Home Improvement Bleg: Septic Tank edition
So, having fully conceded to living in a pre-industrialized part of the country, we arranged to have our septic tank pumped. Because apparently the wonders of modern plumbing haven’t yet extended 50 miles north of Manhattan and our fecal matter simply gathers in an underground tub. Huzzah.
Anyway, upon digging out the access point, the guy found that instead of a proper cap and/or riser, the prior homeowner put in a makeshift one made out of a plastic cooler which was on the verge of collapsing. This would be horrible news. He recommended a $250 adapter plate plus a $250 riser to bring it up to grade. Oh. And that doesn’t include labor. I’ve done some internet sleuthing that indicate both these price points are way too high. However, our septic opening is larger than standard, meaning I need a specialized adapter (which I think I’ve found but I need to call the company during regular business hours to confirm).
But I’m wondering if all this is necessary. A riser is simply a matter of convenience. It is basically an extended tube that allows access to the tank without digging. But further research tells me that I can probably pour a concrete slab — complete with handles — and then place (but not affix) this over the opening and bury it. This would effectively cap and seal the tank and, while it would require digging every time it had to be fixed, it would turn a $700+ job into a $50 job. The slab would be heavy — likely a two-person job to life — but this would make the seal that much stronger and given that the tank only needs to be cleaned every 2-5 years, seems like a small price to pay.
So… what am I missing? Any reason I shouldn’t take the approach I’ve outlined? Will the septic function any differently with my proposed lid as compared to what the pro recommends? And if my plan is all full of septic fodder, does anyone know where I can find an adapter plate/ring that will cover a 36″ septic opening?