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Publication numberUS20090211170 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/072,472
Publication dateAug 27, 2009
Filing dateFeb 26, 2008
Priority dateFeb 26, 2008
Publication number072472, 12072472, US 2009/0211170 A1, US 2009/211170 A1, US 20090211170 A1, US 20090211170A1, US 2009211170 A1, US 2009211170A1, US-A1-20090211170, US-A1-2009211170, US2009/0211170A1, US2009/211170A1, US20090211170 A1, US20090211170A1, US2009211170 A1, US2009211170A1
InventorsAlbert A. Burlando
Original AssigneeBurlando Albert A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Inground marker for a subterranean object, such as a septic tank
US 20090211170 A1
Abstract
An inground marker for a subterranean object, such as a septic tank, includes an imitation paving stone molded from a plastic material in the general shape of an inverted rectangular pan having a substantially planar top surface. The top surface has a recessed area or depression in which an insert bearing a message indicating the presence of a subterranean object is secured.
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Claims(10)
1. An inground marker comprising:
an imitation paving stone, said imitation paving stone having a substantially planar top surface and sides depending from said substantially planar top surface, said substantially planar top surface further having a depression therein; and
an insert, said insert bearing a message indicating the presence of a subterranean object below, said insert being secured within said depression on said substantially planar top surface.
2. An inground marker as claimed in claim 1, wherein said sides slope away from said substantially planar top surface at an oblique angle.
3. An inground marker as claimed in claim 1, further comprising circumferential rim extending outwardly from said sides.
4. An inground marker as claimed in claim 1, wherein said depression has a circular shape.
5. An inground marker as claimed in claim 1, wherein said insert is of metal.
6. An inground marker as claimed in claim 1, wherein said insert is in the shape of a disc.
7. An inground marker as claimed in claim 1, wherein said message is embossed into said insert.
8. An inground marker as claimed in claim 1, wherein said imitation paving stone is molded from a plastic material.
9. An inground marker as claimed in claim 8, wherein said plastic material is high-density polyethylene (HDPE).
10. An inground marker as claimed in claim 5, wherein said metal is selected from the group consisting of aluminum, brass, and stainless steel.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates broadly to septic tanks and more particularly to the identification of the subsurface location of a septic tank. Specifically, the present invention relates to an inground marker denoting the subsurface location of a septic tank.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Those living in suburban and rural areas are well acquainted with septic tanks. In general, such tanks are located underground somewhere on the property of a homeowner. Effluent from the home is conducted by underground pipes to the septic tank, where at least a portion remains for periodic removal by a septic tank service company.

Access to the septic tank is typically gained by removing a cover of steel or reinforced concrete resembling a manhole cover in a city street. When servicing is required, the cover is removed and the contents of the tank pumped to a waiting truck for disposal.

Many homeowners object to the appearance of such a cover in the middle of one of their nicely manicured lawns, and resort to covering them with soil and planting grass to blend the location into the lawn as a whole. While improving the aesthetic appearance of the lawn, this expedient, in time, may make it difficult to recall the precise location of the septic tank.

The present invention provides a solution to this problem by permitting the subsurface location of a septic tank to be marked in an unobtrusive and inconspicuous manner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention is an inground marker which comprises an imitation paving stone and an insert.

The imitation paving stone has a substantially planar top surface and sides depending therefrom. The imitation paving stone also has a recessed area or depression in the substantially planar top surface.

The insert is secured within the depression and bears a message indicating the presence of a subterranean object, such as a septic tank, below.

The present invention will be described in more complete detail with frequent reference being made to the following figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an imitation paving stone;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the imitation paving stone;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken as indicated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a disc insert;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the inground marker of the present invention as installed;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken as indicated in FIG. 5; and

FIGS. 7A through 7D are plan views of alternate versions of the disc insert.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Turning now to these figures, FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an imitation paving stone 10, which is a portion of the inground marker of the present invention. The imitation paving stone 10 is generally in the shape of an inverted rectangular pan and has a substantially planar top surface 12, which is more readily apparent in the side view thereof in FIG. 2. A recessed area or depression 14 is provided in the top surface 12 for an insert which will be described below.

The imitation paving stone 10 has sloping sides 16 and a circumferential rim 18 extending outwardly from the sides 16.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken as indicated in FIG. 1. Imitation paving stone 10 is, as stated above, in the shape of a pan. Sloping sides 16 at an oblique angle relative to the top surface 12 permit imitation paving stones 10 to nest with one another when stacked to provide for easy storage and shipment. Depression 14 may be circular, although other shapes may be used and fall within the scope of the present invention.

Imitation paving stone 10 may be vacuum formed or injection molded from a plastic material, such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The plastic material may include ultraviolet inhibitors, namely, agents which retard the breakdown of plastic material often occurring upon prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Imitation paving stone 10 may be in the form of a 7.0 inch by 7.0 inch square overall in a plane including rim 18 and have a height of 2.2 inches measured relative to the plane including rim 18, although other sizes may be used. The thickness of the walls, that is, top surface 12, depression 14, sloping seals 16, and rim 18, making up the imitation paving stone 10 may be 0.090 inches. Finally, the plastic material may be grey, brown or any other color suitable for an imitation paving stone.

A disc insert 20 which is secured within depression 14 is shown in a plan view in FIG. 4. The disc insert 20 is made of a metal, such as aluminum, brass, or stainless steel, in heavy, 16-gauge (0.060-inch thick) sheets. Embossing dies are used to form flat blanks of the metal sheets into three-dimensional discs or plates with raised copy.

After cleaning, the discs or plates are placed upon an anvil nest and an abrasive pad, scotchbrite, or emery cloth is rotated upon the face, to give a prism-spin appearance that diffusely reflects light and gives them a high-quality appearance. At the same time, this operation applies a fine, uniform circular scratch to the surface and background of the disc or plate which improves the adhesion of any paint which may be applied thereon. Alternatively, the discs or plates may be sandblasted to provide them with roughened surfaces for the same reasons.

Optionally, a baking enamel containing ultraviolet inhibitors may be spray-painted onto the surface and, of the disc or plate while still wet, it is placed upon a conveyor belt that transports it under a series of rollers having a solvent-absorbing paper to remove the wet paint from the raised portions of the embossed surface (shown white in FIG. 4) leaving the background in a painted and contrasting color (shown dark in FIG. 4). Alternatively, the paint may be removed from the raised portions of the embossed surface after curing with an abrasive sanding disc. The disc or plate is then baked at high temperatures to cure the paint and make it hard.

The disc insert 20 is embossed with an appropriate message 22 in raised copy, such as “SEPTIC TANK BELOW”, as shown in FIG. 4. Other details, such as the septic tank service company's name and telephone number, may also be included.

The disc insert 20 is secured within depression 14 of imitation paving stone 10 with an adhesive 36, which may be dispensed into depression 14 so that disc insert 20 may be pressed thereinto to complete the attachment. Alternatively, the disc insert 20 may be bolted or otherwise mechanically attached within depression 14 of imitation paving stone 10.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a septic tank marker 30 of the present invention as installed to mark the location of a septic tank. The septic tank marker 30 is partially buried in the soil 32 over the septic tank cover, preferably up to the level of substantially planar top surface 12. Of course, in practice, grass would be planted in soil 32 so that the lawn as a whole would have a pleasing, unspoiled appearance.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken as indicated in FIG. 5. Septic tank marker 30 is installed over septic tank cover 34, although it need not be actually resting upon septic tank cover 34, as shown in FIG. 6, if the cover 34 is farther below grade level.

It is important to note that, prior to installation, the septic tank marker 30 is inverted and filled with soil 32 up to the level of the rim 18. Then, it is quickly turned over and placed into position on or over the septic tank cover 34. The soil 32 within the septic tank marker 30 ensures that the marker will not collapse when stepped upon. It is also important to observe that rim 18, which extends about the entire perimeter of the imitation paving stone 10, allows soil 32 to hold the septic tank marker 30 down in position after the rim 18 is covered with soil 32.

FIGS. 7A through 7D are plan views of alternate, unpainted disc inserts bearing the messages: “SEPTIC BOUNDARY”, “SEPTIC CLEAN OUT”, “DISTRIBUTION BOX”, and “SEWER CLEAN OUT”, respectively. It should be understood that the disc inserts may also refer to other objects that may be buried in the ground, such as water mains; gas and oil pipelines; electric, telephone, and fiber optic cables; fuel tanks; and many other subterranean objects and installations.

Modifications to the above would be obvious to those of ordinary skill in the art, but would not bring the invention so modified beyond the scope of the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7914227 *May 14, 2009Mar 29, 2011Energy Products, LlcThermally and electrically insulated composite manhole covers
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/20, 52/21
International ClassificationE02D29/00, E02D29/14
Cooperative ClassificationE02D29/14
European ClassificationE02D29/14