Dealing with a well and septic system are part of the reality of country living. Functionality rules and it’s not pretty.
Several years ago we invested in cement covers in order to ease access to our well and septic tank. A septic tank needs to be pumped out regularly and well pumps need to be replaced when they reach end of life. Before we had the cement covers installed, digging up both these areas with a backhoe or shovel always made the process of gaining access more of an ordeal. Although the cement covers are a practical solution, they’re also an eyesore, jutting almost a couple of feet out of the ground. Our septic tank was also located directly in front of the house.
Fake rock covers made of hollow plastic can be purchased to cover these monstrosities but they are quite expensive. Some people even construct wishing wells to surround the entrances to their wells and septic tanks but that’s not my style. A live green cover with shallow roots seemed to be the best option. I decided to plant several Rhododendron bushes around the cover in the front yard. I bought them at half price at an end of season sale in mid-summer one year. Leaves on these bushes are evergreen and provide a camouflage effect year round.
In early summer, blooms on the Rhododendron plants surrounding the cover attract numerous bees and butterflies. It’s best to not have the tank pumped out during this time as the bees would be hazardous to the person doing the work. Our tank was pumped out a couple of weeks ago and was very easy to access despite the growth around the cover.
My well cover is still in need of a camouflage solution but is in a less prominent place in the backyard. I’ve tried growing Eunomymus shrubs but ended up transplanting them elsewhere in the yard. They didn’t conform to the shape of the cover as well as the Rhododendrons. English Ivy vines may be a better solution. Please feel free to suggest some other alternatives.