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Garden Location

We have an old septic leaching field on the south side of our new house. The house has been hooked up to municipal sewers and the leaching field has been decommissioned.

Most information I have found on line advises against growing vegetables over a leaching field for various reasons ( all of them reasonable and common sense) however I cannot find information or recommendations for planting over a decommissioned leach field?

I understand the leaching tile , in our area of the country, is generally 2 to 3 feet below the surface to protect from freezing. Do we need to worry about contamination if the field is no longer in use? If not, can we plant on surface or would it be better to build raised beds to better accommodate root vegetables?

Any advise and or guidance would be greatly appreciated!


New Home Owner


  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,081

    There's no particular reason it would be a problem, unless the soil is waterlogged from long years of soaking and silt building up, and assuming the septic tank has only been for the disposal of human waste (as opposed to other slurry which could have some more chemical content). I'd wear gloves for the first couple of years after the tank has been put out of use, and wash the veg, but it's direct ingestion of the soil itself you want to avoid. The veg will be fine.

    Gardening on the edge of Exmoor, in Devon

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
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