Questions about fixing a septic "coverup"

Help Support House Repair Talk:

ilyaz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
246
Reaction score
19
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.

image000000 (1).jpg image000000 (2).jpg
 

Jeff Handy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
564
Reaction score
153
Location
Chicago suburbs
First of all, why did you not remove and replace those crumbing stairs, when you were pouring a new patio? OMG!
 

ilyaz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
246
Reaction score
19
First of all, why did you not remove and replace those crumbing stairs, when you were pouring a new patio? OMG!
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.
 

Jeff Handy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
564
Reaction score
153
Location
Chicago suburbs
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.
 

ilyaz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
246
Reaction score
19
At this point I am more concerned about the septic access
 

JoeD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
1,696
Reaction score
319
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.
 

Jeff Handy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
564
Reaction score
153
Location
Chicago suburbs
I think a big sturdy metal plate is good.
Then cover that with a treated wood hatch, flush with the concrete.
 

68bucks

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
100
Reaction score
31
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.
 
Top