Spending time with loved ones in the company of a crackling fire pit in the backyard is an excellent way to take in the merriment and fun of the occasion while appreciating the cool of the evening. Many people who live in homes with septic lines wonder if they can put a fire pit on top of the system.
This article will define a septic field and explain if you should build a fire pit over a septic tank or not. Discover practical tips to help you take the essential precautions to keep yourself, your family, and your house safe.
What is A Septic Tank?
A septic tank is a type of wastewater treatment plant used to treat any untreated liquid discharged from a septic field. If you have a septic tank in your home, you need to care for your septic field.
Most people assume septic tanks are underground, but that may not always be the case. Often, septic fields are found within a few feet of the surface. Thus, understanding where they are is critical for their effective functioning and keeping them marked to ensure their safety.
The septic field’s leaching procedure relies heavily on the quality of the soil to function effectively. Compression of the soil can harm the process and lead to more serious problems. People driving over the septic field daily might also compact the soil, causing damage to the septic field itself.
Can You Put A Fire Pit Over A Septic Tank?
No, it is not advisable to put a fire pit over your septic tank for various reasons. Several byproducts, including methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, nitrogen dioxide and traces of carbon monoxide are released into the atmosphere in this process. Methane is extremely combustible and can permeate the air near your septic field.
The fundamental objective of the septic tank in your yard is to use anaerobic digestion to decompose the waste that enters your septic system.
To keep you and your family safe, position your fire pit far enough away from the area where you dispose of waste. Putting a fire pit near a septic tank can be extremely unsafe, putting your tank at risk and perhaps putting others in danger.
How Far Should A Fire Pit Be From A Septic Tank?
If you’re putting a fire pit into the ground, it should be 10 feet away from your septic system. Your septic system is likely made of PVC pipes. Although PVC does not rust like metal pipes, it can be melted.
Septic systems aren’t very delicate, but they need to be treated with care. A septic system, for example, has plenty of room for waste to accumulate, so you cannot park on top of it.
Since cars can weigh a ton or more, this could damage the septic system and your automobile. A fire pit should be placed at least 10 feet away from the building or other structures, if at all possible. If you have the room, more is preferable.
Building anything near your septic system necessitates double-checking with your health department and local zoning restrictions. Every country has its own set of rules and regulations.
What Can Happen To The Septic Tank If You Build A Fire Pit Too Close?
A fire pit above a septic tank may produce problems, but it’s not guaranteed. Some septic tank effects are more visible than others. Below are seven negative results.
- Soil Compaction: Using the fire pit regularly will produce soil compaction over time. This might stress and damage your septic system and pipes.
- Sewage Leak: Gas isn’t the only substance that can leak from a damaged or melted sewage tank. Urine and feces leak, polluting groundwater.
- Melted Pipes: Heat dissolves plastic, and most septic pipes are made of plastic. Even metal pipes can warp and be damaged by high temperatures.
- Methane Leak: Methane gas builds up in septic systems as human feces decomposes. Heat can induce tank or pipe fractures, leaking flammable, foul-smelling natural gas.
- No Access: You need to be able to go inside the septic tank if you plan on cleaning it.
- Fire: A sewage tank fire is unlikely, but it can happen. Pumper says septic tanks can burn even without a fire pit.
- Collapse: Due to heat damage, your sewage tank could crash. While unlikely, it is feasible.
What Can You Put Over A Septic Tank?
The field is often left empty to reduce systemic damage. However, we recommend planting a lawn over it. This holds dirt and improves the system’s efficacy.
The plants in the septic field look nice, but they also provide benefits to the septic system. Here’s a list of what you can put
- Shallow-root herbaceous plants: Flowering annuals and perennials such as weeds, turfgrass, and numerous ground covers. Boxwood shrubs, holly bushes, spring bulbs, wild violets, and hollyhocks are some plants you can plant.
- Open-air kennel: If you want to give your dog the freedom to go around, you can set up an open-air kennel. No roof or floor is needed. Install fence posts away from drainpipes.
- A lightweight swing set: This playground equipment is mainly for under-10-year-olds
What Can You Put Around A Septic Tank?
- Fence: You’ll need a schematic of your septic system to construct a fence around your property. You have to position the poles so that they are not touching any pipes.
- Wildflowers: Think about planting a wildflower meadow or a garden specifically for pollinators in the area surrounding your sewage tank.
Your septic tank can be transformed into a beautiful natural setting by planting native wildflowers that attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and songbirds.
Even though most flowering plants will draw in pollinators, the blooms local to your location will provide the greatest and most natural environment for the pollinators.
You can get wildflower meadow seed mixes from a variety of trustworthy seed sources, which will allow you to cultivate a wide range of native flowers with a minimum of work.
Can You Put Pavers Around A Septic Tank?
Putting pavers on top of a septic tank is against state and local building standards, and you could be fined. Septic tanks can withstand relatively little weight without being damaged, but you’ll also need to be able to access the tank at some point.
If too much weight is placed on a septic tank, it might become damaged. It may be difficult to build a deck over the septic tank for future maintenance and inspections, as you would require access.
Sewage from home is treated in a septic system that includes a tank and a drain field. At least one tank with associated pipes and absorption fields makes up this system.
Septic systems must be installed and maintained following building codes. Before issuing a building or remodeling permit that could impair the system’s operation, your local health agency will examine the system if it is required.
Can You Build A Septic Tank Above The Ground?
Yes, you can. Holding tanks and camper septic tanks are other names for these types of septic tanks installed above ground. They are above-ground tanks for storing wastewater.
Some conditions need portable polyethene tanks, which are available in 250 and 350-gallon capacities (946 and 1325 litres).
This tank type is ideal for water-front sites where establishing a normal underground septic system is impractical. Because of the following drawbacks, very few people use permanent above-ground storage tanks.
If they are connected to a leaching field, the wastewater is transported to the field by a pump rather than gravity. The particles can be broken down into tiny pieces, escaping with the affluent and eventually clogging the field’s pipes.
Tanks must be emptied often when they are not connected to a leaching field. This is both time-consuming and expensive. Because they are exposed to the environment, they wear out far more quickly than tanks buried in the earth.
Things You Should Not Put Over Your Septic Tank
Certain objects and buildings should not be placed in the space above your septic system. The cost of repairing or replacing a septic tank is exorbitant.
If you don’t want to go over budget, avoid covering your septic tank and drain field with objects like these:
- Japanese willow bushes, birches, aspen trees, and blue mist spireas are all examples of deep-rooted vegetation. A clogged septic system is a common problem.
- Planting a garden in a drain field or a beautiful vegetable garden can allure you, but don’t give in to the attraction. A plant’s roots are an ideal place for E. coli-causing bacteria to enter the food chain.
- The construction of gazebos, floating decks, and tiny sheds are completely out of place in these locations. When it’s time to clean and pump the tank, they restrict who has access to the area around it.
Septic tanks help your yard by disposing of underground wastewater and eliminating toxins from anaerobic digestion. Having a septic field on your property will aid in the breakdown of the liquid portion of your septic tank by utilizing various components and the soil surrounding it.