The next day was a lot cooler so we continued digging around the lid of the septic tank. The metal clamps holding it down, were rusty and one was broken, but the other three could be bent bak to release the lid. We were able to remove the lid, which was just a rounded steel plate. The honey wagon was scheduled to come in the afternoon but first we called a contractor for an assessment on the tank condition.
Luckily, he found that the tank was solid enough to remain in service for maybe another 10 years. We concluded that we might replace it earlier than that, but for the moment we would keep it.
The honey wagon driver appeared in the early evening and was done within 15 minutes.
Today, we will refill the hole in the ground, but without the rocks. Also, I will make a solid box and place it over the lid, so it can be opened easily without major digging. A shallow cover of 4 inch of dirt should be sufficient. And a rock placed on top, will mark the location.