Why You Should Avoid Covering Your Septic Tank with a Deck or Patio

December 17, 2021 6:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

More homeowners than ever before are enjoying their outdoor spaces. Whether it’s installing a deck or a patio, you can take full advantage of everything your property has to offer.

When you make a decision to renovate an outdoor space you may wonder: Is it okay to put a deck or patio above a septic tank?

For some homeowners, it may seem like the most convenient spot to install an outdoor space, but ultimately it’s a choice that will likely have negative consequences.

Should you cover a septic tank?

Unfortunately, the answer is no, you shouldn’t. The fact is that your septic tank is a vital part of your home’s function, and covering it up is likely to lead to expensive repairs and malfunction.

Typically, to begin work on a deck or patio, you need a permit issued by a local zoning board, and you may need approval from other government bodies such as a health department. This involves including a sketch of the property that shows the location of the house and any other structures along with the location of the well and septic system.

It is possible to construct a deck or patio next to a septic system, but a good rule of thumb is to leave at least 10 feet from the nearest edge of the septic tank. If you construct a patio or deck on top of the septic system, you’re going to regret this decision.

Problems with putting a deck or patio above a septic tank

Your septic tank will eventually need to be cleaned out. When this happens and there’s a structure on top of the system, you might have to cut or dismantle part of your beautiful new deck or patio to allow access to the septic tank’s lid. Not only will you be on the hook for repairs to your deck or patio, but this will take significant extra time—which no one wants to do when their toilets are backing up.

This doesn’t just have to do with access to the septic tank. When you install frost footings and deck loads over a septic tank, this could lead to damage to the tank or to waste lines. The last thing you want is a punctured septic tank—this will lead to a terrible mess that will be expensive to correct.

If you’re installing a patio or deck on an older property, you may not know the exact location of the septic tank if it’s buried. This information is not always included on surveys with other easements and utilities. You want to find the exact location of the system before installing any footings.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t cover a septic tank. B.H. Cameron Septic Services LLC has been in the septic business since 2005. We offer high-quality, friendly services in residential septic pumping, grease trap maintenance, leach field maintenance, septic tank risers and septic pumping. Contact us today to take advantage of the personalized service our family-run business offers every customer.

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