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Importance of Securing Septic Tank Lids

Importance of Securing Septic Tank Lids

While septic tanks may be used by over 60 million homeowners in the United States, They are hardly understood. They are an expensive mechanical system that is simply buried around the back, and often left alone can cause some of the most catastrophic issues a homeowner could ever face if not properly taken care of. 

The septic tank lid or riser is a great addition to septic systems and allows professionals to monitor and make minor repairs to your septic tank quickly. As with anything, these lids should be properly secured. In this article, we will tell you why!

What Is a Septic Tank Lid and Riser?

Since your septic tank is below the ground, it is important to be able to easily access it without having to dig up your yard for routine maintenance and repairs. That is where a septic lid and riser come into play.

A septic tank lid is the cover or access point to the septic tank. The lid is typically made of concrete or plastic and is used to access the tank for maintenance, inspection, and pumping. It is important to keep the lid in good condition and properly sealed to prevent odors, leaks, and safety hazards. 

The lid should be located above ground and accessible for maintenance, typically via a removable cover. It is important to keep the lid accessible at all times, just in case of emergency.

While not nearly as common, septic tank risers can also be an important addition to your septic system. Septic tank risers are essentially vertical extensions that are added to the tank to raise the lid to ground level. This allows for easy access to the tank for maintenance and pumping without the need for excavation. 

Risers are typically made of plastic, concrete, or fiberglass and can be added to an existing tank during installation or retrofitted to an existing tank. Septic tank risers are a great way to make a septic system more accessible and can save time and money on maintenance and pumping. They also can improve the safety of accessing the tank.

The Dangers of Not Securing Your Septic Tank Lid

In addition to allowing access to your septic tank for repairs and maintenance, a septic tank lid provides security by preventing kids, animals, rainwater, and debris from entering your septic tank. It also keeps harmful gasses and bacteria from escaping, which can be hazardous to your health.

Over the years, there have been several instances where children have died due to falling into septic tanks. One report from Florida describes a horrible scene at a family birthday party where a child disappeared during the event and was found later inside the septic tank. 

However, this doesn't just happen to children and small animals. More recently, a 74-year-old North Port resident was found dead in her septic tank after she fell in while she was gardening around her home. 

The average septic tank is about 6 feet deep, which could easily cause serious injury. The fall alone is not all that can cause problems, though. One of the byproducts of sewage is methane gas which builds up in the chamber. High concentrations of methane in an enclosed space will decrease the oxygen levels in the area and can lead to suffocation. Methane gas is also highly flammable and can be ignited by something as innocuous as an ember from a cigarette.

How to Secure Your Septic Tank Lid

All of this said goes to show that it is extremely important to keep your septic tank lid properly secured. First of all, it is always important to have a professional routinely inspect your septic tank and drain field, as well as ensure that your lid and fastening system are properly installed. Between service intervals, there are several things that you can do such as:

  • Make regular visible inspections to see if the lid is secure and in good shape.
  • Replace fasteners with stainless steel fasteners so that they can withstand any corrosive gasses from the tank.
  • Tighten screws and fasteners regularly.
  • Check that lid locks are properly fastened and that the bolts going through the riser are firmly bedded.

Additional Safety Steps

In addition to securing and maintaining your septic tank lid, you can take additional measures to better protect yourself and your family from the dangers that are associated with owning a septic tank. 

  • You can install additional safety features in case a tank lid is ever exposed. One such feature is a safety screen that fits inside the riser, preventing a dangerous fall. 
  • Talk to your children about the importance of staying away from septic tank lids.
  • Vehicles should never be driven over a septic tank, especially the lid. 
  • Never leave an open tank unattended, as it is easy for children and small animals to enter the tank.

If you are concerned that your septic tank lid is not properly secured, it may be time to schedule a septic system inspection with Viking Septic Services. Our inspections include a full pumping, along with a complete NC-certified inspection of your system components, including your septic tank lid. 

Contact us today to schedule a consultation!