Can I Build Over A Septic Tank?

Maybe you want to update your home’s outdoor area with a new patio, deck or expand an existing structure. If you use a septic system, however, building on or near it could lead to serious issues. Keep reading to learn why it’s never a good idea to build over a septic tank.

The Parts of a Septic System

Modern septic systems contain a major pipe leading from your home to the tank, a septic tank, drain field, and the soil surrounding the drain field. First, the pipe delivers waste water from your home to the septic tank, where it’s cleaned of contaminates before being released into the drain field. After being separated, wastewater contaminates get slowly absorbed by the surrounding soil. The two main elements that you should never build on or around are the septic tank and drain field.

Why You Can’t Build on Top of a Septic Tank

Because a septic tank requires consistent maintenance and pumping, building over it makes access difficult. With a structure on its top, septic crews would not be able to do their jobs. Also, any weight placed on top of a septic tank can cause damage to this vital component. Some homeowners choose to install trapdoors or removable boards on top of their septic tank to allow access, but most professionals advise against this workaround.

Can I Build Over the Drain Field Instead?

As the region around the septic tank meant to absorb water, the drain field plays a vital role in your septic system. Just like weight over the tank can cause damage, so can it strain the drain field and surrounding soil. Even planting anything other than short grass in this zone can compromise its function, since intricate root systems complicate the underground area.

Along with needing access to the septic tank, crews must be able to reach and evaluate the drain field, as well. If anything impedes easy access, maintenance and inspection of the drain field become difficult if not impossible.

More importantly, these features handle waste, and if any part can’t do its job effectively, you risk leaking noxious odors into the surrounding air. And as the part of your property responsible for sewage water absorption, a drain field is not ideal for outdoor entertaining, anyway.

If you live in the Greenville or Anderson areas and need help with septic system installation, maintenance or repair, remember to call Palmetto Pumpers at 864-385-3933 and schedule an appointment today.

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