If you're moving to a larger piece of property that has a huge backyard, your children and pets will want to run around on the grass outside -- you can count on that. But if your property uses a septic system, then much of that green lawn could hide a drain field. Children and pets should never play on a drain field because any bacteria that works its way out of the septic tank and into the drain field soil could get onto the children's or pets' feet and paws -- and both children and pets are not that concerned about dirt getting near their mouths, which could make them sick or spread the bacteria into your home. Here are ways to keep them both off the drain field.

Fences and Gates They Can't Climb

Exclusion is best here; erect tall fences and a gate around the field or between the house and the field. Because you'll need to mow the grass over the field, and you'll need to inspect the field periodically to look for signs of trouble like stagnant pooling, you can't close off the field entirely. But a locking gate and tall, difficult-to-climb fence help immensely in keeping out pets and younger children who might not understand the concept of bacteria.

Warning Signs

Speak with your county health department about the plans for your land -- the actual architectural and permitting-process plans. These should show a rough border for the drain field. Place warning signs around the border; if you're building that fence, you can place them on the fence. Those both warn older children not to wander onto the field, and they help protect you from liability if someone does wander onto the field and gets sick.


As your children get older, start teaching them how the septic system works and what bacteria can do even though you can't see them. Thorough knowledge often works a lot better in preventing children from doing something instead of just telling them to stay off the field because you said so. Get them involved in maintenance and yard work as they get to the age where they can control the spread of contamination on shoes or hands.

Along with keeping children and pets off the field is the need to keep the whole septic system in good shape. A properly working septic system is a lot safer for everyone on the property and reduces the risk of sending harmful bacteria into the drain field soil. Visit a site like http://www.zebwattsseptic.com for more information.