As your septic tank is situated under the lawn, you might think of building your driveway there or parking your car on it. But this is not a good job to do. Septic tanks are made to withstand a specific load. If you apply more load than it is able to hold, any type of damage might happen.
So, people often ask a question- how much weight can I put on the septic tank?
Let’s discuss it in this article.
How Much Weight Can Septic Tanks Withstand?
The answer varies depending on the material of the tank, the size of it, and a few other things. There is no specific answer. So, instead of searching for an exact answer, allow me to explore the topic in a bit different way.
While calculating or talking about the weight a septic tank can hold, you should focus on the tank lid also. The weight capacity for the lid is different depending on its strength.
As we can’t find any exact weight that a septic tank can withstand, let’s talk about whether you can drive over a septic tank or not.
Can You Drive Over a Septic Tank?
You might think that driving over a septic tank won’t create much damage because the weight of a car is not that significant. Most of us don’t have any hint about the weight of a car. The weight of an average car is around 2000 to 4000 pounds. This is huge.
Here is another fact you should keep into consideration. The tank is already holding the weight of the soil which is covering it. Most of us don’t have any hint about the weight of soil as well.
Your septic tank and its lids are already carrying a huge load. So, driving a 2-ton car on it is not a good decision at all. 2 tons is a huge load, and when it is running, the weight feels more because of the vibration. So, there is a huge chance that your septic tank can’t hold the weight again and again.
So, don’t build a driveway on your septic tank.
Can You Park my Car on a Septic Tank?
Sometimes, septic tank lids come with the ability to hold an insane amount of weight. But those are typically for commercial tanks. Septic tanks and lids that are made for residential purposes are not built this strong.
So, parking your car regularly on it can cause huge damage to your septic tank. Also, when you’re washing your car on it, the soil is absorbing a huge amount of water that is making it heavier. This is going to put some extra load on the septic tank.
Also, your septic tank should be easily reachable. This is another reason you shouldn’t build your garage on the septic tank.
I guess you’ve got the answer. When choosing a suitable parking spot, you should make sure that you’re leaving your septic tank alone. If you don’t do so, you’ll have to face huge damage in near future.
What can Happen if You Put Drive over or Park on your Septic Tank?
When you frequently park or drive over your septic tank, the tank and lid have to handle an insane amount of pressure. Because of this, a few issues may happen.
1. There might be a small crack or leak in the septic tank lid. When you do it frequently, the crack might turn into a bigger one and cause the penetration of soil in the tank. In the worst case, the tank may get filled with soil with time.
2. Cracks or leaks can be seen in the tank too. With time, it gets bigger and creates a hole for soil penetration. This is not good at all.
3. The tank can be broken with time and spread the sludge and grime around. This is hazardous for your soil as well as the well-being of you and the people around you.
4. The pressure can be on the septic pipes too. If it happens, pipes get broken and spread human waste to the soil around. You won’t like the situation at all.
What to Do?
So, you can see that driving over and parking your vehicle on the septic tank is not good.
To keep your septic tank safe from vehicle damage, make sure that you know the exact location of your septic tank. Plan your garage or driveway leaving that specific space. Parking beside the septic tank is okay. But if you have a heavy vehicle, try to establish the garage and driveway far enough from that.
Mark your septic tank area with something or place some nice and light decoration on it. This makes sure that people who don’t know the location of your septic tank are also avoiding parking there.
Can You Drive or Park over Your Drainfield?
It is suggested not to park or drive over your drain field too. The drain field is a system that contains several pipes and other components. Constant pressure on those may break the system.
Also, the soil of your drain field should be loose for the water to run through it. But if you frequently drive or park on the drain field, the weight of your vehicle presses the soil and makes it compact. Thus, the water can’t pass properly and the drain field system gets jammed.
However, driving once or twice over the drain field is not supposed to harm that much. Make sure that your driveway or garage is not on the drain field.
Related Article: How To Check Septic Tank is Full
Though septic tanks come with a weight rating in most cases, the soil over the tank covers most of the weight. Besides this, withstanding the weight of a car is not possible for your septic tank. So, don’t think of driving over or parking your car on it.
Also, make sure that you’re not driving through your drain field too.
If you do such a thing, you’ll have to spend a huge amount to handle the problems that’ll happen.