Dead lawn over sewer drain field???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Let it Grow, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    One of my customers is having a problem with his lawn dying where the sewer drain field is. You can see right where it drains because all of the grass is dead. There are a few other lawns around his area with the same problem. Have any of you experienced this? How do I fix it?
     
  2. barnard

    barnard LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 618

    Is it dead over the whole lateral field or just over the tank? Most grass thrives over the field, but may die out over the tank if the soil layer is too thin. (dries out and cooks from the heat). Simply watering over the tank frequently will prevent this problem ifd it's caught quik enough.
     
  3. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,071

    Could be as Bernard said or a few other things. If it is a new system if the leeching field was not installed a the proper depth would cause the problem. If it is over the tank it could be thin soil also could be a sign of impending failure. The tank always stays about eighty percent full. If the drain field is beginning to fail the tank will fill to the top often causing a large dead spot. Seeps out the service ports. If it is a newer tank should have two. The older ones usually have a split top, one port or some of the really old ones a solid lid. Is it a mound system? Take a probing rod and poke over the dead spot. If you feel gravel it is over the drain field, cement and it is over the tank. Yuk, gives me the willies just thinking about the stuff.
     
  4. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    It is just dead over the leach field. The grass is growing normally over the tank. I'll try to stick a rod in the soil where the dead grass is and see if maybe the soil is too thin like you guys are saying...thanks for the tip. Any other ideas would help a lot!
     
  5. Catmann

    Catmann LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    What shall we say, shall we call it by a name? As well as count the angels dancin' on a pin.

    Sorry, could not resist. If you do not get it, don't worry about it.

    As for the leachfield, I had this problem myself for the past 4 years! Actually, my property has 2 leachfields because there are two homes on it, both had recurring dead grass. It would be green in spring, but the first hint of dry weather and the areas would shrivel up and die. Watering helped, but I have a well and we have had drought conditions the past few years, so i could not water. I simply re-seeded each fall, but it was frustrating.

    This year we have had lots of rain, but during a few days of dry weather in April, it was starting to happen again!!! However, this year we have a new compost tea brewer at work and working with Soil Food Web have excellent kits to make really high quality tea. For those not familiar with this concept, compost tea is basically a giant petri dish system for multiplying benefical bacteria and fungi. This organisims are the key to healthy soil.

    At any rate, I soaked the areas with tea right after this first signs of trouble and I am now amazed that not only are the areas thick and green, but darker green than the areas around them. This was never the case at my house before. Of course, I have used the tea on countless things from house plants to large trees and all I can say is the stuff really works when made properly.

    So, my take on this issue now is that it is a drainfield issue with the soil, and the only way to alleviate that is to get enough biological activity in it to "dissolve" the problem, be it salts, or heavy metals, or detergents, or whatever.

    And just in case anyone thinks this idea is crazy, we are presently working with the state of PA on getting set up to put brewers in all of the sewage treatment plants and they are DEAD serious! (extra pun intended).
     
  6. Popsicle

    Popsicle LawnSite Member
    Posts: 189

    We've come accross this numerous times around here. Heck, by applying a "veneer" of topsoil over the sand leach field instead of a couple of inches, the landscape installer probably saved a couple of hundred bucks! Of course the lawn will look like stubble every summer.

    More work for us to do, I guess.
     
  7. Popsicle

    Popsicle LawnSite Member
    Posts: 189

    We've come accross this numerous times around here. Heck, by applying a "veneer" of topsoil over the sand leach field instead of a couple of inches, the landscape installer probably saved a couple of hundred bucks! Of course the lawn will look like stubble every summer.

    More work for us to do, I guess.
     
  8. jaredslawncare

    jaredslawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Our yard has what we call "fingers" (strips about 1' wide and 75 ft. long of dead grass, the only way I have been able to get rid of them is by putting a sprinkler hose on it every 3 or 4 days.
     
  9. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476



    Where could a person get this stuff???
     
  10. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    I have some articles about this "tea", supposed to be great stuff.

    www.soilfoodweb.com
    SoilFoodWeb

    I just skimmed the articles, they came from a class I took, but I haven't looked into it very deeply...no time this spring.
    :(
     

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