Landscaping Around Your Septic System: Do’s and Don’ts


As a homeowner, you may find yourself looking for ways to enhance your property and curb appeal, creating your ideal outdoor space and garden. Maintaining your yard with a septic system can be achieved with a little compromise. While much of your septic system remains hidden underground, visible components like manhole covers and vent pipes can be unsightly. 

Here’s a guide to enhancing your yard’s aesthetics and functionality without compromising your septic system’s integrity or requiring septic services. 

Do’s for Landscaping Around Your Septic System

Plant Grass and Native Vegetation

Grass and native plants are excellent for covering and protecting your drain field. They help control moisture, prevent erosion, and provide a natural layer of protection for your septic system.

Use Shallow-Rooted Plants

If you’re adding plants, choose those with shallow roots to avoid disturbing the septic system. Ornamental grasses and shallow-rooted flowers are ideal. Trees and large shrubs should be planted at least 20 feet away from the septic system to prevent their roots from infiltrating and damaging the system.

Direct Water Away from the System

Ensure that excess water from draining pools or bird baths is directed away from your septic system. Using drip irrigation systems can help deliver water slowly and efficiently to plant roots without over-saturating the soil.

Disguise Visible Components

You can creatively mask septic covers and vent pipes with lightweight, removable items like faux rocks, planters, or ornamental vent covers. These methods allow easy access when you need septic services while enhancing the landscape.

Mark Access Points

Marking the location of your septic system’s access hatch with a potted plant or lawn ornament makes it easier to locate when maintenance is required.

Don’ts for Landscaping Around Your Septic System

Avoid Heavy Objects and Structures

Do not place heavy items such as gravel, stone walkways, decks, or sheds over the drain field. The weight can cause soil compaction, damage the system, and hinder access for maintenance.

Don’t Plant Water-Loving Trees or Shrubs

Avoid planting trees and shrubs known for aggressive root systems, such as willow, birch, and bamboo. These plants can invade the septic system, leading to costly repairs. Keep trees at least 50 feet away from the system.

Refrain from Planting Vegetable Gardens Over the Drain Field

Growing vegetables over the septic system is not advisable due to the risk of contamination from bacteria in the wastewater. Instead, opt for native plants and grasses that require minimal watering and maintenance.

Don’t Bury Septic Tank Lids

Never bury the septic tank lid, as it needs to be accessible for service. Burying it can lead to water infiltration and system overflow, causing severe problems.

Avoid Creating High-Foot Traffic Areas

High foot traffic can compact the soil, affecting the septic system’s efficiency. Keep pathways and heavy foot traffic away from the drain field area.

Keep Your Septic System Running Smoothly Year-Round with Canadian Sanitation

Maintain the health of your septic system with year-round services from Canadian Sanitation. Our comprehensive septic services include freeze relief and thawing, mechanical repair, alarm installation, and more. By understanding how your septic system works and implementing routine inspections, repairs, and maintenance, you can avoid costly replacements and common problems.

At Canadian Sanitation, we provide professional on-site assessments and no-obligation consultations, offering you an estimated quote for necessary services without trying to sell you anything you don’t need. Whether you need emergency septic services, septic alarms, pumping, inspections, installations, or repairs, our highly trained technicians are available 24/7 for any septic system issues. 

Schedule your septic services today. Contact us for a free estimate and let our experts ensure your septic system remains in optimal condition all year round.