Plum Trees – Planted On Septic Drain Field

Q: I’ve just found out our plum trees may be planted in a septic system drain field. Will the plums still be safe to eat?

A: I don’t think there’s any way that water absorbed by the plum roots could contaminate your fruit. Further, a properly operating septic system will not allow bacteria or viruses to emerge on the soil surface. After all, the septic water is trickling downward in the soil profile and the pipes are covered with several inches of soil. Just to be safe in the future, don’t plant root crops or leafy greens on the septic field and use trellises to support vine crops off the ground. Try to harvest your plums straight from the tree, thoroughly wash any fruit found on the soil surface and enjoy your garden!

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