If this gorgeous spring weather has your green thumbs itching for action, you may be tempted to grab a shovel and dig right in! But if you’ve got a septic tank in your backyard—and an expansive drain field just below the grass—a little caution can save you from a big plumbing bill this season.

It never fails, every spring, Omaha homeowners call Burton out to repair their drain pipes after an over-enthusiastic shovel, a runaway tiller, or a heavy equipment cuts, crushes, or snaps their septic drainage system. And the consequences of a destroyed leach field range from smelly to serious—and require a professional’s skilled touch and special equipment.

So, before you let your love of tulips and redbud trees get the best of your backyard, mind your landscaping—and your drain field—with these three tips:

1. Know where your drain lines lay

Before you touch that shovel, mark out your leach field and drain lines. You can get this information from your local water department or just call Burton. We’re happy to take a look at your system, track your lines, and show you exactly where you can safely plant.

If you’re looking to plant trees or large shrubs this spring, it’s especially important to have a plumber out to mark the areas where it’s safe to plant. Because your tree’s root system will seek out the moisture drain lines release, planting a tree too close to your drain field is likely to lead to drainage problems in the future, as the tree matures.

2. Dig (and drive!) with caution

Most drain fields are about three to four feet deep. But some fields are as shallow as six inches, especially in areas where the bedrock is near the surface of the ground. That’s why you can’t be too cautious when landscaping, moving heavy equipment, or installing a sprinkler system.

If you need to dig near your drain lines, use hand tools instead of sharp shovels or machinery. And work slowly if you notice gravel in the ground. That’s the top layer of your leach field.

Avoid driving vehicles or machinery over your drain field. The extra weight can compress the soil and gravel, crushing your pipes or creating blockages within the system.

3. When in doubt, don’t dig. Dial!

If you can’t find your drain lines, or are worried you’ve damaged them, call Burton’s team of plumbing professionals. Whether you need a major repair, a minor replacement, or just aren’t sure where to dig, we’ll get you fixed up fast—before your drain field becomes a flood plain.

From the bathroom to the backyard, Burton’s plumbers have you covered!

Our friendly customer service, 5-star ratings, and leading warranties make Burton the easy first choice for plumbing and home comfort system repairs. To ask a question or get a free estimate on your next project, contact us at (402) 343-0011 or send us a message. And don’t forget to ask about our seasonal promotions!