Questions about fixing a septic "coverup"

Discussion in 'Bricks, Masonry and Concrete' started by ilyaz, Dec 13, 2019.

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  1. Dec 13, 2019 #1

    ilyaz

    ilyaz

    ilyaz

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    We're rehabbing a 1950 house that has a septic tank. It also, many moons ago, had a water cistern next to the house which was removed even before the previous owners bought the house.The first photo shows a hole that we thought was access to that old cistern. We decided to make the backyard a little prettier and poured a new slab on top (Note: we did not, fortunately, fill the hole underneath with concrete or garbage or anything). Then we realized that the original hole provided access to the septic tank. So now we need to fix this. The question is how we can do it (i) quickly, (ii) cheaply and (iii) correctly. The house is located in Washington County, MD, and I am not sure what sort of code exists for septic access or concrete slabs over septic tanks . Our contractor proposed to cut a rectangular hole in the new slab over the old one and then install a metal plate as a lid. Questions:
    1. Does this sound like a reasonable plan to you? Is there a better options in terms of (i), (ii) and (iii)?
    2. What are our options for a lid? I guess one is steel. Maybe aluminum? Wood, as long it's pressure treated, or treated some other way again rot, and thick enough?
    3. What sort of "surprises" should we anticipate? We definitely want to do this right the first time, to avoid having to fix the fix later.

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  2. Dec 14, 2019 #2

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    First of all, why did you not remove and replace those crumbing stairs, when you were pouring a new patio? OMG!
     
  3. Dec 14, 2019 #3

    ilyaz

    ilyaz

    ilyaz

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    Because it's easier, cheaper to build wooden stairs that will sit on top of the old crumbling ones and the new slab. And they will look better.
     
  4. Dec 14, 2019 #4

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Then the stairs should have come out, then extend the slab under.
    Then build new wood stairs resting on that nice solid slab.
    But your method will work, just not how I would do it, but to each his own.
    As long as they get replaced, ‘cause they are looking rough next to your pretty new slab, haha.
     
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  5. Dec 14, 2019 #5

    ilyaz

    ilyaz

    ilyaz

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    At this point I am more concerned about the septic access
     
  6. Dec 14, 2019 #6

    JoeD

    JoeD

    JoeD

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    Metal plate will work. So will a concrete plug that can be removed.
    Whichever method you use it will need to be sealed to keep water out and smells in. Wood is not an option in my opinion.
     
  7. Dec 14, 2019 #7

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    I think a big sturdy metal plate is good.
    Then cover that with a treated wood hatch, flush with the concrete.
     
  8. Dec 15, 2019 #8

    68bucks

    68bucks

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    I live in NW Ohio and code here requires 2 access opening for a septic tank. You can cover it with a plate. I'd go with aluminum or stainless and it might need a stiffener underneath so it doesn't feel spongy when you step on it. Maybe make a lip for it to set on so it's flush to the slab. We're planning an addition and the county will require us to bring the tank to code for an addition so well have to replace the tank. Something to think about if you have any such plans, though code could well be different in your location.
     

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