Double-check those lids and keep homeowners informed of the risks of neglecting tank maintenance.

As of yesterday, I have worked on Pumper magazine for two years. In those two years, I’ve read several stories about adults, children and animals falling into septic tanks. Some were scared but unhurt, some were injured, and sadly a few of those stories ended in death.

I’m disappointed to say I have read two of those stories in the last two weeks. On April 1, a report circulated about a 2-year-old boy who fell into a grease waste tank at a car wash. The child had wandered away from his mother when she was washing her car and fell into the partially open tank. He was found and CPR was attempted, but the child was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

On April 6 I saw a similar story: a 2-year-old boy fell into a septic tank through an unsecured lid. This boy met the same fate as the first one. He was found in the tank after a sheriff’s deputy spotted a septic lid that wasn’t sitting properly; medical personnel were unable to revive him.

Related: Pump That Septic - Pumper Magazine Video Profile - March 2011

As the uncle of one of the boys stated: “This should have never happened … never.”

These tragedies are yet another reminder that septic systems need to be inspected and maintained safely. Lids need to be secured properly and regularly monitored. A lot of this responsibility is placed on the pumper. Pumpers also need to stress to homeowners the need to have regular maintenance done on their septic tanks. Make sure customers realize that new lids and risers are a small investment to make when a faulty lid could mean risking their child’s life – or the life of someone else’s child.

Double-check those lids and keep homeowners informed. I don’t want to read any more of these stories in the coming years. 

Related: Blog: Here’s someone with a new riser and lid in their future

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