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Thread: Protecting septic lines when driving over them?

  1. #1
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    Protecting septic lines when driving over them?

    What can you do to protect a septic line from vehicle traffic. I want to put another gate in so I can just drive out forwards with a trailer to the street. I don't think the pipe is very deep under ground next to the building, it runs about 150 ft to the septic tank.

  2. #2
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    Don't drive over it.
    ~mike

    scope creep

  3. #3
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    big timbers, make a mat like used on construction site

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Selzer View Post
    big timbers, make a mat like used on construction site
    I would say this for a one off. However, it sounds more of a permanent 'solution'. In with case...
    ~mike

    scope creep

  5. #5
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    What is "very deep"? Line is running through a yard? Under a driveway? Is this a tank feed? Leach line?

    Over thinking an issue?
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  6. #6
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    How about 2" of coarse gravel for drainage and then lay steel grating on top to spread the load from the wheels. You could skip the gravel if the area is well drained. This would be relatively easy to remove if you need to access the pipe.

  7. #7
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    Unlikely the line as it connects 12-18Ē from the top of the tank. Above the tank, another 12Ē is the door shaft.

    Youíre in more danger of driving over and damaging the doors and tank, not the lines. You should have a map of the tank, doors and lines and their depth. Itís the law here and a punch list escrow item that youíve received it. If not, itís a good idea to figure it out now. Most plumbers will recommend digging up and cleaning pumping solid waste every 3-5 years. So Iím surprised you donít already know whatís under ground unless you havenít serviced the tank.

    Call your plumber.
    Regards,

    Tom

  8. #8
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    I know where the tank and the line that feeds it is. I need to open the clean out port to see how deep it is. I forgot exactly.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Conner View Post
    What can you do to protect a septic line from vehicle traffic. I want to put another gate in so I can just drive out forwards with a trailer to the street. I don't think the pipe is very deep under ground next to the building, it runs about 150 ft to the septic tank.
    If it's a properly installed, reasonably modern line it's deep enough and strong enough that you can drive over it very safely unless the ground has been almost literally liquefied by rain. I did a quick calculation, and Schedule 40 PVC 4" diameter (which is what mine is), at 1' depth, assuming the absolute minimum support from soil (that is, buried in sugar sand), still comes in at barely half the allowed deflection for burial under a Hiway. It wouldn't even be close in compacted soil with any structure.

  10. #10
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    Anyone ever broken a line by driving over it? In my family's business we had a line (4"PVC down about 2 ft) that had ~5000 cars drive over it every year for 40 years without ill effect. I've driven over our septic lines with my 25000 lb truck and trailer any number of times without an issue. I'd actually be shocked if I broke one that way, never occurred to me to worry about it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    I've driven over our septic lines with my 25000 lb truck and trailer any number of times without an issue. I'd actually be shocked if I broke one that way, never occurred to me to worry about it.
    That eases my mind a little. I have always been taught not to drive over it, but do a couple times a year due to it currently being the easiest route to transport firewood to the boiler. Every time I do I cross my fingers, and Iím nowhere near that weight. 7 for the truck and maybe 2 for the trailer.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    Anyone ever broken a line by driving over it? In my family's business we had a line (4"PVC down about 2 ft) that had ~5000 cars drive over it every year for 40 years without ill effect. I've driven over our septic lines with my 25000 lb truck and trailer any number of times without an issue. I'd actually be shocked if I broke one that way, never occurred to me to worry about it.
    I agree. I did the calculation mostly because I was interested in just what engineering margin there was.

  13. #13
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    Make a concrete road over it. But do not dig too deep and over compact the gravel base. maybe you can find some broken concrete slabs and lay them over the line where the tires go.
    Bil lD

  14. #14
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    I can get some railroad ties and just butt them right together then put some dirt around the perimeter so it will be like a 6" raised pad. All i'm doing is driving directly across the pipe so they should spread the load just fine.

  15. #15
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    Unless the OP knows exactly where the tank, the lines and the doors are, I would not pave over the tank and leech field. We have a map which says "x" feet from this point is the door and "x" feet is the other door. These things have to be dug up every few years and serviced. I would not to add to the labor cost the cost of jack hammering concrete where the lines and doors are. That was my point to Travis about getting a map, and if he doesn't have one, time to create one. It really is essential, like having a table of the circuits inside your service panel.
    Regards,

    Tom

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