Grazing around/above septic tank areas? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-07-2009, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Question Grazing around/above septic tank areas?

I hope this is the correct place to put such a subject question....

My wife and I are looking to buy a "new" house in the country somewhere to get "back" to nature and a more relaxed pace of life, and we're entertaining the idea of getting enough land/property to keep a horse or two.

I recently looked at a property that had a lot of great potential, the location was perfect and quiet, and had enough land for at least one horse... but the area where a horse would have been doing its regular grazing was right above the septic tank, denoted by a large "bump" in the middle of the yard.

My questions:

Is this safe for the horse as long as there's no leak?
Is this regularly "practiced" in rural residential areas?
Does the grazing/paddock areas HAVE to avoid septic tank areas?

I know we don't have enough money to afford a place with 10 acres where this "issue" can be avoided. Most of the houses in the rural areas I looked at have a septic tank system somewhere on the property, and with the "smaller" sizes of acreage, this issue might not be able to be avoided. Hence my question/concern.

Thanks for any insight.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-07-2009, 12:16 PM
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i asked a vet about this and he said there was no problem with it. so i have put duchess out there many times and she is still the same, so i dont think there is a problem with it. I went with what the vet said.

quarter horses.....simply the best
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-07-2009, 12:38 PM
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It's fairly common provided the tank and lateral lines or system is used is working as it should. The biggest thing is keeping the horses off the area of the tank itself, there as been incidents in which a horse has fallen in a tank w/ a weak concrete lid. It should be possible to fence off that area at least.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-07-2009, 02:26 PM
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My gut tells me to avoid it if possible. If it CAN happen to a horse it WILL happen to a me. But physics would seem to say that hopefully the system is stable enough that a horse's weight won't bother it. The people that installed our septic stuff gave us a "guideline book"....I bet that has some sort of weight thresholds...if only I knew where that book was...
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-07-2009, 02:39 PM
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ya definantly try to not have them on the lid area, fence it off or something.

quarter horses.....simply the best
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-09-2009, 01:10 PM
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I know on the newer systems they recommend that you don't even run a rider mower over them. A horse is a lot heavier than a small riding tractor.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-09-2009, 03:09 PM
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My parents septic system is in the pasture and my horses have grazed all over it for almost 20 years. It has never been an issue.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-10-2009, 10:23 AM
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I let me horses out to graze in my yard all the time and they always end up over by the septic tank,I have not had a problem, my house and septic tank are not that old and the lids now days are made of concrete and are about 6in. in depth, so I dont see a problem with it. I dont know if I would build a barn or anything like that over it though.

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post #9 of 12 Old 07-11-2009, 09:10 PM
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Most of the time I'd not be concerned about it. But....why is there a bump over your septic system? That'd concern me and make me think that it's not terribly safe.

One other thing to think about is that it might be cheaper to purchase a larger property. On a larger property you'd be able to grow your own hay while on a smaller one you'll have to purchase it. Hay can be quite expensive, depending upon where you live.

How much land are you talking about? How many horses? Have you had any experience with horses? Have you ever lived in the country. Are the properties near town? Are they zoned ag? Can you get residential insurance or do you have to get farm insurance? Rates are different depending on where you live. Also, having horses increases your insurance payment.

Do the places you're considering have barns? Water and electricity in the barn? Fences? Wells? You definitely cannot have horses within about 50 feet of a well due to contamination.

Are you absolutely sure you wanna mess with my carrots?
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-12-2009, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Joshie View Post
Most of the time I'd not be concerned about it. But....why is there a bump over your septic system? That'd concern me and make me think that it's not terribly safe.
LOL, don't worry about the bump, that's how all of the septic tanks are in our neck of the woods! There are a very few select properties that can have their "load" go downhill and they don't have to have the bump septic, but very few.

We have our septic mound sectioned off and the rest is open to the horses. I too thought/think that the horses should be able to go on it, but, my husband won't allow it. I almost think he asked the septic person when we built, not sure though.

To know for sure I would ask the people who put them in as their business. They would be the ones to ask. We have so much grazing land that we don't need the area we have sectioned off or I would have asked them about it.

My two cents is, if the amount of grazing land you have is only the area where you have the mound, I personally wouldn't do it. That would mean the horse is on top of it without giving it relief. If you have an acre of good grazing land per horse available without using the sectioned off part, you should be fine.

Good luck with your horse adventure. You are starting out great by asking questions!
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