Septic tank lid collapsed

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I was strimming in the garden this afternoon and stepped on my septic tank hatch cover (steel) briefly as I moved about. It immediately collapsed and I fell into the first chamber, managing to catch the side and not get a full poo swim.

Whilst it was very unpleasant, I am thankful that it was me and not my toddling 18 month old as serious injury could have occurred.

I assume over the years the manhole cover had degraded. I intend to use engineering blocks to build it up higher so there is less temptation to step on it and then fit a new cover. Is this fairly straightforward or do special precautions need to be made with reference the gases involved? Many Thanks.
 
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I'll bet you had a plain steel one fitted - potential disaster as you found - I remember them when new and thought WTF ? They are all galvanised now and you can get one suitable for cars - so that you have plenty of strength in it
 
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Clear flow have been fantastic and come round first thing this morning to empty it. Until I can get a new cover on it will still be a deep hole but not one likely to be drowned in. I've covered it with a packing crate for now.

I'll have to make a feature of it to make it safe.
 
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Bloody heck. Nightmare.

Was it a rectangular manhole cover and frame? Lessons should be learned from this! Was/Is the frame intact? If you are replacing have you considered a round (circle) shaped replacement with a solid frame/surround?
 
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It's a rectangular one and the surround is still in situ and seems fairly solid. The lid looks to have split down the middle. It's one of those old concrete built one's and now it's drained I can see its a bloody deep hole, about seven feet, doubt I would have climbed out if I'd fallen in all the way. It seems pretty dangerous to build it at ground level. I think I will built it up a bit and then maybe build something decorative over it .
 
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It sounds as if it was one of the old cast iron covers. They were often used on driveways with cars driving over them.

The usual replacement is now pressed galvanized steel and they are also very strong.

Most people would just replace the lid and then put a plant pot on top to remind you that it is there.

This is the first time that I have ever heard of anyone falling trough a lid although seen several of the cast iron ones split.

Tony
 
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Galvanised will last longer, but ultimately Hydrogen Sulphide, (H2S), which is likely to be present to some degree, will still attack it. Steel covers can actually be more dangerous as they rot from underneath, and whilst the top may look ok, it's actually paper thin underneath. The idea of building it up is sensible, although I would take steps to discourage anyone from standing on in it future to use the extra height as a vantage point!
 
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Easier just to put a large plant pot on top!
 

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