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Pour slab over retired septic system


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By eric in cave creek, AZ on 12/19/2007


A newbie here...

Is it OK to pour a slab/foundation over a retired septic tank and septic field?  the tank is two feet down, the field drain tubes are about 2.5 feet down with riprap stone around it.


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By Tom in Stroudsburg, PA on 12/19/2007


In theory, you should be okay. I would fill the old tank with sand to reduce the risk of any future tank failure. Your footers must be dug to virgin soil so if you cross an old line you have to go deeper than it. Vapor retarder is a given and seal it with concrete. I would also put a Radon-type vent system below the concrete and vent through the roof. The only drawback would be how old the system is. Is the soil fully settled? Concrete slab or wood floor? If your footers are stable, I would clear span with I-joists then intermediate settling wouldn't be an issue. Concrete slab - seek a structural engineer's advice.
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By Bob in New Florence, PA on 1/7/2008


There are two ways you can approach what you are looking at, because I had a similar matter. I won't tell you what I did. Some states have different regulations as to how you have to handle an old septic system. If it is old enough and empty, you could crush it and dispose of it. But if you are in an area where you cannot do that, you may be required by EPA or another county or state entity to follow some sort of protocol to get rid of it.

If you get caught, you may be up sh*t creek without a paddle, figuratively and literally. You should be able to check with your sewage enforcement officer and find out what is required.


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