How Far Should I Build My Home From The Septic Tank Michigan? (Perfect answer)

Minimum Isolation Distances

Item Septic Tank Drainfield
Building Foundation (no basement) 5 feet 10 feet
Basement Wall 10 feet 15 feet
Water Supply Well* (25 feet deep or more) 50 feet 100 feet
Lake or Stream 25 feet 50 feet


How close can you build next to a septic tank?

– A full foundation must be 10 feet from the septic tank and 20 feet from the leaching area. – A slab foundation such as a garage must be 10 feet from the septic tank and 10 feet from the leaching area.

What is the minimum safe distance from the septic tank?

At least 15m from the nearest water supply. This is a minimum and should be more if the ground is rocky and fissures could take the outflow further. It should be at least 3m from the nearest building. Avoid areas where rainwater would stand or flow over the tank or vehicles could drive over it.

How deep is a septic 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.

Can I build a porch over my septic tank?

You should never build a deck over a septic field; doing so will prevent the natural draining and dissipation of the effluent. This can ruin the septic system, not to mention releasing foul smells into the air all around your deck. The dissipating effluent can also rot the deck from underneath.

Can you put a garden over a septic field?

Planting over a septic leach field (drain field) is possible if it is done with care. If you have limited space on your property where you can garden, the leach field may be the only spot for landscaping. Vegetable gardening over a leach field is not recommended.

How close can leach field be to house?

Common guidelines require at least 50′ clearance distance between a well and a septic system tank or 150′ between a well and a septic drainfield or leaching bed but you will see that different authorities may recommend different distances. Local soil and rock conditions can make these “rules of thumb” unreliable.

How far is distribution box from septic tank?

The D-box is normally not very deep, often between 6″ and two feet to the top of the box. You may also see a pattern of parallel depressions, typically about 5 feet apart, that mark the individual drainfield leach lines. The D-box will at or near end of the drainfield area that is closest to the septic tank.

How far down is a leach field?

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

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 long does a drain field last in Michigan?

A well-maintained system, with its tank pumped every three years or so, whose users are very disciplined about what flows into it, can have a drainage field that lasts and continues to work effectively for about 20 years.

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.

Can I pour a concrete slab over my septic tank?

You should never pave over your septic tank. Although soil compaction is not a major issue for septic tanks, there are other dangers presented by placing an insecure septic tank underneath concrete and heavy vehicles.

Which way should a septic tank be built?

Northwest is the best direction for installing a septic tank. It doesn’t matter if your house is east or west-facing, as the direction of your house does not take into account the position of the septic tank. Therefore, septic tank location as per Vastu must always be in the northwest part of your home.

Can you put a concrete patio over a septic tank?

You should not build a patio over or near a septic tank. Septic tanks are not built to withstand the weight of a concrete slab or pavers and you risk damaging the tank or the waste lines. You should make sure there is a 5 foot distance between the edge of the septic tank and any heavy materials.

How Far Should You Put the Septic Tank From the House?

Image courtesy of Kwangmoozaa/iStock/Getty Images.

In This Article

  • Amount of distance from the home
  • Basic safety concerns
  • Suggestions for a successful installation

For those who don’t have access to a municipal sewage system, an alternate solution, such as a septic tank and field lines, will be required. The design and operation of these systems are fairly straightforward. When designing a septic system, you must keep in mind the requirements of local construction codes as well as public health concerns.


Depending on where you live, local ordinances and regulations that specify the distance between the septic tank and the home vary. However, the normal minimum distance is 10 feet between the two structures. Consult your local ordinances and regulations for a detailed answer as to how far your septic tank must be installed from your home. Requirements differ from one location to the next, although the standard minimum distance from the home is 10 feet in most cases. In the case of a private well for drinking water, however, keep in mind that many state departments of health demand a minimum distance of 50 feet between a new septic tank and a well.

It is possible that the septic tank will be placed considerably closer to the structure since it will be easier and require less plumbing in some cases.

Basic Safety Considerations

If you’re the type of person who prefers to do things on their own, there are certain important measures you should take before starting this endeavor. Before you start digging the hole for the tank, call your local utility providers to find out where the service lines are located. A gas line, water line, phone line, or electrical connection that has been severed is not only potentially dangerous, but it may also be extremely expensive to repair. Once you have finished excavating the hole, proceed with caution.

It’s also important to understand that a concrete septic tank can weigh up to 5 tons.

Make sure the hole is available when the tank is delivered so that it can be installed straight in the desired location.

Tips for a Successful Installation

Plan ahead of time to get your water supply switched on prior to installing your septic tank. You must fill the tank with water as soon as it is placed in its final position for this to be possible. This has absolutely nothing to do with the septic system itself, but it is a prudent precaution. In the event of a heavy downpour, the groundwater may swell and a septic tank may float out of the ground, even if it has been buried. If this occurs, contact a qualified professional immediately. Repairing any damage done to the lines or to the tank itself, as well as putting the tank back in its original location, may be a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

Initially, you may be confident that you will remember the exact location of the marker when it is time to top up the tank — which is generally every three to five years — but your memory may fade over time.

In the absence of a marker, you may end up digging holes in the wrong place when it is time to service the tank.

Septic System Ordinances

Septic inspection and pumping are required at the point of sale (POS) or at the time of sale/transfer (TOST). Michigan is the only state that does not have a statewide sanitary code, which means that requirements are imposed by individual counties or townships. According to Michigan’s public health code, municipal health departments are in responsibility of drafting and enforcing regulations governing water wells and sewage treatment facilities. The adoption of Time of Sale/Transfer (TOST) septic regulations is becoming more common in local municipalities across the state (also called Point of Sale, or POS).

Such inspections are intended to detect well and septic systems that are no longer operating as intended (or that were installed in violation of the code), and to take corrective action if necessary.

Nevertheless, if it is discovered that a system is deteriorating, it will be necessary to fix or replace it.

Additional References

Organization County Resource Description Resource Link
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council Charlevoix County Article: “The Septic Question” Click here

Additional Ordinance Examples

Municipality County Resource Description Resource Link
Milton Township Antrim County Septic Inspection and Property Transfer Ordinance Click here
Barry County Barry County Sanitary Code Click here
Benzie County Benzie County Sewage and Well Evaluation Form Click here
Eaton County Eaton County Sanitary Code Click here
Long Lake Township Grand Traverse County Ordinance 107: Inspection of on Site Sewage Disposal Systems Click here
Kalkaska County Kalkaska County Sanitary Code Chapter 5: Wastewater and Sewage Disposal Click here
Village of Empire Leelanau County Ordinance 135: Septic Inspection at Time of Sale Click here
Manistee County Manistee Sanitary Code Chapter 5: Wastewater and Sewage Disposal Click here
Springfield Township Oakland County Section 40-639 (b): Lots abutting waterbodies- septic tankminimum setback regulation Click here
Shiawassee County Shiawassee County Click here
Washenaw County Washtenaw County Time of Sale Inspection Requirements Program Click here

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.

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.
See also:  How To Become A Soil Scientist For Septic Tank?

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:

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a permit set you back? District Health Department No. 2 provides a wide range of services for which licenses and fees are required. Any permit’s current cost may be determined by referring to the fee schedule on this page or contacting the District Health Department No. 2 office in your area. How long does it take to have a permit approved or denied? Site assessments will be done within eight (8) business days of receipt of the application and cost, in accordance with the rules of District Health Department No.

  1. It is possible that this period will vary owing to a variety of reasons such as incomplete applications, the complexity of the project, the participation of other authorities, and harsh weather conditions.
  2. What is the procedure for obtaining a “perc test?” A “perc test” is a broad phrase that refers to the soil assessment that is performed during a vacant land or septic permit site examination, among other things.
  3. An individual must submit a completed application along with the required money to the health department, which will then conduct the site evaluation that has been requested by the individual.
  4. Both forms of assessments are carried out in the same manner as one another.

The primary difference is that, if approved, a septic permit evaluation authorizes the construction of a sewage disposal system, provides specific construction specifications, and has an expiration date, whereas a well permit evaluation does not authorize the construction of a sewage disposal system.

Vacant land assessments do not have a set end date, and as a result, they are often performed in instances where the property is unlikely to be developed for a long length of time.

Important to note is that a vacant land evaluation approval does not imply authorization to construct a wastewater treatment system; rather, an application to construct a wastewater treatment system must be submitted and a construction permit issued before any wastewater treatment system construction can begin.

  • The seasonal high water table is the maximum level or elevation of groundwater at which the soil is flooded by groundwater during the regularly wet seasons of the year.
  • The inspection of soils, soil saturation, soil mottling (during dry seasons of the year), soil structure, historical records, technical data, or other verifiable data may be used to identify the seasonal high water table.
  • To ensure that new construction sites comply with current District Health Department No.
  • How can I keep my septic system in good working order?
  • Septic tanks should be opened and examined at least once a year, and excessive sludge or scum should be removed if necessary.
  • Aside from that, practicing water conservation is a wise decision.
  • Using the sewage disposal system to dispose of sump pump water, water softener recharge water, and storm water runoff is not recommended.

It is critical to repair leaky fittings as soon as possible.

It is important to note that septic tanks are the major source of treatment for residential sewage since they contain huge quantities of bacteria that are necessary for the treatment and breakdown of sewage wastes.

It is critical not to use excessive amounts of cleansers or disinfectants in the septic tank since they can interfere with the bacteriologic activities that occur in the tank.

Avoid using your waste disposal unit excessively since these units increase the quantity of particulates entering your system that are tough to break down and so should be avoided.

Is it possible for me to install my own septic system?

A final inspection by the health department must be performed prior to the system being used to ensure that it has been installed in accordance with the permit specifications and the requirements of the local sanitary code.

What if I require a copy of a permit for a system that is already in place?

Form for Making a Request

Protect your septic system from large party gatherings

Unexpected water inputs from restroom use at a large party that has not been planned ahead of time might provide an unpleasant surprise for your guests. Image courtesy of Christmas and New Year’s Eve are two of the most popular times of the year for us to welcome visitors, throw parties, and hold social events in our homes. If you reside in a neighborhood that has sewer systems, this will not be an issue. If you have a septic system, this might provide an issue. Considering the burden on your septic system during any time of the year, whether it’s during the holidays, at a graduation, or at another event in your house, is important.

  1. Septic tanks are built to suit the number of bedrooms in a house as well as the possibility of inflowing waste.
  2. This is large enough to accommodate typical inputs without stumbling.
  3. Is your system capable of handling the additional load?
  4. This would result in sewage blockages as well as an increased danger of untreated effluent being flushed into your drainage system.
  5. Anaerobic microorganisms are responsible for the breakdown of waste materials.
  6. The drain field is intended to aid in the breakdown process by allowing aerobic bacteria in the soil to continue working.
  7. Because of the solids streaming into the drain field, airspace and locations for bacteria to dwell and grow are reduced in the soil, diminishing their ability to thrive.
  8. These include the following:
  • Reduce the amount of water used by washing, dishwashers, and additional showers a few days before your celebration
  • Preparing meals and other water-intensive cooking tasks ahead of time will save time. Invest in a portable restroom or put up some bathroom regulations to kindly inform visitors about what can and cannot be flushed
  • If you haven’t done so recently, scheduling an inspection and pumping of your tank before to your party is the best option. It is essential to ensure that external inputs from eavestroughs and other sources are diverted away from the drain field.

By anticipating your guests’ water consumption in advance, you may have a stress-free Christmas party without having to worry about a septic situation arising. MSU Extension Educator Beth Clawson can be contacted for additional information about the Michigan Septic System Education program. Educators from Michigan State University ExtensionNatural Resources are available to answer questions regarding water quality and provide instructional programming and support to residents around the state.

You can reach out to an educator using MSU Extension’s “Find an Expert” search engine by searching for “Natural Resources Water Quality” in the keywords field. Did you find this article to be informative?

  • Septic systems, septic system education, water quality, clean boats, clean waters, holidays, homeownership, huge parties, natural resources, clean boats, clean waters

You Might Also Be Interested In

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.

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.


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.

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.
See also:  How Much To Replace Or Repair A Septic Tank? (Question)


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 enjoy knowing that large chunks of concrete are buried underground before they start digging in the yard to put 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 service, contact Total Enviro Services for propertank abandonment procedures that meet with local standards and protect your family, pets, and farm animals from harm or death.

Learn how much it costs to Clean Septic Tank.

Cleaning or pumping a septic tank might cost up to $410 in the average case. The majority of homeowners pay between $287 and $545 each year. Extremely big tanks can cost up to $1,000 or even more in some cases. The majority of tanks require pumping and inspection every 3 to 5 years, with inspections every 1 to 3 years.

Average Cost to Pump a Septic Tank

Let’s run some numbers to see what the costs are. What part of the world are you in? What part of the world are you in?

National Average $410
Typical Range $287 – $545
Low End – High End $200 – $1,150

The cost information in this report is based on real project costs provided by 5,763 HomeAdvisor users.

Septic Tank Pumping Cost Near You

Cleaning out an RV septic tank will cost you between $150 and $250. Because they don’t contain much and need to be emptied on a regular basis, you’ll find yourself dumping these tanks more frequently than you’d want. This will be disposed of in sites designated for RV holding disposal. So, while pumping may be free, when it comes time to store it for the winter, you’ll want to make sure that the black water tank is completely empty.

Septic Tank Maintenance Cost

While you may need to have your tank pumped every 3 to 5 years, this is not the only expenditure associated with septic tank maintenance. Expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or more on maintenance every few years, depending on the level of use.

Septic System Inspection Cost

An checkup of a septic system might cost anything from $100 to $900. Your technician will do a visual examination of the system. If you want a camera check of the lines, it will cost an additional $250 to $900, but it is only essential if your drains are running slowly and you are unable to detect the problem.

  • Initial inspection costs between $250 and $500
  • Annual inspection costs between $100 and $150
  • And camera inspection costs between $250 and $900.

How often do you need to pump a septic tank?

If your septic tank is older than three or five years, it will need to be pumped more frequently. You may, on the other hand, find yourself cleaning it out every year or every 20 years. It is mostly determined by two factors: The following table outlines the most usual inspection intervals, although it is recommended that you have a professional evaluate your home once a year just in case.

Talk To Local Pros To Get Septic Tank Pumping Quotes

What makes the difference between spending $400 every two years and spending $600 every five years might be as simple as how you handle your septic tank and leach field. Some things you’ll want to think about and perhaps adjust are as follows:

  • Using a garbage disposal system. If you want to save time, avoid using a garbage disposal. Take into consideration recycling or composting. Coffee grounds are a waste product. Make sure you don’t toss this away. Entertainment. If you host a lot of dinner parties, plan to do a lot of upkeep. Grease. Don’t pour grease down the sink or toilet. This clogs the drain and can cause the septic tank to clog as well. Laundry. Washing clothes in small batches, diverting wastewater to a separate system, and never using dry laundry soap are all good ideas. Parking. Keep autos off your leach field and away from your leach field. As a result, the soil will be compressed, reducing its effectiveness. Buildings. A leach field should not have any buildings, whether temporary or permanent in nature.

Aerobic Septic System Maintenance Cost

Aerating an aerobic system can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on the size, type of bacteria being used, and whether or not any preparation work is required. Most homes pay between $100 and $200, however you may be able to get a better deal if you combine this service with other services such as pumping or cleaning.

Cost to Empty a Septic Tank

Most of the time, you’ll only need to empty it if you’re removing something, transferring something, or changing something else. Fees for emptying your septic tank prior to removal are included in the replacement expenses. The cost of replacing a septic tank ranges from $3,200 to $10,300. Pumping out a tank does not always imply totally draining it; it may just imply eliminating the majority of the muck.

Septic Tank Cleaning Cost

You’ll pay anything from $100 to $800 to clean the tank once it has been pumped (or more for extremely large commercial systems).

Pumping eliminates effluent, whereas cleaning removes trash and particles from pumps, pipelines, and some filters. Pumping and cleaning are complementary processes.

Cleaning Methods

Cleaning methods include the following:

  • Pumping: This procedure removes wastewater from the septic tank. Jetting: This method removes accumulated buildup from the pipes.

The majority of septic system repairs cost between $650 and $2,900. The most common causes of system failure are clogged filters and a failure to pump and examine the system on a regular basis.

Compare Quotes From Local Septic Tank Pumping Pros

Pumping your own septic system is not recommended. In order to move sludge from the tank, it must be stored in proper containers, and it must be disposed of in accordance with crucial safety precautions. Septic tank pumping is often considered to be more convenient and cost-effective when performed by a professional who has access to specialized equipment, such as specialized tools and storage containers, to securely manage the waste and scum for disposal. It’s always safer, faster, and more cost efficient to just employ a local septic pumping specialist rather than trying to do it yourself.


In contrast to a municipal sewage system, where waste is channeled through a central drainage system that is managed by the municipality, your septic tank is unique to your home or business. Wastewater from your house, including that from showers, toilets, sink drains, and washing machines, is sent into your septic tank for treatment. In the event that wastewater makes its way into your septic tank, it is naturally separated into three parts:

  • Sludge is formed when solid waste falls to the bottom of the tank, where microorganisms in the tank break down the solid materials, resulting in the formation of sludge. Water: This is referred to as greywater, and it is not appropriate for drinking but is not considered harmful. Scum is made up of fats and oils that float to the surface of the tank.

The placement of the outlet and inlet pipes, as well as baffles, prevent sludge and scum from exiting the tank. Wastewater, also known as effluent, is channeled through pipes to a drain field.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

The following are signs that your septic tank is full:

  • The smell of drain field, tank, or drains within the house
  • Sewage that has backed up in your home or leach field

What happens if a septic tank is not pumped?

In the event that you do not routinely pump your septic tank (every 3-5 years, however this range may shorten or prolong depending on a few conditions), the following problems may occur.

  • The sludge accumulates
  • The deposit begins to flow into the drain field, polluting the field and possibly contaminating the surrounding groundwater. Pipes get blocked and eventually burst. Pumps become clogged and eventually fail. You’ll wind up damaging your drain field and will have to replace it as a result.

What’s the difference between a septic tank and a cesspool?

It is the way in which they work to disseminate waste that distinguishes a cesspool from a septic tank, and The expenses of pumping them are the same as before.

  • Uncomplicated in design, a cesspool is just a walled hole with perforated sides into which wastewater runs and slowly dissipates into the earth around it. Once the surrounding earth has become saturated, you’ll need to dig a new cesspool to replace the old one. Cesspools are not permitted in many parts of the United States, and you will be required to construct a septic system instead. A septic system works in the same way as a cesspool, but it has two independent components: the septic tank and the septic system. The septic tank and drain field are both required.
  • The septic tank enables wastewater to enter while only allowing grey water to exit through precisely placed input and outlet hoses to the drain field. Scum and solid waste (sludge) stay trapped within the vessel. When compared to a cesspool, the drain field distributes grey water over a broader area, enabling it to flow into the soil and cleanse.
See also:  How Much Does A Septic Tank Permit Cost? (Solved)

How do I keep my septic system healthy?

Maintain the health of your system by keeping certain specified contaminants and chemicals out of your septic system, such as the following:

  • A variety of anti-bacterial hand washing soaps, certain toilet bowl cleansers, bath and body oils, as well as a variety of dishwashing detergents are available for purchase. In regions where separate systems are now permitted, laundry detergents and bleach are permitted. a few types of water softeners

Important to note is that while biological additions are unlikely to be dangerous, many chemical additives that are touted as a way to save you money by not having to pump your septic tank may actually cause damage to your septic system.

Hire a Local Septic Cleaning Pro In Your Area

During her tenure as governor, Jennifer Granholm released a water protection plan that called for the creation of a statewide code to more effectively control the state’s 1.3 million septic tanks and other on-site wastewater treatment facilities. The plan was implemented in 2007. The statewide code remains a regulatory pipe dream nine years after it was first proposed, despite the fact that there are 130,000 failing septic systems hiding beneath the earth throughout most of the state. Michigan, in fact, is the only state in the US that does not have standardized rules controlling the design, construction, installation, and maintenance of on-site sewage treatment systems (OSWTS).

  1. “A state code would be beneficial in terms of managing on-site treatment systems after they are constructed,” said Richard A.
  2. “A state code would be beneficial in terms of managing on-site treatment systems after they are constructed.” Following the construction of an information technology system, most counties do not revisit the site to ensure that the systems are running effectively.
  3. According to government and industry sources, the typical lifespan of a septic system is around 20 years.
  4. Health authorities in Eaton County determined that none of the four residences seen in this aerial shot had appropriate sewage disposal systems, according to the photo.
  5. Barry-Eaton District Health Department provided the image used here.
  6. Only 11 of Michigan’s 83 counties have gone above and beyond current state rules to implement programs geared to detect failing septic systems and compel their replacement.
  7. Since 2004, the Legislature has reviewed six proposals to establish a statewide code for septic systems, but none of them has advanced beyond the committee stage.

The latest news and analysis from The Center for Michigan.

Lisa Lyons of Alto is developing legislation to establish a statewide code for septic systems, according to state authorities and members from the wastewater sector, according to a press release.

The office of Gov.

Other states have extensive rules that govern on-site wastewater treatment facilities, such as the following ones: -All septic tanks in Wisconsin must be examined every three years, according to state law.

The design, installation, and maintenance of septic systems are governed by stringent regulations in most other states.

It is unclear whether or not Rep.

According to the Michigan Association of Realtors, the Michigan Townships Association, and the Michigan On-site Wastewater Recycling Association, a statewide code has been long overdue for the state of Michigan.

“While we may differ on the specifics, everyone agrees on the need of having a statewide code,” Stephens said.

Local governments have an obligation to remediate sewage leaks that cause water contamination, according to a court decision between the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Worth Township in Sanilac County.

The treatment system is presently moving forward at a rapid pace in the township.

Barry-Eaton District Health Department provided the image used here.

In addition, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Association of Realtors said the group supports a statewide code as long as it does not contain a “time of sale” program that mandates septic tank inspections and repairs before homes are transferred.

Eleven counties in Michigan already have “time of sale” schemes in place.

For example, a time of sale inspection program implemented in Barry and Eaton counties in 2007 discovered 300 properties that did not have a septic system at all.

Young believes that the time of sale regulations already in effect in Barry and Eaton counties may be implemented statewide without causing real estate transactions to be disrupted.

As a result of the new law, septic system inspections would be required every five years, according to Laura Ogar, the director of environmental affairs and community development for Bay County.

According to Ogar, the fund started with $100,000 and was depleted after just six septic system repairs were completed.

“We aim to keep microorganisms out of the water,” says the scientist.

Alexander Communications LLC is owned by Jeff Alexander, who is the author of “Pandora’s Locks: The Opening of the Great Lakes – St.

Alexander is a former staff writer for the Muskegon Chronicle who now maintains a blog on the Great Lakes.

With permission, I have reproduced this article. Bridge Magazine, a magazine of, is dedicated to the production of independent, nonprofit public affairs reporting. Please keep in mind that if you purchase something after clicking on one of our affiliate links, we may receive a fee.

Well & Septic Permits

You should bear in mind that, during the COVID-19, extra limits will be implemented during inspections and entrance into facilities in order to ensure the safety of both personnel and clients. Please check to see that no one in the building is sick, has tested positive for COIVD-19, or is exhibiting signs of the virus before proceeding. Fever, chills, recurrent shaking with chills, muscular pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, coughing, or trouble breathing are some of the signs and symptoms of meningitis.

During the inspection, it is also necessary to ensure the following requirements are met:

  • Throughout the site tour, social separation must be maintained as much as possible. Reduce the number of persons who will be on site to a bare minimum
  • If at all feasible, building occupants should put on a face mask. All entrances and exits to inspection areas must be conveniently accessible, and the door must be open at all times. This is done in order to limit the number of “touchpoints” during the examination.

If these standards are not met, the sanitarian will not proceed with the service and will leave the premises in order to safeguard both the client’s and the employee’s well-being.

Important Information

  • MISS Dig must label any subsurface utilities before to the site visit for all services performed on the property. Persons engaged in groundbreaking activities on the site are needed to submit a ticket to MISS Dig in order for the property to be marked appropriately. The presence of unmarked properties will result in service delays or postponements. Missing an appointment may result in a $75 fee
  • Failure to show up may result in a $50 fee. If any field activities are initiated before the application fees are received, they are nonrefundable. All applications that are cancelled prior to the start of field work are subject to a $50 processing charge. Unless otherwise specified, permits and site evaluations are valid for two years and are non-transferable.

Septic Services

Program to establish if a land is suitable for a specific style of development as well as for on-site wells and septic systems, among other things.

On-site Sewage Disposal

Installation of on-site sewage disposal (septic) systems necessitates the acquisition of a permit. If the application is for new development, it must contain a thorough site plan as well as floor layouts.

  • Alternative Wastewater Application
  • SepticSmart
  • Septic System Landscape Design
  • Residential WellSeptic Permit Application
  • Non-residential WellSeptic Permit Application
  • Septic System Landscaping

Real Estate Evaluation

In many cases, prior to selling an existing building, it is necessary to inspect and evaluate the well and septic system, whether private or commercial.

  • Homebuyer’s Guide to Septic Systems
  • Real Estate Evaluation Application
  • Sanitary Facility Evaluation Guidelines
  • EPA – Real Estate Evaluation Application

Addition/Change of Use

Review of planned construction/change of use projects to determine whether or not they would have an impact on existing water wells and onsite wastewater disposal systems.

  • The request for an Environmental Health Addition/Change of Use Review has been submitted.

Subdivisions, Site Condominiums and Land Division Evaluation

a study of a planned subdivision of property that would be supplied by onsite wastewater treatment facilities and/or individual water supply wells According to the Michigan Land Division Act (Public Act 288 of 1967), all land divisions of less than one acre, subdivisions, and site condos must be approved by the local health department before proceeding.

Sewage Regulations

  • Guidelines for Site Modification in Kent County, Michigan
  • Sewage Disposal Rules for Kent County, Michigan Subsurface Sewage Disposal Criteria
  • Subdivision Regulations

System Specifications

  • Gravity mounds, pressurized mounds, pump chambers, full cutdowns, and partial cutdowns are all possibilities (T-trench)

Well Services

Installation of on-site water supply (well) systems necessitates the acquisition of a permit.

  • Application for a residential well-septic system
  • Well Maintenance for Drinking Water

Well RegulationsGuidelines

  • Michigan Abandoned Water Well Plugging Manual
  • Water Well Disinfection Manual
  • Kent County Water Supply Regulations
  • Well Construction Code Administrative Rules (Part 127 of Act 368)
  • Minimum Isolation Distance Chart
  • Michigan Abandoned Water Well Plugging Manual
  • Well Disinfection Manual Guide to Well Water
  • Nitrate and Nitrite in Drinking Water
  • And Arsenic in Well Water

Type II Wells Public Supply PermitForms

A Type II non-community public water supply serves 25 or more persons at least 60 days per year or has 15 or more service connections if it is not part of a community water system.

Type II Well Permit
  • Well Permit Application for Type II Well
  • Type II Well Permit Instructions
  • Existing and Proposed Fixture Count Sheet
  • Type II Well Permit Fee Schedule
Operational Forms
  • Worksheet for determining the action level for lead and copper
  • Lead and Copper Sample Report Form
  • And Start-up Instructions. Obtaining Certification for a Seasonal Noncommunity Public Water Supply Application for TypeII Water Supply at the Level 2 Assessment Level
Regulations and Guidelines
  • Safe Drinking Water Act 399 – Providing Water to the Public
  • Seasonal Public Groundwater Supply Handbook
  • Well Construction Code Administrative Rules (Part 127 of Act 368)
  • Well Construction Code Administrative Rules
Information about Contamination in Kent County

When reviewing or issuing a permit for a site, the presence of pollution in the soils or groundwater around or on the property may be taken into consideration by the public health decision-making process. Please see the links below for further information about properties and their proximity to possible sources of pollution. External links are owned and maintained by the Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (DEGLEE).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *