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Keeping trees away from your septic system

Trees provide a whole swath of benefits for homeowners. They’re aesthetically pleasing and add value to a home. They reduce runoff and damage done by storms. They provide homes for wildlife and help reduce energy costs. Trees are great.

But they also shouldn’t ever be kept anywhere near your septic system.

Tree roots can invade spaces, cause damage and generally wreak havoc on your septic system if you let them. Septic systems can do the same in return to your trees. Simply put, they don’t get along and aren’t good for each other- so it’s probably best that they’re kept apart.

Here are some tips to help you manage trees and septic tanks – and how to avoid big problems.

Know your system– It’s important to have some sort of diagram of your system so you can properly do work. In addition, it’s important to keep a record of all the service work that’s been done on your tank. Keeping these records is important because it’ll give any maintenance professional the information they need to make broader decisions.

Don’t plant in and around the area of your tank – At the end of the day, grass is still the best cover possible for your septic tank. But don’t put flowers and other plants in the area. In all honesty, this isn’t as much because they’re a threat to the tank as much as the tank is a threat to them. And furthermore, in the event you have to do maintenance, those plants could be destroyed.

If you’re going to plant, go with slow-grow – If you’re going to plant a tree or shrub, take the time to learn about its root system. Slow-growing trees generally have root systems that are less destructive. In that vein, it’s important even with that in mind – to plant trees at least 30 feet away from water and sewer lines. If you do plant something within that radius, opt for non-woody perennials, wild flowers and other ornamental grasses so the plants don’t invade a septic system’s piping.

Inspect your system once a year – Recognize a theme in our posts yet? It’s because ongoing maintenance is important! Even the best, most well maintained systems WILL need maintenance. But the key is to stay ahead of problems and catch them early. Maintaining septic systems isn’t something that’s all that expensive, so long as you don’t let it get that way. Same goes for trees – get them pruned. Invite an arborist over to inspect your property. Do things the right way and you can save a ton of money in the long run.

Our professionals are always available to help you with your septic system. Call us today!