Septic tanks have always had an image problem. The words alone are evocative and create a vivid image: a rusty old tank; stained, dishevelled and unloved. Sitting out in the back garden, surrounded by weeds and accompanied by the incessant buzzing of flies. Let’s be honest, it is hard to make a container for excrement sexy.

But all that is changing. The modern septic tank is undergoing an image overhaul. The septic tank of the 21st century is no longer an unavoidable eyesore, but a discreet solution: clean, cool and yes, even sexy(ish).

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We think it’s time for the septic tank to be appreciated as the vital and effective piece of engineering it is. So how to sex up the septic tank –  Here are a few ideas:

Put it in the ground.

Septic tanks, by their very nature, are big beasts. In the past this has caused difficulties: how do you hide something designed to hold around 1500 gallons of waste? Well, the modern septic tank is a lot easier to accommodate. It is now common practice for septic tanks to be sunk into the ground with only the lid visible. This is both practically and aesthetically beneficial. It also makes it easy to disguise. The more creatively you do this, the better.

The classical approach.

Smelling of roses:
A rose bush will add scent and glamour.

You could go for the classical approach. A rose bush covering a septic tank will still smell as sweet. A rose bush also adds glamour to any garden. Roses are wonderfully rewarding and easy to grow. They have a reputation for being “difficult”, but almost all the traditional advice on how to grow roses is baloney. They don’t have to be constantly fed, watered, pruned, deadheaded and sprayed just simply enjoyed!

Or perhaps a more low key idea would be a hedge. You could go for the ornamental topiary bush or an independent variety, such as a conifer or large evergreen. These provide a classy yet understated solution.

Hedging your bets.

Hedging your bets:
If in doubt, build a hedge to cover your septic tank.

Another classic but slightly more ambitious garden feature could be the wishing well. This provides a charming counterpoint that completely covers the unsightly aspect of the septic lid.

Garden features.

These days every self respecting gardener knows the importance and power of a “garden feature” a standout object that provides a focal point to the garden. You only have to look at the Chelsea Flower Show to see this. The idea of a garden feature is great because it gives us plenty of ideas and ways in which to disguise or sex up the septic tank.

The Chelsea Flower Show is a good place to get some inspiration. The image below shows a classic garden feature, providing a centre piece to the design. Although you may not want to make the septic tank the actual centre piece, for ways to make it more aesthetically appealing, there are some good ideas. This feature is a bold glass cube waterfall, perhaps on the more abstract side of the spectrum but effective nonetheless. The lesson here is to let your imagination run riot.

In disguise:
Use a garden feature to cover up the presence of a septic tank

Outright disguise.

If you are not convinced by any of this and you want to draw as little attention to the tank as possible, you could just go for an outright disguise. There are loads of ways to do this, from turfing it over to putting gravel over it – or even creating a cover that looks like a rock. If you go down this route, however, there is one thing you have to remember. If you forget where your septic tank’s located, you’re going to have problems when it needs emptying.

When all’s said and done, the septic tank is never going to be as sexy as a hot tub or decorative fountain. However, it no longer has to be an outright eyesore. With new developments it now has the potential to be very discreet, and may even provide an opportunity for an eye-catching and sexy garden feature.

To find out how Mayglothling deal with all aspects of residential waste management, take a look at our range of services here.