Septic Tank Cover Question ?

Hello,
Son and wife have bought a 30 year old house.
Backyard is quite nice, and level.
Question: we have (just) noticed that the septic pit that one pumps out occasionally, the outflow of which goes to the D box and leaching field distribution pipes, has a concrete cover that is about 1 or 2 inches above the soil line, and shows as it's uncovered.
Quite surprised, as ours, and I always thought all of them, had the cover below the soil line.
a. Is it a requirement to be below the soil ?
b. What might have happened ? Could it be that they just didn't dig deep enough to have the cover end up below the soil line ? Or,...?
c. If, for safety reasons, we want to have it below the soil, and covered, what's the best approach ? Would hate to have to have a contractor go back there with a crane to lift it out, dig deeper, and reinstall.
What's the best approach to all of this ? (just put a big flower pot over it ? !!)
Thanks, Bob
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Robert11 wrote:

Mines above ground. It was buried but to pump out, we had a concrete ring installed above it, with a cover. This means there is still a second cover below the ring.
I had to have a second drain field installed with a distribution box that was covered. When I had to switch back to old field, I dug to find box and installed a concrete ring with cover above ground.
If you have to have septic guys stomping around your yard to find these things, service will cost a lot more.
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my father in law was required to fnd his, i helped with some explorator digging
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-snip-

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Local codes might require it.

Someone re-graded to make the yard 'nice and level'? They got tired of digging it up every year to be pumped or unclogged? . . .

What safety? The most likely cause of problems would be someone driving a vehicle over it. Seeing that cover ought to serve as a warning.

I'd go with the flower pot myself. It locates the thing and makes maintenance easy. The only downside [other than esthetics] to not having a soil cap *might* be in extreme climates where freezing could become an issue. I'm in upstate NY. My septic is within the shade thrown by my house on the north side. There is no soil covering the cap- and very little covering the rest of my concrete tank. We have had a few snowless, cold winters and I've never had a freezing problem. There seems to be enough heat thrown off by decomp, and warm water being added to keep things from freezing.
Jim
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Its best to have these things on view or under something that is easy to move. Being able to see if something is working properly, must be good. As far as your septic tank is concerned it produces its own heat with the anaerobic process, however, as it gets colder in winter, the process stalls and picks up again in the warmer days of spring and summer. Try to keep the septic as warm as possible as used properly and kept warm it will go for years before it needs emptying. Occasionally lift the inspection cover over the input T and check the hight of the solids in the tank, you will probably find that the level rises during the winter and drops back during the summer. The way to check it, get a 10 foot pole and lower it down the T you will be able to feel the top of the sludge. The tank needs to be emptied when the solids are 12 inches below the bottom of the outlet T. Perry
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wrote:

If it's broke fix it; otherwise, the flower pot would work.
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