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aerate over drain field, or not?

15397 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  blackjack
I've never dealt with a septic system before but my hubby and I just bought a house with one. We're just South of Seattle, Wa. and the land the house sits on used to be marsh land.
We have just over 1/3 of an acre ( all in the back yard) that has never been maintained. The soil is very weedy,sandy,rocky, and mossy but the grass that IS growing looks pretty good.
I'd like to encourage new grass growth thus "choking out" the numerous weed species. I don't care too much about the pretty little flowery weeds that are native and kinda pretty. They need to be managed though. Its the THOUSANDS of dandelions and broad leafed weeds that gotta go.
I treated the lawn with about 50 lbs of epsom salts the other day, was thinking about getting some sweetener and throwing that on there (no idea what will happen but I've read it's good for sandy soil?) Aerating the heck out of it and tossing some new seed.
Couple of problems (maybe?) my drain field takes up about half of the back yard. Is aeration a good idea? Or will I be likely to puncture something that's expensive to fix? I know NOTHING about septics or drain fields other than we need em and I have no idea how deep the lines (or whatever they're called) are in the ground.

Also, we have a dog. She likes to eat grass. A lot (we're working with the vet to figure out why--acid reflux is what we're looking at presently...that's a whole different story.) So traditional "weed and feed" seems like a bad idea. I'm trying to figure out how to repair this yard to a point of manageability as naturally as possible.

HELP!!!!!! PLEASE!!!! ps....we bought a riding mower yesterday so I was thinking of a tow able aerator. why work harder if I can work smarter...

Thanks in advance.
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Your septic field plan should be on record with the Board of Health. That will tell you where the field is located, and how deep the lines are buried. Where I live, the lines are required to be at least 12 inches below finished grade, but your regulations may differ. Where I live, you cannot build a septic field in a marshy area without special permission from God, since the local Conservation Commission does not generally allow it, and the only appeal is to higher authority, but obviously your regulations are different.

You definitely do not want to damage the lines, which are typically four inch diameter perforated plastic pipe, but aeration should be OK if you don't go very deep. Again, talk to your Board of Health to see what they think.
THANK YOU!! Yipee for "As Builts" which I have but they're barely legible...and a well informed neighbor also! Yes, my lines are 12-12.5 ft deep. AND the neighbor has an aerator AND a thatcher!! Your answer prompted a conversation with him (we've only been in the house a month now so...getting to know the neighbors is a really good thing. Especially when he's so familiar with the area...

Anyway, thanks again and have a great day! :)
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