- The maximum amount of soil cover you can expect to have is about three feet. This means that your septic lines may be closer to the surface than you would have thought. How do I know if my drainfield is failing?
How much dirt should be on top of a septic tank?
Each layer should be uniform, no greater than 24 inches thick, and of nearly equal heights around the perimeter of the tank. However, compaction under the haunch (bottom curvature of some tanks) is best done in 6- to 12-inch layers.
Should you cover your septic tank?
You should cover your tank up with something that can be easily moved when you need to move it. Animals Need to Stay Away from Your Septic Tank System: Keep animals away from your septic system. It is not a good idea to grow a vegetable garden to cover up your septic tank pumping system though.
Should a septic tank lid be covered with dirt?
A septic tank stores the solids from drains and needs to be pumped out about every two years, so it’s not a good idea to cover the area — you need to always be sure where to find the tank. Modern septic systems have an 8-inch plastic pipe that rises from the tank to a few inches above grade.
How do you cover a septic tank area?
The Do’s For Hiding Your Septic Tank
- Plant tall native grasses with fibrous roots around the opening to conceal the tank lid from view.
- Place a light statue, bird bath or potted plant over the septic lid.
- Septic tank risers and covers are an alternative to concrete and blend into green grass.
What are the signs that your septic tank is full?
Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:
- Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
- Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
- Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
- You Hear Gurgling Water.
- You Have A Sewage Backup.
- How often should you empty your septic tank?
What size are septic tank lids?
Available in 12″, 16″, 20″ and 24″ diameters. Green only. 12″ Tall Riser – For septic tanks.
Do septic tanks need to be airtight?
Septic tanks need to be watertight. The riser should be sealed to the top of the tank and the riser cover should be sealed to the riser with butyl rubber or some other flexible sealant. No liquid should enter or leave the tank.
Should I install a riser on my septic tank?
Having a riser in place can also significantly reduce the cost of septic tank maintenance over time through the ease of access and time on the job saved. Plus you will be spared digging up your lawn every time as well.
Can you put anything on top of a septic tank?
Building over septic tanks It is never recommended to build a structure over any portion of your septic system. No permanent structures should be built over any portion of the system, but at least in this case the homeowner can pump out their septic tank.
Is it OK to cover septic tank lids?
If you have a traditional septic system, the tank should be pumped every 3-5 years. That means that the septic lids should be accessible every 3-5 years. You can use almost any temporary, movable objects to cover your lids, like: Mulch (but not landscaping)
Can I build a deck 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.
How do you hide a septic riser?
The easiest way to hide your septic riser is by simply placing something over it, such as a hollow, lightweight landscape rock, a birdbath, a sundial or a decorative lawn ornament.
Septic Tank Design Depth – how deep should the septic tank be located
- When establishing a septic tank, you may ask a QUESTION or make a COMMENT regarding how deep the septic tank should be located.
InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Design depth for a septic tank: What are the most frequent depths to which septic tanks, cesspools, seepage pits, and drywells are buried? Is it necessary to locate the septic tank below the frost line in order to prevent it from freezing? Septic tanks are placed at a certain depth, and there are various elements that impact the actual depth to which a septic tank (or cesspool, drywell, or soak-pit) will be sunk, which are discussed below.
For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page.
Septic Tank Installation Depth
Table of Contents for the Article Series
- SEPTIC TANK DESIGN DEPTH- this article
- SEPTIC TANK DESIGN DEPTH
- SEPTIC TANKDRAINFIELDFREEZE PROTECTION
How Deep Should WePutthe Septic Tank at Original Installation?
Septic tanks may be built almost anywhere in the soil, regardless of its depth. When operating in a freezing climate, even in uninhabited homes, it is unlikely that the septic tank serving an occupied home or even an unoccupied one will freeze. This is due in part to latent heat received by the septic tank’s bottom from earth, in part to heat generated by bacteria in the septic tank, and in part to warm wastewater entering from a building served by the septic system, and in part to warm wastewater entering from the building served by the septic system.
You’ll kill the bacteria, damage the drainfield, and taint the surrounding ecosystem as a result of this.
Factors Determining Septic Tank Depth
The following are the primary elements that influence the actual depth at which a septic tank is likely to be buried (and, consequently, the depth to which you may have to dig to locate the septic tank) at a specific site:
- The depth to which the lowest sewage line departs the structure that the septic tank serves is referred to as the sewer line depth. Given that we often rely on gravity to transport sewage from a building to a septic tank, the tank will be lower than the waste line that exits the building that it serves. a spot where the contractor discovered site characteristics suited for burying a septic tank because of its form, rocks, and impediments If a location has bedrock or huge rocks that are near to the surface, the tank may be relocated
- The greater the distance between the tank and the structure, and the greater the depth of the tank if the system relies on gravity to carry sewage, the deeper the tank will be. We don’t place septic tanks any deeper than they need to be since we are normally transporting effluent from the septic tank to the drainfield by gravity as well as by pumping it out. Plumbers often build sewage lines to slope down from the inlet to the outlet at a rate of 1/8″ per foot to 1/4″ per foot of linear run of the waste pipe, depending on the kind of waste pipe. In order to avoid septic drainfield burial at an excessive depth, we must ensure that there is sufficient air in the soil, since the absence of oxygen deep in the soil will inhibit certain desired bacterial action (the aerobic bacteria) that is required to break down and process sewage. It is certainly possible to locate and position the septic tank anywhere, including uphill from the building, if a sewer ejector pump or grinder pump system is utilized to transport sewage from a structure to an underground storage tank. If a sewage effluent pump is used to transport septic effluent from the septic tank to the drainfield, we may, of course, locate the tank “downhill” from the drainfield as well
- But, if a sewage effluent pump is not utilized, we cannot. Growing grass: If the septic tank is just 2 or 3 inches below the surface of the earth, you might as well have left the top of the tank visible, because grass will not grow in such thin soil as you would expect. Adding 6″ to 12″ of backfill may be sufficient to allow grass to grow over the septic system
- However, this is a purely aesthetic issue and does not affect the system’s functionality. See SEPTIC SYSTEMS, OVERHAULED PLANTS
- Recommendations from the manufacturer: Some modern septic treatment system designs need the use of a skilled system operator to perform highly specified inspection and maintenance intervals. According to the information provided atBAT MEDIA SEPTIC PLANTS, BAT septic systems (biologically accelerated treatment) are maintained or examined at 6-month intervals, among other things. According to the maker of that technology (Jet Inc.), it is extremely critical that the finishing grade slope away from the facility when completed. In addition, the grade must be at least 1″ below the bottom of the access covers to be considered. (Jet retired in 2016)
A service riser should be put in deep septic tanks to provide access to the tank. Plungers are large-diameter “wells” that are installed over the entrance and/or outlet ports of a septic tank in order to provide simple access for tank pumping, inspection, and baffle repair. Plungers are also used for septic tank pumping, inspection, and baffle repair. If the septic tank is sunk more than a few inches below the surface of the earth, good practice calls for the installation of a septic riser, which is a high diameter pipe that allows for easy access to the septic tank for inspection and cleaning.
Continue reading atSEPTIC TANK DEPTH to learn how to determine the depth of a septic tank’s cover, or choose a topic from the closely-related articles listed below, or see the completeARTICLE INDEX for more information.
Alternatively, view the FAQs on SEPTIC TANK DESIGN DEPTH – questions and answers that were originally posted on this page. Alternatively, consider the following:
Septic Tank Articles
- The following topics are covered: SEPTIC DRAINFIELD LOCATION
- SEPTIC DRAINFIELD SIZE
- SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECTION LEVELS
- SEPTIC TANK COVERS
- SEPTIC TANK DESIGN STRENGTH SPECS
- SEPTIC TANKDRAINFIELDFREEZE PROTECTION
- SEPTIC TANK, HOW TO FIND
- THE DISTANCE TO THE SEPTIC TANK
- FINDING THE MAIN WASTE LINE EXIT
- POSITIVE SEPTIC TANK LOCATIONS
- SEPTIC TANK COVERS
- SEPTIC TANK DEPTH
- SEPTIC TANK DESIGN DEPTH
- SEPTIC TANK LOCATING EQUIPMENT
- SEPTIC TANK RISERS
- SEPTIC TANK GRASS OR SNOWMELT
- THE MISTAKES MADE IN SEPTIC TANK PUMPING
- THE SEPTIC TANK PUMPING PROCEDURE
- THE SEPTIC TANK PUMPING SCHEDULE
- THE SEPTIC TANK RISERS
- THE U.S. SEPTIC AUTHORITIESDESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
- THE MISTAKES MADE IN SEPTIC TANK PUMPING
Suggested citation for this web page
DEPTH AT INSPECTION OF SEPTIC TANK DESIGN An online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, and issue preventive information is available at Apedia.com. Alternatively, have a look at this.
INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES:ARTICLE INDEX to SEPTIC SYSTEMS
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Septic Tank Depth
Trevor, The amount of heat created by biological activity in a septic tank is unknown to me, but I think that a tank that is actively functioning will generate more heat than a tank that is in “holiday” mode. The overall amount of warm water and “food” placed into the tank may not be very much if you have a two-person family like mine, hence the tank may not contain very much in general. If you are away from home for an extended period of time, it is possible that the temperatures in the tank will stratify.
- If the frost line penetration corresponds to the tank height, the total temperature in the tank may be able to reach freezing temperatures at some point.
- Even though the ground temperature 6′ down may only be 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of winter, that should be sufficient to keep an idle tank from freezing.
- When flowing into a 1500 gallon tank, the amount of heat provided by a warm shower is not very significant.
- Ice spreads in all directions, which may put pressure on the tank’s walls as a result of the expansion.
- Because the tank I have is relatively thin in comparison to the ones I remember from decades ago, I’m hoping that someone out there can offer anecdotal evidence regarding how robust the new thin tanks are.
- When the ice penetrated deep enough into the earth to freeze all the water pouring from the house during a particularly harsh winter, my next-door neighbor was forced to rescue a friend.
- Oddly enough, I don’t recollect my neighbor mentioning whether or not the output pipe had frozen as well.
- The hypothesized explanation is that automobiles push ice into the ground while on the road.
- I believe that driving a car across the tank top would be a more serious problem.
- Snow provides some insulating properties, however it appears that windy circumstances may cause the snow to become thin, as your sand has done in your case.
Perhaps Michael can contribute some real-world insights concerning the inlet and outflow danger in your region based on his own experiences. Although I live in a 6B zone, temperatures can drop below -20 degrees Fahrenheit at times.
Proper Backfill for Septic Tanks
Receive articles, stories, and videos about septic tanks delivered directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Septic Tanks and More Receive Notifications After a septic tank has been installed, it must be backfilled in the proper manner. Backfilling all tanks with successively tamped “lifts” or depth increments of consistent gradation should be the standard procedure. The installer should ensure that the backfill material is devoid of clods, big boulders, frozen stuff, and debris, all of which can cause voids in the backfill material, which may enable the foundation to settle over time.
- Each layer should be homogeneous in thickness, no more than 24 inches thick, and of roughly identical heights around the perimeter of the tank, with the exception of the top layer.
- If the material being used is compactable, it should be compacted in order to prevent the earth surrounding the tank from sinking.
- Backfill the tank with granular material until it reaches at least the midseam of the tank to ensure that settling is kept to a minimum.
- Fill around a septic tank that has been compacted All pipe penetrations through all tanks must remain waterproof after the tanks have been refilled with water.
- In order to provide a stable foundation for the pipe, the backfilled earth should be tapped.
- Pipe joints should be laid atop native soil rather than in the excavation to avoid the risk of their settling in the future.
- It is possible to sleeve pipes that may run over the top of the tank or through excavated portions (such as electrical conduit and/or return lines) to give additional support.
It is possible that the manufacturer of a nonconcrete tank will recommend or require that the tank be simultaneously filled with water to just above the backfill level in order to avoid uneven or excessive pressure on the tank walls during the installation process and to reduce the risk of the tank shifting position during installation.
It may be required to use a tamping tool to ensure that backfill makes adequate contact with and between tank ribs, but care must be given to prevent harming the tank during the process.
She has a master’s degree in civil engineering and a doctorate in environmental engineering.
Her responsibilities include serving as the education chair for the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, as well as serving on the National Science Foundation’s International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems.
Send an email to [email protected] if you have any concerns concerning septic system care and operation. Heger will respond as soon as possible.
How Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.
Do you have a septic system?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
How Deep Are Septic Tanks Buried? (And How Do You Find It?)
It is possible that this content contains affiliate links. It is possible that I will receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link. In addition, as an Amazon Associate, I receive a commission from qualifying purchases.- Septic tanks, for example, might become a requirement in more remote places where some services are not readily available or easily accessible. After all, we rely on contemporary conveniences such as adequate plumbing to make our lives more comfortable and easy.
Discovering the location of your septic tank in your yard, as well as what may be grown near or on top of it, will help you determine how much of your yard is suitable for regular gardening.
You May Not Know
Despite the fact that it appears to be something that every homeowner should be aware of, understanding how deep a septic tank is buried can be difficult to determine. Perhaps you forgot about the septic tank after it was installed years ago, or perhaps you are moving into a house that already has a septic tank constructed in previously. Whatever the situation, determining the depth of your septic tank can be a challenging task under the circumstances, especially if you are unsure of the location of the lids.
The usual rule of thumb is that most septic tanks may be buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground, depending on the circumstances.
How to Locate Your Septic Tank
Perhaps you’re unsure of the location of your septic tank on your property and are attempting to identify it on your own. There are really quite a few quick and simple methods for determining the location of your tank without having to go through a lengthy process. The first method is to follow the path laid out by your sewer lines. Typically, the tank and your drain field will be placed along a line parallel to the sewage line that goes from your property out to the street. Your home’s crawl area or basement may even have a four-inch sewage line that leads away from the structure of the building.
- Follow the pipe all the way across the yard, checking every few of feet to make sure you’re still on the right track, and then turn around.
- When you don’t feel like digging around in your yard, you can always look up your house’s address in the county records database.
- Diagrams with measurements and even the particular location of where the septic tank is located should be included in this document.
- You can also choose to dig your lid out from under it.
- This is what will tell you how many lids are on your septic tank and how many are missing.
- The majority of septic tanks are rectangular in shape and measure around in the neighborhood of 5′ x 8′ in size.
- If you are unable to determine the position of your septic tank using a probe, you will need to do a shallow excavation around the perimeter of the tank using a shovel in order to finally locate the lid.
- First, look for visual cues to help you.
- There is no doubt about it, this will tell you exactly where the tank is located beneath.
- Take a look at the plumbing in your structure, as well as the overall state of the property, to get a good sense of where the tank is situated.
It will be full to just a few inches below the underside of your tank lid when your tank is fully charged to its regular level of filling capacity. If the lid is constructed of plastic, fiberglass, or steel, the upper surface of the lid may have some variation in color or texture.
Where Should the Septic Tank Be Located?
Possibly, you are unsure of the exact location of your septic tank on your property and are attempting to find it. Instead of having to go through a lengthy process to discover out where your tank is, there are a number of quick and simple methods available. Let your sewer pipes guide you in the first instance. Most of the time, the tank and drain field will be placed in a line parallel to the sewage line that extends from your property. You may even be able to identify a four-inch sewage line that exits your home in the crawl space or basement of your home.
- Maintain a tight grip on the pipe as it winds its way across the yard, checking every few feet to make sure you are still on track.
- Instead of snooping about in your yard, you can always look up your house’s information in the county records.
- Diagrams with measurements and even the precise location of where the septic tank is located should be included in this document.
- Digging up your lid is another option.
- If your septic tank has a lid, this will tell you how many there are in total.
- The majority of septic tanks are rectangular in shape and measure somewhere in the neighborhood of 5′ x 8′ in dimensions.
- If you are unable to identify your septic tank using a probe, you will need to dig a shallow trench around the perimeter of the tank using a shovel in order to finally discover the lid.
- Initial consideration should be given to visual cues.
- This will immediately inform you where the subterranean tank is located.
- In order to have a decent sense of where the tank is located, look at the plumbing in your building as well as the surrounding environment.
It will be full to just a few inches below the underside of your tank lid when your tank is fully charged to its typical level. Whether the lid is constructed of plastic, fiberglass, or steel, the upper surface of the lid may have some variance.
Planting Above a Septic Tank
Even though it may not appear to be the finest idea in the world, putting vegetation over a septic tank may really be perfectly acceptable as long as you choose the appropriate plants to grow. Not only is it perfectly OK to do so, but it may also be rather helpful depending on what you are planting and harvesting. It is possible to avoid erosion in your tank with the correct sort of vegetation, and it is even possible to absorb some of the additional moisture that might accumulate in your drain field.
- Perennial plants and grasses (as previously indicated) are the ideal kind of plants to use in and around your drain field and septic tank.
- You can use non-woody ground covers for a similar purpose as you do with woody ground covers.
- Take, for example, the expanding environment.
- If you don’t have access to enough sunshine, you might want to choose a shade garden plant instead.
- Keep in mind that the soil that surrounds the septic tank drain field will typically be wetter than the surrounding soil in the rest of the yard.
- As a result, choose a perennial such as a hollyhock, wild violet, or bee balm to ensure that you cover all of those bases when planting.
- A septic system beneath these plants does not imply that deer will avoid the area because of its presence on your property.
- Something like a spring bulb or an attractive grass that the deer aren’t generally interested in eating.
Plants That You Don’t Want to Grow
Just because you have the option of planting over your septic tank does not mean that everything is appropriate for this situation. A few plants should be avoided at all costs while landscaping around your septic tank, particularly huge trees that are known for their rapid growth. On the same vein, shrubs and trees with aggressive root systems are some of the worst plants to grow around your home. These roots will shoot out in quest of water, and they will not be concerned with where they locate it.
The infiltration of those roots into your septic drain field might result in catastrophic damage to your septic tank and drain field.
It’s possible that you’ll need a complete replacement.
Many other plants have strong root systems that you should avoid growing anywhere near your septic tank or drain field, and there are lots of them.
How Your Septic System Works
It is possible that understanding how your septic system operates may help you better manage, maintain, and care for it. Aside from that, it is just a large tank buried in the ground that collects your waste (which is true, but still). In remote locations, there may be a deficiency in sewage infrastructure. Because not every rural location is the same, it is not a given that septic systems will be required in your local rural area. The septic tank, in any case, serves as a form of wastewater treatment facility when there are no sewage lines available.
- The tank is designed to be waterproof, ensuring that your wastewater does not leech into the surrounding environment.
- Solids sink to the bottom of the container, scum rises to the top of the container, and liquids sit in the center of the three levels described above.
- The wastewater that is being discharged from your home is the cause of the exit.
- This liquid is carried out of your home through a pipe and into a bigger portion of your sanitary sewer system.
- Your drain is typically comprised of a network of perforated PVC pipes that are put underground in trenches to collect water and waste.
- Because the drains are perforated, the wastewater is allowed to seep out into the crushed gravel or stone, and then eventually into the surrounding soil.
- The natural evaporation process will then take care of any surplus moisture in the soil, unless you do something to prevent the water from flowing out of the pipes.
How to Plan a Septic Field
The tank is only one component of the whole equation. You’ll also need a drain field to catch all of the liquid waste that will be generated. When you are planting around your septic tank, the drain pipes are the most significant source of worry. Having those aggressive roots infiltrate and ruin your septic drain system is the very last thing you want. When this occurs, it can prevent your septic tank from emptying correctly and potentially cause it to get contaminated by groundwater. According to a solid rule of thumb, the less horticultural labor you have to do in close proximity to your septic tank, the better.
Just remember that they must be planted every year, so keep that in mind while planting them.
The first step is to fill in the septic drain field with earth.
In the second instance, too much mulch is being applied to the area in question. The third issue is that you may be watering your plants more than you should be. All three of these factors can impair the capacity of your drain field to evaporate in a typical manner.
5 Things Homeowners Should Know About Their Septic Drain Field
There are certain distinctions in care, usage, and budgeting that you should be aware of, whether you’re a new homeowner with an existing septic system or considering about purchasing or building a home without sewer hookups. This document outlines three ways in which your budget will be affected if your wastewater is treated using a septic system. 1. You will not be required to budget for municipal sewer service. Because the municipal wastewater system normally processes all of the water, the cost of city sewage service is sometimes determined by how much water you purchase from the city.
- A large number of homes with septic systems also rely on wells for fresh water rather than municipal water, which means you’ll likely save money in that department as well.
- It is necessary to include septic maintenance in your budget.
- Although you are not required to pay the city for the usage of your septic system, you will be responsible for the costs of maintenance if you want the system to continue to function properly.
- It is possible that these maintenance and repair expenditures will build up over time, so you may want to consider setting up an emergency fund to cover any unforeseen repair bills.
- You’ll also need to budget for the cost of a single inspection and begin saving for the cost of a tank pump.
- Spreading the expenditures out over several months is the most effective budgeting strategy, even for an expense such as tank pumping that does not occur every year, because it allows you to better estimate the costs ahead of time.
- You may need to set aside money for septic tank replacement.
The tank and leach field may not need to be replaced if you have a reasonably recent septic system and plan to sell your home within a few years.
If, on the other hand, your home’s septic system is more than a decade old, you’ll want to start looking into how much a new system would cost you as soon as possible.
For example, if the previous owners did not do routine maintenance or if the system was installed on clay soil, the system may need to be replaced.
It is a prudent decision to begin putting money aside in anticipation of this eventuality.
When you have a septic system, you may use these three strategies to budget differently.
Make an appointment with us right away if you’re searching for someone to pump out your septic tank or to complete an annual examination of your septic system. Our experts at C.E. Taylor and Son Inc. would be happy to assist you with any septic system assessment, maintenance, or repair needs.
Signs of Septic System Failure
- There are certain changes in maintenance, usage, and budgeting that you should be aware of, whether you’re a new homeowner with an existing septic system or planning to buy or build a home without sewer hookups. Here’s what you should expect. Three ways in which your budget may be affected when your wastewater is handled by a septic system are detailed in this guide: No need to budget for city sewer service in the first place! As a result, since the municipal wastewater system often processes all of the water, the cost of city sewage service is frequently determined by how much water you purchase from the municipality. Because septic systems are free, you will not be required to pay for sewer wastewater service if you have one installed. A large number of homes with septic systems also rely on wells for fresh water rather than municipal water, which means you’ll likely save money in that area as well, as well. If you have a private well, you will need to spend for annual well testing since a septic system can occasionally pollute and taint the water supply. It is necessary to budget for septic maintenance as well. In spite of the fact that you are not required to pay the city for the usage of your sewer system, you will be responsible for the costs of maintenance if you want the system to continue to function properly. Annual inspections and frequent tank pumping are included in these charges, as is the possibility of an occasional repair such as a baffle replacement or tree root extraction. It is possible that these maintenance and repair expenditures will build up over time, and you may want to consider setting up an emergency fund to cover any unforeseen repair expenses. For example, you might create a separate budget category for septic repair and maintenance, or you could include these charges in your existing home maintenance category. A tank pumping will also need you to budget for the cost of one inspection, as well as begin saving for the cost of another inspection. Saving around one-third of the cost each year will allow you to save enough money to have your tank pumped once every few years, which is a small investment considering the frequency with which you will need to do this. Because it helps you anticipate the expenditures, spreading out the costs across several months is the ideal budgeting strategy, even for a one-time expense such as tank pumping that occurs just once a year. 3. It is possible that you may need to budget for septic tank installation. An average septic system may endure for up to 25 years, and in some cases considerably longer. The tank and leach field may not need to be replaced if you have a reasonably fresh septic system and expect to sell the house within a few years. When selling your home after the septic system has been in place for a few decades, you should be aware that the market value of your home may be significantly reduced. If, on the other hand, your home’s septic system is more than a decade old, you’ll want to start looking into how much it will cost to have it replaced. Despite the fact that a well maintained system can endure for 25 years or more, the operational life may be significantly decreased. if the previous owners didn’t follow up with maintenance or if the system was put on clay soil, to name a few of examples. If you have to replace the entire system (or at least key sections of it) because of these and other circumstances, you should be prepared to do so. It is a prudent decision to begin saving money in anticipation of this scenario. If you don’t have adequate emergency cash, a septic system replacement, like any other unexpected significant cost, might leave you in debt. When you own a septic system, you may use these three strategies to budget differently. Make an appointment with us right away if you’re searching for someone to pump out your septic tank or to do an annual septic check. Whether you need help assessing, maintaining, or repairing a septic system, our staff at C.E. Taylor and Son Inc. is happy to assist you.
Septic systems, like the majority of other components of your house, require regular maintenance. As long as it is properly maintained, the septic system should give years of dependable service. If the septic system is not properly maintained, owners face the risk of having a dangerous and expensive failure on their hands. Septic systems, on the other hand, have a limited operating lifespan and will ultimately need to be replaced. Septic systems that have failed or are not working properly pose a threat to human and animal health and can damage the environment.
It is possible that a prompt response will save the property owner money in repair costs, as well as disease and bad influence on the environment in the future.
What happens when a septic system fails?
When a septic system fails, untreated sewage is dumped into the environment and carried to places where it shouldn’t be. This may cause sewage to rise to the surface of the ground around the tank or drainfield, or it may cause sewage to back up in the pipes of the structure. It is also possible that sewage will make its way into groundwater, surface water, or marine water without our knowledge. Pathogens and other potentially harmful substances are carried by the sewage. People and animals can become ill as a result of exposure to certain diseases and pollutants.
What are some common reasons a septic system doesn’t work properly?
The pipe between the home to the tank is obstructed. When this occurs, drains drain very slowly (perhaps much more slowly on lower floors of the structure) or cease draining entirely, depending on the situation. This is frequently a straightforward issue to resolve. The majority of the time, a service provider can “snake the line” and unclog the problem. Keeping your drains clear by flushing only human waste and toilet paper down the drain and having your system examined on an annual basis will help prevent clogs.
- Plant roots might occasionally obstruct the pipe (particularly on older systems).
- The inlet baffle to the tank is obstructed.
- In case you have access to your intake baffle aperture, you may see if there is a blockage by inspecting it.
- It is essential that you avoid damaging any of the septic system’s components.
- Avoid clogging your inlet baffle by just flushing human waste and toilet paper, and get your system examined once a year to ensure that it is in good working order.
- This may result in sewage backing up into the home or surfacing near the septic tank as a result of the situation.
- If there is an effluent filter, it has to be cleaned or changed as necessary.
Preventing this type of problem from occurring is as simple as cleaning your effluent filter (if you have one) and having your system inspected once every year.
It is possible for sewage to back up into the home when the drainfield fails or becomes saturated with water.
Additionally, odors may be present near the tank or drainfield.
It is possible that the system was operated incorrectly, resulting in an excessive amount of solid material making its way to the drainfield and causing it to fail prematurely.
While it is possible that a drainfield will become saturated due to excessive amounts of water (either from large amounts of water flowing down the drain or flooding the drainfield), it is not always possible to dry out and restore a drainfield.
A connection to the public sewer system should be considered if the drainfield has failed and it is possible to make the connection.
It will be necessary to replace the existing drainfield if this does not take place. It is possible for a septic system to fail or malfunction for other reasons. Septic professionals should be contacted if your system isn’t functioning properly.
How can I prevent a failure?
The proper operation of your septic system, together with routine maintenance, can help it last a long and trouble-free life. Assuming that your septic system has been correctly planned, located, and installed, the rest is up to you to take care of. Inspect your system once a year and pump as necessary (usually every 3-5 years). Avoid overusing water, and be mindful of what you flush down the toilet and what you flush down the drain. Learn more about how to properly maintain your septic system.
Can my failing septic system contaminate the water?
Yes, a failed septic system has the potential to pollute well water as well as adjacent water sources. Untreated wastewater is a health problem that has the potential to cause a variety of human ailments. Once this untreated wastewater enters the groundwater, it has the potential to poison your well and the wells of your neighbors. It is possible that oyster beds and recreational swimming sites will be affected if the sewage reaches local streams or water bodies.
Is there financial help for failing systems or repairs?
Yes, there are instances where this is true. Here are a few such alternatives.
- Yes, there are instances where it is appropriate. Some such possibilities are shown below.
- Septic System 101: The Fundamentals of Septic Systems
- Taking Good Care of Your Septic System
- A video on how to inspect your septic system yourself
- Using the Services of a Septic System Professional
- Safety of the Septic Tank Lid
Building Near and Over Septic Tanks
Posted on a regular basis In most cases, minimum setback rules imposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality (TCEQ) preclude the building of a new residence from occuring over any point of an existing sewage disposal system. Foundations, pools, property lines, wells, and other structures must be kept at a certain distance from the septic tank and drainfield in order to meet these setback requirements. It is possible that some homeowners will install objects such as patio decks or house additions over their systems, whether by accident or design.
Building over septic tanks
Construction of a building over any section of your septic system is not recommended. The most typical issue we see is when someone wants to pump out their septic tank but is unsure of where their tank is situated on their property. Tanks hidden beneath a hardwood deck, pool patio, driveways, or even room extensions are not unusual for us to discover and investigate. The majority of the time, this occurs because the homeowner is uninformed of the tank’s location and/or does not have a plan in place for future tank maintenance.
However, in this scenario, the homeowner will be able to pump out their septic tank because no permanent constructions should be constructed over any component of the system.
Building over drainfields
Construction of a building over any section of your septic system is never suggested. Someone who has to pump out their septic tank but doesn’t know where it is situated is the most prevalent issue we see at our facility. Tanks hidden beneath a wooden deck, pool patio, driveways, or even room extensions are not unusual for us to discover and repair. A common reason for this is because the homeowner is uninformed of the tank’s location and/or does not have a plan in place to do future maintenance on the tank.
However, in this scenario, the homeowner can pump out their septic tank because there should be no permanent constructions erected over any component of the system.
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
Probably one of the last things on your mind when you are constructing a new house is the installation of an adequate septic system. In the end, shopping for tanks isn’t nearly as entertaining as shopping for cabinetry, appliances, and floor coverings, respectively. Nonetheless, even if you never show it off, your guests will be able to tell if you don’t have the proper septic system in place.
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.
How a Septic System Works – and Common Problems
This Article Discusses Septic Tanks are a type of septic tank that is used to dispose of waste. Field Sizing and System MaintenanceProblems with the Leach FieldSystem Performance Questions and comments are welcome. See Also: Septic System Frequently Asked Questions Articles on SEPTIC SYSTEM may be found here. In locations where there are no municipal sewage systems, each residence is responsible for treating its own sewage on its own property, which is known as a “on-site sewage disposal system,” or septic system, more popularly.
One of the most commonly seen types of leach field is composed of a series of perforated distribution pipes, each of which is placed in a gravel-filled absorption trench.
It’s possible that a small number of homes will be sharing a bigger communal septic system that will function in a similar manner as a single-family system.
The wastewater is collected in the septic tank once it has been discharged from the residence. Septic tanks are normally between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons in capacity and are composed of concrete, strong plastic, or metal, depending on the model. Highly durable concrete tanks, which should endure for 40 years or more provided they are not damaged, are the most common. Many contemporary tanks are designed with two chambers in order to maximize efficiency. Household wastewater is collected in the septic tank, where it is separated and begins to degrade before being discharged into the leach field.
- In the tank, oil and grease float to the top of the tank, where they are known as scum, while solid waste falls to the bottom, where they are known as sludge.
- Bacteria and other microorganisms feed on the sediments at the bottom of the tank, causing them to decompose in an anaerobic (without oxygen) process that begins at the bottom of the tank.
- Solids and grease must be pushed out of the system on a regular basis in order for it to continue to function effectively.
- Each gallon added to the tank results in one gallon being discharged to the leach field, leach pit, or other similar treatment facility.
When used properly, a leach field (also known as a “drain field”) is a series of perforated pipes that are typically buried in gravel trenches 18 to 36 inches below grade — deep enough to avoid freezing, but close enough to the surface that air can reach the bacteria that further purify the effluent (see illustration below). As little as 6 inches might separate you from the ground surface, depending on your soil type and municipal regulations. It is customary to cover the perforated pipes with approximately two inches of gravel and a layer of topsoil that is 18 to 24 inches in depth.
- Grass is often sown above the ground.
- The leach field is comprised of rows of perforated pipes in gravel trenches that are used to spread wastewater over a vast area in order to further purify it.
- A bacteria-rich slime mat forms where the gravel meets the soil, and it is responsible for the majority of the water purification work.
- Despite the fact that wastewater freezes at a far lower temperature than pure water, freezing is still a hazard in cold areas.
- The leftover pathogens are converted into essential plant nutrients by these organisms, while sand, gravel, and soil filter out any solids that remain.
- If the system is operating effectively, the filtered wastewater will return to the aquifer as naturally clean water that is suitable for human consumption at this stage.
- Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
These systems sometimes cost twice or three times as much as a regular system and require significantly more upkeep. Special systems may also be necessary in regions where there are flood plains, bodies of water, or other ecologically sensitive areas to protect against flooding.
SIZING THE LEACH FIELD
Using perforated pipes put in gravel-filled trenches, the drain field is sized to accommodate the number of beds in the house. In order for the system to function successfully, the leach field must be appropriately sized for the soil type and amount of wastewater, which is normally determined by the number of bedrooms in the house. In order for the liquid to seep into the soil, it must be permeable enough to do so. As a result, the denser the soil, the larger the leach field that is necessary.
- Better to have surplus capacity in your system than to have it cut too close to the bone.
- Septic tank backup into your house, pooling on the surface of the earth, or polluting local groundwater are all possibilities if the ground is incapable of absorbing the liquid.
- Dense clay soils will not absorb the liquid at a sufficient rate, resulting in a backlog.
- If the soil is mostly composed of coarse sand and gravel, it might drain at such a rapid rate that untreated sewage can poison the aquifer or damage surrounding bodies of water.
- Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
- Near flood plains, bodies of water, and other ecologically sensitive places, special systems may also be necessary to protect people and property.
SEPTIC SYSTEM CAREMAINTENANCE REQUIRED
If you take good care of your system, you will be rewarded with years of trouble-free operation. Pumping the septic tank on a regular basis is necessary to remove the particles (sludge) and grease layer (scum) that have built up in the tank. The solids will ultimately overflow and spill into the leach field, decreasing its efficacy and diminishing its lifespan if this is not done. The rehabilitation of a clogged leach field is difficult, if not impossible; thus, constant pumping is essential!
Cooking fats, grease, and particles may also wash into the leach field if the tank is too small for the amount of water being used or if the tank is overcrowded on a regular basis.
Extra water from excessive residential consumption or yard drainage can overwhelm the system, transporting oil and particles into the leach field and causing it to overflow.
In addition, don’t try to complete a week’s worth of laundry for a family of five in a single day. This will assist you in keeping the load controlled and will also help to extend the life of your system. To minimize overburdening the system, the following measures should be taken:
- Distribute your washing loads and other high-water-use activities across the week
- And In the kitchen and bathroom, use low-flow appliances, faucets, and fixtures. Toilets, in general, are the source of the greatest amount of water use. Water should be diverted away from the leach field from the yard, gutters, and basement sump pumps.
In addition, refrain from flushing sediments, strong chemicals, and just about anything else down the toilet or sink other than biological waste and white toilet paper. Avoid using garbage disposals in the kitchen. If you really must have one, keep it for small non-meat bits only. Avoid flushing chemicals or paints down the toilet since many chemicals can destroy beneficial microorganisms or cause water contamination in the surrounding area. Avoid flushing the following down the toilet:
- Grease, fats, and animal scraps
- Paints, thinners, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals
- And a variety of other materials sanitary napkins, tampons, and other supplies Paper towels and disposable diapers are examples of such products. Egg shells, coffee grounds, and nut shells are all good options. Antibacterial soaps and antibiotics are available.
It is preferable to put grass over the leach field and to refrain from driving or parking in the vicinity. Excessive weight placed on top of the drain field might compress the earth, diminishing its efficiency as a drain field. Drain pipes can also become clogged by trees and plants with invasive roots. In order to prevent damage to the leach field, the following measures should be taken:
- Heavy machinery should not be driven, parked, or stored on top of the leach field (or septic tank). Placement of a deck, patio, pool, or any other sort of construction over the leach field is prohibited. Remove any large trees or other plants with deep roots from the leach field. Grass is the most effective groundcover.
Even with careful use and routine maintenance, however, leach fields are not guaranteed to survive indefinitely. It is inevitable that the soil will get saturated with dissolved elements from the wastewater, and that the soil will be unable to absorb any more incoming water. The presence of an odorous wet area over the leach field, as well as plumbing backups in the house, are frequently the first indicators that something is wrong. Many municipalities mandate septic system designs to incorporate a second “reserve drain field” in the case that the first field fails.
A well constructed and maintained system should last for at least 20 to 30 years, if not longer than that.
More information on Septic System Maintenance may be found here.
SEPTIC SYSTEM PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS
Poor original design, abuse, or physical damage, such as driving heavy trucks over the leach field, are the root causes of the majority of septic system issues. The following are examples of common situations that might cause a septic system to operate poorly: Plumbing in the home. obstructed or insufficient plumbing vents, a blockage between the home and the septic tank, or an insufficient pitch in the sewer line leading from the house are all possible causes. Sewage tank to leach field connection Septic tank and leach field blockage caused by a closed or damaged tank outlet, a plugged line leading to the leach field caused by tree roots, or a blockage caused by sediments that overflowed from the tank Piping in the leach field.
Most of the time, tree roots do not make their way through the gravel bed and into the perforated pipe.
Reduced flows, achieved through the use of flow restrictors and low-flow faucets and fixtures, may be beneficial.
Because of the seasonal high water table, the soil around the trenches might get saturated, reducing the soil’s ability to absorb wastewater.
This may frequently be remedied by adding subsurface drains or curtain drains to intercept the water flow into the leach field region and to lower the water table in the immediate area around the drainage system.
Likewise, see: In order to do a perc test, who should I hire?
Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime?
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