Landscaping around a septic mound

kellynoelleMay 8, 2006

I'm purchasing a new house at the end of May and it comes with a septic mound in the backyard - this is totally new to me. The mound takes up over half of the backyard, and the back and side slopes of the mound meet the property line. I'm installing a 6 ft. fence around the property. I'm trying to figure out what I can plant at the bottom/end of the side and back slopes of the mound up against the fence. I don't think mowing the sides of the mound is going to be easy due to the fence, and i'd like to make it blend in. Can I plant ornamental grass or evergreen trees (like green giants) for privacy or is that not a good idea due to the mound? I was told not to plant bamboo or trees that have spreading root systems (like maple trees or willows). Is it acceptable/advisable to put a retaining wall along one side of of the mound and backfill with dirt? Are any plants/trees/shrubs a good idea or bad idea to plant around/near the septic mound? Can anything be planted on the mound such as hostas or other low root system plants? I've read/heard that you shouldn't plant food items on the mound, how far away should I plant a vegetable and herb garden?

Any advice or help with septic mounds and landscaping would be greatly appreciated!


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I would suggest that you call the engineer who designed the septic system because there are so many different ways of designing them.

In my area, these are usually a result of high ground water and our state regulations require more than 5' of vertical separation from the bottom of the leaching part of the septic system. Obviously, the top of the system is higher above that and needs to have a minimal amount of cover over it. The other thing is that there is a minimum distance of side covering to prevent the waste water from oozing out the sides. The good news is that it means that a significant part of that mound is not actually the system itself and is not vulnerable to those roots in that area. I don't know that your system is anything like the one I described.

You should contact the engineer who designed the system. Engineers who do this work generally are helpful and willing to answer some quick questions in regards to these matters on systems that they designed. I expect that you will find the engineer willing to take a minute or two to answer some questions. He won't want to hold your hand through a lot of details because their time is valuable, but typically won't mind a few.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 6:59PM
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