No More Stinky Septic Problems

About Me

No More Stinky Septic Problems

When I moved into my new house, I assumed that the residence used a city sewage system like the four houses I lived in previously. The homeowner did not tell me about the septic tank and I did not think to ask. Not only was I not informed of the septic system, but I was not told that the tank had not been cleaned in six years. I started to smell a foul odor from my toilet soon after I moved in and there seemed to be a disgusting discharge building on my lawn. I knew that I had a serious problem when raw sewage started to come back up through my toilet. After an investigation by a plumber and an emergency septic service call, my septic tank was emptied and repaired. I now know that septic care is extremely important and I want you to know this too.


How To Keep Your Home's Septic System Breathing And Flowing Well

If you are building an off-grid home that will use a septic system to dispose of gray water, then you need to know that the system needs to breathe to stay healthy. While this may seem strange, in reality, it is vital that your leach lines and leach field have access to the ambient air via the soil above them. The microbes that process the solid matter in your household's wastewater need oxygen to live and reproduce. If the leach lines and leach field areas are covered with a solid-state surface or soil that is too thick, then the microbes cannot breathe and your septic system will slowly fail.

To ensure that your home's septic system is able to properly breathe and stay healthy, follow these guidelines:

Don't Add Layers of Soil or Gravel on Top of Your Septic System

When your septic system's leach lines and leach field were originally installed, they were buried under the ground at a very specific depth. For example, they were buried down below the frost line for your area so they won't be damaged by seasonal freezing. The leach field and leach lines were also installed close enough to the surface for oxygen to move through the soil and come into contact with their digesting microbes. Since the microbes need access to ambient air to properly work, you should not put any of these things on top of your septic system's parts:

  • extra layers of soil
  • gravel
  • concrete
  • asphalt

Instead of blocking the oxygen flow on top of the septic system, instead, you should cover it with more appropriate materials.

Cover Your Septic System's Leach Field with Appropriate Landscaping Materials

There are many different plants and landscaping options that you can safely install over the top of your septic system's parts, including:

  • herbaceous plants
  • turf grass
  • moss
  • flower bulbs

In addition to the plants listed above, you can also place a thin layer of natural bark over the septic system as long as you do so without installing plastic sheeting underneath it. 

Don't Dig Too Much on Top of the Septic System's Leach Field

Finally, when you are landscaping near your off-grid home's new septic system, make sure that you do not dig too much in the soil that covers it. The soil depth is specific and if you remove too much soil then your leach lines or leach field can freeze during the cold winter months. Additionally, if you dig down too far, you can break a leach line with your shovel. Get more information at