What Can You Put On Top Of A Septic Tank? (Correct answer)

Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses are generally the best choices for use on a septic drain field. Ornamental grasses also offer the advantages of having a fibrous root system that holds soil in place, and providing year-round cover.


  • Apart from swimming pools and decks, other things you can consider putting over your septic tanks are perennials and grasses, including ornamental grasses. The reason for that is simple; perennials and grasses have shallow root systems.

Can you put anything on top of a septic tank?

Building over septic tanks It is never recommended to build a structure over any portion of your septic system. No permanent structures should be built over any portion of the system, but at least in this case the homeowner can pump out their septic tank.

What can I use to cover my septic tank?

The Do’s For Hiding Your Septic Tank

  1. Plant tall native grasses with fibrous roots around the opening to conceal the tank lid from view.
  2. Place a light statue, bird bath or potted plant over the septic lid.
  3. Septic tank risers and covers are an alternative to concrete and blend into green grass.

How much weight can I put on top of my septic tank?

1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 m) of soil shall be over the top of the tank. No more than one axle or two wheels shall be over the tank at any one time. The minimum concrete strength will be 5,000 psi (35 MPa) compressive strength.

Can I pour a concrete slab over my septic tank?

You should never pave over your septic tank. Although soil compaction is not a major issue for septic tanks, there are other dangers presented by placing an insecure septic tank underneath concrete and heavy vehicles.

Can I build a deck on top of a septic tank?

It is usually not a good idea to build a deck near or on top of a septic tank. Installing frost footings and applying deck loads over a septic tank could result in damaging the tank or waste lines. A punctured septic tank will create a terrible mess and an expensive problem.

Can I put pavers over septic tank?

You can’t build a paver patio on top of a septic tank, and doing so could be against the planning laws of your state or local area. Septic tanks can take very little weight without getting damaged, and you’ll also need access to the tank in the future too. You shouldn’t build a deck on one either.

Is it OK to cover septic tank lids?

If you have a traditional septic system, the tank should be pumped every 3-5 years. That means that the septic lids should be accessible every 3-5 years. You can use almost any temporary, movable objects to cover your lids, like: Mulch (but not landscaping)

How can I hide my septic tank riser?

Riser Covers The easiest way to hide your septic riser is by simply placing something over it, such as a hollow, lightweight landscape rock, a birdbath, a sundial or a decorative lawn ornament. Apply basic landscaping principles when deciding what to use.

How can I make my septic mound look nice?

Cover the mound with flowers Turning your septic mound into a stylish flower bed can help make it more attractive. However, planting flowers on top of a septic mound is a lot different than planting them in a regular flower bed.

Can I put a fire pit over my septic field?

Can You Have A Fire Pit Over A Septic Tank. When you are building a DIY fire pit, you should never place it over a septic tank. Moreover, it would be best if you didn’t put it in the leach field for safety reasons related to underground pipes and methane gas.

Can you put hot tub over septic tank?

Installing a hot tub above septic components can cause significant damage, easily dislodging or even crushing the pipes in your septic drainfield.

Can I drive over my leach field?

Can You Drive on a Septic Drain Field? No, driving over your septic drain field is similarly never ever recommended. As much as you are able to help it, prevent cars or heavy equipment (such as oil delivery trucks, swimming pool water trucks, cement mixers, and also the like) to drive straight over the field.

Is Soft Scrub with bleach safe for septic systems?

Answer: Yes. The recommended use of Soft Scrub Cleansers will not have any harmful effect on a household septic system.

Can I pour concrete patio over septic tank?

You should not build a patio over or near a septic tank. Septic tanks are not built to withstand the weight of a concrete slab or pavers and you risk damaging the tank or the waste lines. You should make sure there is a 5 foot distance between the edge of the septic tank and any heavy materials.

Can you put a pool on a drainfield?

Never put a pool on top of a drainfield, soakbed, raised bed septic or septic mound: Never locate a swimming pool on top of a drainfield or mound: the work of installation is likely to damage the drainfield, and even a simple, lightweight plastic swimming pool liner and above ground frame, built by tiptoeing onto the

Landscaping Around a Septic System: Do’s and Don’ts

Riverside, California 92504-17333 Van Buren Boulevard Call us right now at (951) 780-5922. A big number of large plants, patios, and other structures are likely to be absent from the region surrounding your septic system. Indeed, conventional thinking is that you should avoid both large landscaping and septic systems in the vicinity of one other. This is a reasonable guideline to follow since roots can entangle themselves around pipes and cause them to burst. Plants, on the other hand, can absorb excess rainfall and decrease erosion, so landscaping around your septic system might not be such a bad idea after all.

You don’t want roots to penetrate the perforations and clog the system, so keep them out.

Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts

  • Plants that do not require a lot of water should be used. This stops plant roots from looking for water and interfering with your system’s functionality. Make use of herbaceous plants with shallow roots, such as flowers and ground cover. When planting quarts, gallons, or plugs, make sure to keep your plants somewhat near to one another to prevent erosion. This will help restrict the growth of weeds. If you have any trees or shrubs growing in your yard in the future, consider how their development may impede access to the septic tank lids, leach field, and sprinkler system. Using a potted plant, riser cover, or lawn ornament just above your access hatch, you may mark the position of your access hatch. When it comes time to dig it up, it will be much simpler to do so. Allow tall Kentucky bluegrass or another type of lawn to grow over the plot of ground that serves as a septic tank cover. Consider the benefits of growing perennials. Because both grasses and perennials have a shallow root structure, they should have no negative impact on your tank or drain field. Make use of tiny, non-woody groundcovers to disguise weeds. Think about planting shallow-rooted trees and vegetation (such as cherry trees, dogwood trees, holly bushes, azalea shrubs, and boxwood shrubs) in the area around your septic system, but make sure they are at least 10-15 feet away from the tank.
  • Get so concerned about plants and grasses hurting your septic tank that you completely demolish the surrounding region. Some grasses and plants are particularly effective at collecting excess rainwater surrounding the drain field, hence reducing the likelihood of drainage problems. Overwatering your lawn may encourage freshly planted plants to flourish more quickly. Overwatering can cause soil to contract over your leach field, which can cause your septic system to get clogged. Root vegetables can be grown in the vicinity of your system. If these nutrient-absorbing plants are planted too near together, they may cause problems with microorganisms.
  • Install plastic sheeting or ponds to keep the water out. These characteristics obstruct effective drainage from the tank to the leach field. Overlook the septic tank or leach field and construct walkways and high-traffic routes
  • Don’t forget that the placement of fencing and gates might have an impact on septic pumper truck access. The hoses on the truck are quite heavy, and we do not recommend that you use them to cross fences. The majority of pumpers like to have access within 50 feet of their vehicle. Planting plants or trees around the septic system is a good idea. Forestry professionals recommend planting trees 20 feet or more away from water, but trees that are known to hunt for water should be planted 50 feet or more away from water. Planting shrubs near the system is a good idea. Vegetables that are nutrient-rich can be grown on a septic system. However, contamination is a worry depending on how efficiently your soil filters microorganisms, even if it appears to be excellent for a garden. Susan Day, an expert on urban forestry at Virginia Tech, advocates planting aboveground veggies rather than root vegetables in close proximity as a safeguard. Disrupt the drainage system by constructing ponds, using plastic sheeting, or planting plants that require a lot of upkeep. Increase foot traffic in regions that are already established. The greater the amount of foot traffic, the more compacted the earth gets.

Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields

As long as you choose the landscaping for the region around your septic system with care, you won’t have to be so concerned about the possibility of septic system damage caused by roots that you refrain from planting in these places entirely. It is not only permissible, but really desirable, to cultivate the appropriate kind of plants in this location. Plants will help to prevent erosion and will also help to absorb some of the surplus rainwater from the drainage system. The ideal plants to use around your septic tank and drain field are perennials and grasses (including decorative grasses).

Small, non-woody ground coverings are a wonderful choice for the same reason: they are low maintenance.

It is not safe to consume food crops that have been planted in the ground near a drain field since doing so may result in the consumption of hazardous microorganisms.

The following are examples of shallow-rooted plants and shrubs:

  • Dogwood trees, Japanese maple trees, Eastern redbud trees, cherry trees, azalea shrubs, boxwood shrubs, and holly shrubs are examples of ornamental trees and shrubs.

The Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems

Planting huge, rapidly growing trees is often discouraged. However, some of the greatest offenders are trees and shrubs with root systems that are aggressively seeking out sources of water, which makes them particularly difficult to control. They are not picky about the water source from which they draw their water, which means the pipes in your septic tank drain field are completely fair game. Weeping willow trees are a well-known example of this. There are several trees and bushes to avoid, however the following are only a few examples:

  • The following are examples of plants and trees: Pussywillow bushes, Japanese willow shrubs, Weeping willow trees, Aspen trees, Lombardy poplar trees, Birch trees, Beech trees, and Elm trees The majority of maple trees, with the exception of Japanese maples
  • American sweetgum trees
  • Ash trees
  • Tulip trees

It is advised that a layer of vegetation, such as a lawn, be placed over the drain field to help hold the dirt in place and boost the effectiveness of the system. Certain principles, on the other hand, should be followed in order to avoid costly and unpleasant situations. Perhaps the greatest piece of advise would be to keep trees and bushes out of the landscaping surrounding this location. The most important factor should be the best possible functioning of your septic system, but each homeowner will need to do a cost/benefit analysis of the plants they choose on an individual basis.

If you suspect that encroaching tree roots are causing damage to your system, please contact us at (951) 780-5922 as soon as possible. If you have any questions, we have specialists standing by to help you resolve them and get your system back up and running.

Can You Put A Paver Patio Over A Septic Tank? (Must Read!)

Consider the following scenario: you’ve found the ideal location in your yard for your new patio, but there’s a septic tank in the way. What do you do? Can you just go ahead and build the patio on top of the existing structure? You are not permitted to construct a paver patio on top of a septic tank, and doing so may be in violation of the planning regulations of your state or local jurisdiction. Septic tanks are capable of withstanding just a small amount of weight without becoming damaged, and you will want access to the tank in the future.

With the help of this article, you will be better prepared to comply with local planning requirements when it comes to constructing a patio on or near your septic tank.

Should I Ever Pave Over My Septic Tank?

The practice of constructing a structure over a septic tank is not advised, and in fact, some counties may have rules against it. If you are aware of the location of your septic tank, you will need to plan your patio around it. What is the reason behind this? First and foremost, why make life difficult for yourself? This means you must have access to your septic tank, and ideally without the need to lift concrete slabs. Sometimes you’ll notice paved sections over tanks with an access hatch in between the pavers.

  1. This will, without a doubt, help to alleviate the accessibility issue, but it is still far from perfect.
  2. Immediately after, we’ll go through the various sorts of tanks and their weight-bearing capabilities.
  3. Discovering the location of your tank before beginning any construction is the moral of this story.
  4. In this instance, you’ll need to determine whether or not the previous tank was properly refilled.
  5. If you believe that you may have an old tank on your property, consult with a professional surveyor or engineer for confirmation.
  6. This is the million-dollar question.
  7. In order to drain it, you’d have to relocate all of your beautiful furniture and potted plants, and you’d have to prepare yourself for the scent to remain for many days thereafter.
See also:  How To Keep Septic Tank From Smelling? (Question)

How Much Weight Can Go On Top of a Septic Tank?

When it comes to an old-fashioned steel septic tank, the answer is usually “very little.” Modern septic tanks are often constructed of concrete, which makes them much more durable. Some have a “traffic rating” and axle weights, whereas others do not. But the majority of the advise is to avoid parking on or even driving across a septic tank at all costs. A collapse or partial collapse can result in a devastating accident, with the driver, the car, the tank, and the surrounding property all suffering severely as a result of the incident.

If you are installing a new one, make sure to choose a durable concrete tank that satisfies all of the specifications.

The drain field (also known as a leach field) is the region where the drain lines that flow from the tank are located, and you don’t want these lines to be damaged as much as possible.

Make sure that spot is clearly marked so that no one attempts to park there. Nevertheless, you will not be left with an unsightly and useless area of yard. Then we’ll look at what you can do to protect the area around your septic tank.

What Can You Put Over a Septic Tank? (Can You Cover Them At All?)

So, what are your plans for this parcel of property that has been delineated? Keep the hatch open to allow for easy access (you can always put a lightweight plant pot over it). Over the cover, we’ve also heard of light sculptures and bird feeders being used (these are also a good way to remind people not to park cars or mowers directly over the tank). You could even make a highlight of the hatch itself by decorating it with mosaic tiles or painting a pattern on it. There’s an unexpected amount of information on this on Pinterest!

  • Plant grass over the drain field since it helps to keep the soil around the septic tank in good condition.
  • Solid waste is separated from liquid waste in the septic tank, which allows it to function properly.
  • The bacteria are more efficient in soil that is loose and well-drained.
  • As much since possible, choose a native grass that will thrive in your zone without the use of fertilizers, as you want to leave the soil as natural as possible.
  • In our most recent post, you may learn more about the many species of natural grass.
  • Trees should not be planted anywhere near a septic tank system.
  • It should go without saying that a septic tank drain field is not a good location for a vegetable or herb garden to be established.
  • It appears to be a fine concept; but, it would be quite difficult to create a deck that is still load-bearing despite the presence of a vast unsupported region above the storage tank.

How Deep Should Septic Lines Be Buried?

Every drain field is unique due to the variations in soil and water table found in different parts of the country. If you’re building new septic lines, consult with a professional first (and as much as we love a DIY yard project, the whole septic tank thing is best handled by the professionals). The overall norm appears to be at least six inches deep, according to the evidence.

This appears to be a shallow depth to us, and according to our study, the optimal depth is between 18 and 36 inches below the surface of the water. This also provides you with a substantial amount of soil cover, which allows your grass roots to securely develop without interfering with the lines.

Where Should Your Septic Tank Be Located?

The requirements for septic tank placement differ from one location to the next, but the general guideline appears to be that the tank should be at least 10 feet away from your residence. According to what we’ve previously discussed, you’ll want to choose a location that won’t impede with your driveway or parking because a car of that weight shouldn’t be able to pass over the tank. Additionally, you will require an area for the septic tank’s drain field and lines, which you will not want to plant anything on or build on in the future.

Again, consult with an experienced drainage engineer who can assist you in determining the ideal location for the tank and drain lines.


The bottom line is that because septic tanks are not weight bearing structures, you cannot construct a patio or deck on top of them. Aside from that, you’ll require continual access, which is another reason why this is a horrible idea. Because it may be against state and municipal planning rules to construct a paver patio over your tank, the last thing you want is to find yourself in trouble with the authorities – or literally in trouble if your patio furniture falls through and into the tank!

6 Things to Know About Landscaping Around Your Septic Tank

You’re undoubtedly already aware that dumping some items into your sewage system, such as paint or grease, can cause harm to your septic tank. However, you may not be aware that certain gardening methods can actually cause harm to your septic system. In order to avoid unwittingly causing difficulties or damage to your septic tank, here are six things you should know regarding landscaping around your septic tank. 1. The location of the access point. It is OK to use landscaping to conceal the entry port to your septic tank; however, you must not totally conceal it.

  1. One option to conceal your access port without totally concealing it is to use a landscaping element such as a birdbath or any other fixed lawn decoration to mark out its position on the property.
  2. Characteristics of Vegetation that is Safe It is possible for some species of vegetation to grow above and around a septic tank without the risk of septic tank damage rising.
  3. You should also limit the vegetation that grows above your tank to plants that do not require a lot of water.
  4. In order to grow anything other than grass over your sewage tank, use perennials that are drought-resistant to the elements.
  5. Characteristics of Trees that Have the Potential to Be Destructive Large bushes or trees should not be planted anywhere near your septic tank under any circumstances.
  6. In the case of a 20-foot-tall tree, it is recommended that it be placed at least 20 feet away from the septic tank.
  7. Trees with actively growing roots can cause damage to septic tanks and pipelines, even if they are located a long distance away.


Grazing animals consume the protective vegetation that covers your drain field, exposing the components of your septic system to the elements.

There are a lot of methods you may use to keep livestock from grazing on your septic tank.

You may also apply animal repellents around your drain field, which deter animals by emitting unpleasant sounds or odors that they find uncomfortable.

Preventing vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Your landscaping should be planned and your yard should be put out in such a way that cars do not drive over the area where your septic tank is positioned.

Foot traffic, in addition to car traffic, can cause damage to a septic tank.

As an alternative, if possible, direct foot traffic away from the area.

The Positioning of Architectural Elements You could choose to include architectural elements into your landscaping, such as retaining walls, stone paths, or fire pits.

If you plan to incorporate architectural elements into your landscaping, be certain that these elements are located far away from your septic tank. Get in contact with Walters Environmental Services if you want to learn more about maintaining your septic tank in excellent working order.

Things You Can (and Can’t) Put on Your Septic System’s Leach Field

Istockphoto.com Designed to break down organic waste from the residence, septic systems are capable of segregating waste into two types: liquids and solids. While the solid sludge that accumulates at the bottom of the tank must be pumped out at regular intervals, the wastewater can either be treated and reused as irrigation for crops or simply discharged into a septic field, which is typically comprised of perforated piping that is set in gravel trenches and buried about 1 to 2 feet below ground level.

To find out how to utilize a septic field without endangering or interfering with the septic system, continue reading this article!

YouCanPlant Vegetation That Benefits the System

However, contrary to common thought, it is really a good idea to include some types of plants in a septic field to help with the process of evapotranspiration and to decrease the adverse effects of erosion, which can leave the field vulnerable to damage. You can plant a variety of shallow-root plants in your septic field to help improve the aesthetic appeal of your property while also benefiting the health of your system. Some examples of shallow-root plants to consider planting include holly shrubs, boxwood shrubs, azalea shrubs, hollyhocks, violets, wild violets, and spring bulbs.


YouCan’tPlant Vegetation That Harms the System

While there are certain advantages to growing certain types of vegetation on your septic field, if you plant the wrong sort of vegetation, you may have difficulties. In addition to pussy willow bushes and Japanese willow shrubs, aspen trees and birch trees as well as blue mist spireas and edible vegetable plants are examples of vegetation that should not be planted on a septic field. Although a vegetable garden may appear to be beautiful, there is the possibility that hazardous bacteria, such as E.

Raised gardens are also not a smart idea since the additional weight of the soil and bed constructions can cause the septic pipes to become damaged or even collapse.

In certain cases, these root systems can wrap around septic field pipes, causing the septic effluent to be trapped and flooding the surrounding area.

YouCanInstall an Open-Air Kennel

However, if you have a dog and want to provide it with a safe place to play without worrying about it running away, you may build a basic open-air kennel on top of your sewage field, which will reduce the amount of weight that is placed on top of the septic field. Although it should be emphasized that the roof and any form of floor that would lie on top of the grass are not permitted since these modifications would obstruct the evapotranspiration process in the grass. The most basic definition of a suitable open-air dog kennel is a gated space where the dog may run about freely.

Aside from that, make certain that the fence posts are set away from the septic field pipes to avoid accidently damaging a pipe when digging a posthole for the fence. istockphoto.com

YouCan’tInstall Structures

Construction of structures around septic fields is not recommended and cannot be done in certain areas. As previously stated, Numerous individuals have suggested floating decks, tiny shelters, and even simple gazebos to help block out the sun; however, each of these modifications poses a risk to the septic system and should be avoided. Septic fields cannot be securely constructed over decks because they are too heavy; in addition, decks impede access to the system by inhibiting the establishment of grass and other useful flora, which helps to lessen the adverse effects of erosion.

It is not always true that a gazebo is too heavy for the field, but any building that shuts out the sun causes erosion in the field, which is why even an open-air kennel cannot be covered.

YouCanSet Up a Lightweight Swing Set

Some people may consider this large field to be a waste of space, but children and pets may play freely in it without encountering any difficulties, making it an ideal location for a lightweight swing set for the kids. Because of its tiny size and lightweight construction, this type of playground equipment is often reserved for children under the age of ten. These considerations also make it feasible to put up a swing set for some outside recreation time. Just make sure that the swing set does not have any large roofed portions that may obscure the sun and cause damage to the beneficial plants in the surrounding region before purchasing it.

YouCan’tInstall Semipermanent Playground Equipment

A permanent or semipermanent play structure may seem like an excellent idea given the amount of open space afforded by the septic field, but this might result in a slew of difficulties if it is not done properly. Large play structures are sometimes excessively heavy, placing strain on the septic field and potentially bending or breaking pipes that are only a foot or two below the surface of the ground. This type of play structure also normally requires a plastic sheet to assist prevent flooding and erosion surrounding the playground; however, when this barrier is placed over a septic field, it interferes with the process of evapotranspiration, which can result in both erosion and flooding in the field.


YouCanSet Up Volleyball and Badminton Courts

It is feasible to construct a couple of poles that can support a volleyball or badminton net without interfering with the septic system, however a regulation court with the required flooring is not recommended in this situation. Even though the grass should be left undisturbed and exposed to allow the current plants to help the septic field with evapotranspiration, a basic court may be created without causing any damage to the septic system by usingrope to create a temporary barrier around the area.

It’s important to remember that a volleyball court should only contain four people at a time, which means that a full-size volleyball court that can seat 12 people isn’t a smart option owing to the additional weight that would be placed on the pipes.

YouCan’tInstall Tennis or Basketball Courts

Tennis and basketball vary from volleyball and badminton in that they often require a paved surface in order to be played correctly. If you want to pave over your septic field for any purpose, whether to create a parking area, a patio, or to establish a tennis or basketball court, you should think twice. Because of the inclusion of concrete, not only does the process of evapotranspiration become impossible, but it also adds a large amount of weight to the septic field pipes, which may lead them to collapse.

YouCanBuild a Fence

The process of installing a fence in the yard becomes more difficult in the presence of an aseptic system because you must ensure that the postholes can be excavated and the posts installed without harming the septic field pipes is completed safely and without incident. When using an exact plan that specifies where the pipes are to be laid, it is feasible to construct an enclosed septic field, or even a pipeline that runs directly over it. Remember to take the time to carefully map out the exact location of the fence posts and to continue with caution while digging the holes for these supports.

See also:  How Do I Know When My Septic Tank Is Full? (Best solution)

Additionally, ensure that the system may still be accessed for maintenance when it is required to do so.

YouCan’tAdd a Pool or Water Features

Pools, ponds, and streams are all wonderful additions to a property, but they must be maintained away from septic fields to avoid contamination. The presence of ponds or streams that are too close to the septic field increases the possibility of them becoming wastewater runoff points, lowering the efficacy of the system and generating areas surrounding the residence where hazardous pollutants, such as E. coli, can concentrate. Due to the fact that they must be dug out and erected in the ground where the septic pipes are located, inground pools should be a no-brainer, but even above-ground pools can cause issues.

Additionally, the weight of the pool, especially when it is full, will likely crush the pipes and cause the entire septic system to backup.

How To Disguise Septic Tank Covers and Systems

How to Disguise Septic Tank Covers and Systems (with Pictures)

How To Disguise Septic Tank Covers and Systems

However, while septic systems can be beneficial to your budget and the environment, they are not the most attractive yard adornment. Fortunately, they are rather simple to conceal, allowing them to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your yard. Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to how to conceal septic tank covers.

The Don’ts Of Septic Tank Disguise

Improper ornamentation and concealment can result in a variety of issues, including broken pipes in the drain field and tank, among others.

If you are unsure about the location of your system, it is important to contact your service professional to have a better understanding of the layout of the system before you begin decorating. Here are a few fundamental don’ts to keep in mind when working with children.

  • Trees. Maintain a minimum distance of 25 feet between trees and the drain field. Several types of trees and plants have long, powerful roots that can become entangled in and, in some circumstances, puncture the septic system. Grass is used as a covering. However, while grass can be put on top of the drain field, nothing permanent should be planted on top of the septic tank cover since regular maintenance and pump-outs are required to keep your septic system operating smoothly. Fencing. Fencing should be used sparingly, deliberately, and shallowly. Staking posts that are placed too far down in your drain field might cause major complications for your drain field. Vegetable Gardens are a type of garden where vegetables are grown. Planting vegetable gardens close or around your septic system is not recommended due to the risk of contamination. Items that are quite heavy. Above or near the septic system and drain field, no huge lawn decorations or gazebos may be installed. All of that weight can quickly begin to exert pressure on your organs and systems. Driveways. Do not park automobiles or heavy gear on top of a septic system. Animals. Animals should be kept away from the system. The last thing you want to discover is that your dog has dug too deep and mistaken PVC for a bone.

The Do’s For Hiding Your Septic Tank

Here are some suggestions to get you started on disguising your septic system now that you’ve learned the fundamentals and guidelines. The most important piece of advice? Bring your imagination to bear. Find something that will work in your yard and environment.

  • Plant tall native grasses with fibrous roots around the mouth of the tank to obscure the tank lid from public sight. Over the septic lid, place a light statuary, bird bath, or potted plant to attract attention. Septic tank risers and covers are an attractive alternative to concrete since they fit in with the surrounding greenery. Landscape that has been created artificially When not in use, the rocks are lightweight and can be quickly slipped over the cover for rapid access when required. Gardens made with movable rocks. These are excellent temporary/non-permanent disguises that may totally obscure the place in which they are used. Lid Covers with a Mosaic Design. Making a mosaic design on the top of a concrete septic lid using small, brightly colored tiles or stones is simple and effective. Alternatively, an old wine barrel may be split in half and filled with flowers, or it can be flipped upside down as a substitute for the artificial rock cover. If you are unable to locate something to place over the lid that complements the aesthetic of the surrounding yard, you may paint the lid the same color as the current surrounds.

Disguising Septic Tank Covers Video

It is not necessary for your septic cover to be an eyesore. Make sure to work with your own personal style as well as your local environment to keep the cover-ups looking good while still being minimal maintenance. For additional septic tank disguise ideas, have a look at ourPinterest Board for ideas.

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Can You Build Deck Over Septic Tank?

It is one of the most exciting and gratifying home remodeling tasks you can undertake to create an outside living space. A finished deck, no matter how complicated or basic, is a wonderful location to spend time with friends and family while also enjoying your house. What might put a kink in your deck-building plans, though, is the question of whether or not you can build a deck on top of a septic tank. Although it is possible to construct a deck over a septic tank, this does not automatically imply that it is a good idea.

Creating a deck over a septic tank requires careful planning and execution.

In this article, you’ll discover the fundamentals of installing decks over septic tanks, as well as the dangers and construction codes related with these projects, allowing you to determine whether or not this is a good idea for your home or not.

Can You Build a Deck Over a Septic Tank?

It is feasible to construct a deck over a septic tank, but it is not necessarily a smart idea. There are a variety of factors that should cause you to stop before deciding to build your deck over a septic tank. Building a deck without disrupting your septic system is a difficult task, and you will need to be resourceful. However, it is not impossible or difficult; it simply takes more preparation and adjustment. Consider it a one-of-a-kind design challenge that will push you to be more creative and strategic in your planning!

Risks of Building Over a Septic Tank

The construction of a deck directly over the tank will make it difficult, if not impossible, to pump out the tank. The tank’s upkeep is extremely vital, and covering the tank with a wood framework makes that task much more difficult to complete. Every three to five years, your septic tank should be drained and emptied, and older tanks may require more frequent maintenance. This makes it unwise to construct a deck over a septic tank unless you are forced to do so by circumstance. It is also critical to preserve the septic lines and drain field in their original condition.

This liquid, which is referred to as effluent, drains out into the drain field and dissipates in the earth and the surrounding air.

When something interferes with the process, however, it becomes readily apparent to the observer.

Building a deck over a septic field is not recommended since it will impede the natural draining and dissipation of the effluent from occurring.

This can cause damage to the septic system, as well as the release of unpleasant odors into the air all around your deck area. The dispersing effluent can also cause the deck to deteriorate from the bottom up. There is nothing more unpleasant than sitting on a deck that smells like a sewer!

Guidelines for Building Decks Over Septic Tanks

Construction of a deck over a septic tank should be avoided wherever possible. If there is absolutely no other option, construct your deck as high as possible to provide yourself and service employees with plenty of space to work. Adding a trap door or hatch onto the deck directly will make pumping and emptying the tank much less of a headache in the long run. When designing your deck, make a note of the precise positions of your septic lines and drain field and mark them off with flags to ensure that you do not construct over them.

If your home is equipped with an old, empty, or decommissioned septic tank that is no longer in service, it is permissible to construct a deck over the tank, lines, and drain field.

Deck Over Septic Tank: Footings and Framing

If you want to build a deck over a septic tank, you should be aware that each deck footing must be at least 5-10 feet away from the septic tank at all times, depending on where you live in the world. However, doing so may result in the footings being too widely apart to allow for the construction of a structurally sound deck that complies with code. Decks that are too widely apart will droop, and they won’t survive more than a few of years if the footings are placed too far apart. If you discover that your deck layout necessitates the placement of footings that are too far apart, you might want to consider framing the deck with steel rather than wood.

How Big Is a Septic Tank?

Septic tanks are available in a variety of sizes depending on the size of the residence; for example, a two-bedroom ranch will have a significantly smaller tank than a six-bedroom country estate. The Environmental Protection Agency advises sizing the septic tank depending on the number of users and the size of the home, as well as the amount of water that will be used. The usual size of a septic tank is between 750 and 1250 gallons in capacity. This is enough to allow the tank to filter and treat a few years’ worth of water and waste before it has to be replaced.

Tanks extend approximately one foot in each direction for every 250 gallons that the capacity required rises.

Septic tanks are generally made of precast concrete, plastic, fiberglass, or steel, with steel being the least popular due to the high cost and corrosion prone nature of steel tanks.

How Deep Are Septic Tanks Buried?

Contrary to popular opinion, septic tanks are not buried particularly deeply in the ground, as is commonly assumed. Septic tanks that are dug too deeply might be cracked or collapsed by soil weight, causing the effluent to leak and soak into the soil around the tank rather than draining into the drainage field. The majority of septic tanks are buried between 4 inches and 4 feet below ground level. This is dependent on the kind of soil, the slope of the yard, the tank design, and a variety of other factors.

To determine the precise placement and depth of the tank and septic lines, which you should do before constructing a deck over them, consult a professional. This will assist you in avoiding the placement of deck footings in areas where they might cause harm.

Rules and Codes Regarding Septic Tanks

Before you begin construction on your deck, you should research the building rules in your area that pertain to septic tanks. Construction of a floating deck over an existing septic tank is permitted in some locations. In others, it is prohibited, and violating the law can result in penalties and the removal of the deck. Septic tanks, drain lines, and drain field must be positioned at least 10 feet away from building slabs, roadways, decks, and other buildings in some jurisdictions, such as Ohio.

You will never be permitted to build over septic lines or drain fields; these regulations are only applicable to construction near tanks.

These requirements apply not just to decks, but also to other types of construction, such as walls and trees, foundations, slabs, and other types of landscaping.

How Close Can a Deck Be to a Septic Tank?

If possible, the footings of the deck should be at least 5-10 feet away from the tank at all times, depending on where you reside. This might result in the deck’s size being reduced or increased in order to fit these regulations. You may use this site to gather information on septic systems at the state level. Consult your local building codes or chat with a professional plumbing contractor or house inspector to have a better understanding! If your municipality permits footings closer than 5 feet to the tank, it is still advisable to maintain the deck footings at least five feet away from the tank.

Can You Build a Floating Deck Over a Septic Tank?

The construction of floating decks, which are essentially free-standing wooden platforms that are placed at or slightly above grade, should not take place over an existing septic tank. The weight of the deck on the supports might cause the septic system’s ability to properly process and drain waste to become displaced and disrupted. It is possible that you may become the proud owner of the stinkiest floating deck in the city if you ignore this warning. Construction of a hybrid floating deck, which uses underground footings similar to that of a traditional deck while remaining short and distinct from the home, is a straightforward option.

Can You Build a Deck Over a Septic Field?

It is never recommended to construct a deck over a septic field. In order for sewage to flow out into the groundwater or evaporate into the air, septic fields must be built to allow for this. When you disturb the septic field, it causes backup, which causes the ground to become murky with tainted wastewater. The stink and look will be quite visible, and it is possible that the entire septic system will need to be repaired. Even if you are planning to construct on top of an existing septic field, you should properly evaluate the soil to ensure that it is no longer dripping with water.

Once you’ve determined that the drain field is not in use, you can proceed to construct a structure on top of it as if it were normal ground.

What Can You Put Over a Septic Tank?

Septic tanks cannot be immediately overtopped except for decks or pergolas that are built on footings more than five feet away from the tank’s inlet and outlet. In addition to septic system components such as concrete slabs, foundations, and shrubs, other constructions can have a negative impact on the system’s health and performance.

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It might be difficult to construct a deck over a septic tank. It is feasible, but it is not always a sensible decision. Even if you decide to create the deck, there are a number of considerations to bear in mind. Before you begin construction on a deck over a septic tank, conduct thorough study and planning, and always keep the septic system in mind. Have you ever constructed a structure over a septic tank? Do you have any further questions concerning your forthcoming deck project? Please let us know.

Eugene has been a DIY fanatic for the most of his life, and he enjoys being creative while also motivating others to be creative.

Building Near and Over Septic Tanks

Posted on a regular basis In most cases, minimum setback rules imposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality (TCEQ) preclude the building of a new residence from occuring over any point of an existing sewage disposal system. Foundations, pools, property lines, wells, and other structures must be kept at a certain distance from the septic tank and drainfield in order to meet these setback requirements. It is possible that some homeowners will install objects such as patio decks or house additions over their systems, whether by accident or design.

Building over septic tanks

Construction of a building over any section of your septic system is not recommended. The most typical issue we see is when someone wants to pump out their septic tank but is unsure of where their tank is situated on their property. Tanks hidden beneath a hardwood deck, pool patio, driveways, or even room extensions are not unusual for us to discover and investigate. The majority of the time, this occurs because the homeowner is uninformed of the tank’s location and/or does not have a plan in place for future tank maintenance.

However, in this scenario, the homeowner will be able to pump out their septic tank because no permanent constructions should be constructed over any component of the system.

Building over drainfields

In order for the drainfield to function, water in the solids and some evapotranspiration must be absorbed. In order for bacteria in the soil beneath a drainfield to treat wastewater from a drainfield, the soil beneath the drainfield must have sufficient oxygen. However, if a permanent structure is constructed over a drainfield, it has the potential to reduce the amount of oxygen that can be absorbed by the soil and hence reduce evapotranspiration. The potential of causing the drainfield lines to collapse is a significant concern when constructing over them.

Depending on the age of your system and the restrictions of your local authorities, repairing or shifting your drainfield may need the installation of a whole new system.

We can assist you with any of your wastewater system needs, and our specialists can also assist you with your septic installation and maintenance requirements: 210.698.2000 (San Antonio) or 830.249.4000 (Austin) (Boerne).

Septic Tank Bacteria: What You Need to Know

In the case of a new septic tank owner, or if you’re just not familiar with the way your septic tank operates, you may not be aware of the importance of bacteria and how it affects your septic tank’s operation. Bacteria contributes to the proper operation of your septic tank over time. Your septic tank would most certainly jam up very fast if there were no microorganisms present. By following proper septic tank management procedures, you may encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria. The way you utilize your septic tank, as well as the items you flush down your drains, can have an influence on how well it functions.

Why Is Septic Tank Bacteria Important?

Solid waste is continuously drained down the drain to the septic tank. Whenever solids are introduced into the tank, they sink to the bottom and accumulate there. Over time, such sediments will begin to accumulate in the sewer system. In order to prevent this, the tank must be pumped every three to five years since the solids in the tank always ascend to the top of the tank. If the solids reach the drainfield pipe, which is located towards the top of the septic tank, microscopic particles will be released into the drainage system.

Bacteria reduces the amount of bacteria that accumulates at the bottom of the tank.

Whenever the liquids in the tank reach the drainfield, they are securely discharged into the yard and do not become clogged.

What Can You Do to Promote Septic Tank Bacteria Growth?

Septic tanks inherently contain bacteria that will develop and multiply. By draining more solid waste down into the tank on a consistent basis, you encourage the growth of bacteria. However, there are several things you can do to your septic tank that will help to slow the spread of germs. All of the items meant to kill bacteria such as antibacterial soaps, bleach, antibiotics, and other products designed to kill bacteria have the potential to enter your tank and harm some of the beneficial bacteria in your tank.

It is possible that you may need to alter the way your family operates in order to prevent flushing these items down the toilet.

Before washing soiled garments, soak them in vinegar for a few minutes, and mix baking soda into your laundry detergent before putting it in the machine.

If you require a secure location to dispose of your medication, consult with your doctor to determine where you may properly dispose of your medication waste. It’s possible that your doctor is aware of medicine-recycling activities taking place in your neighborhood.

Do You Need to Put Bacteria In Your Septic Tank?

Some firms manufacture bacteria that may be added to your septic tank in order to support good functioning of the system. However, if you follow the instructions to the letter, microbial additives should not be required. Assuming you keep the amount of bacteria-killing agents and chemicals in your drains to a minimum, your tank should have enough bacteria to perform its functions. Whether or not you decide to employ septic tank bacteria, you should check with your local sanitation authorities to see if any chemicals or other materials are prohibited from being flushed down the toilet.

If you’re not sure which septic tank bacteria firms are the best, ask the specialist who pumps your septic tank for a suggestion.

Al’s Septic Tank Service is delighted to speak with you about septic tank bacteria and other septic tank-related issues.

To learn more, please contact us immediately.

What Should You Plant Over the Septic System?

Among the plants seen here are creeping phlox, dwarf boxwood, hebe,thyme, and iris, all of which are deemed acceptable for planting over a septic field.

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Get articles, news, and videos about Onsite Systems delivered directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Plus, there are Onsite Systems. Receive Notifications As you go about your daily pumping rounds, you’ve seen the many different ways that homeowners may sabotage their septic systems by using bad landscaping or making other ill-informed land-use decisions. When the driveway becomes overcrowded, people park their automobiles on top of the septic system. They build a wooden deck over the septic tank, making it difficult for you to get to it.

  1. They promote root infiltration, soil compaction, and broken and damaged drainlines, and then wonder why they’re having trouble maintaining the septic tank.
  2. On Bowen Island in the British Columbia province of Canada, there is a landscape and garden designer by the name of Wynn Nielsen.
  3. A presentation on landscaping around a septic system was recently prepared by Nielsen to assist disgruntled property owners – who may not be aware that they have a septic system or who may not even be aware that they do have one – who are confused about how their system operates.
  4. In Nielsen’s experience, landscaping designers are often late to the game when properties are being developed, because landowners have formed preconceived views about how they want to use their lots before the designers arrive.
  5. According to her, “septic fields tend to occupy the most appealing portions of a lot, and people tend to want to utilize them.” “People want to build patios, decks, and hot tubs on their properties.
  6. I’m the one who has to break the terrible news to you that you won’t be able to accomplish that without causing damage to the septic field.
  7. “It would be wonderful if there were greater awareness of the end-user.” The majority of pumpers are gearing up for the start of the hectic season.
  8. Some of Nielsen’s presentation may be useful in explaining how each planting option might affect the effective usage and lifetime of a customer’s septic system to them in your presentations.

Additionally, Nielsen has these words of wisdom for septic pumpers and installers: If homeowners have a lot of questions and worries regarding their landscaping, they should not be shy about calling in an expert.


Your knowledge of the first guideline of planting around a septic system includes knowing to avoid thirsty plants that have deep roots. Water-loving trees such as willows, birch, silver maple, elm, beech, walnut, and linden, according to Nielsen, should be kept at a safe distance from homes. The use of aggressive, dense ground coverings that will interfere with the evaporation process, such as pachysandra, cotoneaster and periwinkle, is discouraged, according to her. Others to stay away from because of their aggressive roots include vines and wisteria, as well as bittersweet, morning glory, campsis, and hops.

  • Any species of bamboo
  • Any plants with very strong lateral root development
  • Any other trees with a particularly strong lateral root growth Pond grasses that thrive in water and grow in vast quantities
  • Clematis native to the area (self-seeding)
  • Cedars (with the exception of genetic dwarfs)
  • Vinca stolonifera

Prairie grasses and meadows can be no-mow and can prevent driving across septic fields, both of which are beneficial characteristics, leading some people to believe they are desirable. Nielsen, on the other hand, believes that they are frequently poor alternatives for the septic field. The prairie grasses and perennials contain some of the longest, tangliest, and strongest roots on the planet, according to Dr. Smith. Prairie grasses have vigorous roots that are good at searching out water sources such as perforated drainpipes as a result of their drought-resistant characteristics.

  1. While cedars are beautiful, they may be a nuisance when they grow next to a septic field.
  2. When homeowners insist on planting trees with significant lateral root development, encourage them to take a deep breath and wait.
  3. The owners of landscape-intensive yards must be cautioned not to plant vegetables over the septic field as this might cause serious problems.
  4. They are cautioned, however, that disturbing the soil with these annual crops is detrimental to the septic system, and that the wastewater may include diseases that can be transmitted to the edibles.


While typical lawns are permitted for use over septic systems, Nielsen notes that many homes are moving away from that type of ground cover that requires a lot of upkeep and requires a lot of water.

She cites a few grass kinds that are commonly considered to be superior than others. Alternatives that are less risky include:

  • Eco-grass and fescues that have been pre-mixed
  • The tufted fescues, the feather grass, the pennisetum, and the deschampsia are examples of small grasses. Plants that look like grass, such as mounding mondo grass, liatris, liriope, and armeria

“Lawns are not particularly environmentally friendly. Most animals do not thrive in them, but we still have children and dogs, who enjoy running about on them,” she explains. “They are also a terrific location for youngsters to play.” As an alternative to standard lawns, Nielsen advises drought-tolerant plants with short, fibrous root systems that are hardy in your area and can thrive in both sun and shadow situations, depending on the situation. Her top recommendations include the use of microclover/ecograss/carex pensylvanica dwarf, the introduction of white clover, carpets (thyme, sedums, low-growing ground coverings), shallow, short/soft rooted perennials, bulb/corm/rhizome/tubers in lawns, and moss in the landscape.

Another option for adding interest to the landscape without putting the septic system at danger is to intersperse annuals or bulbs throughout the ground cover, according to Nielsen.

Furthermore, the newer dwarf tree and shrub kinds do not pose the same threat as their larger counterparts.

Fibrous root systems are found in a variety of shrubs including boxwood, potentilla, daphne, and choisya, as well as the euonymous and hebe.


Most of the time, homeowners employ Nielsen to design a landscaping plan after a site has been created and a home has been constructed. Developers and septic installers, on the other hand, should incorporate a landscape designer earlier in the process in order to ensure the greatest possible use of the site, according to Nielsen. According to Nielsen, the position of the septic field is frequently dictated by the land’s topography, and it is typically the flattest, sunniest section of the property that is also the greatest location for intensive horticulture.

“These choices have a negative impact on their capacity to use property that they have paid a lot of money for, which is unfortunate,” Nielsen adds.

They aren’t considering how the homeowner will wish to make use of the property while making their decisions.

My task would be a lot simpler if I had done a bit more planning ahead of time. Nielsen hopes to educate residents about septic systems and perhaps preserve a few septic systems as a result of her landscaping presentation and getting to know the pumping specialists on Bowen Island she is visiting.

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