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Important Safety Guidelines For Working Near An Old Septic Tank

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If you recently purchased an older home located in a rural area and there is an old septic tank on the property, then it is vital that your family members understand the safety concerns surrounding the old tank. Old septic tanks are hazardous in many different ways and in order to protect yourself, your family, and your pets, you need to be mindful of these hazards when you work around the septic tank. To this end, follow these guidelines when working near your property's old septic tank:

Never Walk on the Top of the Septic Tank

Many old septic tanks were built on site out of bricks or made out of preformed steel tanks. These old style tanks often become damaged from soil movement or rust as time passes, and walking over one of these types of tanks can be fatal if you fall into the tank. Additionally, many old septic tanks were topped with sheets of plywood or thin metal roofing panels, neither of which are strong enough to hold your weight. Any unused old septic tanks should be professionally filled in with dirt or completely removed from your property to reduce the risks associated with someone falling into the empty tank.

Never Smoke or Burn Brush Near Your Home's Old Septic Tank 

Your home's old septic tank very likely contains high levels of methane and hydrogen sulfide gasses. These gasses are toxic to people and pets and can kill in just a few minutes of exposure. Additionally, both gasses are highly flammable so you should never smoke near the septic tank or burn brush anywhere near it. 

Never Work Alone Around the Old Septic Tank

Finally, it is essential to your safety that you never work alone around your property's old septic tank. Once you remove the tank's lid, then toxic gasses will be released into the surrounding area. If you were to be overcome by these toxic gasses while working alone, then there would not be anyone there to call for emergency medical help. Additionally, if you are working near your old tank and fall into it, the same gasses could quickly kill you if there wasn't someone present to help fish you out of the tank. In the case of your falling into the old septic tank, you could easily drown if the tank is full of water and septic sludge. Having someone else present could save your life. 

For more information about dealing with an old septic tank, contact a company like Advanced Sewer & Drain Cleaning.