Septic tank question

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I've got a standard concrete septic tank setup. I recently dug down about 10 - 12 inchs to uncover the two inspection / maintenance holes, whcih are about 20 inches in diameter.
My question: is there any problem in not re-filling the holes so I can have easy access next time I want to check the tank to see if it needs a pump-out?
Can I expect a lot of odor in the hot months if I don't cover the thing with dirt?
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I would just fill it with sand, that way you could easily dig it out if you need access, without the potential for odor and liability. Liability might take the form of a curious child (we lost one locally to an uncovered septic tank), or someone falling due to the hole in the yard.
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Brick around the tank lids up to just under the soil level. Keep the original lids in place and add a precast sidewalk slab as a new lid over the bricked up opening. Cover with some loose soil untill you need access again.
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there are height extensions for this need
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Seems like the holes ought to have a hatch, or cover plate?
Some kind of board over the top of the hole in the ground? Maybe a big tractor tire, with a flower planter, or something like that.
--
Christopher A. Young
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wrote:

My septic guy says one problem with that is rain water will flood the tank putting pressure on the leach field. He also suggests using regular spray foam insulation on the edges of the hole before you drop the lid in. That will break loose easier than the bond you get with dirt in the gap..
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Yeah, Iwas thinking of callking around the lids - that foam is a better idea. Even if backfilled with dirt, the concrete lids are uneven and are bound to allow water to seep in during rains when the soil gets saturated.
This thing has turned into a real pita. I have a fence panel lying over the holes now, for appearance and safety, but it's not going to stop rain infiltration.
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On Jun 19, 8:07am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

OMG! That septic tank guy needs to find another job!
1. Rain water can't 'flood' it unless there is drainage from a large area running into the hole.
2. Concrete tank lids do not seal themselves to the tank.
3. Concrete lids do not fit down into a recess, they sit on top of the tank.
Harry K
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On Fri, 19 Jun 2009 21:06:34 -0700 (PDT), harry k

This is a licensed guy who has owned the business for 20 years, I believe him

Like the roof?

I guess you have a different kind of tank or soil

Every one I have seen does, It is a tapered concrete plug that goes in a matching tapered hole. The sand in our soil will seal that puppy so tight you need an 8' 4x4 and a decent fulcrum to pop it out.
Maybe this is just a Florida problem but we got 2.5" of rain in about an hour in a half last night and that wasn't even a storm, just a summer shower. If you had an open hole in the ground around your septic clean out (or anywhere else in the yard) it would certainly be full to the top with water in minutes.
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On Jun 19, 10:52pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That the guy is a pro does not mean that he is 'right'. I have had septic tank pumpers claim that the 90 degree el that terminates into the tank is a 'bad thing'.
Another reason the surface water cannot 'flood the field' is that it can't run into the tank to begin with. If the tank is functioning correctly, it is already full to the top. It would also have to work its way through any unsealed cracks in teh lid seal which could pass some small amount of water.
Bottom line - he is full of the stuff in the tank.
Harry K
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On Sun, 21 Jun 2009 20:53:49 -0700 (PDT), harry k

It better not be, In fact it should not be much above the exit pipe in the tank, that is lower than the input pipe,
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On Jun 21, 10:49pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Correct if you are referring to the _liquid_ level. The 'cake' floats on top. Would water running onto the top of the cake penetrate it? Dunno but the pumpers have to stir that up in order to suck it up.
Still leaves the problem of enough water making its way through small cracks to 'flood the the field'. Then someone else already mentioned the _fact_ that if ground water is entering the tank, the field is already flooded.
Harry K
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harry k wrote: ...

Yes, but even if it didn't it would flow out the drain--it can't/won't "stand" above an opening unless it is blocked.
And, there are two (at least) compartments--the exit is separated from the inlet side by a baffle that reaches to the top so the solids are retained there leaving essentially only liquid in the outlet chamber. Otherwise the drain field would get clogged w/ solids almost immediately.

Doesn't necessarily follow (depends on relative amounts of input versus perc capacity of the field) but certainly large quantities of groundwater should be prevented from entering the tank.
--
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So explain just how "larged quantities" can enter the tank dthrough very small unsealed openings. Seepage or maybe even drips are about all you can get.
Harry K
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On Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:21:51 -0700 (PDT), harry k

If you have a washtub sized hole full of water right over the clean out there will be a lot of water going into the tank if the only "seal" is the ragged edges of the concrete plug. If this also happens to be in the area where the roof drains off, that hole will stay full of water as long as it is raining. You would be surprised how well a foot or two of sand will stop sheet flowing water so this will not get to the drain field but you are mainlining it right into the tank.
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harry k wrote:

So like several of us said- if he doesn't wanna shovel next time, add a prefabricated or improvised manhole with a lid, over the inspection/cleanout holes. Include freeze protection as needed by local climate. Several ways to do it, depending on local code requirements. Not rocket surgery, just a glorified outhouse. -- aem sends...
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I never said that was a bad idea. Peace out
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harry k wrote:

No, but they do get jammed in place. Molding concrete is not like machining steel or hardwood- you don't get exact dimensions after it cures.

??? They must make tanks different in your part of the world. Around here the lids are are tapered on the edge, round lid or square, and fit in like a cork. Edge of the hole is tapered to match.

They do sell retrofit kits that you mastic down to the top of tank instead of the lids, and include a plastic lid and an access tunnel leading up to surface, with room to place a foam plug if you live in frost country. Top is a flush plastic manhole, rated to walk on (but probably not drive on), that you simply open and reach down to get to the inspection and pumping ports. Some people swear by them, and if I lived in a house with lots of people and septic, I'd probably look into it. But being here by myself, odds are this tank will go 15 years without needing pumping.
-- aem sends...
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on 6/20/2009 12:06 AM (ET) harry k wrote the following:

My cleanout holes and lids are tapered.so that the lids drop in and are flush with the top of the tanks. I have two tanks, one is 'brown water' and the other 'grey water'.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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