Can You Build a Fire Pit Over a Septic Field

By Mike

February 9, 2021

Gathering friends and family around a backyard fire pit is a great time to soak up laughter and joy all the while sitting around in the crisp night air. People who live in homes where there are septic lines often wonder if they can build a fire pit over a septic field.

No, because the septic field system is made to utilize the soil all around it, and it’s only buried 1-2 feet deep, you should never build a fire pit over a septic field. Besides the issue that added weight could cause if placed on top of a septic field, you can also risk catching something on fire with the combination of heat with the methane gas that is released from the septic system.

In the article below, we will break down what a septic field is as well as why you shouldn’t build over one. Find practical advice to ensure you take the necessary steps to keep you, your family, and your home safe.

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What Is a Septic Field

A septic field is a wastewater disposal facility that removes impurities from any leftover liquid that emerges from a septic tank. If your home utilizes a septic tank, then a septic field is imperative and should be taken care of well.

You may be thinking that a septic field is typically buried deep underground, but that could be further from the truth. More often than not, septic fields are located within a few feet of the surface so knowing where they are located is important to keep them working properly and marked to keep them safe and secure.

Because septic fields are located so close to the surface, keeping them marked will help keep anyone from driving over the top of them. It may be easy to just drive over them without thinking about the damage it can do to the pipes and system below. Driving over a septic field can easily damage the components that are needed for it to function properly and can turn into a huge problem that you can easily avoid.

Besides damaging the septic field underneath the surface, if people drive over it regularly, it can also compact the soil. For the leaching method of the septic field to work properly the soil is a huge component of the whole process. If the soil is compacted too much, the process will not work nearly as well as before and can cause larger issues.

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Can You Build a Fire Pit Over a Septic Field

No, it is not recommended to build a fire pit over your septic field for various reasons. The entire purpose of the septic field in your yard is to break down the waste that enters your septic system by using anaerobic digestion. When this process happens, there are by-products that are released into the air, such as methane. Methane is insanely flammable and can seep into the air around your septic field.

If you are wanting to put a fire pit in your yard, find a location far enough away from your septic field to keep you and your family safe. Choosing to put your fire pit near your septic field can be incredibly dangerous and risk you blowing your tank and putting others in harm’s way.

What Can You Build Over a Septic Field

While some people decide to build over their septic field, it is definitely not recommended. There are various reasons why many people don’t recommend building over your septic field, and you should definitely take them into consideration before making a choice.

In order for a septic field to operate properly, you need to make sure it is not covered up and has space to work correctly. Another issue you can run into is building over your septic field and then running into an issue later that requires maintenance. Now you have to move or take apart what you build to access your septic field quickly and easily.

Whether you want to add stones or astroturf or concrete to your backyard, you should never add it over a septic field. From the surface, the area you want to build may look like a suitable place to build but most times it is not.

When anyone builds over a septic field, they can interfere with the entire process of getting rid of liquid waste properly. By utilizing the soil, a septic field disposes of waste and if the soil interferes with it could cause a huge issue. Driving or building on a septic tank is not recommended and a huge risk if you want your septic system to continue to work properly.

Oftentimes homeowners mistakenly build over their septic field without even realizing it. Homeowners have built decks and patios right over the top of their septic field and have run into large financial issues later.

One way to combat this is that if your home runs on septic to figure out the location before you build anything. Jumping into building a deck or patio without prior knowledge of your septic field can be incredibly costly. You will likely have to rip out what you built to ensure your septic field has space to work properly and doesn’t have any added weight to its components.

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Conclusion

Septic fields serve huge purposes in your yard by utilizing subsurface wastewater disposal and removing any contaminants from the liquid that is leftover from anaerobic digestion. Simply put, having a septic field on your property will help to break down the liquid aspect of your septic tank and utilizes different components as well as the soil all around it.

While it looks completely normal on the surface, the septic field typically has parts within one to two feet of the topsoil. Deciding to build or even drive across it without a second thought can significantly damage your septic field and add costly repairs to your home.

Being outside around a campfire is a great time for everyone, but one place you should not put your fire pit is near a septic field. Besides not wanting added weight on top of your septic field, you also risk the fire coming in contact with the methane gas that is released from anaerobic digestion. Both can cause serious issues and put you and your family in danger.

You move into a new home that is on septic and begin building right away without knowing where your septic field is located or how it works. You may have a beautifully finished deck now, but you will likely pay in repairs and time having to move the deck if it’s on top of your septic field. To combat this issue, always figure out exactly where your septic field is before you build anything outdoors around your home.

Septic fields serve a variety of purposes to keep your septic system running smoothly. To ensure your septic field continues functioning properly, refrain from parking, driving, or building in or around the location. Keeping your septic field free of added weight, or blocking certain components will help for a beautifully running system and will allow easy access whenever you need to repair it.

About the author

Hi I'm Mike! I'm the owner, writer, and sometimes editor of Foundedproject.com. Being a new homeowner can be a little daunting, which is why I created this blog. I write about problems that a new home owner might run into. 

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