It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Can I grow a vegetable garden over my septic tank?

page: 1
<<   2  3 >>

log in


posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 09:39 AM
I don't want to gross anyone out here. Normally I have a space in the back where I plant but under survival circumstances water would be a real issue for us. We have a large water storage capacity but in survival mode we would not want to use too much of this to water a garden.

Right now I save as much household water as I can to water my garden, we save rain water and we don't waste a drop. We are the only people who have used our septic tank we are healthy people, no hepatitis etc. that being said would it be advisable to grow a vegetable garden over the septic tank/leach field?

The only reason I ask is that is the one spot on our property that my husband has to mow. The grass grows so green thick and lush with no help from us and little rain. I have been so envious of that spot but have been afraid to grow there.

I would appreciate your thoughts and comments.

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 09:44 AM
reply to post by Morningglory

I would say of course you can. In fact, the condition of your grass is a very good indication that it's a recommendable idea.

Ever heard of humanure? (also see wiki here)


posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 09:45 AM
We plant our garden over the leach field, not the issue, free nutrients.........Your Grass is Green and healty for a reason....

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 10:38 AM
Thanks for your helpful response. Actually it is the leach field that is so green. We are thinking about extending our growing season and the septic tank itself is the first place that thaws in the winter. If we could incorporate this area within a fall/winter/early spring green house it could provide heat and greatly extend our growing season. I just wanted to be sure it was safe for foods to be grown around a human waste system. We would have appropriate ventilation.

Thanks again you've given me food for thought.

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 11:19 AM
Nature wastes nothing. The things you think of as 'gross' are food for any plant in the area. Your grass is always lusher and greener over the septic lines (lecch field is the term that's been being used here) because you have been helping it out, every time you flush.

When mankind creates a waste recycling center, it stinks and we will go to great lengths to avoid it. When nature builds the same thing, we flock there in groves and call it a 'beach'.


posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 12:20 PM
My grandfather grew a black berry thicket over his leach field and it did great. We always had plenty of fresh fruit and homemade jam. The berries did great and there never seemed to be any harm to any of us. I wouldn't hesitate to plant there again myself.

posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 12:19 AM
Thanks again I don't know where I heard it was not a good idea to plant there. It's a good sized area and gets full sun I think it'll be perfect for what we need.

posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 12:51 AM
We grow ours over the leach field never have to add any nutrients at all
and the stuff grows and grows night and day difference between the stuff grown over the leach field and those that aren't much healthier..

posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 02:00 AM
Whats happening to the E- coli, Cryptosporidium, CycloSpora and other bacteria from the septic?

Going straight into the plants roots?

What about hair dye and detergents? Bleach, pharmaceuticals?

Are the plants NOT eating those chemicals?

I just had this discussion Monday, and we decided NOT to plant anywhere near the septic system.

Worth investigating the DATA on uptake of bacteria and chemicals into root systems.

Radionucleotides will be taken up into root systems , into plant fruit and veggies as well.

Best Regards,


World Health Organization Guidelinbes for the safe use of wastewater,excreta and greywater

Volume 4
Excreta and greywater use in agriculture

Table 3.1 Examples of different epidemiological data for selected pathoqens
Pathogen Ineidence Under- ID56
(per 100 000 reporting
Morbidity Excretion Duration
('/") (pergram [days)
Hepatitis A v;rus

The main hazards of greywater originate from faecal cross-contamination (section
3.2.2). Faecal conlamination is limited and related to activities such as washing
faecally contaminated laundry (i.e. diapers), child care, anal cleansing and showering.
Faecal contamination is measured haditionally by the use of common indicator
organisms, such as colifbrms and enterococci. This method has also been applied for
assessing faecal contamination of greywater [Table 3.4).
[edit on 25-6-2008 by Blitzkreigen]

[edit on 25-6-2008 by Blitzkreigen]

posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 02:04 AM
I once had some wonderful blackberries growing over a lateral line, my grandpa came out and dozed them down, he said it was unhealthy...

Best to get a soil test kit and dig a couple of feet down before you plant.

Hope it works out for you, let us know.

posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 03:59 AM
Here in the uk i grow lots of comfrey on the leach field thats cut twice a year and then its used as a mulch which is very high in nutrients and keeps the drier parts of the garden moist.Hope that helps

posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 07:17 AM
reply to post by Morningglory

Where a septic tank is used properly, ie; only used to store and process things we have eaten and drunk then the anerobic (air less) process of de-composition within the tank transforms most of the contents into methane, hydrogen sulphides, ammonia and carbon dioxide. The remaining solids stay within the tank.

The problem comes from the other things that find there way into the tank from washing clothes and vegetables and other things, some ot these solids stay in the tank, some are held in suspension and move into the drain field.

The waste liquid from the things that are supposed to be there, is removed by the bacteria which live in the top ten feet of the soil. As the effluent moves through the soil, the temperature and chemical characteristics of the wastewater change and create an unfavorable habitat for most bacteria and viruses. Therefore, as the septic tank effluent moves through the soil, organic material and microorganisms are removed. The dissolved organic material in the effluent completes an aerobic process that removes the final contaminates within the dry soil surrounding the drain field and the water as it then is makes its way through the ground into the ground water aquifer.

This is how it is supposed to work in ideal conditions, however, if the ground is wet, the process doesn't happen. If the ground is sandy the process doesn't happen as the liquid moves through too quickly. If the soil is too shallow it doesn't work.

I would recommend that the chance of disaster is too great to take the risk.

A drain field that is lush and green is not deep enough, it is not working properly, it probably is required to cope with more waste than it was designed for.

posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 07:43 AM
If i recall correctly, the USA used to advise world travelers to not eat the local vegetables in the third world, (like china),
because they used human waste as fertilizer....which made the lettuce & cabbages grow large but carried lots of disease since it was not composted.

another thing to consider is that the field lines (leech lines) that disburse the septic overflow over a wide area are buried about +24 inches down
and lying on top of some 6 inches ofsand which further sends the effluence even deeper.... far lower than most shallow root vegetables have their root systems.

private wells that provide drinking water are required to be no closer than 100 ft from any part of the septic system including the tank or the field & leech lines. so that should give you an indication of the safety in such intensive gardening.

i also recall reading something about the Mexican lettuce recalls, because of deadly bacteria contamination, caused by the field hands not having access to porta-potties down there.
now this is another example of raw sewage as opposed to bacteria treated septic tank sewage...but is worth keeping in mind.

see ya

posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 12:50 AM
Thanks for all the info. I think it was a local that told me not to plant near the septic tank/leech field. It's not that our system is overused our ground here doesn't percolate well. With produce contamination being on the rise I do not want to run that risk. That shoots that idea. Thanks again for the heads up it's most appreciated.

posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 12:58 AM
My family has cattle and in their pens and chutes, wher th cattle spend alot of time there's excess maure. We grind it up with a normal roto-tiller then replace expensive toxic fertilizer, It can a direct replacement in the field. With the unreasonable diesel prices my uncle has rotated his cattle onto future rice field where he also spreads excess manurefrom the pens and barns, this negates the need for aircraft induced direct crop fertilization. It takse him extra work or elbow grease, spraing is much easier.

Back to my mother-in-law when she first started to experiment with this procedure she burned her entire garden from the potency of it. That's how strong the stuff really is, miracle grow has done this to me many times, it was a shock to see a natural fertilizer that strong.

posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 01:31 AM
I've been told chicken manure can burn plants if your not careful. I really like using earthworm castings. They have done wonders for my soil. It's rather dry here so there's not too many earth worms. I've heard good things about bat guano but haven't tried that one. I don't use cow manure anymore so I'm trying different things. I will stay away from human though.

posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 11:05 AM
Somewhere down the line, we have forgotten the basics of nature, instead opting to overanalyze chemical reactions we do not comprehend fully.

I saw a deer s### in our hayfield the other night. That's raw, untreated sewage! Now it will be in the hay,. which gets fed to the cattle... oh, my God! The cows will be full of untreated sewage! Those cows will be sold as meat and I will be eating... deer s###!

Come on... get real. You ever eat catfish? Do you have any idea what catfish are? They are the septic system for whatever body of water they are in. You could catch a catfish with a turd if you could get it to stay on the hook. They eat the crap that settles to the bottom! And they are deeeeee-licious!

People pay good money at the department store around here for fertilizer and potting soils that are in reality nothing more than dried up, ground-up cow droppings. Then they scream when a dog pees on their flower.

I'm sorry, folks, waste is called F E R T I L I Z E R out here. There is no E.Coli bacteria swimming around in the ground, sneaking into a root, climbing the stalk, and sitting there waiting inside that juicy tomato for you, all the while laughing evilly. mwa-ha-ha! The E.Coli and other bacteria die and are broken down by the soil into their individual pieces, which then get sucked up by the roots and turned into food. It's not like a jigsaw puzzle or a lego set; a human, a plant, or an animal is not just a building made of little chunks of the things they eat. Food is broken down into chemical components, no longer alive, before it can be used.

The dangers come from E.Coli and other bacteria/viruses getting into your digestive tract alive. Wash your hands before you pick the lettuce, then wash the lettuce. You'll be fine. If you're wiping your butt with one hand and and picking with the other, rotating every ten minutes, then you deserve to get sick, just so the evolutionists can be happy. That's where the dangerous stuff comes from, not from plants growing in 'contaminated' soil.

As for chicken waste 'burning' plants, yes it can. It's too potent when fresh. The best thing to do is to put your chicken waste on your garden in the fall, after the harvest, and let it leech into the soil all winter. then when you till it, you give things a final mix and the plants come out healthy and happy and very well-fed. One chicken dropping, ten chicken dropping, heck 100 chicken droppings will just fertilize, but when you put a few hundred pounds of the stuff... well, you just overconcentrated. That's different from poisoning.

But then again, what do I know? I have only been around farming for a half-century, and this area has only been being farmed by my ancestors since the mid 19th century.

I know some of you are young, and you have these ideas on how to make things safer and better, but... take a look at what has been known and successfully used for the last couple of centuries, then figure out how to make it better. Don't listen to those idiots on the 6 O'clock news; they're just there for the paycheck. [/rant]


posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 11:43 AM
I have a flower bed over our leach field currently because it's in the front lawn. hehe

But sadly, it's the most horrid place here to grow things because before we moved in, a whole new system was installed and now the ground is loaded with rocks, rock and more rocks. So right now all I have in there are some geraniums, Echinacea and other related plants. And everything that's in there now is growing so well and I rarely, if ever, need to water. Then again it's been raining every other day for the past two weeks.

Well I would recommend that if you want to grow edible crops in the area, prepare the soil and grow something that grows really fast like baby lettuce or radish. Then take some mature produce to a lab and have it tested for the yucky stuff. If it's safe, then go for it.

If your household is free of most harmful chemicals, prescriptions and contagious diseases, I don't see the harm in it. Don't listen to people that react without no facts. Like in my area, people would say, "cant grow tomatoes here, they get tough skins." I proved them wrong.

posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 11:58 AM

Originally posted by Morningglory
I've been told chicken manure can burn plants if your not careful. I really like using earthworm castings. They have done wonders for my soil. It's rather dry here so there's not too many earth worms. I've heard good things about bat guano but haven't tried that one. I don't use cow manure anymore so I'm trying different things. I will stay away from human though.

Any nutrients in high level are not that great for plants. Just ask my lawn. lol Two retrievers peeing on it has created a few bare spots.

Fertilizers applied in moderation is good for plants. Just don't overdo it. Too much nitrogen on fruit-bearing plants will make them produce more leaves than fruit, like tomatoes.

You can buy earthworm casings from many places and personally I prefer that over chicken poo.

Make your own compost bin! Can't get any better than that really. The vegetable waste you put in there will replenish what was removed from the soil by the plants you grew. I have a couple of videos on my YouTube account from TV shows talking about home composting. There are also a couple on Kitchen Gardener's International.

Human composting can be just as good from what I hear. Some people out there have composting toilets installed in their house. After it sits out a while and "cooks" properly inside the pile at high temperatures, it "should" kill any nasties. But perhaps I need to do more reading on that. I'm not an expert.

Here are a couple of links for the composting videos

Kitchen Gardener's International Videos

posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 12:06 PM
An interesting point you make is that you've thrived for 50+ years by changing little from the ways & technologies of the 19th century,
when your forefathers began the farm.
Perhaps your family has developed an acquired resistance to less than optimal conditions involving your gardens and crops & sewage/protofertilizer....
its not uncommon to build up a immunity by ingesting minute ammounts of toxins... i've heard tales of becoming tolerent of rattlesnake venom, or even poisonous chemicals that can kill a normal person.

being a nature lover or amateur naturalist does not make the random deer droppings a safe source of natural fertilizer... a concentrated dose of those paticular stalks that are continually put under that waste stress might just have consequences that were never recognized as the cause.
...we might casually pass the malady off as just another 24 hour bug.
when in fact there was soil contamination that was hidde or overlooked.


new topics

top topics

<<   2  3 >>

log in