Understanding and Installing Septic Tank Risers

Many people in search of a new home want to avoid properties with septic tanks because they worry about the appearance and the maintenance of them. However, contrary to popular belief, a septic tank is not often noticeable from above the ground. Most septic systems are below ground, meaning that when it does come time for maintenance, crews must dig down around the tank lid to access it. Fortunately, many municipalities are now requiring the installation of risers, reducing maintenance costs while maintaining limited obstruction of your view.

Understanding Risers

Septic tank risers are somewhat self-explanatory. These items are added to the lid to make it flush or just above ground level, making access for maintenance more manageable. Therefore, a riser makes it so that maintenance workers do not have to dig down around the lid, which in turn reduces costs.

Riser Types

There are three types of risers you can install: concrete, polyethylene and PVC. Concrete risers are easily the strongest and longest-lasting, but they also take the most time and labor to install. Also, concrete risers often lead to more water and gas leaks than other materials. Polyethylene risers are light and easy to install, and they often are the most resilient to chemical and soil erosion. PVC similar to polyethylene, but they are even lighter; however, both materials can be sealed easily to prevent leaks.


When discussing installation, you must consider costs. Concrete is the cheapest material, but PVC and polyethylene offer superior sealant capabilities with lighter weight. However, both PVC and polyethylene cost at least twice as much as concrete. Beyond the cost of material is the cost of the installation. While DIY is an option, the importance of access and the proper installation often require professional assistance. Therefore, you are usually better off hiring a licensed professional.

Homes that have a septic tank require routine maintenance on their systems, which is costly when crews need to dig around the tank lid. Therefore, the professional installation of septic risers will help to reduce costs, saving you money in the long run.