Vegetable patch on filtration bed?

It’s that time if year that one reflects on the last 12 months and plans the next.
We are looking at growing more of our own veg, so looking at where to create a veg patch.
The most obvious clear patch to us is above our seotic tank’s filtration bed. Is there any reason not to do so? We have about 75cm soil above the pipework and weeds seem to thrive there.

Do you really want to eat the vegetables grown there?

Some veg are more deep rooted…so no horseradish! I guess my concern would be not knowing how normal bacteria that live happily in our guts proliferate during the filtration process. So could you have a concentration of e.coli for example that is at the level to cause you (or more likely your elderly granny) a big problem?

I seem to recall reading that field fertilised with human sewage grow good veg (as used to happen in many parts of the world) but also lots of bacteria.

Some advocate putting stuff through a pig is the best way to fertilise a garden…pigs eat pretty much anything & the results are usually pretty good.
Cow dung is widely used, along with horse manure…all contain bacteria, good & bad apparently…but no-one’s saying we should stop using either, in the same way, that no-one’s saying we should eat either type of muck.

Dung has to rot down before you use it though, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t that also have an effect on pathogens both aerobic and anaerobic?

Dung that’s too fresh can cause veg to “fork” .
There’s also the “rule” that pigs should be moved on from year to year to avoid parasites…ie the pigs don’t have the time/opportunity to ingest the parasites due to spending too much time in the same place.
I think these rules are designed for the smallholder / gardener.


@Magwych How about a brief explanation of how your filtration bed has been constructed … :thinking:

General rule of (green) thumb… is (I believe) to put a filtration bed/field down to grass and/or rushes and perhaps a few shallow rooting shrubs… :zipper_mouth_face: SPANC will be able to give you the official advice.

Are these filtration bed carrots? :thinking:

But in general neither cows, horses or pigs eat meat. So vegetable derived manure is a completely different thing. Meat and meat eaters have a different bioflora. After all, wasn’t mad cow pinned down to the “new” trend of that time of feeding sheep carcasses to cows?

I would agree that “in general” none of the above eat meat; but, I think small scale farming is the way ahead; that knowing exactly what goes into animal feed is paramount; & that true organic farming is not having too much interference from hoomans…but of course, all this is another (very lengthy, drawn out, irrelevent ) thread.
Add to this my theories about why BSE etc., was so widespread, & we could / would be typing until Hallowe’en…
In short, my theory is, when folks didn’t have “artificials”, that is to say, 1001 products being sold to would-be farmers, we (the human race) still managed to eat…at least, in non third world countries.
To let people (who wish to) grow their own food & raise their own animals, should IMO be a right ; & not be regulated to the extent that it is. I know certain controls are necessary, but those that want to should be allowed to; & those that don’t, won’t…simples.

Martin, We have been growing shallow rooted veg on our filtration bed for the last 5 years and we have had no ill effects and the veg have been pretty good. As the weeds were thriving, we thought we would give it a go and it has been a success especially as it is the only flat area in the garden.

I stress the need for the plants to be shallow rooted, so no root crops but onions, haricot beans, strawberries, peppers, lettuces have all done well and not damaged the shallow top soil.

We were told no trees or shrubs to be planted but we figured that the plants we do grow have much less roots than couch grass that grows so well here and can go down to a depth of 2 feet.

Hope this helps you to make up your mind.

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To add to my comment, I would say that the waste does not come into contact with the topsoil as it is dealt with in the fosse before going through a series of pipes well below the surface and then drains out into the appropriate area well away from the filtration bed. This water is then deemed to be clean. Water does not rise generally as it drains down through the soil.

I do know that folks with composting toilets are advised not to dig the waste into vegetable plots for three years - but of course that is direct where as the filtration bed is at the end of the process. I bet the rhubarb would be good :slight_smile:

It’s not a composting toilet, nor a run-off from a sewerage outfall.
We have a fisse-septique that was adjudged to conform with all norms in 2017. The outflow from the fosse-septique runs through 4 porous tubes buried in sand. Beneath those are 4 mire porous tubes to collect the filtered water and then run off into a ditch. At least, that is how I believe it works.

Hi Martin,

It sounds as if your system is much the same as ours (newly installed after a visit by the authorities) and as I said we were advised not to grow deep rooted plants but to put it to grass or something similar. We reckoned that shallow growing crops are as good and keeps down the couch which takes hold very easily in our garden. I would say give it a go especially if like us, it is the most suitable place to grow your veg. The rest of the garden is on a slope so the flat area make is so much easier to garden especially as we are getting older.