Septic Tank Cleanout Risers

State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health

Dear Property Owner:
On January 1, 2000 a revision to the Public Health Code – Technical Standards began requiring that all existing septic tanks that exceed a depth of 12 inches below grade be retrofitted with risers at the time of tank cleaning.

The purpose of this revision is to make it easier to gain access to the septic tank for cleaning and inspection purposes. Having to dig down more than 12″ into what in many cases is compact, stone filled material is both time consuming and costly, when this task has to be accomplished by the septic tank cleaning service. It is hoped that by facilitating tank access, more frequent tank cleanings will be scheduled in the future. Failure to pump out a septic tank every three to five years (depending on the use) could lead to excessive suspended solids leaving the tank into the leaching system. Over a period of time (months or years) this excessive material builds up on the leaching system’s infiltrative surfaces causing increased blockage and a costly system failure. Therefore, more frequent cleanings are beneficial to the long term performance of the septic system.

Installing a riser is not a recommendation but a Public Health Code requirement. Contact your licensed septic tank cleaner or septic system installer for further information. If you would like to discuss this matter, please contact the Environmental Engineering Section of the Department of Public Health