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I wanted to build a hoop house, but I need to be able to drive stakes or 1 5/8" pipe into the ground to hold the hoops (pvc or 1 3/8" top rail.) From all I have read, these ground pipes or stakes need to be 2' in the ground. The problem is I am on a septic system, and I don't know if there are lines I could be driving the stakes/pipes into and breaking my septic system field lines.

Is there a way to secure a hoop house other then driving posts into the ground? I considered a greenhouse on piers, but I don't think it will be secure either. Foots are probably too permanent and require permits.

The problem is the wind on any of these structures, as I see it.

Edit: The ground is clay. I could probe it by slowly putting a stake of some sort in the ground. I am guessing if I hit gravel, stop, move over, try again?

Edit: The hoops will be top rail fencing and will be bent at the time. They are then put in the post in the ground and have a bolt through both pieces and a wood frame along the bottom.

Edit: It is at the bottom or near bottom of the leach field, and I don't know if I could hold the structure down with sandbags. I can look at it. I have a lot of cinder blocks sitting around.

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  • How solid is the ground? Can you probe the location easily with a metal or wooden rod? (blunt end not pointed). Typical drain field lines (6" perforated plastic or PVC) are surrounded by 6" or more gravel and/or large (egg-sized) limestone or other rock around all sides. – G Warner Dec 30 '20 at 20:13
  • Also, are the hoops already curved or simply PVC pipe held in a curve by anchoring the ends? Affixing heavy weight, whether sandbags or concrete block may work as long as very high winds are a problem. – G Warner Dec 30 '20 at 20:20
  • Are you over the leach field? Don’t build over the field that affects the system. Or are you just talking about the line to the tank? – Ed Beal Dec 30 '20 at 21:00
  • For the greenhouse design, is it held down by heavy gravel on plastic edge? if so dont need deeply embedded hoops. – Polypipe Wrangler Dec 30 '20 at 21:22
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Line up a set of "Jersey barriers" on each side. Some come with holes precast for putting fenceposts in that might work for the hoops, or you can drill through them to anchor the hoops via u-bolts on the face.

They are heavy enough to not go sailing. They are also heavy enough that you need equipment to set them. But you don't need to go down.

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Or, stated differently: is there a way to get posts into the ground without blindly driving them in?

Yes. Use a wet/dry "shop" vac to dig a hole. If needed, loosen the soil carefully with an appropriate tool (a digging bar, a large screwdriver, a crowbar, etc).

Once you've excavated a hole, set a post in the hole and backfill. The backfill could be native soil, imported sand, concrete, etc. Vibrate the post by thumping it sideways with a mallet or dead blow hammer to help the backfill compact around the post.

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