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Swales Near Septic Leach Field?  RSS feed

 
Brandon Greer
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Location: 1 Hour Northeast Of Dallas
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I'm curious how far should a swale be from a septic leach field or does it matter?
 
John Elliott
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What is the swale for? If it is a water catchment for fruit or nut trees, I wouldn't think there would be any problem. What you don't want is to put a swale downhill of the leach field and then use it to make a hugelkultur of root vegetables.
 
Brandon Greer
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John Elliott wrote:What is the swale for? If it is a water catchment for fruit or nut trees, I wouldn't think there would be any problem. What you don't want is to put a swale downhill of the leach field and then use it to make a hugelkultur of root vegetables.


Well, I'm still in the planning mode, but for sure the main focus will be on fruit and nut trees. But I think in between the trees (based on things I've read) should be some other plants. My main focus now is simply to control the water on my land because we get good annual rain but have prolonged periods with no rain.
 
Mike Leo
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How deep is your leach field, how deep is your surface water, and do you live in a place where you are allowed to install a new septic system by virtue of the old one being there?

If you saturate your leach field so that it cannot drain it will "fail" for purposes of how they test such things.
If underground surface water table is 20' down you'd probably be ok in almost any circumstances. If your property barely passed a perc test to get the original system installed the last thing you want to do is turn your leach field into a saturated soil mass, unless you want to find out how difficult the local authorities make septic replacements or the permitting of outhouses/composting toilets.
 
Brandon Greer
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Mike Leo wrote:How deep is your leach field, how deep is your surface water, and do you live in a place where you are allowed to install a new septic system by virtue of the old one being there?

If you saturate your leach field so that it cannot drain it will "fail" for purposes of how they test such things.
If underground surface water table is 20' down you'd probably be ok in almost any circumstances. If your property barely passed a perc test to get the original system installed the last thing you want to do is turn your leach field into a saturated soil mass, unless you want to find out how difficult the local authorities make septic replacements or the permitting of outhouses/composting toilets.


After speaking with a septic company guy, he told me that my leach field would have to be huge due to my clay soil. That will eat up very valuable real estate that I planned to use for gardening. I'm seriously considering a composting toilet.
 
Mike Leo
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Just make sure you double check what code and "the department" requires for that before you get too tied up in that idea. Sometimes it's easier to go conventional than fight against the warriors of code enforcement.

If you're really interested in the feasibility of septic on the property find a contractor who will give you a good price to do a percolation test. Sometimes it is true that the whole county has the same clay soil sometimes that's not the case.
 
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