Septic Tank Risers: Features, Functions & Benefits

What is a riser in a septic tank and what purpose does it serve? Here is a guide.

Older septic system models followed a basic pattern where most of the components were buried underground and totally out of sight.

Installing a septic system and keeping it unnoticed may seem like a good idea until an emergency arises.

What are we talking about? The septic tank riser is under focus.

Here we’ll be looking at just about everything relating to this key septic system component.

Areas to be discussed include its benefits, common issues with septic tank lids, and how it relates to a riser. We’ll also define or explain what a riser is.

These points and more have been discussed below. You need to only read through to comprehend the topic being discussed.

Septic Tank Riser Features

We earlier explained that older septic system models had no provision whatsoever for risers.

Before we go further, it’s necessary to explain what risers are. Septic tank risers simply refer to vertical pipes that are either built as part of septic tanks or installed.

A riser serves as an opening or access point from which septic technicians can perform maintenance tasks. We’re talking about maintenance tasks like cleaning and pumping a septic tank.

Now, it’s necessary to make some clarifications about the septic tank riser.

These vertical structures do not replace the septic tank lead. They only allow for easy access to a septic tank location. Plus, they enable septic technicians to carry out basic maintenance tasks.

Septic Tank Lids and Risers

Being a vertical pipe installed in septic tank opening, risers could be made of either plastic or cement material. As earlier stated, these do not replace septic tank lids. The lids of septic tanks are also found or located on the tank.

In terms of width, septic tank risers measure about 8 to 24 inches.

Now, the key difference between risers and septic tank lids is the length or projection of these risers. There’s usually a significant difference as septic tank risers need to be long enough to emerge at the ground level.

There’s no standard length when it comes to septic tank risers. The length basically depends on the depth of the septic tank.

In other words, how deep or shallow a septic tank will be installed will determine the length of the riser.

For septic tanks located close to the ground surface, their risers wouldn’t be as long as those for tanks found much deeper. It’s also important to note that septic tank risers aren’t left open as they have lids.

Whenever maintenance work needs to be done, these lids are taken off and replaced when completed.

Septic tank lids are always buried below ground with the tanks because these aren’t as projected as risers. For older septic system models that had no risers, any maintenance work that needed to be done required finding and digging up the topsoil to uncover the septic tank lids.

Newer innovations that brought about septic tank risers have greatly reduced the confusion involved in locating the septic tank. New occupants of a building don’t have to spend time and resources to simply locate their septic tank for maintenance purposes.

The septic tank riser is visible and cuts the time and effort of having to locate and dig up the ground to get to a septic tank lid. This was common practice for older model septic tanks.

The time taken to pump or clean a septic tank via the septic tank riser is much reduced, thus making the job more efficient.

Can Older Model Septic Tanks be fitted with Risers?

One of the things you need to figure out when moving to a new property is the type of septic system you have. This is mostly the case for homes not connected to a sewer system.

Now, a visual inspection around such property should readily reveal if there’s a riser or not.

In the absence of a septic tank riser, an older septic tank model may be installed. Now the question is; can older model septic tanks be fitted with risers? The answer to this all-important question is yes.

However, you’ll need to discuss more this with your septic technician.

Some septic system services offer this service. To have the riser installed, the first step would be to find the septic tank. This task must be carried out by experienced and reliable professionals.

Benefits of Septic Tank Risers

Some benefits of the septic tank risers have been mentioned in passing. However, this section will be taking a closer look at the benefits offered by septic tank risers.

There are actually several of such benefits.

The first and obvious benefit of having a septic riser installed is the visual reminder of the septic tank location.

You can consider this as a visual signpost that reveals the location of a septic tank. While some homeowners may find it a bit imposing on their landscape, the benefits are significant.

Consider the convenience offered by septic tank risers when it comes to scheduled septic system maintenance.

Also, little disruption is caused by way of digging up the soil to gain access to a septic tank lid. There’s no need for such digging when a riser is installed.

The importance or benefits of septic tank risers is more pronounced during winter when the ground is frozen. Instead of figuring out how to break up the ground to get to the lid as is the case for older model tanks, the riser provides a ready opening.

Septic tank maintenance jobs are done much faster, thus saving you money.

Some septic service companies charge by the hour. This means the more time spent trying to locate a septic tank or dig up dirt to get to the lid, the higher the charges will likely be.

This time-consuming action of finding the septic tank lid is eliminated with the presence of a septic tank riser.

Now that you know the basic functions of a septic tank riser as well as its benefits, you’ll need to have one for your septic tank if it’s an older model.

As always, discussing with your septic tank technician is the best way to maximize efficiency.

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