Gardening and Sewage

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So we had a sewage problem over the weekend (gross I know) and my brilliant (or not so much) husband decided to dump the sewage in our sump pump...which leads to our garden! I'm so mad. I haven't planted anything in there yet, except our herbs are in there from previously, which they have already started to sprout. My question is, how harmful is raw sewage in the garden soil? If I roto till it all will it be okay or do I not take that chance? I feel like I'm almost better off completely moving the garden to a different area in our yard, which would be a bummer since I shoveled the whole area of garden out by hand last year! What do you guys think? I really wanted to start planting this weekend.
 
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How about doing a temporary raised bed for this year? Cement blocks make a good barrier (and your husband can lift and carry them for you as a "teaching moment") and can be used for something else if you decide to not keep the raised bed.
I'd replace the herbs. It's tough to replace plants you like, but they don't seem safe to eat to me.
If nothing else is dumped in the in-ground garden this year, next year the soil should be safe and probably fairly fertile!
 
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Night soil, as it used to be called, was always used as fertiliser until we got 'hygiene'.
If the sewerage is from your family only then any nasties in it are already going to have affected you. That is the germs in it have come from you and your family.
Normal soil bacteria will clean up sewerage like that is next to no time at all, as long as you get a reasonable amount of rain.
So basically I would not worry too much about growing things in that area. Give it a month to settle down.
We used to buy and use sterilised soil from a Sewerage treatment plant on our veg patch. We are still here and healthy (ish!)
 
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My early years were spent in a house without drainage and an outside toilet. Without going into the details, the large mobile bucket that we used had to be emptied at least once a week and my dad would take it down to our large vegetable plot, dig a hole and bury it. The veg always grew well and I and my family are still here to tell the tale. :)
 
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Ideally you would want it composted, to solve most of the ick factor...but in reality, it - like the manure from any other animal is just that - fertilizer, when you get right down to it.

food in = fertilizer out
 
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I tend to agree with the three posters above me.

The other day I was reading about garlic from China and how China has very lax restrictions on the so-called "night soil." But the more I dug into it, the more I thought, "Why do we care so much?"

Well, I'll tell you why. Because we are Americans. We would rather consume chemicals than anything that looks or smells "gross." That said, if your family eats a lot of highly processed foods, your "fertilizer" isn't going to be quite as healthy as it was in the days when people were basically growing their food and fertilizing it back with their waste.

You have to consider what has been going in before you think about using what has come out.

All that said, I'd probably be totally okay with all of it if some time had passed and I could reasonably assume everything had been broken down.
 

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