Why You Should Bring Your Septic System Manhole Cover to Grade


If you are a homeowner with a septic system on your property, you may be familiar with the manhole cover that provides access to the tank below. While it may seem like a small and insignificant detail, the height of the manhole cover relative to the ground, known as “grade,” is actually incredibly important. In fact, bringing your septic system manhole cover to grade can have a number of benefits for both your system and your property.

Installing a Manhole Cover at Grade

When a septic system manhole cover is not at grade, it means that it is either above or below the level of the surrounding ground. This can cause a number of issues, including difficulty accessing the tank for maintenance and inspection. If the manhole cover is too low, it can be easily covered up by soil, grass, or other landscaping materials, making it difficult to find and access when needed. On the other hand, if the manhole cover is too high, it can create a tripping hazard or be damaged by lawn mowers or other equipment.

Access Riser for Ease of Maintenance

Bringing your septic system manhole cover to grade can also make it easier to maintain and inspect your system. When the cover is at grade, there is no need to dig or remove any obstacles in order to access the tank. This can save time and hassle for both homeowners and maintenance professionals, making regular maintenance more likely to be performed on schedule. Additionally, having the manhole cover at grade can help prevent damage to the cover itself, as it is less likely to be accidentally hit or run over by equipment.

Extension Riser for Protection and Durability

In addition to bringing your manhole cover to grade, you may also want to consider installing an extension riser. An extension riser is a device that attaches to the top of the manhole cover and raises it even further above grade. This can provide added protection to the cover, preventing it from being damaged by heavy equipment or vehicles. Extension risers are typically made of durable materials such as plastic or concrete, ensuring that they can withstand the elements and provide long-lasting protection for your septic system.

Preventing Water Infiltration and Contamination

One of the most important reasons to bring your septic system manhole cover to grade is to prevent water infiltration and contamination. When the manhole cover is not at grade, it can create a gap or opening that allows surface water to enter the tank. This can overwhelm the system and lead to backups, overflows, and other issues. By ensuring that the manhole cover is at grade and properly sealed, you can help prevent water infiltration and protect the integrity of your septic system.

Improving Curb Appeal and Property Value

Finally, bringing your septic system manhole cover to grade can improve the overall appearance and curb appeal of your property. A manhole cover that is above or below grade can be unsightly and detract from the beauty of your landscaping. By bringing the cover to grade and installing an extension riser if needed, you can create a seamless and visually appealing look that blends in with your yard. This can enhance the overall aesthetics of your property and potentially increase its value.


Bringing your septic system manhole cover to grade is a simple yet important task that can have numerous benefits. From making maintenance easier and more efficient to preventing water infiltration and improving curb appeal, there are plenty of reasons to ensure that your manhole cover is at the proper grade. If you are considering installing a manhole cover, access riser, or extension riser, be sure to consult with a professional septic system installer to ensure that the job is done correctly. With the right precautions in place, you can help protect your septic system and your property for years to come.

Need Septic Tank Services in Prior Lake, MN?

Since 1956, Mike’s Septic & McKinley Sewer Services has been providing the local area with an invaluable service. We are a family-owned and -operated company that takes pride in the work that we do and the relationships we build with our customers. We strive for perfection with each job we take and make sure our customers are always happy. At Mike’s Septic & McKinley Sewer Services, we specialize in everything septic. We handle anything from tank and system design to the actual installation. We do septic system and tank repairs, cleaning, pumping, and routine maintenance. We also do tank and system compliance inspections and certification. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!