Can You Do Landscaping Near A Septic Drain Field?

Your septic system is an important part of your home. You do not want to do anything to put it at risk. Your landscaping, if not handled carefully can damage your septic system and cause your life to come to a standstill. The resulting repairs can also be quite costly.

This does not mean that you can't do landscaping on or around your drain field. It only means you have to exercise caution.

This article shows you what to do and what not do around your septic drain field.


  • Do not plant trees or shrubs on your septic drain field. This is because the roots can damage the system. Secondly, your drain field works best when dry and well drained. Trees and shrubs will cast a shade over the area and hinder evaporation.
  • Do not plant vegetables or edible herbs on your drain field. These may get contaminated with harmful bacteria and may, in turn, make you sick.
  • Do not irrigate your field as this may leave excess water on the field.
  • Exercise care when digging the area. If you do, keep it shallow to avoid damaging pipes that may be close to the surface.
  • Do not add soil to the drain field unless you are replacing lost soil. This should be kept to a minimum.


Plants around the drain field are actually desirable as they help to drain the field of excess moisture.

  • You may grow plants with shallow roots and those that don't require irrigation. These include ornamental grasses, Kentucky bluegrass, creeping Charlie, jewelweed, herbaceous plants and bulbs. Also grow plants that do not need much maintenance.
  • If you must plant trees and shrubs in your yard, keep them as far away from the drain field as possible. The distance should be at least one to three times the height of the tree.
  • The trees should also have shallow roots. Dogwood trees, Japanese maple tree, Azalea shrubs and Holly Shrubs are a few examples of trees that will not damage your septic drain field.
  • Always wear gloves when gardening around the drain field to avoid bacterial infections

So, can you do landscaping around your drain field? The answer is yes but you have to choose your plants carefully. Avoid trees, especially those with deep roots, choose plants with shallow roots and avoid excessive watering.

If you have any further questions about your septic system. Contact your local septic services like Linn Septic Services.