A typical American family has at least one car or vehicle. That's why many homeowners wonder is it OK to drive or park over a septic tank
. Basically, the answer is no. Unless you've take taken special measures such as protection of sewer piping and septic tanks from damage, vehicle-rated septic tank covers
, do not drive vehicles over septic system piping or septic tanks
. Otherwise you risk not only paying big money for septic system damages, but also your health.
What's worse, a homeowner may not recognize a septic system issue at once when the tank is located below a driveway. The crushing and blockage of the line quite often cause by a heavy vehicle entering the driveway. The materials a typical sewer line made of are not designed for such huge pressure.
Why Septic Tank Cannot Be Located Under A Driving Area?
If a septic tank is to be located below a drive or parking area, it must be properly designed and protected from breakdown. The tank should be built of special materials and provided with a cover rated to withstand the weight of a car. If the septic tank is steel, site-built, home-made, or even pre-cast concrete but doesn't have a cover rated to hold up against automobile traffic, the risk of a potential collapse or even fatality increases enormously.
Home made or "site built" septic tanks commonly have a cover made from wood or other breakable products. Their sides are also likely to collapse if exposed to the weight even of a small car depending on the tank construction (dry-laid concrete blocks or rocks). Driving even a lawn mower over such tanks can lead to a disaster.
Drainfield Is Not An Exception
Driving or parking on a drainfield will certainly impede proper drainfield functioning which will later result in crushed broken piping. This may happen because of soil compaction and loss of proper evaporation of moisture through the surface area. Heavy vehicles might in fact crush hidden leach field lines, or they could compress the soil around the leach field, either of which leads to breakdown. Altogether, driving over the drainfield in any type of vehicle bigger than a kid's bicycle is a bad idea.
Paving over a drainfield, or installing outdoor patio rocks or astroturf or any other construction that blocks correct soil transpiration also prevents the evaporation of moisture from the drainfield, disrupting its capability to dispose of effluent. Moreover, covering a drainfield could cause insufficient soil oxygen. This will rigger the domino effect - inadequate bacterial activity, inadequate treatment of septic effluent and ground water and potentially local well contamination.