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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Vegetable growing, fruit and allotments in Ireland

Siting of Veg Plot, septic tank risk?


 
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Macy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Siting of Veg Plot, septic tank risk? Reply with quote

I've a quandry where to site my prospective veg plot... On the face of it, my initial spot is ideal, south facing but relatively sheltered, however, it is beside my neighbours (in laws) septic tank. The percolation area is the other side of the tank, but the area is prone to getting water logged (like in recent days for example). I'd planned 6 inch raised beds anyway, but I'm kinda wondering is it too close now, assuming that ecoli and other bugs could presumable move from soil to veg?

The alternative is a much more exposed spot, at least until my own hedges and trees get up out of the ground significantly. In fact I'd say it's very exposed. The soil intially wouldn't be as good, as there's a fair bit of sub soil mixed in too. It would be dryer though.

I suppose I'm really thinking aloud, as I can build fences, grow hedges and improve the soil, but I can't really avoid the threat of soil bourne bugs. Or is there even a real risk from the septic tank or am I being my usual over cautious self?

And if there is a risk for soil growing veg, is there a similar risk from soft and top fruit? Long term I was planning a seperate fruit area, but would apples and soft fruit like raspberries be running the same risk, or is it only for food actually in the ground?
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wedgetomb
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is my no means a scientific reply, but my veg plot and tunnel are between the septic tank and manhole, I don't think there is any real risk, as the pipes should be closed, if you are worried, then maybe it is an idea to empty the septic tank when half ful and not let it go tothe brim,
Mky septic tank is 3 yards from the veg plot, on a slope down
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BlackBird
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The search brought up some other posts on gardening and septic sytems here http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=308
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Macy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'd seen the other thread but thought people might have more specific advice for veg.

Wedgetomb, I think now the doubt and potential risks are in our heads we won't chance, especially with a soon to be weaning child. So more fence building to follow my bed building to try and get some protection, followed by more hedge planting. Thinking about it would be more convenient for water and electric if I go that route, although the exposed nature confirms the upgrade of the proposed greenhouse!

I'll have to research whether the area beside the septic tank will do for a small orchard or a big fruit cage in the future. I guess that all the new east facing fencing will do for currants, would raspberries do okay on the west facing side?
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Macy wrote:


I'll have to research whether the area beside the septic tank will do for a small orchard or a big fruit cage in the future. I guess that all the new east facing fencing will do for currants, would raspberries do okay on the west facing side?


West facing should be grand for your raspberries Macy.
On the issue of the septic tank and fruit here's what I believe....
If you plant next or near a septic tank percolation field then the farther the crop is from the ground the safer it is.
So carrots very bad, lettuce bad, apples better, as you have less chance of surfaced ground water splashing on the food.
Wash everything well, and try to pick the fruit instead of letting it fall to ground.

Be aware that is not just bacteria that we have to worry about, especially if lots of cleaners and detergents are entering the septic system. Also be aware that your soil type will affect the way water travels through your soil, sandy soil will cause much more rapid movement of water vs sticky soil. I reckon the real problems can occur if your septic system malfunctions and releases water too rapidly.

For safety with fruit near septic tanks, I suggest you create raised beds and plant into them.

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Macy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I guess I'll come up with some non-edible option for that bit of land to be on the safe side. Plenty of time to be making plans, as they're won't be any digging done or beds made with the ground as wet as it is at the moment anyway. Crying or Very sad
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danmac
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I started trying to develop a garden at home, I was also wary of planting anything edible near our percolation area, so I just planted roses and a few other ornamental plants on that patch. They seem to be doing ok so far, but I still wouldn't risk fruit and veg.
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