I dug down four feet and found my tank cover for my septic tank.
I want to add a 4' riser to the tank.
I'm having trouble clearing out the area. Usually how wide an area
needs to be cleared out?
Should the hole be square or round?
Ya know, when people start talking about doing something
like that, I wonder why. So I'm asking. Why?
Incidentally, if you use powdered detergent, stop it yesterday.
Because it reforms an island of residue in the tank, causes the
bacteria a real problem.
Ten guesses what I say about the use of bleach and other
'disinfectants' when you have a septic tank. After all, you
depend on bacteria to do their stuff in there.
So if you're talking about putting the riser on to facilitate tank
emptying, I suggest becoming more attuned to the proper care
and feeding of the bacteria that are working for you.
Speaking as a person that was on a septic tank for over 15 years
before sewers, never had to have anything done to it or for it.
Nonsense. A cup of chlorine bleach (about 1/2 oz or less of elemental
chlorine) is not going to sterilize 1000 gals of ripe sewage. Clorox is so
high pH (lye is added to stabilize the chlorine on the shelf) that it will
*enhance* the bacterial action after its little bit of oxidizer is
Septic tanks normally require routine pumping. It is part of the
engineered design and operation, not a sign of failure. Don't be confused
by ill-advised desperate pumping of failed systems.
15 years and you did nothing. The accumulation of minerals that drop out of
dirt alone would have seriously loaded your tank without pumping. I have a
33 year old septic tank system that has been used every day by my family. By
today's standards it is undersized, but it is still going strong. I get it
pumped every 2 years. And, yes, I too have a riser to make access easier.
You get it pumped every two years. That's nice. Gives you that
warm, fuzzy feeling, I'll bet.
My tank had a pipe extending to the surface. Every so often, not
more than 3 years, the same pumper got called to pump it. They put
their hose in, pumped it out. Owner felt happy that he was doing
what he was supposed to do. Pumper was happy to have the
When we moved in, we stopped all that. After all, after 1500 gallons
of water went into it, it was full again.
As I see it, unless it gets emptied TO THE WALLS, all that's
happened is that it got pumped.
But you're welcome to your opinion.
Just check the next time a cap gets taken off, the line gets dropped.
The sludge gets pulled, the water gets pulled, and everybody's
I went 15 years without it, but toilet paper was limited, garbage
disposal unit wasn't used, powdered detergent wasn't used, toilet
disinfectants weren't used, etc.
One fact shoots hell out of a lot of theory. But you're committed to
doing it every two years, and I'm not seeing any reason to try to
change your habits.
If it can get to the tank. I had the same problem with the kitchen sink
backing up for my dry well, which takes the 'grey water' from the
dishwasher, sink, and water softener recharge. I had the tank pumped and
it seemed to help a little bit, but the sink was very slow to drain. I
then had someone come to power auger out the waste pipe from the clean
out in the basement wall. The waste pipe runs about 25' from the clean
out to the tank. At some point near the end of the 25' run, he ran into
a solid wall of something in the pipe. He thought the iron pipe might
have broken and a piece was blocking the pipe (there are no trees
anywhere near the house or tank, so not a root problem). I then had to
have him dig down to the pipe, starting from the tank. He pulled out a
6' piece of pipe which runs from the tank to a pipe coupling and a bunch
of water ran out of the other still-buried pipe end. He found the 6'
piece was solidly full of a white granular material for about 3' from
the tank end. He said it was, and it looked like, dirty powdered DW
detergent. Using a screw driver to poke at the stuff, it only broke off
in little dry pieces. I figured it would take a few hours to break it
all out, so we just replaced it with green plastic pipe. I use the
liquid DW detergent now.
Regarding clearing, you need to be at least 6" out from the opening,
and when it's fully exposed, your form wood can keep the dirt from
coming back in. So the most practical arrangement is square, IMO.
I've seen it done that a person would go down to the cap, put
their outer forms just a couple inches out from that. Then, when all was
dug, they'd remove the cap, install the inner forms, use the cap on top.
Plenty of plastic over the dirt during the digging, because you know it'll
rain on the project, and you don't need erosion into the tank.
My tank was about 3 feet down. I added a circular concrete tube slightly
larger diameter than the tank hole. I put a concrete cover over the tube.
Check out your local concrete or someplace that sells holding tanks for
the riser you need. Now I only have to dig down 6 inches to remove the
new cap and get the tank pumped.
Ed J edj22 @ attglobal . net
"mike" < email@example.com> wrote in message
I got a riser from these folks.
This riser system use stackable rings to achieve any length desired.
My tank is only 18" below grade, so installation was a snap. This riser uses
an adhesive gasket to secure it to the tank. I had no local distributor, so
they sold to me directly. I couldn't be happier with this setup. Check it
out. Good luck!
The top of my tank is about 4 feet down!!!
I added a 2 foot riser years ago. (Cement tube with a cement lid)
I fill the last 2 feet with mulch, a ring of bricks and some flowers.
Very easy to dig 2 feet when pumping is required. (every 2-3 years )
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