Septic tank maintenance

August 14th, 2013:

Tree roots can harm raised mound systems.

This article will cover tree roots can harm raised mound systems. It’s no secret that many homes have tree roots in their raised mound system, tree roots in my septic system owners want to have gardens in their properties. A garden can help you relax and be free from your everyday worries. It also allows you to have a piece of Nature in your life. Trees can also give you shade during lazy afternoons and special gatherings so they can be good elements to your yard. However, you would have to consider other things to achieve balance in your property. If you have a raised mound system, you have a type of soil that has either a very fast percolation rate or a very slow one. That is why it is a raised septic system. It is designed to be elevated to give way to additional filters that help treat your wastewater. If you want to have trees around your raised mound, think about it first because tree roots can harm raised mound systems.

Facts about Trees and Wastewater Treatment

Below are some of the important facts that you have to know about raised mound systems and trees in general:

ü  Raised mound systems contain oxygen

The oxygen in the raised mound system is utilized by the soil’s aerobic bacteria to further treat and purify the wastewater.

ü  Raised mound systems should be protected from erosion

Adequate protection from erosion should be provided so that 6 to 12 inches of the soil’s covering is retained. Carefully selected trees can be used as vegetative cover , cover crops, or mulch to help conserve soil.

ü  Vegetative cover that is dense is able to insulate the raised mound

A raised mound’s vegetative cover is vital to retaining the heat inside the system all throughout winter. If the vegetation is well established enough, it helps hold the snow near the surface of the soil. This provides heat to the treatment area, pipelines, and septic tank. The trapped snow also keeps the soil and wastewater from leaking out.

ü  Tree rooting depths are different from one another

They can go from 12 to 48 inches.

Concerns about Trees around Raised Mound Systems

  • Tree roots create macro pores that allow the untreated effluent to travel through the soil. This results to soil contamination.
  • When there are storms, trees can be uprooted. Uprooted trees disturb the soil that protects the raised mound system and its components.
  • If you create a clear patch of soil near a densely vegetated area, wind velocities may increase and this could bring forth tree throw incidences. You should study the wind directions, shelterbelt establishments, and other considerations when setting a location for your raised mound system.

Rooting Behavior of Trees

The roots of a tree grow depending on the species and the environment. In sandy and clay soils, about 90% of tree roots can be found 12 to 36 inches from the top layer of the soil. In sandy loam soil, Aspen tree roots are found 48 inches from the top.

The spread of lateral roots is influenced by the type of soil. Sandy soil causes roots to spread out about 2to 3 times the installed drip line. In clay soils, the roots spread up to 5 times the established drip line.  The development of taproots is dependent on the tree’s soil, cultivation, age, and species. Trees that are classified as nursery trees have taproots cut to make way for lateral growth of their roots. The sinker root is from nursery trees. Sinker roots are able to penetrate the soil vertically until they reach water. Upon reaching the water source, they will develop a root mass. There are sinker roots that can grow 114 inches into the ground.

As you can see, you have to make sure that you know the trees you want for your yard and around your raised mound system. You have to work well with your arborist and septic expert to make sure that your wastewater treatment does not go haywire.