How Deep Is A Septic Tank Barried In Michigan? (Question)

In most cases, septic tank components including the lid, are buried between 4 inches and 4 feet underground. You can use a metal probe to locate its edges and mark the perimeter. If you do not find the lid by probing, shallow excavation with a shovel along the tank’s perimeter should reveal the lid.

  • Septic Tanks are usually about 4.5 feet wide x 8.0 feet long x 6 feet tall. Tanks are typically buried 4 inches to 4 feet deep. Before you start your search for your yard’s favorite buried concrete block, be sure to check with past homeowners, your local health department and local pumpers.

How deep are septic lines buried in Michigan?

Drain Field Depth Generally, a finished bed contains 12 inches of gravel below the pipe and another 2 inches on top. The field is then backfilled with 18 to 30 inches of soil to finish the bed and bring it even with the surrounding ground. The result is a drain field about 3 to 4 feet deep.

What is the standard depth of a septic tank?

Tanks are typically buried 4 inches to 4 feet deep depending on local site conditions, shape, slope, and other factors. Here is the basic math for computing septic tank capacity (volume) in gallons. Measurements are in feet, taken of inside dimensions of the septic tank.

How deep are most septic tanks buried?

Over time, all septic tanks fill up with solids and require pumping to continue working as they should. Often, septic tank lids are at ground level. In most cases, they have buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground.

How deep is a drain field in Michigan?

A typical septic drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36″; or per the USDA, 2 feet to 5 feet in depth.

Is it illegal to dump GREY water on the ground in Michigan?

Can you Legally dump grey water anywhere? The answer to this question 99.9% of the time is no. The U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers all have regulations making it illegal to dump grey water on the Federal lands that they maintain.

How deep are drain fields buried?

A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.

Can a septic tank be too deep?

Keep septic tanks high: we don’t put the septic tank any deeper than necessary, since we are usually moving effluent from the septic tank to the drainfield also by gravity. Plumbers usually install sewer lines to slope down from inlet to outlet, at 1/8″ per foot to 1/4″ per foot of linear run of the waste pipe.

How often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?

For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.

Will metal detector find septic tank?

If it’s Concrete or Steel, Use a Metal Detector. Based on your conclusions in Step 3, if your septic tank is likely made from concrete or steel, a metal detector can make the task of locating it much easier. But not just any metal detector will do.

How deep is the septic tank outlet pipe?

After the solids settle out, effluent leaves the septic tank through the outlet pipe and flows to the drain field. The outlet pipe should be approximately 3 inches below the inlet pipe.

Are plastic septic tanks legal in Michigan?

Michigan Septic Tanks Save up to 50% on plastic septic tanks. These septic tanks are state approved for use in the state of Michigan.

How deep are sewer lines in Michigan?

Michigan plumbing code requires that municipal sewers be 42 inches deep or more, however sewers feeding into a septic tank need only be 12 inches deep, and so in Michigan these are the depths that municipal sewers and septic system sewers are commonly layed.

How much is a septic system in Michigan?

The average septic system cost ranges between $10,000 – $25,000. This includes everything from the average price of the tank (which is often thousands of gallons) to the cost of labor to install it.

Septic System Basics

For homeowners who live in locations where public sewer is not accessible, they must establish septic systems (also known as sewage systems) on their property, which will treat any wastewater that comes from their home. Septic systems must be linked to all facilities that create sewage, including but not limited to: toilets, sinks, bathtubs, showers, washing machines, dishwashers, and any other device that generates sewage. It is not recommended that footing drains, roof drains, storm water pipelines, or water softening waste be connected to septic systems.

Additionally, effluent from water softeners should not be discharged near wells or surface water.

A significant difference between septic systems and municipal sewers is that they often have a limited life expectancy, which may be substantially decreased if the system is misused or neglected.

Freezing drain outside

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Freezing drain outside
Author:SwimRunPlumb (MI)I have to quote a job where I need to reroute a sewer line outside.The back of the house was an addition on a slab and leads to the septic.The front of the house has 1 stack and has been re-routed to go out the front to the city sewer.I have to cut it and re-route it (about 60′) outside in the back of the house to come back into the basement and tie it into the stack so that the whole house is on the city sewer.My question is how deep do I need to be?The frost line in Michigan is 36″ I believe.The line to the septic tank is very shallow, but also very short.Do I need to be 3′ down, or is it a non issue since it will be flowing and carrying warm water?
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Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:johnjh2o (FL)The warm sewer gas should prevent the line from freezing.John
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Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:packy (MA)2 possible problems. one being a slow dripping faucet or running toilet. that small amount of constantly slow running water will freeze. the other potential problem is a partial stoppage. the puddle of water behind the stoppage will freeze.
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Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:jimmy-o (CA)I think you will find most of Michigan to be 42″ frost line, with parts of of northern MI deeper
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Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:joe plumber (NE)About the only thing “warm sewer gas” might do is cause hoar frost.
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Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:bernabeu (SC)!-Retired U.A. Local 1638″Measure TwiceCut Once”Edited 1 times.
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Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:johnjh2o (FL)Please explain to me why the line to septic tanks don’t freeze. They are never any more the 2′ underground in areas were the frost line is 42″.John
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Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:North Carolina Plumber (NC)Here in the NC mountains, water must be at least 24″ deep. Sewer pipe has to have at least 2″ of cover.
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Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:johnjh2o (FL)What do you do with your septic systems? They cant’ be that deep.John
Post Reply
Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:bernabeu (SC)!-Retired U.A. Local 1638″Measure TwiceCut Once”Edited 1 times.
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Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:johnjh2o (FL)DOH Leaching fields are not below the frost line.John
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Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:bernabeu (SC)as per: QuoteThe leach line dimensions depends on the required capacity of the system. As a guidelinethe maximum length of each line should not exceed 100 ft (30 m)the spacing between lines should not be less than 10 ft (3 m)the minimum depth of the leach line should not be less than 12 in (0.3 m)or deeper if the soil freezes during wintertimethe elevation rate should be approximately 1%imo:while the pipe itself may be ‘in the frost-line zone’. the gravel bed must extend belowwhile remaining ABOVE the ground water table. the complexity of designing a PROPER WORKING system renders it virtually impractical except where there is no other choice. hence the REQUIREMENT to connect to a public sewer where/when/if it is available-Retired U.A. Local 1638″Measure TwiceCut Once”Edited 2 times.
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Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:johnjh2o (FL)I lived in the North East were the frost line is 42″ and have have never seen a septic system installed below the frost line. And that is in a fifty + year period.Here are two Rules of Thumb for Drainfield Depth that should probably be universal:1. Vertical Separation bottom of drainfield rock or plastic vaults to water table or restrictive rock layer etc = 2 foot minimum.2. Maximum drainfield depth from finish grade to bottom of drainfield vaults or gravel = 3 foot maximum.JohnEdited 1 times.
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Re: Freezing drain outside
Author:Scotwperry (MI)Michigan plumbing code requires that municipal sewers be 42 inches deep or more, however sewers feeding into a septic tank need only be 12 inches deep, and so in Michigan these are the depths that municipal sewers and septic system sewers are commonly layed.The reason that septic system sewers can be more shallow is because the septic tank is constantly generating a certain amount of heat. This warmer sewer gas will reverse back through the septic sewer and up out through the house’s sanitary vent stack.Municipal sewer systems do not have the benefit of the heat that comes from a septic tank, thus they have to be buried deeper.Scott: Master Plumber
Post Reply
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On-Site Septic

In rural and suburban areas, the Berrien County Health Department (BCHD) personnel is responsible for safeguarding the health and environment of the residents. This is accomplished by regulating the installation of on-site sewage systems for residences in areas where a public sewer system is not accessible.

About On-Site Septic Systems

An underground, waterproof container, often built of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as the septic system’s holding tank. It retains wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to settle out (forming sludge) and oil and grease to float to the surface (creating a slick) (as scum). It also enables for the partial breakdown of solid materials to take place. Septic tanks are designed with compartments and a T-shaped outlet to prevent sludge and scum from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region of the yard.

It is also advised to use screens to prevent particles from entering the drainfield. Tanks that are newer than ten years have risers with lids at the ground level to make it easier to locate, examine, and pump the tank.

Drainfield

A septic tank is emptied into a drainfield, where it is treated by the soil before being released back into the environment. Every time new wastewater enters the tank, the partially treated wastewater is pushed farther down into the drainfield for further treatment and disposal. The drainfield will flood if it is overwhelmed with too much liquid. This will result in the discharge of sewage to the ground surface or the formation of backups in plumbing fixtures, which will hinder the proper treatment of all wastewater.

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Treat this region with the same level of caution as you would your septic system.

For wastewater treatment to be successful, it is vital to have a suitable soil.

Septic Maintenance

Every three years, the health department recommended that you have your on-site septic system flushed. It is possible to save thousands of dollars in repair costs by having your tank pumped. Additionally, a badly operating system might have an impact on the quality of surface water. View a list of licensed pumpers in the county of Berrien.

Do

  • Your septic firm should be able to tell you where your septic tank and drainfield are located. Maintain your septic system by having it examined every three years. Whenever you are experiencing difficulties, contact a professional. Maintain a thorough record of all repairs
  • Conserve water to keep the system from being overloaded
  • Water sources such as roof drains, house footing drains, and sump pumps should be diverted away from the septic system.

Don’t

  • Have you ever gone down into a septic tank? The poisonous gases contained within the tank may kill you in minutes. Allowing anybody to park or drive on the system’s surface is permissible. Anything other than grass should be planted over or near the drainfield. Digging in your drainfield or constructing anything on top of it is not recommended. Make or enable repairs to be performed without first getting the necessary health department permit softeners to enter the septic system
  • Allow the cover to be removed from the tank.

HOW TO SAFELY ABANDON AN OLD SEPTIC TANK ON YOUR PROPERTY

If you’ve recently purchased an older house, it’s possible that a septic tank is located on the property. This is true even if your home is currently linked to the municipal water and sewer systems. A prior owner may have abandoned the ancient septic system and connected to the city sewage system when it became accessible at some time in the past. Despite the fact that there are standards in place today for properly leaving a septic tank, it was typical practice years ago to just leave the tanks in place and forget about them.

  1. The old tank may either be demolished or filled with water to solve the problem.
  2. It is possible that permits and inspections will be required.
  3. They are dangerous because curious children may pry open the lid and fall into the container.
  4. Falls into a septic tank can be lethal owing to the toxicity of the contents and the fact that concrete can collapse on top of you while falling into a tank.
  5. Eventually, this approach was phased out due to the fact that the steel would corrode and leave the tank susceptible to collapse.
  6. When it comes to ancient septic tanks, they are similar to little caves with a lid that might collapse at any time.
  7. The old tank is crushed and buried, or it is removed from the site.

If it is built of steel, it will very certainly be crushed and buried in its current location.

After that, the tank can be completely filled with sand, gravel, or any other form of rubble and buried.

Tanks can either be entirely dismantled or destroyed and buried in their original location.

The abandonment has been documented and plotted on a map.

It’s possible that you’ll forget about the tank once it’s been abandoned.

As a result, you might wish to sketch a map of the area where the old tank used to stand.

If you can demonstrate that an old septic tank was properly decommissioned, you may be able to increase the value of your property, and the new owners will appreciate knowing that large chunks of concrete are buried underground before they start digging in the yard to build something in it.

It may take some detective work to discover about the history of your land and what may be lying beneath the surface of the earth.

Upon discovering an old septic tank on your property that is no longer in use, contact Total Enviro Services for propertank abandonment procedures that comply with local codes and protect your family, pets, and farm animals from harm or death.

How to Find Your Septic Tank

Over time, all septic tanks become clogged with sediments and must be pumped out in order to continue functioning properly. Septic tank lids are frequently located at ground level. The majority of the time, they have been buried anywhere between four inches and four feet underground. In the event that you have recently purchased a property and are unsure as to where your septic tank is located, this article will give instructions on how to identify your septic tank. Noteworthy: While every property is unique, septic tanks are usually typically huge and difficult to build.

5 Ways to Find Your Septic Tank

1. Check with the municipal records. The most straightforward method of locating your septic tank is to review the building plans for your home that were approved by the local government. You should have received an application from the business that installed the septic tank, which should contain schematics and specifications that will help you to locate the precise location where the septic tank was installed. 2. Look for highs and lows in your data. The majority of septic tanks are constructed in such a way that they are barely noticeable.

  1. 3.
  2. Almost usually, your septic tank will be constructed near where the main sewage line exits your property.
  3. Septic tanks are typically positioned between ten and twenty-five feet away from a home’s foundation.
  4. When you do, that’s when your septic tank comes into play!
  5. Look for the Lid.
  6. You will most likely find two polyethylene or fiberglass covers positioned on opposing sides of the perimeter of your septic tank if it was built after 1975 and installed after 1975.
  7. Those areas should be excavated in order to disclose the lids.
  8. Get in touch with the pros.
  9. Lifting concrete lids will necessitate the use of specialized equipment.
  10. A fall into an unprotected septic tank has the potential to be lethal.
  11. Produce your own diagram of your yard, which you may file away with your other important house paperwork.

That’s all there is to it! If you’ve been wondering where your septic tank is, you now have five alternatives to choose from, which should make finding it easier than ever. To book a plumbing service in Bastrop County, please contact us now!

What size of septic tank do I need?

Probably one of the last things on your mind when you are constructing a new house is the location of your septic system. After all, shopping for tanks isn’t nearly as entertaining as shopping for cabinetry, appliances, and floor coverings. Although you would never brag about it, your guests will be aware if you do not have the proper septic tank placed in your home or business.

septic tanks for new home construction

The exact size of the septic tank is determined mostly by the square footage of the house and the number of people who will be living in it. The majority of home septic tanks have capacities ranging from 750 to 1,250 gallons. A 1000 gallon tank will most likely be required for a typical 3-bedroom home that is smaller than 2500 square feet in size. Of course, all of this is dependent on the number of people who live in the house as well as the amount of water and waste that will be disposed of through the plumbing system.

For the most accurate assessment of your septic tank needs, you should speak with an experienced and trustworthy sewer business representative.

planning your drainfield

Here are some helpful hints for deciding where to locate your drainfield when you’re designing it.

  • Vehicles should not be allowed on or around the drainfield. Planting trees or anything else with deep roots along the bed of the drain field is not recommended. The roots jam the pipes on a regular basis. Downspouts and sump pumps should not be discharged into the septic system. Do not tamper with or change natural drainage features without first researching and evaluating the consequences of your actions on the drainage field. Do not construct extensions on top of the drain field or cover it with concrete, asphalt, or other materials. Create easy access to your septic tank cover by placing it near the entrance. Easy maintenance and inspection are made possible as a result. To aid with evaporation and erosion prevention, plant grass in the area.

a home addition may mean a new septic tank

Do not make any big additions or renovations to your house or company until you have had the size of your septic system assessed. If you want to build a house addition that is more than 10% of your total floor space, increases the number of rooms, or necessitates the installation of new plumbing, you will almost certainly need to expand your septic tank.

  • For a home addition that will result in increased use of your septic system, your local health department will require a letter from you that has been signed and authorized by a representative of your local health department confirming that your new septic system is capable of accommodating the increase in wastewater. It is not recommended that you replace your septic system without the assistance of a certified and competent contractor.

how to maintain your new septic system

Septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services are provided by Norway Septic Inc., a service-oriented company devoted to delivering outstanding septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to households and business owners throughout the Michiana area. “We take great delight in finishing the task that others have left unfinished.” “They pump, we clean!” says our company’s motto. Septic systems are something we are familiar with from our 40 years of expertise, and we propose the following:

  • Make use of the services of a qualified specialist to develop a maintenance strategy. Make an appointment for an annual examination of your septic system. Utilize the services of an effluent filter to limit the amount of particles that exit the tank, so extending the life of your septic system. Waste items should be disposed of properly, and energy-efficient appliances should be used. Make sure you get your septic system professionally cleaned every 2 to 3 years, or more frequently if necessary, by an experienced and qualified expert
  • If you have any reason to believe that there is an issue with your system, contact a professional. It is far preferable to catch anything early than than pay the price later. Maintain a record of all septic system repairs, inspections, and other activities

common septic questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by our septic customers.

How do I determine the size of my septic tank?

If you have a rectangular tank, multiply the inner height by the length to get the overall height of the tank. In order to find out how many gallons your septic tank contains, divide the number by.1337.1337

How many bedrooms does a 500-gallon septic tank support?

The exact size of the septic tank is determined mostly by the square footage of the house and the number of people who will be living in it. The majority of home septic tanks have capacities ranging from 750 to 1,250 gallons. A 1000 gallon tank will most likely be required for a typical 3-bedroom home that is smaller than 2500 square feet in size.

How deep in the ground is a septic tank?

Your septic system is normally buried between four inches and four feet underground, depending on the climate.

In regions where public sewer is not accessible, homeowners are required to build sewage systems (also known as septic systems) on their property to treat wastewater that originates from their residence. sewage systems are required to be linked to all facilities that create sewage, such as toilet bowls, sinks, bathtubs, showers, washing machines, dishwashers, and anything else that generates sewage. Water softening waste, roof drains, and footing drains should not be linked to sewage systems since they might cause clogging of the system.

Additionally, effluent from water softeners should not be discharged near wells or surface water.

Wastewater treatment systems are distinct from municipal sewers in that they have a limited life expectancy, which may be substantially decreased if the system is not properly maintained or if it is operated inappropriately.

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The locations of septic tanks for the majority of businesses and residences in Livingston County may be determined by going to the Search Well and Septic Records page.

What are typical sewage system components?

  • Septic tank discharge pipe: All of your household wastewater is channeled out of your home through a pipe that leads to the septic tank. Septic Tank: A septic tank is a waterproof container that is buried underground. It retains wastewater for an extended period of time, allowing particles to settle out (sludge) and oil and grease to float to the surface (scum). Solid things begin to degrade, and anaerobic microorganisms begin to break down in the presence of oxygen. Septic tanks are designed with compartments and a baffle or outlet tee to prevent sludge and scum from exiting the tank and entering the drainfield. Every 3-5 years, the septic tank should be drained to eliminate the scum and sludge that has built up.
  • Drainfield: Every time new wastewater is introduced into the septic tank, the same amount of wastewater (or effluent) is discharged from the tank and pushed into the drainfield, where it remains. If the drainfield becomes overburdened with a large amount of liquid, it will overflow. This inhibits wastewater from being treated, and it may result in sewage flowing to the surface of the ground or backing up into the building. An region on your property that is ideal for the installation of a new drainfield system in the event that your present drainfield fails.
  • Soil: Septic tank wastewater is sent to a drainfield, where it percolates into the soil and filters out contaminants. Prior to the wastewater reaching the groundwater, natural processes eliminate the majority of the pollutants in the wastewater. Bacterial degradation happens both aerobically and anaerobically. Percolating or draining soil is required for effective wastewater treatment
  • Otherwise, the treatment would fail.

What are signs of sewage system problems?

Your family’s health and the health of your neighbors are at risk if your sewage system fails. Please contact Livingston County Environmental Health at (517) 546-9858 as soon as you see any indicators of failure, and we will assist you in your attempts to correct the issue. If a sewage system fails, the following symptoms will manifest themselves:

  • Toilets are backing up, and drains are not draining. When there is an excessive amount of moisture or waste water on the surface of the drainfield
  • The drainfield or septic tank is responsible for the foul odors.

More information about septic systems may be found at:

Septic Systems – MI Water Stewardship

There are no standardized regulations for on-site sewage treatment systems in Michigan, which makes it the only state in the US without such rules guiding its design, construction, installation, and maintenance. Filling this gap, according to health professionals, would solve the single most serious concern associated with septic systems: overcrowding. The absence of routine maintenance. According to state estimates, almost half of Michigan’s rivers and streams have E. coli bacteria concentrations that exceed the state’s safety guideline for human consumption.

  1. Given that E.
  2. And what, exactly, has this to do with septic systems?
  3. Household wastewater is channeled into a big tank, where anaerobic bacteria break down part of it before enabling the water to flow out of the system and onto a drainfield, where it will be further filtered by the soil before being discharged.
  4. It is estimated that there are 130,000 failed systems now functioning in Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great LakesEnergy (DEGLE).
  5. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality estimates that Michigan’s numerous failing septic systems discharge upwards of 31 million gallons of untreated sewage into our groundwater every day.
  6. System faults, on the other hand, might easily go unreported and unrepaired for long periods of time.
  7. Proper septic system maintenance protects the public’s health and the environment, while also saving the homeowner money by preventing the need for expensive repairs.

For the most part, county health departments restrict where septic systems may be placed, but for much of the state, the rules end there.

This is a problem since 45 percent of Michigan citizens rely on groundwater aquifers for their drinking water, which is a significant number (MDEGLE, 2018).

Coli levels in the sewage, it makes its way to our beaches and other bodies of water, making swimming risky for those who do not know how to swim.

What one individual does on their property has an influence on the water quality for all of the neighbors in the surrounding area.

So, what can be done in this situation?

According to government and industry sources, the typical lifespan of a septic system is around 20 years.

It is frequently more cost-effective to have your septic system pumped and maintained rather than to have it totally replaced in this situation.

Simple Homeowners’ Tips and Tricks: It Should Be Protected and Inspected: According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, homeowners should have their system evaluated every three years by a competent expert, or as recommended by their state or local health agency.

Consider the following when you’re at the sink: It is best not to flush fats, grease, and sediments down the toilet.

Don’t overburden the toilet bowl: Only flush anything down the toilet or down the drain that belong there.

Avoid clogging your drains by being water-efficient and spreading out your water consumption.

To avoid overburdening a system that hasn’t been pumped lately, spread out your laundry and dishwashing loads throughout the day.

Preventing early failure of your septic system, which might result in groundwater pollution, can be accomplished by pumping your tank on a consistent basis.

Inspect Your Drinking Water Well: If septic systems aren’t properly maintained, leaks can occur, contaminating groundwater and drinking water supplies. Testing your drinking water well is the most effective method of ensuring that your well water is clear of contaminants.

Mound Septic Systems – Shiawassee Conservation District

This type of technology was first established in North Dakota around the 1940s, according to historical records. The “NODAK disposal system,” as it is known, was created in response to the severe environment and changeable site circumstances that exist in the state. There were two septic tanks in this system, and the wastewater was discharged to an above-ground gravel mound that had distribution pipes running along its length and width. The notion is still in use today in areas with very slow or rapid permeable soils, shallow soils over porous rock, or a high water table, to name a few applications.

  1. There are three major components to this sort of system: A septic tank, a pump chamber, and a raised mound drainfield are the three components of a septic system.
  2. In the tank, wastewater is channeled from the house to the bottom, where heavier solids (sludge) settle to the bottom and lighter solids (scum) rise to the top.
  3. Effluent is the term used to describe the waste water that exits the tank.
  4. In addition to a pump, it also has a pump control float as well as a high-water alert float.
  5. The majority of pump chambers are equipped with an alarm float that sounds when there is a problem with the pump or the system.
  6. It is made up of three main components: sand fill, a gravel-filled bed, and a distribution system, which is a network of small-diameter pipes.
  7. In the pipes, the wastewater trickles down through small perforations, past the gravel bed, and into the sand, where treatment takes place.
  8. It is the homeowner’s obligation to keep their septic system in good working order.
  9. Slow or backed-up drains, ponding or foul odors in the yard, luxuriant vegetation over the drainfield, and excessive algae in nearby waterbodies are all signs of a failing septic system.
  10. Mound septic systems are not always the best option, but when space and resources are limited, they may be a good choice for wastewater treatment in the domestic environment.

This material is part of the Upper Maple River Watershed Restoration Project, which is being sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Nonpoint Source Program and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

How To Find My Septic Tank

  1. What is a septic tank
  2. How do I know if I have a septic tank
  3. And how do I know if I have a septic tank Identifying the location of your septic tank is critical for several reasons. The Best Way to Find a Septic Tank
  4. What to Do Once You’ve Discovered Your Septic Tank

You may have fallen in love with your new house because of its appealing good looks and characteristics, but there is almost certainly more to your new home than meets the eye. In many cases, the characteristics that make your house run more effectively and allow you to live a pleasant, contemporary life are not readily apparent. Septic tanks, for example, are an important part of your home’s infrastructure. A septic system is responsible for regulating and managing the wastewater generated by your home.

  1. “How can I locate my septic tank?” is one of the most often requested inquiries we receive.
  2. When your tank’s lid is difficult to locate – especially if you are not the original homeowner – you may be at a loss for what to do or where to look for the lid when you need it.
  3. The majority of the time, all of the components of the septic tank are buried between four inches and four feet below ground level.
  4. In order to do so, it is necessary to first comprehend the functions of septic tanks and septic systems and why it is important to know where yours is located.

How to Locate Your Septic Tank

Your septic tank’s location is not a closely guarded secret. There will be a method for you to locate it and make a note of its position for future reference, and below are a few examples of such methods.

What Is a Septic Tank?

Having a functioning septic tank is an important aspect of having an effective septic system. In the United States, around 20% of households utilize a septic system to handle their wastewater. Houses in rural parts of New England are the most likely to have a septic system, with residences in the Eastern United States being the most prevalent location for septic systems. When there are few and far between residences, it is typically more efficient and cost-effective to employ a septic system to manage wastewater rather than relying on a public sewage system to handle waste water.

Typically, a septic tank is a container that is waterproof and composed of a material such as concrete, polyethylene, fiberglass, or a combination of these.

An important function of a septic tank is to hold on to wastewater until any particulates in the water separate themselves from the water.

Any liquid that remains in the tank eventually drains into a leach field or a drainfield, where it is known as “effluent.” The dirt in the leach field aids in the filtering of the water and the removal of bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants that may be present in it.

Septic tanks erected in Onondaga County must contain input and outlet baffles, as well as an effluent filter or sanitary tees, in order to effectively separate particles from liquids during the treatment process.

How Do I Know If I Have a Septic Tank?

What is the best way to tell if your home has a septic tank? There are generally a few of different methods to tell. Examining your water bill might help you identify whether or not your house is served by a septic system or is part of the public sewage system in your neighborhood. If you have a septic system for wastewater management, you are likely to receive a charge from the utility provider for wastewater or sewer services of zero dollars. In the case of those who are fortunate enough to have a septic system, it is likely that they may not receive any water bills at all.

  1. A lack of a meter on the water line that enters your property is typically indicative of the fact that you are utilizing well water rather than public utility water, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  2. A septic system is likely to be installed in your home if you reside in a rather rural location.
  3. Septic systems are likely to be installed in all of these buildings, which means your home is likely to be as well.
  4. When a septic tank is present, it is common to find a mound or tiny hill on the property that is not a natural structure.
  5. Checking your property records is a foolproof method of determining whether or not your home is equipped with a septic system.
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Why It’s Important to Know the Location of Your Septic Tank

You might wonder why you should bother trying to discover out where your septic tank is. There are several important reasons for this:

1. To Be Able to Care for It Properly

The first reason you should try to locate your septic tank is that knowing where it is will help you to properly repair and care for it in the future. The standard guideline is to avoid erecting structures or placing heavy objects on top of the septic tank. It’s possible that you don’t want to park your car or truck on top of it, and you don’t want visitors to your house to park their cars on top of it, either. Due to the weight of the automobiles, there is a possibility that the tank would collapse due to excessive pressure.

2. If You Want to Landscape or Remodel Your Property

If you want to build an addition to your home or perform some landscaping around your property, you will need to know where your septic tank is located. Nothing with deep or lengthy roots should be planted on top of or in the area of your tank, since this can cause problems. If roots are allowed to grow into the pipes of your septic system, it is conceivable that your system will get clogged. When you know where the tank is going to be, you may arrange your landscaping such that only shallow-rooted plants, such as grass, are in close proximity to the tank.

For starters, the tank’s weight might lead it to collapse due to the weight of the construction. A second issue is that getting access to the tank becomes more difficult if a permanent building has been constructed on top of it.

3. If a Problem With Your Tank Occurs

Knowing where your tank is buried might also assist you in identifying problems as soon as they arise. Consider the following scenario: you wake up one morning and see that there is flooding or ponding water in the region surrounding your septic tank – a sign that your system is overwhelmed and that an excessive amount of water is being utilized all at once.

4. Ease of Getting It Fixed

Once you have determined the location of your sewer system, you can quickly send a plumber to it in the event that something goes wrong with the system, saving everyone both time and money. Get in Touch With A Plumber Right Away

1. Use a Septic Tank Map

First and foremost, make use of a road map. Using a map is frequently the quickest and most convenient alternative. Most counties keep records of the installation of septic tanks at all of their residents’ residences. These maps should include schematics that illustrate the specific placement of the tank on the land, as well as measurements that allow you to measure and locate the tank’s exact location on the property. Never mind that landmarks may shift over time depending on when the tank was built, so if there are a few more shrubs or a tree nearby, don’t rule out that location as a possibility.

  • If you are unable to locate a map or other paperwork that identifies the location of your septic tank, there are a few locations to try to see if you can obtain a map of the area.
  • The county health department is responsible for keeping track of septic systems.
  • A septic tank’s position could be depicted on a survey map, for example.
  • The creation of your own map and documentation may be worthwhile if you cannot locate a map or blueprint of your property and nothing appears to be on file regarding it at the county health department or another municipal agency.

2. Follow the Pipes to Find Your Septic Tank

Whether or not there is an existing map of your septic tank on file, or whether or not you choose to develop one for future reference or for future homeowners, you will still need to track down and find the tank. One method of accomplishing this is to follow the sewer lines that lead away from your residence. The septic tank is situated along the sewage line that goes from your home and into the yard, as we’re sure you’re aware. Find a four-inch sewer pipe in your basement or crawl space. This is the line that will lead to your septic system and should be accessible from the ground level.

  1. In general, though, you’re searching for a pipe with a diameter of four inches or more that leaves your home via a basement wall or ceiling.
  2. By inserting a thin metal probe (also known as a soil probe) into the earth near the sewage line, you can track the pipe’s location.
  3. The majority of septic tanks are located between 10 and 25 feet away from your home, and they cannot be any closer than five feet.
  4. Going via the sewage line itself is another method of locating the septic tank utilizing it.
  5. Drain snakes are typically used to unclog clogs in toilets and drains, and they may be used to do the same thing.
  6. When the snake comes to a complete halt, it has almost certainly reached the tank.
  7. While drawing the snake back, make a note of how far it has been extended and whether it has made any bends or turns.
  8. When looking for your septic tank, you may use a transmitter that you flush down the toilet and it will direct you straight to the tank.

If you only want to keep an eye on the condition of your tank and don’t need to dig it up and inspect it, you may thread a pipe camera into the sewer pipe to see what’s happening.

3. Inspect Your Yard

Septic tanks are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible when they are erected. With the passage of time, and the growth of the grass, it might be difficult to discern the visual indications that indicated the exact location of your septic tank’s installation. However, this does not rule out the possibility of finding evidence that will take you to the location of your septic tank in the future. First and foremost, you want to rule out any potential locations for your septic tank, such as:

  • Under a road or similar paved surface, for example. Right up against the house (the tank must be at least five feet away)
  • Directly in front of the home Immediately adjacent to your well (if you have one)
  • In close proximity to trees or densely planted regions
  • In the shadow of a patio, deck, or other building

Once you’ve ruled out any potential locations for your tank, it’s time to start hunting for indications as to where it may be hiding in plain sight. Keep your eyes peeled as you go about your property, looking for any inexplicable high or low points that might suggest the presence of an underground tank. When looking at your property, you could see a hill or mound on the ground, which is frequently an indication that there is a septic tank nearby. One further item to consider while searching for the right septic tank for your home is the amount of grass or other foliage in your yard.

Alternatively, if the tank was not adequately buried, you may observe a “bald patch,” which is an area where the grass is struggling to grow in the vicinity.

4. Talk to Your Neighbors

If your neighbors have septic systems as well, they may be able to assist you in locating your tank. Inquire of your neighbors about the location of their septic tanks in relation to their residences. Having a polite conversation with your neighbors regarding septic systems not only provides you with a means to figure out where yours is, but it may also serve as a friendly introduction to the other residents of your community.

5. Look for Your Septic Tank Lid

It is only the first step in the process to discover where your septic tank is located. After you’ve located your tank, the following step is to locate the lid. You can locate it with the help of your soil probe. The majority of septic tanks are rectangular in shape and measure around five feet by eight feet. The perimeter of the tank should be marked with a probe once it has been probed around. A shallow excavation with a shovel within the tank’s perimeter and near the center (or broken into halves for a two compartment tank) should show the position of the lid or lids if you are unable to feel them by probing.

The tank itself is likely to be filled with foul-smelling vapors, if not potentially hazardous ones.

What to Do After You Find Your Septic Tank

Once you’ve determined where your tank is, it’s time to bring in the specialists. Trust us when we say that opening a septic tank is not something that just anybody wants to undertake. Concrete septic tank lids are extremely heavy and must be lifted using special lifting gear in order to be removed. Since the vapors are potentially dangerous due to the contents of the tank, please respect our advice and refrain from attempting to open the tank yourself. An exposed septic tank can be hazardous to anybody wandering around your property’s perimeter, and if someone were to fall into it, it might be lethal owing to the toxicity of the sewage in the tank.

However, before you send in a team of experienced plumbers, there are a few things you can do to ensure that others do not experience the same difficulty locating the tank and to make locating the tank in the future easier.

1. Mark Its Location

The likelihood is that you will not want to post a large sign in your yard that reads “Septic Tank Here!” but you will want to leave some sort of marking so that you can quickly locate the tank and lid when you need them. In an ideal situation, the marker will be substantial enough that it will not blow away in the wind and will not be readily moved by children who are playing in the yard. A patio paver, a potted plant, or a decorative gnome or rock are just a few of the possibilities. In addition to putting a physical sign beside the septic tank, you may draw a map or layout of the area around it to illustrate its position.

2. Take Care of Your Septic Tank

Taking proper care of your tank may save you hundreds of dollars over the course of its lifetime. The expense of maintaining your system could be a few hundred dollars every few years, but that’s a lot less than the thousands of dollars it might cost to repair or replace a damaged tank or a malfunctioning septic system. Two strategies to take better care of your septic tank and system are to avoid utilizing your drain pipes or toilets as garbage cans and to use less water overall. Things like paper towels, face wipes, and cat litter should not be flushed down the toilet since they are not designed to be flushed.

In addition, installing low-flow faucets and high-efficiency toilets can help you reduce the amount of water used in your home.

For example, you don’t want to be washing load after load of laundry or running your clothes washer at the same time as your dishwasher all at the same time.

Call a Professional Plumber

Maintenance of a septic system is not normally considered a do-it-yourself activity. In the Greater Syracuse region, whether your septic tank requires pumping out or cleaning, or if you want to replace your tank, you should use the services of a reputable plumbing firm to do the job right. If you’ve attempted to locate your septic tank on your own and are still unsure of its position, it may be necessary to enlist the assistance of a professional local plumber. Our team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse can assist you with locating, maintaining, or replacing your home’s sewage tank.

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