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Is it safe to plant on the septic field?

A recent question from a new friend who has purchased a home on the Middle Peninsula drew me back to 2015 when I wrote a column about the types of vegetation that can be safely planted over a septic leach field. At that time, the Gloucester County website reported that water service was provided to approximately 4,500 accounts and sewer service to about 1,300 accounts. Today, those numbers have increased to 5,200 water service accounts and 1,900 sewer service accounts. That means the rest of us have still have wells and septic systems, and we bear the responsibility for maintaining our septic systems to keep them operating safely for the protection of the environment and the health of county residents.

The traditional inground and the newer mound septic systems work in much the same way to separate solid from liquid waste. Solid wastes accumulate in the tank, which must be pumped at intervals to prevent overflow of septic sludge into the drain field. The liquids flow from the tank ...

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