What can I plant on or near the septic system?

Establishing a vegetative cover, such as native grasses, is beneficial to the proper function of your septic system and critical for mound systems. Plants with good root systems can stabilize the soil to prevent erosion, loosen the soil to allow air movement, and even draw water. While trees and some shrubs can remove a significant amount of water from the area, their roots can occlude sewer lines, damage septic tanks, and invade distribution lines. Aggressive water-loving trees such as poplar, willow and maple should be avoided near the soil absorption field. Most trees root systems are about the same size as the leaf canopy at maturity. A good rule of thumb is to plant trees at least this distance away. Even if you plant non-aggressive types, the potential for damage to the system exists. Before planting trees or shrubs, consult with a tree nursery professional or Purdue Cooperative Extension agent. 

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1. Does the area for the septic system really need to be protected from construction traffic before constructing my house and after installation?
2. What can I plant on or near the septic system?
3. What does a typical septic system look like, and how long does it last?
4. Do those septic tank additives work?
5. How often should my tank be pumped, and what about effluent filters?
6. What steps can I take to reduce water use in my home and around my property, and why is it important?
7. How can I get information about my septic system?
8. What signs tell me my septic system may be headed for replacement?
9. What do I do if my system goes into failure?
10. My system has worked for many years. Why can’t I just replace it with what I have?
11. Can I put in my own septic system? I ran a backhoe once and my buddy has one he says I can use.
12. How do I properly abandon my septic tank or system?