Septic System Cover

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Cephus, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. Cephus

    Cephus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Location:
    California
    No clue where to put this, if this is wrong, please move it to the appropriate forum. As I said in another forum, we just bought a house and it's on septic. The geniuses who lived there before decided it would be a great idea to put in a circular driveway right on top of the septic tank and we therefore had to cut an access hole through the concrete to pump/inspect/certify the tank. That means we have this nice hole in our driveway. The inspection company filled it with crushed rock and it looks okay, I guess, and obviously I won't re-pave the hole because that was stupid in the first place, but they have a plastic cap on it that if anyone drives over it, it's going to break.

    So my question is, is there a metal cover that I can put in, sort of like a manhole cover, that will protect it and be safe to drive on? I've looked online and all of the septic covers I've found have been plastic and I don't suspect were meant for that kind of application. Has anyone else been through something like this and has a more durable solution?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Besides your other concerns, it is not generally safe to drive over the pipes to the tank or the leach field.
     
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  4. Cephus

    Cephus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Location:
    California
    The leach field isn't, just the tank itself. From what I hear from the inspection company, this is ridiculously common, albeit stupid. The tank and system checked out in great condition though.
     
  5. greenmonster123

    greenmonster123 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Sag Harbor, New York
    Why not a man hole cover
     
  6. Cephus

    Cephus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Like I said, all of the ones I've found commercially available for the homeowner are plastic and the metal ones, like they use for street sewers, require a significant depth for the base. Now the plastic ones I've seen claim they're good for upwards of 30 years but I have no experience with it and I'm a bit dubious, which is why I'm asking if anyone has any experience with this.
     
  7. greenmonster123

    greenmonster123 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Sag Harbor, New York
    This is 3" high
     

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  8. Cephus

    Cephus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Hmm, I'll have to look for that, thanks.
     
  9. Snaefell Rancher

    Snaefell Rancher New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2016
    Occupation:
    Rancher
    Location:
    Central B.C. Canada
    If you know a good metal fabricator he could make up what ever you need.

    I have a sump in the middle of my shop floor (the floor drains run into it)
    We put it in to house a sump pump just in case. It is about 26" in diameter.
    The lid, or cap, is made from 3/16" tread plate aluminum, reinforced on the underside with 1/4" X 2" aluminum angle.
    The whole thing rests on a 1/4" X 2" steel flat bar rolled to fit inside of and welded to the sump pipe.

    My point is, this relatively light cap can be driven over without damaging it.
     
  10. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    A cast iron man hole cover is only about 8" high. Then you use concrete adjustment rings or bricks between the cover and the tank. I did underground utilities and site work previous to drilling wells. I've probably installed area under a thousand manholes and catch basins with cast iron covers adjusted to grade.
     
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    So the manhole survives. If the septic tank is holding up the new manhole, will the septic tank survive carrying the weight?
     
  12. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    Many cast iron man hole cover manufacturers are regional. There is one 30 miles from me. They cover the western US. D&l foundry, you can go to their website to see the vast variety of products available.

    Check with your local septic tank manufacturer about the load rating of your tank. It will not be h-20 rated. It probably has a light duty rating. It is also affected by how deep it is buried. I certainly would drive a dump truck or cement truck over one. they should also be able to supply you with cast iron covers, or you might have to go to a precast manufacturer of manholes and catch basins.

    There are also composite traffic rated covers out there, they are probably much more expensive.
     
  13. Cephus

    Cephus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Location:
    California
    No clue, haven't tried it, we were just told by the installers not to drive on it. Was just up at the new house and the cap it far enough out of the way where driving around it isn't a big deal, although, as I said, I'd like to put in a metal plate, both for aesthetic purposes and to protect it. I honestly have no clue what the whole thing looks like, I've only seen it in photos where it wasn't all covered in dirt and now, of course, I've seen it covered in gravel, but I don't know what's under all of it, except for the plastic cap that is visible

    I can't wait until we can get on city sewer, we've been told that's 2-3 years out.
     
  14. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    "retired" and still building and troubleshooting
    Location:
    northfork, california
    A common issue - I have wells in driveways and septics also. If one is bright enough, or your builder cares enough, and the area is to be paved, you form for it, and the finish cement has a 3/8 or so lip that accepts a steel cover cut to size. In your case I would saw a lip into the slab, chisel out the cut, and then install a metal lid that transfers the load to the slab and not the tank or well casing below. It infuriates me that most all septics get installed without any markings as to where they are. I always install a riser and a lid, even if it is redwood in a out of the way location. Beats the hell out of a weeks worth of probes and holes and sensors flushed down a toilet. Very little common sense in America when it comes to septic identifiers. I also mark the D-box location and the start and stop of leach lines with 4" pipe and a cap. Seems like with all the regs in this crazy country, such things would be mandated.
     
  15. greenmonster123

    greenmonster123 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Sag Harbor, New York
    I made a map and triangulated the locations for the tank and leach rings. I drew it in sharpie right on the basement wall next to the where the waste line exits the basement.
     
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