will be OK but if the root is large enough it can damage a pipe, too. It's the same reasons not to plant large trees close to the house: the roots can damage the foundation.
So your homework is to find out how big the tree will be at maturity and, more specifically, how large its root zone will be. If the tank and pipes are at the fringes of the root zone you will probably be OK.
Under no circumstances should you plant a tree whose roots can encroach into the leach field. Once they reach that nice, fertile water, they will grow cancerous-like to plug up the leach field.
Last edited by Fencepost; 04-18-2014 at 12:46 PM.
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.