Just as you should care for your home's septic system by watching what you put down into it and pumping it out regularly, so too should you care for it by watching what you plant on top of its various components. This is very important, because if you place items that are too heavy or the wrong type of vegetation on top of a septic system's components, then you can severely damage their structures or their ability to correctly function.
To prevent damage to your septic system's components, follow these landscaping guidelines for its tank, leach lines, and leach field:
Landscaping Over Your Septic Tank
Your property's septic tank is a large cement structure with a metal lid that is buried a few feet below the ground. The tank can be damaged if you drive over it, and it can be damaged by hedge and tree roots if you plant these things too close to the tank's location. For this reason, you should never put any sort of driveway or road over the top of your septic tank, and you should avoid planting any large plants or trees near it. Instead, plant native grasses over the top of the tank or fence it off so the buried tank cannot be damaged.
If you do not want to disturb the landscaping grass to pump out and service your septic tank, then you can have a service port riser installed. The port riser is a large pipe that allows access into the septic tank via the surface.
Landscaping Over Your Leach Lines
Running between your property's septic tank and its leach field are two leach lines. The leach lines are made of plastic weeping pipe that is placed in a bed of gravel and then buried underground. Since the weeping pipes are a potential source of water for plants, you need to be careful what you plant in the area. As with your septic tank and leach field, trees and large bushes can damage the leach lines and should not be planted in this area. You should plant grass or low water requirement plants. Never install a patio or walkway over the leach lines as this can damage them.
Landscaping Over Your Leach Field
Finally, the sand and soil that makes up your septic system's leach field need to have access to circulating air in order to process the waste water. For this reason, you should not landscape over the leach field with anything other than grasses and other native plants. When you plant grass on a leach field, you need to ensure that it is a variety of grass that will not grow too dense and choke off the air supply to the leach field.
Call one of your local septic services for more advice.