We are about to go to contract on our new farmette, and it has many great features, and a feature which maybe isn't so great.
The five acre meadow faces east and south and would make a lovely spot for the vegetable gardens.
But in the northwest corner is the septic mound system, which lies above the lovely garden spot, and thus seemingly drains directly into that lovely meadow.
I don't know enough about mound systems to know if that is safe or not to plant food near, what would boundaries be for that?
What say you about growing food under a mound system?
What you put into your septic tank comes out somewhere downhill. So if you are putting in poop, pea and paper, then the garden plants know how to use those and will love you for it. If you are dumping heavy metals, and cleaners, and herbicides, or other assorted wastes, then you will be eating them eventually. To me, one of the first rules of healthy living is to not poison myself, so I don't use soaps, shampoos, deodorants, detergents, shaving creams, or similar products. Because I am not using them, they are not going down the drain.
There have been cases of people contracting hepatitis from food grown in China, where humanure is the norm in agriculture. I think the suspicion is that the already grown food came into contact with the humanure directly rather than the hepatitis being absorbed thru the roots. Can human diseases get from humanure into plants via the roots? I guess not but someone must have studied this scientifically?
The only article I was able to find relating to transmission of human disease through plant roots was this article about transmission of the prions of Chronic Wasting Disease through plants. CWD has not been identified in humans, but other prion diseases might transmit this way, though fortunately they are very rare.
Every case of disease transfer I have seen has been direct contact, either irrigation but usually processing.
Joseph pretty much nailed it, if you aren't putting poison in the system you have very little to worry about. And even if you are, the safe setback distance isn't that far. When I built my house, you could put lateral lines as close as 25 feet to a body of water.
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Similarly, I have a concern about doing humanure composting (I live in an urban area) when so many people in our culture are dependent on big pharma prescriptions and I don't know what their bodily systems might be putting out and what plants might take up. Does anyone have resources about this? Sometimes I think I will put a sign on the door of the outhouse (when I get around to building it) that explains who shouldn't use it, who should just use the city sewage system. Hopefully, the sign won't be TLTR
To Susan Vita... here in Ohio, a mound of whatever size and variation has the effluent filtering through the sand into the soil and down. That processing area is called the basal area directly below the heap,
Around that processing area's soil, is a 1ft wide buffer of undisturbed soil that is there to isolate the process from the surrounding topsoil, at least as deep as the freeze zone.
Further that buffer zone is surrounded by the curtain drain (freeze zone deep) which is there to clear out any ground water that rises up from the nether regions near the mound... which drain then clears out that ground water and anything else that had gone 1) through the sand then 2) through the soil down to the depth of the curtain drain and then 3) was carried upward into the pipe in the drain by rising clean ground water...
That path should be well more than any cleaning needed... the mound designers engage in so much overkill that it's amazing they don't have financial nightmares, facing the risks of foreclosures and mortgage increases of their clients in their sleep.....
So there's quite a significant gauntlet built in to separate your processing area from the surrounding topsoil contacted by humans..... assuming the installers did everything hoyle.....
All that because the fools put solid waste into a liquid waste system...... oy.....ttyl
To Susan Hessel... actually, the humanure composting is more effective at decomposing pharmaceuticals than what they do with city sewage as far as pharmaceuticals... at least for the few tests that I read about so far....
Granted visitors to your safe haven should be so informed so they realize and remember what a hazard they pose as well as are taking.....
A group called New Ground Sanitation Services did a review of systems and related research and had the references listed if you want more specifics...
Amazingly it was the mesophillic processing that had more effective decomposers.,.. The thermophillics were up there also (almost 90%)..... just so you won't worry so much..... ttyl
Thanks for the document, Susan Hessel! I live in a small Maryland town on the Potomac, and am horrified by sewage release reports. Add to this the fact that the state thinks it's prudent to claim ownership of every drop of water that comes down the rainpipe, and we are up against one bureaucratic mess here. I am just beginning to dabble in this information, and you gave me access to a great start!
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit