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QUESTION: A Vegetable Garden near a Septic Leach Field

comments (0) February 3rd, 2010

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Bob_Scherer Bob_Scherer, member
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Click To Enlarge Photo: Ruth Dobsevage

There is a flat area that can be converted from a weedy lawn into a raised garden area. This area is adjacent to a new septic mound which is part of a replacement system. This new system had to have a raised mound with buried concrete chambers as the leach field, due to the impermeable sub-soil.

The effluent from the septic tank is pumped uphill into these concrete chambers and dispersed horizontally over the top of the mound. It then filters through the mound which is mostly sand. The bottom of the mound slopes toward the area that I am considering for the vegetable garden. The amount of toxic effluent and the level of toxicity that would reach the vegetables is unknown.

I'm thinking that I could make a raised bed that would preclude the need for roots to enter the existing soil level. I don't know how high I should make these beds. I'm also wondering if I should use an impermeable plastic cloth barrier on the ground below the beds.


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