Septic Tank Safety

Home and business owners with septic systems in Whatcom County need to check the lids on all of the tanks to make sure that they are secure to keep people and animals from falling into them.  Each year in the United States there are several accidents where either a child or an adult falls into a septic tank.  All of these accidents are preventable.  In April 2015 a 2 year old drowned in a septic tank in Burlington, WA even though the family lost track of him for only a few minutes.
For lids on top of risers
Make sure all of the screws are fastened securely onto the lid (no vacant screw holes and all screws are grabbing the riser below).
Replace screws that have stripped heads.  For any stripped screw hole either install a larger screw or drill a new hole nearby that will allow the screw to grab the top of the riser. 
Screw lids down
For concrete lids (either round or square)
Make sure that the concrete lid is in good condition (not crumbling, no large chips) and fills the tank hole entirely. 

If the lid is inadequate you may need to either purchase a new concrete lid or install risers with lids that screw onto them.
For any tank without a lid (an open hole to the inside of the tank)
Cover the tank with a large piece of thick plywood, install barriers to keep people from walking over the tank, and contact a licensed Operations and Maintenance Specialist immediately to have the tank assessed for the installation of a new lid.
Click here for a list of licensed O&M Specialists working Whatcom County

For more septic tank lid safety information open this Washington State Department of Health web page: