What are access risers?
The septic tank has manhole covers for inspection and pump-out, but the tank is generally buried. Simply finding the tank and digging up the lawn to reach the manholes (which can be 3 - 4 feet down), is a lot of work. Homeowners can find and dig up the system themselves or pay extra to have the septic system inspector do it.

Access risers are vertical tubes with tight fitting fiberglass or concrete covers at or near the ground surface. These fit over the tank manholes or inspection ports. To inspect the tank, the access riser lid is simply unscrewed and removed, providing ready access to the tank below.

Since on-going future inspections and pumpings will be required, homeowners may want to consider installing risers (if they do not already exist) to avoid digging up the tank for each future inspection or pumping. Please call 401-789-9331, ext. 2250 for more information.

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1. I haven't done anything with my septic system in over 20 years and haven't had any problems. Why do we need this program?
2. Soil is a natural filter. Wouldn't harmful pollutants be filtered out before reaching a well?
3. Regulating septic systems is the State's job. Why should the Town adopt stronger standards than the State?
4. Why do I need an inspection? I already have my system pumped on a regular basis.
5. What's involved in an inspection?
6. How can I choose a qualified inspector and how can I be sure the inspection is performed properly?
7. Do I need to have the tank pumped at the first inspection?
8. How often do I need to pump?
9. Why not just pump on a set schedule such as every three years?
10. I have a 1970s conventional septic system with a small tank and older-style "bed" drainfield that I've been told doesn't meet today's standards. Will I be required to replace my system?
11. How much time do I have to replace my cesspool?
12. I have a very small lot and have been told that I can't replace my cesspool because no septic system will work there. What should I do?
13. Replacing a septic system can be a major expense. Is the Town going to help pay for this?
14. Why should I let anyone on my property?
15. What if the pumping schedule recommended by the Inspector is off?
16. What's the difference between the first inspection and others?
17. What are access risers?
18. Are access risers required?
19. What are effluent filters and do I need one?