Gardening question

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Handbook - A Guide to Composting Human Manure: Gardening question
Author: Sam Jones
Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 10:44 am
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I know that composted humanure is safe. However, I was wondering how safe it is to plant a veggie garden over an active septic tank/leach field? Is it proven that plants don't absorb bacteria?
I discussed this with my doctor. He felt that if someone with hepatitis used my toilet that it COULD infect the soil, then the plants, then whoever eats the veggies.
Any discussion on this would be appreciated!
Simple Sam

Author: admin
Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 1:27 pm
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There has been some evidence lately that pathogens can be absorbed into plant tissue. You can find this issue discussed on thie message board at:

Jenkins Publishing Message Board: General Composting Issues: Pathogen uptake in plant tissue - latest information

Author: south_nj
Tuesday, March 01, 2005 - 4:03 pm
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I have a small yard and Im trying to figure out where it would be best to put a garden for growing vegetables and the sort... how far must the garden be from the compost pile?

Author: admin
Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 3:06 pm
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Do you mean humanure compost pile? That's a good question. At one point we had a humanure compost pile *in* a section of our garden. Remember that the compost has to be moved fromt he compost pile to the garden when finished. On the other hand, some distance is preferable. Ours is about fifty feet from our garden.

Joe Jenkins

Author: south_nj
Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 5:07 pm
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so it sounds like if you have a flat area and don't have to worry about a sudden deluge causing leachate to enter the garden area for food crops then you could conceivably have it maybe a 5 to 10 ft separation of the compost pile from the actual garden?

Author: admin
Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 12:31 pm
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A friend of mine put her humanure compost bins about 10 feet from her backyard garden (in an urban area) and she didn't have any problem. There was no apparent leachate.

Author: TCLynx
Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 5:06 pm
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The original post was asking about planting over a septic leach field.
Is this leach field working properly? If so you probably don't want to go digging around and over it. If it isn't working properly, you have other problems.

Generally, leach fields are placed too far below the surface to really allow plants to use the efluent. There are some new $$ airated systems that claim the leach field can be placed shalowly enough to irrigate plants but I don't know the reality of this.

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