The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiding Your Septic Tank
We all envy the beautiful homes that grace the covers of Southern Living magazine, but one thing you never see are septic tanks smack dab in the middle of their pristine yards. While your septic tank might be essential to your everyday life, they certainly are not flattering to your landscape. Coastal Property Inspections is here to help with these do’s and don’ts to hide your ugly septic tank without bringing any harm to its functionality.
Before we get into ways to hide your septic tank, we first want to provide all the things not to do to make sure you do not damage your septic tank and waste your time and money for a quick solution that will end up not working well.
6 Don’ts of Hiding Your Septic Tank
- Don’t plant trees around your septic tank. While you may think this will be an easy way to hide it, the growth of the tree’s roots can disrupt the system and cause it to not work properly or even rupture pipes. The rule of thumb is to not plant anything closer than 25 feet away.
- Don’t plant grass on it. Grass can make everything look more beautiful but your septic tank needs regular maintenance and pump-outs to keep it working efficiently and if you plant grass on top of it, they will have to dig it up each time.
- Don’t build a fence around it. A fence can easily block the view of the tank but if your posts go too deep, they can impact the way your system works and the waste flows. Also, if they are accidentally placed in the drain field, it can make it useless by compacting it.
- Don’t plant a vegetable garden. While we certainly encourage growing your own vegetables in your yard, the waste from the septic tank can easily travel into your garden’s soil and contaminate your vegetables.
- Don’t put anything heavy on top of it. Gazebos, lawn ornaments, automobiles, heavy machinery and such should stay off of the septic tank and drain field. The weight from these things can easily begin to put pressure onto your system and damage it.
- Don’t put animals around the septic tank. Most animals like to dig and it would be very easy for a dog to confuse a PVC pipe with a dog bone.
Now that you have an understanding of how not to damage your septic tank, here are some great options to disguise your system and keep it working efficiently.
8 Dos of Hiding Your Septic Tank
- Do use a fake rock cover. There are plenty of options for rock covers in many different sizes and shapes that can help it blend into your landscaping. They even come with the option to add vents if your tank is vented.
- Do plant tall grass around the area. While planting grass on top of the lid is not a good idea, tall native grass planted around the tank area can keep it clear for maintenance but grow tall enough to hide the line of sight to it.
- Do place lightweight yard decorations over it. Items such as bird baths, small statues, and potted plants can be easily removed for servicing and are not too heavy to cause pressure to the system.
- Do plant landscaping rocks. This can easily disguise your septic tank and make the space beautiful all while being removable for any maintenance. You can also consider a mobile rock garden since they are able to cover a large area while being easily moved around.
- Do create a mosaic lid cover. You can use small stones or tiles to create beautiful patterns on top of the lid and bring color into your yard.
- Do use an old wine barrel. Cut it in half and you can either turn it over to replace the fake rock cover or fill it with colorful flowers to place on top.
- Do use septic tank risers and covers. This alternative to concrete can blend easily with your grass and when installed properly can be flush to your yard while allowing for easy access for maintenance.
- Do paint the lid. If none of these options fit your yard’s aesthetic, then paint the lid to match the surroundings and help it blend into the background. This is a quick and easy solution that doesn’t disrupt the septic tank itself.
If you are unsure where your septic tank is located, make sure to call us at Coastal Property Inspections to get a layout of the area before you begin any projects. We are licensed septic inspectors and can make sure it is working property and mark out the location of your septic tank, drain lines and distribution box. Let us give you a helping hand to make your yard beautiful with your first attempt.
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