Landscaping Your Drainfield

landscapingMost property owners that have a septic system understand the three hard and fast rules associated with taking care of a drainfield: don’t plant anything over it, don’t build anything over it and don’t park anything over it.

Beyond knowing what NOT to do, there isn’t a lot of information available on what you SHOULD do with it. This article will focus on how to properly landscape your drainfield while protecting it and keeping it healthy at the same time.

Planting 101

You will hear that you should never add any landscaping to your drainfield other than grass. It’s a good rule of thumb and a great way to prevent property owners from going too far and damaging their system, but the truth is: there are other options besides grass.

Grass is typically recommended and the best choice for a couple of reasons:

  • no tilling required – just light raking, which should affect the drainfield
  • most varieties of grass don’t need a lot of water, which protects the drainfield from excess water
  • grass doesn’t require a lot of topsoil, which can affect the flow of air and water within the drainfield
  • grass doesn’t have deep roots, protecting the pipes in the drainfield from root wrap and damage

However, there are other plants that have similar needs and attributes, making them a viable choice for planting in your drainfield area as long as there is still access to monitoring points or clean-outs. There are lots of plants that don’t have deep roots and won’t need a lot of topsoil. You can even find plants that don’t need to be watered, that will grow just find in your area without hosing or sprinkling to provide extra water. There are plenty of plants that don’t need to have the ground tilled under before planting into the ground.

Types of Plants to Consider

If your drainfield gets no sun throughout the day, you need to look for plants or seeds that are labeled as “no sun” or “deep shade” on the package. Ask the salesperson at your garden center to direct you to groundcover that doesn’t have a large root system. Plants or seeds that are labeled as partial shade require approximately 4 hours of sun each day, either in the morning or in the afternoon. Groundcover or short plants with small root systems will fit this bill. Again, your garden center salesperson can help you find native plants that will work best in this type of area.

Plants or seeds that are labeled as “full sun” or “all day sun” need a minimum of 8 hours of sun each day. Ornamental grasses and wildflowers work very well in this type of environment. Most drainfields are established in the middle of a yard without any trees or bushes within a 30 foot radius, which means that full sun will likely be what you are looking for in landscaping.

Regardless of where you live, the type of plants that you should consider planting in your drainfield consist of a mixture of native species. Mixing together annual wildflowers, perennial groundcover that features small root systems and a mixture of native grasses that won’t require a lot of water and care will be your best choice. To get started, you should begin with a perennial grass that will establish quickly in the warmer months, which will give you instant cover to prevent erosion. This will also give you a natural defense against native invasive plants (aka weeds) for anything else you decide to plant next.

Wildflower Growing Tips

  • choose seed that is dated for the current year – don’t use old seed
  • choose a mix that is well-suited for our region – stores sometimes carry varieties that aren’t appropriate for Southeastern Massachusetts
  • select your seeds based upon the amount of sun the area will receive
  • pick native seed mixes for best results
  • watch out for weeds in your wildflower mix – look for mixes that are labeled as “no noxious weeds” or “no detectable weeds” to be sure
  • if you already have grass in your drainfield, remove 6×6 inch squares of grass in small area and sow your wildflower seeds there during germination for faster growth
  • sow seeds in late fall for Spring growth or May for late-summer season blooms

Before you begin any landscaping project in your drainfield, check with your trusted septic service technician at All-Clear Septic & Wastewater.  Grass is still the best option to use.  If you have any questions or are unsure about what to plant in this area to protect your drainfield from excess water and erosion, just ask. Check into our Preventative Maintenance Program for even more protection for your septic system year-round. Call All-Clear at 508-763-4431 for inspections, service, repairs and advice for customers throughout  Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Visit for more information.

All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services Adds a New Team Member

      All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services is adding a new team member to our team of licensed title 5 septic inspectors to perform title 5 septic inspections throughout Massachusetts. The primary area of focus for this new title 5 septic inspector will be the area including Norton, Attleboro, North Attleboro, Mansfield, and Norton.

Call 508-763-4431 or visit


Ongoing Training for Licensed title 5 inspectors at All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services

      All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services’ licensed title 5 septic inspectors and septic repair personnel are required to complete ongoing continuous training. As licensed professionals these individuals participate in continuous training to maintain their licenses as well as keep up with industry improvements. This continuous improvement includes reviews of local regulations so no matter where you are; Portsmouth, RI. Norton, MA. Raynham, MA, Halifax, MA. Middleboro, MA. or Lakeville, MA. our professional team is familiar with the local regulations required by your town. If you are looking for a title 5 septic inspection as required in Massachusetts or functional septic inspection as required in Rhode Island, please call All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services.

508-763-4431 or visit

All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services Schedule for this Week

       All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services will be completing title 5 septic inspections in Swansea and Lakeville on Monday 4/4/16. On Tuesday our title 5 septic inspectors will be in Dennis. On Wednesday our title 5 septic inspectors will be in Boylston and Southboro. On Friday our title 5 septic inspectors will be in Hanson and Marshfield. If you have any questions please feel free to ask our licensed title 5 septic inspectors or call our office.

Call 508-763-4431 or visit

All Clear Septic Expands E one Grinder Pump Inventory

3/31/16 All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services has expanded its E one grinder pump inventory to better support our customers. Our inventory now includes alternative manufacturers to E one. These alternative grinder pumps now allow us to replace E one grinder pumps, Liberty grinder pumps, or Myers grinder pumps. Our inventory of E one grinder pumps and alternative grinder pumps is conveniently located to support all of our customers no matter if you are located in Acushnet, New Bedford, Fall River, Wareham or anywhere else in our service area.  

Visit or call 508-763-4431

Title 5 Inspections

3/30/16 All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services is fully equipped to conduct title 5 septic inspections on all septic systems even if the property is vacant or does not have power. Our licensed title 5 septic inspectors are equipped with the latest technology including generators, electronic locators, excavators, and sewer cameras to allow us to complete all title 5 septic inspections. Whether your property is commercial, industrial, or residential and you require a title 5 septic inspection, All Clear Septic and Wastewater is the company for you. Our offices support licensed title 5 septic inspectors conducting title 5 septic inspections from Wareham, Marion, and Dartmouth to Attleboro, Norton and Mansfield all the way over to Halifax, Pembroke, and Plymouth. Call us today for your title 5 septic inspection.   Call 877-378-4279


Identifying and Dealing with Septic Issues in Rhode Island

Rhode IslandMost people don’t realize that they have septic tank system problems until it is literally staring them in the face. One of the reasons why people have septic problems in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and everywhere else in the New England area is that it is easy to forget about the septic system until its too late. It is easy to see why not taking proper care of a septic system, getting it checked or inspected regularly and having it cleaned or pumped when necessary, is the most common cause of septic tank system problems.

Normal Household Use
What is normal? Today’s septic systems are designed to be able to handle the wastewater and waste based on the number of bedrooms in the home, plus one. The “plus one” in this case is to accommodate two adults in the master bedroom. If you live in a four bedroom home, for example, your septic system should be able to handle use by five people.

However, if you live in a three bedroom home, but have six adults taking showers, using the bathroom, doing laundry and using dishes, you just might be overloading your septic system. The best way to determine what “normal” household use should be for your particular septic system is to contact a Rhode Island or Massachusetts septic service company for a complete assessment.

Not only will a professional assessment help to determine whether or not your septic system is adequate for the number of people in your home, but it will also determine the age of the equipment, whether it is working efficiently and if anything needs to be repaired or replaced. Contact All-Clear Septic & Wastewater for information about having an assessment performed to determine and prevent septic tank system problems.

How to Care for a Septic System
Everything that goes down one of the drains in your home, ends up inside your septic system. This includes toilets, but also sinks, showers, washing machines and garbage disposals too. Little things can really add up and wreck havoc, causing a multitude of septic tank system problems.

Knowing what can and cannot be flushed down the toilet is a great place to start. If you have young children in your home, it pays to start teaching them at a young age that toilets and drains are not okay for disposing of garbage and other potentially damaging items. As you children grow older, reminding them not to flush feminine hygiene products or use harsh chemicals that could end up in the drain, will be part of learning how to care for a septic system.

Speak with your Rhode Island or Massachusetts septic service company for more information on responsible septic system ownership and for more tips on how to care for a septic system. Even if you have had a septic system your whole life, there are always new tips and ideas to help you reduce the number of back-ups, repairs and other problems required throughout the life of your septic system.

Regular Maintenance is Required
Even if you have never had a single problem with your septic system, it is important to hire a company to do regular check-ups to determine whether or not your tank will need to be pumped or cleaned. Contact All-Clear Septic & Wastewater to find out more about their Preventative Maintenance Program, which has been designed to help stay ahead of septic problems in Rhode Island and Massachusetts before they become costly repairs.

After just a few years of use, even a brand new septic tank will end up with a build-up of scum and sludge. As this layer of solids grows within the tank, the wastewater that passes through the tank on its way to your drainfield can end up passing through too fast. It can also cause the solid to plug up your septic pipes on the way to the drainfield.

Overfilling your tank with too much wastewater is another reason for many typical septic tank system problems. Inviting guests over for the weekend or hosting a party for a couple dozen people on a Wednesday night, can cause an overfill of the tank. If your septic system is unable to handle all the excess wastewater, it will quickly fill up your drainfield and flood it with sewage. The cost to recover from such an issue can end up costing much more than a regular maintenance program would have.

Call for an Assessment Today!
If you would like a professional assessment of your septic system by a licensed, certified and experienced Rhode Island and Massachusetts septic system company, call All-Clear Septic & Wastewater Servies.  All-Clear provides a variety of valuable services to septic tank owners throughout the Southcoast area. Call 508-763-4431 or visit

Join the All Clear Septic and Wastewater Solutions Team

3/29/16 All Clear Septic and Wastewater Solutions is growing and interested in finding licensed title 5 septic inspectors to become part of our professional team. We have several opportunities throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Our first area of interest is the south shore including Marshfield, Pembroke, Hanover, Halifax, and Plymouth. Our second area of interest is the south coast including Carver, Wareham, Middleboro, Rochester, Marion, Mattapoisett, Acushnet, and Dartmouth. Our third area of interest is in the region between Taunton, Foxboro, and Attleboro including Raynham, Rehoboth, Attleboro, North Attleboro, Wrentham, Mansfield, and Norton. If you have an interest in becoming part of a forward thinking well trained team please call our office.  508-763-4431

All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services in Massachusetts and Rhode Island This Week

3/28/16 All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services will be conducting title 5 septic inspections, voluntary assessments, functional inspections, and repairs in the following areas this week: Seekonk, MA ,Wareham, MA, West Wareham, MA,  Boylston, MA,  Mansfield, MA., Tiverton, RI,  Portsmouth, RI, and Westport, MA.  Should you have any questions feel free to call our office or ask our professional licensed title 5 septic inspector.

All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services Sets Up Inventory System

            All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services specializes in title 5 septic inspections in Massachusetts and functional septic inspections in Rhode Island. As leaders in the septic inspection and repair industry All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services strives to provide the best service possible to our customers whether in  Portsmouth, RI, Falmouth, MA, Chepachet, RI, or Foxboro, MA. To improve our service to our customer All Clear Septic and Wastewater Services stock a wide variety of septic supplies. This month at our office in Norton, MA All Clear Septic and Wastewater is setting up a kanban inventory system. Once implemented it will improve our ability to maintain key septic supplies with the least amount of labor and expense possible. This translates into the best value for our customers throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.