How To Find Septic Tank Field Lines? (Solved)

Tips to Locate Your Drainfield

  1. In late summer, if you stop watering your lawn you may see green stripes in your yard.
  2. Do you have monitoring ports or clean-outs?
  3. Carefully probe the areas leading away from the septic tank.
  4. Look for clues such as shallow, parallel depressions, which may mark the drainfield trenches.

How to replace septic lines?

  • Calculate the System’s Flow Rate. You’ll need to figure out the flow rate of the system as chances are the output of water will be much more
  • Do a Perc Test. A perc test (or percolation test) will help you determine the speed with which the effluent is absorbed into the ground.
  • Dig the Proper Amount of Space.
  • Lay Your Pipe Flat.

How do I find my Drainfield lines?

Scan the area for markers: The location of your septic tank should be marked by a cement marker the size of a manhole cover. Look for it 10 to 20 feet away from your home. Once you locate the tank, follow the downward-most path and check for an empty downward-sloping field. You may have just found your drain field.

Are septic tank locations public record?

Contact your local health department for public records. These permits should come with a diagram of the location where the septic system is buried. Depending on the age of your septic system, you may be able to find information regarding the location of your septic system by making a public records request.

How do you test a septic drain field?

Walk over the drain field and make a note of any place you detect sewer odors or feel squishy ground. Both are signs of a leak and reasons to call a septic pro. You should see one or more pipes sticking vertically out of the ground; these are risers that were installed so you can check the drain system.

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.

How do I know if my house has a septic tank?

A surefire way to confirm whether or not your home has a septic system is to check your property records. It is likely that the building permit and blueprints for your home and property will contain information about the presence (or lack) of a septic tank.

How do I find out if my septic tank is registered?

Check if your septic tank is already registered You can check if your tank has already been registered by contacting your environmental regulator. If you are unsure then it is best to check and avoid making an unnecessary payment. The NIEA and SEPA have records of all registered septic tanks.

How do you find a metal detector with a septic tank?

6 Steps to Locate a Septic Tank

  1. Find Your Main Sewer Drain Line. Sewage from your toilets, sinks, and showers collects into a main drain line.
  2. Check Permits and Public Records.
  3. Determine Septic Tank Material.
  4. Time to Dig.
  5. Mark the Location for Future Maintenance.

How do I know if my septic field is failing?

8 Signs of Septic System Failure

  1. Septic System Backup.
  2. Slow Drains.
  3. Gurgling Sounds.
  4. Pool of Water or Dampness Near Drainfield.
  5. Nasty Odors.
  6. Unusual, Bright Green Grass Above Drainfield.
  7. Blooms of Algae in Nearby Water.
  8. High Levels of Coliform in Water Well.

How do you know if you have a leach field?

Drainfield Replacement: Signs That Indicate a Leach Field Problem

  1. Outside sewage odors, specifically those near the septic tank and drainfield.
  2. Standing water or wet spots above the septic tank or drainfield.
  3. Slow draining household drains such as sinks and tubs.
  4. Sluggish or slow flushing toilets.

How do you unclog a drain field?

Can Anything Unclog an Old Septic Drain Field?

  1. Shock the System With Bacteria. A septic system bacteria packet can help clean out a clogged drain field by allowing waste material to break down and drain through.
  2. Reduce Water Usage.
  3. Avoid Harsh Chemicals.
  4. Change to Gentler Toilet Paper and Soap.
  5. Contact a Septic Professional.

How many feet of leach line do I need?

REQUIRED SEPTIC TANK SIZE IN GAL. * A minimum of 150 square feet of trench bottom area is required. ** # gal X soil type multiplier 100 4.285 Note: Maximum length of any leach line is 100 feet. If more than 100 feet is required, then a distribution box with multiple lines will be needed.

Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?

The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.

Can you walk on a leach field?

Your family can walk on a well-maintained drain field without fear of encountering puddles of affluent and dangerous bacteria. Bicycles and tricycles are also acceptable because they are not heavy enough to compress or disturb the soil.

How to Find My Septic Tank Lines

Credit: Petegar/E+/Getty Images for the image

In This Article

  • Septic System Fundamentals
  • Identifying the location of a septic tank on your property
  • Inspections should be performed on a regular basis. Clean-Outs should be checked for. Natural Indicators should be observed. View the System Diagrams
  • Seek Professional Assistance
  • Check the Distribution Box for any errors. Understand the scope and size of the project

Are you curious about the location of your septic lines? It is critical to know where the septic tank is located on a property in order to properly manage and preserve the system. For example, you don’t want to pave over the ground or grow trees too close together in a forest. It is possible to obtain a copy of the septic tank diagram of the drain field, which will give you a fair sense of where the pipes will go. You may need to experiment with alternative methods of locating septic drain lines in order to be successful.

The solids and liquids are separated within the tank by a baffle or wall that is built inside the tank.

When pipes get clogged or when drain fields become too saturated with fluids, problems arise.

Locating a Septic Tank on Your Property

Begin your search for the septic tank lines at the residence first. Drain lines from the home’s plumbing should be traced to the septic tank, which is typically located 10 to 20 feet from the home’s exterior. The drain line flows to the leach field, which is located at the end of the tank opposite the house. To identify the leach field, follow the natural slope of the soil. It is never a good idea to look for drain lines using heavy gear, wrecking bars, or jackhammers. Before excavating, contact your local electric utility provider or gas company to determine the location of underground gas or utility lines.

Plunge the long, thin metal probe into the earth until you can feel it strike the tank and feel the tank’s edges.

Perform Regular Inspection

According to industry experts, you should examine your septic tanks and, if required, pump them out once every three years. If you are experiencing gurgling sounds in your house or water backing up after your system has been repaired, a saturated drain field might be the source of the problem. Drain fields that have been clogged or damaged are unable to be rectified. In order for the septic system to function properly again, you’ll need to have a new drain field installed. Find capped clean-outs that are a few inches vertically above the ground in the leach field itself, or check behind a wall or in a closet in the basement for capped clean-outs.

  1. You can visually trace the orientation of the pipe from the clean-out if there is no other information available.
  2. Credit: Kyryl Gorlov/iStock/Getty Images for the image.
  3. When you are looking for the lines, look for grass or vegetation that greens in stripes when the grass surrounding it browns.
  4. Putting hot water into your system might cause snow or ice to melt above the drain pipes if the system is not properly insulated.
  5. If you have a deep system, as is the case for homes with basements, you will most likely not be able to observe natural signs since the drain field is too deep to be seen from above.
  6. Unless the system was built without a permit, the blueprints or designs for septic system installations are kept on file with the local health authority until the system is operational.
  7. If your search does not provide any relevant results, you can request a record search based on your street address or the tax account number associated with the property.
  8. If the agency has a copy of the record, they will mail it to you.
  9. If you don’t have a drawing of the septic system, you need enlist the assistance of a disposal system contractor or a certified liquid waste transporter to find it.

Another option is to purchase a flushable transmitter from a plumbing or rental business, or you may contract with a tank cleaning firm. The signal from the transmitter is picked up by a hand-held receiver after it has been flushed down the toilet.

Check the Distribution Box

There are certain septic tanks that feature an extra distribution box that is located a few feet from the tank on the tank’s downstream side. Water is channeled into the trenches by ports and pipes in the box. It is recommended that, if your system includes a distribution box, the box’s top be designed to expose the orientation of the ports that connect to the drain field lines. It is feasible to locate the box with a probe, but extreme caution should be exercised. Avoid applying excessive force to the probe, since this may result in damage to the box.

In most cases, individual drain lines run perpendicular to the intake line, but they may also branch into an H-pattern or other patterns that are appropriate for the terrain.

Find the location of your septic drain lines so that you can safeguard the area in and around them with a little detective work.

How to Locate Your Septic Tank Field Lines

Your septic tank field lines are undoubtedly present, but where exactly can you find them? They are less difficult to get by than you may assume. In this post, we’ll go through what to look for in order to figure out where to seek for them. After reading this, the vast majority of people should be able to locate their system without the aid of a specialist.

Why Does it Matter?

Getting into problems with the law is easy if you’re conducting household chores and accidently damage your field lines. It is worthwhile to find your field lines if you want to save money and time in the long run. The following types of work can harm your lines: any form of paving, driving and parking heavy equipment, planting shrubs or trees, and landscaping are just a few examples. Even the smallest omission can result in financial losses of hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Who Should Look for the Lines?

Locating the field lines for your septic tank is a very simple procedure. There is no unique training or skill set necessary for this position. In other circumstances, it may be impossible to locate the lines on your own, and you may need to seek expert assistance. In the majority of circumstances, anybody may search for the lines. You, too, can succeed with a little assistance from this essay. More information may be found at:

  • How to Select and Use the Most Effective Septic Tank Treatment (Top 3 Reviews)
  • 5 Different Types of Residential Septic Systems (and the Advantages and Disadvantages of Each) Home Remedies for a Clogged Septic Tank (Also Including Maintenance Suggestions)

How to Locate Your Septic Tank Field Lines

Here is a list of strategies and procedures you may use to locate the lines that drain into your septic tank’s drain field.

Find the Drawings

Reaching out to your local health agency is the most reliable means of locating your septic tankfield lines. You will be provided with plans that demonstrate the layout, location, and all of the features of your drain field. Of course, if your system was not built with a permit, you will not be successful here.

Typically, they will mail you the desired drawings.You may also contact the contractor who conducted the septic work or the previous owner of the house for assistance.If your system has electrical components, you may be able to locate them at your local building department office.

The Grass is Much Greener…

It is expected that your drain field would absorb up nutrients and water from the surrounding soil. In other words, your drain field will be a lot greener and healthier piece of grass than the rest of the surrounding landscape. The type of cues you use to locate your drain field will be determined by your climate.

Cold Climates

If you live in a frigid region, wait until the morning when it is snowing or ice. It’s possible that your drain field will be the first to melt.

Warmer Climates

Because of the warmer environment, it is easy to locate the drain field. For a few days, refrain from watering your yard. With the exception of your drain field, you’ll observe that the majority of the grass begins to wither.

Check for Ports

A large number of septic systems are equipped with monitoring ports and clean-outs. These ports will be white tubes or pipes with a cap on them that will protrude from the ground in your yard. These apertures allow the homeowner to monitor the amount of water in the drain field without having to dig up the drain field. For you, it serves as an indication of the exact location of your drain field! Because these ports are often cut quite near to the ground, it may take some research to locate them.

These ports will direct you to the correct location.

Check Google Maps

You might be able to locate your septic tank field lines using satellites if you live in certain areas. Consider the following example: when we look at our home from a satellite view on Google Maps, we can clearly see where our drain field is located. Parallel lines, darker grass, and small depressions are all things you could notice. Using this zoomed-out, bird’s eye perspective, you will be able to inspect the area for anomalies.

See also:  How Biological Septic Tank Works? (Solution)

Consult a Professional

You want to avoid wasting time and money, but there are occasions when consulting with a professional is the best course of action. Identifying your lines will be more difficult if they are hidden between the rocks of a rough terrain. Echolocators can be brought in by the professionals to pinpoint the exact placement of your field lines. Depending on the reason you’re seeking for your field lines, they may also be able to assist you with other chores.

Check the Distribution Box

Distribution boxes are the parts of the system that come before the drainage lines. That is to say, if you can locate the distribution box, you will be one step closer to locating your field line connections. Begin your search a few feet downstream from where your septic tank is located (assuming you know where that is). Remove a lid if you find one that can be removed. It is through this cover that you may have access to the ports and pipes of the distribution box. This implies that simply lifting the lid, you will be able to see your drain lines in their actual form.

Use Your Septic Tank

Knowing where your septic tank is, you can use a little intuition to locate your drain field if you know where it is. Our post on how to locate your septic tank can be found by clicking here. The most crucial thing to remember about your output port is that it is parallel to your intake port.

The output port will, to a greater or lesser extent, orient you in the direction of your field line. At the very least, it will assist you in locating your distribution box, which will direct you to the field lines.

Check for Moisture

In general, your drain field should be swampier and wetter than the grass in the immediate vicinity. It will be a bit easier for you to look around as a result of this. If your lawn’s color is consistent and it’s difficult to distinguish between different areas, it’s time to bring in the heavy guns! Wait until a very challenging day before grabbing a stick or rod. Now, walk around your yard, poking your grass in various locations as you go. Where the earth yields more and is more moist is what you’re searching for.

Caution should be exercised when poking, since this might result in damage to your lines.

Understand the Size of Your Field

The size of your drain field will be determined by the amount of water you use and the size of your property. When you’re searching for anything, it’s frequently beneficial to keep in mind how broad your field is. It’s possible that huge area of green grass in the distance is your drain field.

You Might Also Like…

Septic systems on-site are used for accepting and treating wastewater in homes that are not linked to the municipal wastewater management system. A septic system is comprised of three components: a septic tank, a drain field, and piping. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to properly operate and maintain your septic system in order to avoid system failure. For example, depending on the legislation in your area, you may be compelled to pump it on a regular basis. It is impossible to perform maintenance operations, however, if you do not know where the tank is located.

Steps to follow to locate your septic tank and drain field

The contractor that designed and constructed the septic tank on your property should have submitted an as-built diagram with the local health authority before starting work on the project. In the event that you have the contractor’s contact information, you can ask them for a schematic, which you can then use to pinpoint the location of your septic tank. If you do not have a copy of the schematic, you can request one from the local authorities. Depending on whether the installed system included electrical components, the schematic may be available at the regional building department offices.

  1. If you are unable to locate the tank using this diagram, you will need to do more research on the land in order to determine its position.
  2. This pipe is commonly found in the basement of a home, and it is a 4″ black pipe with a cleanout at the bottom.
  3. Simply look for possible access coverings or a structure that might be concealing it.
  4. These pumps are used to remove waste from the building.

Having discovered it, flush a toilet and listen to the pump to determine where the sewage is being discharged. It is supposed to be connected to the sewage output pipe. You should now be able to see the general orientation of the septic tank and drain field from this point.

As soon as you’ve discovered the sewer outlet in your basement, you may use it to figure out where the sewer line departs your home through an outside wall. The septic tank will be located a few meters away from the home, and the outflow pipe may be at an angle of 30 or 45 degrees from the house. As a result, it is probable that the tank will be positioned around the corner from the building. Work your way around the home in a circle, starting at an electrical outlet and continuing until you find the septic tank.

Tips for locating your septic tank

Septic tank lids should be visible from the outside. An underground riser may have been added, which will make it simple to find your septic tank in some instances. However, it is conceivable that the septic tank cover is buried underground, which is especially true for older homes. Following are some pointers to assist you in locating the septic tank in this and other similar situations.

  • It may be possible to discover the septic tank lid underneath using a metal detector if it is buried. Prevent wearing footwear that contains steel or any other metal in order to avoid interfering with the readings of the detector
  • Instead, you can use a flushable transmitter that is flushed down the toilet and then tracked with a receiver. When it comes to septic tanks, the strongest signal will be seen close to the intake region of the tank.

Depending on whether the septic tank is above or below ground, you may have to dig to get to it. Construction materials for septic tanks include concrete, fiberglass, or plastic, and their shapes can range from oblong to cylindrical to rectangular. The majority of modern septic tanks will have their lids positioned in the center of the tank, and the lid should be within three feet of the ground surface in most cases. However, depending on a variety of conditions, such as farming and other human activities on the property, it is conceivable that it will be significantly deeper.

Additionally, you may use a small steel rod to probe the earth in order to pinpoint exactly where the tank is located as you continue digging.

Inspecting the tank

It is critical to thoroughly inspect and evaluate your septic tank and its contents when it has been identified. First and foremost, you may unscrew the lid to inspect the scum and sludge layer beneath it. In addition, the use of tracer dye tablets allows you to check the septic tank without having to dig it up. If you use tracer dye pills, all you have to do is flush them down the toilet and wait for a maximum of two days. Because of the way the tablets dissolve in water, if there is a problem with the septic system, you will see that the leach field has a glowing green hue surrounding it.

It is possible that someone will fall into the tank, causing significant damage or possibly death.


You can identify your septic tank without assistance from a professional, but it is a good idea to have someone who is properly educated in septic tank maintenance examine and maintain your septic tank on your behalf. The effluent filter in your tank should be washed into the open septic tank rather than on the ground in your yard if your tank has one. It may also be a good idea to make a note of the position of the septic tank when it has been discovered. This will be beneficial to anyone else who may require access to the septic tank in the future.

Septic tanks release combustible and hazardous gases, and as a result, they must be located in an open area.

Most likely Locations to Look

  • POSTING a QUESTION OR COMMENT regarding locating the septic drainfield, soakaway bed, or leach field is encouraged.

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. Finding the seepage beds or leaching field using visual indicators can be accomplished as follows: What exactly should you look for while looking for the septic drainfield or soakaway bed? This article assists you in locating a septic tank, D-box, soakaway bed or drainfield, and other components by identifying sites on a construction site where such components may have been installed and should have been installed.

Use the SEARCH BOX to discover the information you’re looking for quickly.

Visual Clues that Indicate Drain Field Location

This article series, as well as our supporting SEPTIC COMPONENT LOCATION VIDEO, are available online. How to locate the leach field or drainfield section of a septic system is covered in detail in this video. We offer drawings and photographs to assist you in learning what to search for, as well as descriptions of numerous ways for locating underground drainfield components that are relevant in this situation. (Septic drain fields are sometimes referred to as soil absorption systems or seepage beds in some circles.) For further information, read How to Locate the Septic Tank.

  1. We come upon an area that, based on its size and lack of trees and rocks, is probably definitely the location of the drainfield – a fact that was subsequently confirmed by the property owner.
  2. Septic pumping systems will be required in this situation.
  3. Consider the scenario in which we have no paperwork and no knowledge where the drainfield is.
  4. The method is demonstrated in our video at the top of this page, which includes a site walkthrough.
  5. It is the septic tank outlet that determines where the effluent drain line that connects the septic tank and leach field will be located once the septic tank has been located in its entirety.
  6. Depending on the quantity of usage and soil qualities, there may or may not be a seepage pit present, but the septic system may appear to be operating properly anyway.
  7. We decided that the filled-in area in the front of our client’s property was the probable drainfield region based on the photo.
  8. In other words, the drain field did not have much of a life before its effluent flowed into groundwater, where it was detected by us as pink-dyed sewage in a nearby stream during our test.
  9. Knowing the most fundamental design factors will help you choose where to look for septic fields on a construction site based on the location of a working field that would be expected to be erected.
  10. A rather big and somewhat level expanse of elevated dirt or filled earth may be found on the land, which you can explore.
  11. A two-level or “tiered” septic mound was erected in the foreground of this photograph around 20 years ago; the bottom mound is visible in the background.

Rather than that, it was cleaning up septic effluent from the drive. If you know what to look for, you might be able to find some useful visual cues that point you in the direction of the drainfield.

Areas Cleared of Rocks and Major Trees Often Marks the Location of an Older Drainfield

This older and mature lawn is free of large trees and rocks though those items are found at other areas of this building site. This is where we expected to find the septic tank and drainfield. Often it is possible to see long parallel depressions which mark leach field trenches. You cannot see them in this photo (a tank and seepage pit were found later) but you can see them in the next section of this article. These depressions are caused by earth fill settlement over the drainfield trenches.

Long parallel depressions, perhaps 24 to 30″ wide andmany feet long, perhaps 20′ to 40′ and spaced perhaps 4′ to 6′ apart are suggestive ofdrain field trenches.

Areas of Snow Melt may Show Drainfield Layout, Trench Lines, Location

Drain field depressions may be easier to observe in northern regions when there is only a little layer of snow covering the ground for a handful of reasons:

  1. It is easier to see depressions in the snow cover since it is a smooth covering, especially in late afternoon light when the sun is low in the sky and the shadows are more visible. It is possible that trench regions will be somewhat warmer than the surrounding soil due to septic effluent running into an in-use drainfield, allowing snow to melt or to be thinner over the trenches, therefore contributing to the “depression” effect.

Wet Areas may Show a (failing) Drainfield Location

It’s a shame, but when a leaching bed or drainfield is in failure mode, the location of the leaching bed or drainfield becomes visible. If a drainfield is failing and effluent is being forced to the surface, this is a very evident indication of the field’s location. The effluent breakout most frequently happens at the low-end of the failingdrainfield line(s), although it can occur wherever that a pipe is blocked, broken, or leaking, including the sewer line itself. Even with a thick layer of snow covering the ground in this photograph, which we will examine in greater detail below, the septic system failure and, consequently, the position of the septic field were clearly visible.

  1. It also offers other clues that indicate where you might expect to find the drainfield for the septic system.
  2. The author retains the right to use this content on other websites, in books, or in pamphlets that are available for purchase.
  3. Continue reading at this website.
  4. Alternatively, read SEPTIC TANK, HOW TO FIND for further information on locating the septic tank, chamber, drywell, or seepage pit.
  5. More videos about septic system installation and maintenance may be found at SEPTIC VIDEOSOR have a look at these
See also:  How To Make Sure A Septic Tank System Is Working Properly? (Solved)

Septic Drainfield Location Articles

  • Clearance Disturbances, Septic System
  • Odors, Septic or Sewer
  • Locations of Septic Components
  • Septic Drainfield Inspection Test at Home
  • Septic Drainfield Location
  • Septic Drainfield Inspection Test at Work
  • Recordings to LOCATE the DRAINFIELD

Suggested citation for this web page

Inspect an online encyclopedia of building and environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, and issue avoidance advice- to locate the drainfield. Alternatively, have a look at this.


Alternatives include asking a question or searching InspectApedia using the SEARCH BOXfound below.

Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia

Questions, answers, and/or comments concerning issues relating to the functioning of aerobic septic systems are welcome. We encourage you to use the search box just below, or if you prefer, you may make a question or remark in theCommentsbox below and we will get back to you as soon as possible. InspectApedia is a website that allows you to search for things. Please keep in mind that the publication of your remark below may be delayed if it contains an image, a web link, or text that seems to the program to be a web link.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Technical ReviewersReferences

Citations can be shown or hidden by selecting Show or Hide Citations. is a publisher that provides references. Daniel Friedman is an American journalist and author.

How to Locate Your Drain Field

Homeownership entails a large number of duties. Making repairs to the house, keeping the lawns, caring for the landscaping, paying all kind of bills and taxes, and a slew of other responsibilities are required. But it’s all worth it when you finally get to purchase your own house. Consider the following scenario: you have acquired a home in Modesto, CA that has a septic tank installation. Regardless of whether you are familiar with septic systems or not, you must be aware of the location of the tank and drain field.

In light of this, we would like to provide you with some expert guidance to assist you in locating your drain field.

A few sewage system pipe routes are easy to identify in the yard, while others are more difficult to locate.

  • First, take a look around your yard. It’s typical for you to not notice any indicators of your drain field’s presence at first sight. For starters, go around your yard, checking for lines of green grass, dead grass, and sunk-in regions (front, rear, and sides). If you see any of them, go ahead and investigate since these are indications of a drain field installation. Examine the surrounding region for markers: Ideally, a cement marker the size of a manhole cover should be used to indicate the position of your septic tank. Try to find it between 10 and 20 feet away from your house. As soon as you’ve located the tank, head down the steepest slope and look for an empty downward-sloping field to hide in. It’s possible that you’ve just discovered your drain field. Check your yard for gravel by doing the following: Another option is to probe your yard and feel for gravel, because drain field lines are covered in gravel as a manner of guiding wastewater through the treatment process and are therefore difficult to detect. If you come across gravel, you may have discovered your property’s drain field. Please be aware that probing may be difficult in regions where the soil is hard or rocky
  • Thus, caution is advised. Examine the county’s records: A copy of your property’s septic records may be on file with your county’s permits department or with the business that built the septic system in its first place. Read the notes left by past owners: Another option is to inquire with the former owners about the location of the drain field. Even if this isn’t possible, look in the garage, cupboards, and bathroom areas for notes or instruction manuals that may have been left for you by the previous residents. When people are preparing to move, they may gather all of the owners’ manuals or write out their own notes on how to use and maintain specific appliances or systems in the house, as well as important information about the products (age, maintenance records, and so on). There’s also a chance that they’ve sketched out the location of the drain field. Request information from neighbors:You should make yourself known to your immediate neighbors as soon as possible after moving into your new house. This is an excellent moment to inquire as to whether or not they are aware of the location of your drain field.

Alvarado Pumping Septic Service is the company to call in Modesto, California, for the best septic maintenance, drain field services, and septic tank installation you can find. Our septic system professionals are here to assist you at any time with your house or business’ septic system!

Locate Your Drainfield

You know your septic system drainfield is out there� but just where is it? It is important to locate it so you can avoid damaging it by:
  • Building a road over the drainfield
  • Parking or operating heavy equipment on the drainfield
  • Planting trees or bushes in close proximity to a drainfield is prohibited. Creating soil disturbances through a landscaping project or the presence of cattle

In addition, knowing where your drainfield is located allows you to inspect the drainfield for symptoms of trouble, such as damp soil and foul aromas. You should obtain a copy of the record sketch for your particular system. It is a diagram that shows where the various components of your septic system are placed. This diagram was previously referred to as a “as-built” or “record drawing.” You can obtain further information by contacting the Thurston County Permit Assistance Center (PAC) at 360-786-5490 or by downloading the Request for Record Drawing/Permit Information form.

SW in Olympia, Washington (PAC Hoursof Operation-LimitedHours Please Check Before You Leave).

This is the tax identification number that appears on your county tax bills.

(If you do not know your tax parcel number, contact the County Assessor’s office.) The level of detail and quality of the record drawings varies substantially.

a more recent diagram will indicate the tank, drainfield, replacement area (which will be used in the future if a replacement field is required), and any additional components of your system, such as a pump chamber or mound It is also possible to record the dimensions of the tank and the length of the drainfield lines.

If there is no copy of your record drawing accessible, you might use the following suggestions to find the drainfield.

  • If you don’t water your grass in the late summer, you may notice green stripes in your yard as a result. These are the regions that are prone to flooding along the drainfield pipes. When it is cold outside, the regions above your pipes may be the first spots where frost melts in your yard. Do you have any ports for monitoring or clean-outs? These are tubes or pipes with a white cap that are cut off at or near the ground level. Drainfield pipes include liquid level indicators that are situated at the ends of the pipes, which allow you to monitor the amount of liquid in the pipes. Examine the regions leading away from the septic tank with great caution. Avoid the use of heavy steel wrecking bars or other probing equipment that might cause damage to the septic tank top or other components of the system. Take note of any signs you see, such as shallow, parallel depressions that may indicate drainfield trenches. The installation of a drainfield among huge trees or in particularly rough terrain is quite unlikely. Examine the area beneath the home where the sewer line emerges from the foundation. The septic tank is typically located within 10 feet of the foundation
  • However, this might vary. Engage the services of a competent business to send down echo-locators
For more information on troubleshooting problems,contact the Septic Help Line at 360-867-2669.

How to Locate a Septic Drainfield or Septic Tank – GeoModel

Landowners must be aware of how to find buried septic tanks or underground septic drainfield pipelines on their property. What is the most effective technique of locating a septic tank or a septic drainfield, and why? Underground septic tanks and buried septic drainfield pipe lines can only be detected and located with the use of ground penetrating radar, which is the most accurate approach available. GeoModel, Inc. has over 25 years of expertise in the detection and location of underground septic tanks and septic drainfields throughout the United States.

  1. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) and frequency location are two of the technologies used to locate septic tanks and septic drainfields, respectively (to detect any buried electrical power lines associated with the drainfield system).
  2. personnel who are experts in the field.
  3. conducts a ground penetrating radar (GPR) study to find and detect a septic drainfield.
  4. As soon as a GeoModel, Inc.
  5. An picture of a ground penetrating radar (GPR) cart in the process of identifying septic drainfield lines is shown in the following paragraph: GPRG is a technique for detecting a septic drainfield.
  6. Plastic or PVC drainfield pipe, as well as other forms of nonconductive pipe, such as concrete and terra cotta septic drainfield pipe, can be located using GPR, especially under appropriate soil conditions.
  7. An subterranean cross-sectional picture of the septic drainfield pipes is obtained using GPR, allowing the locations of the drainfield pipes to be determined.

Like a rule of thumb, the drainfield pipes should appear as upside-down U-shapes (parabolas).

The drainfield pipes in the illustration below are around one to one and a half to two feet below the surface of the earth.

GeoModel, Inc.

A frequency transmitter is used to apply a specified frequency to a buried power wire that is buried underground.

Ground penetrating radar has been used by GeoModel, Inc.

An orange paint mark indicates the position of a subterranean septic tank, which was discovered using ground penetrating radar (GPR).

Obtain our underground septic tank and septic drainfield locating services for your property or facility now by contacting GeoModel, Inc.

locating septic field lines (tank, steel, pipes, building) – House -remodeling, decorating, construction, energy use, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, building, rooms

Please registerto participate in our discussions with 2 million other members – it’s free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After youcreate your account, you’ll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.

Hi all. We are buying a house in Decatur Al and are planning on building a detached garage in the back where the field lines are. How can we find out exactly where they run? We got a sketch from the health dept so we have a general idea but it’s not to scale and we don’t want to encroach on the system. Thanks.
04-19-2013, 10:47 AM
The usual way is to just wait and see where the grass is greenest.The nutrients from the system fertilize it and the soil is a little looser over the trenches because of the digging.
When we did addition,the health used a steel rod to locate lines and outline of tank.This will tell them size of tank and number and lengths of leach field runs.Steel rod with bend for handle about 4 or so feet long,5/16 in dia.,push it down to locate runs.My runs had visquene over them so no green runs.
Can’t you damage the septic lines with the steel rod?
Location: Houston, Texas10,440 posts, read47,549,765timesReputation: 10550
Quote:Originally Posted byirene61189Can’t you damage the septic lines with the steel rod?Yes you can damage the septic lines if you poke it hard enough. It’s usually thick mill PVC which is hard to break but in the very old days it was cast iron which is real easy to damage. The worst is old cast iron waste lines collapse from the inside and the outside appears good. Nothing will pass through it when it collapses obviously.You said you had the drawing that was on file in the Health Dept. As you see, they are usually very crude. None or few are to scale and have any dimensions of any value. Also the depth of the lines could be anything from 6″ to several feet below the surface. Yes it’s true that quite often the grass is greener over the perforated leach field but this time of the year shouldn’t make a difference since most northern states have all dormant grass anyway. I forgot where you said you are.Start with figuring out where the main line leaves the house. Is there a basement or crawl space, you can see it? If so you’re lucky. If it’s a slab you will have to do some logic guesses. Do you know where the holding tank is? The line usually will exit on that side of the house. You should dig a few holes to locate it as it exits the house. From here you will verify the direction it goes. Now every say 3 feet dig another hole. I have followed them this way by digging several holes when I knew where it was.If you start to find fine gravel you know somewhere in about a 12″ x 12″ channel of gravel is your leach line.If you know where your holding tank is then skip all the above. Start your little hole digging around the tank lid to find the direction your leach field goes. Sometimes if you open the lid you can see the outgoing effluent line which leads to the leach field.Some areas do have minimum set backs from any building structure to where the leach field is as well as where the holding tank may be. Keep that in mind.You will have to be a Detective using the clues you have to find your tank and leach field.Good luck
Location: Southern New Hampshire9,119 posts, read15,739,309timesReputation: 30809
Hmmm, don’t septic systems have to be pumped every few years? Seems like the previous owner should know where the tank and leach field are?
Location: Eastern Washington15,887 posts, read51,501,363timesReputation: 15737
Quote:Originally Posted bykaren_in_nh_2012Hmmm, don’t septic systems have to be pumped every few years? Seems like the previous owner should know where the tank and leach field are?To pump the tank, you need to find the lid of the tank, you don’t necessarily need to find the leach field.If you dig on the downhill or away from the house side of the tank, you will find the line that leads out to the leach field.Really, if you use the right kind of sounding rod, you should be able to find the leach pipes without damaging them.Harry has a good idea as usual, wait a few more weeks and your grass will let you know.
04-19-2013, 10:12 PM
desertsun, the OP lives a few miles south of me.The lawns are just beginning to green so it shouldn’t be too long.My fields are more robust and already going strong.

Last edited by harry chickpea; 04-19-2013 at10:26 PM.

I have a septic tank and we have a general idea of where our lines are. The previous owners only lived in the house 18 months and never had the tank pumped (which was really bad when we had it done). So asking anything of them was useless, plus they were idiots.My grass is not greener where the lines are. I asked the septic guy if he could tell where they ran and he pointed in the same direction of the yard I figured they ran. yes you can take a steel rod, just dont stab the ground like a crazed killer. Just push the rod into the ground and you will feel it stop against something. The lines are really not that deep into the ground.
I would suggest you consider a septic dye test.That will also test the condition of the septic system.Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.About Septic Dye Testing
Pleaseregisterto post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned. Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our

All times are GMT -6.

How Can I Find My Drainfield?

It’s not always simple to find your septic system’s drainfield, but there are three things you can do to make the work a little bit easier.

  1. Take a look around your yard. In spite of the fact that it is usual for there to be no indicators of the drainfield’s presence, search for lines of green grass, dead grass, or depressed regions. These might be indicators of the location of your drainfield. Check with the permitting authorities (typically the county), the installer, or the designer to see if they have any septic records. A word of caution: septic system designs are not usually correct. Check your yard for gravel by digging about in it. Because your drainfield’s pipes are buried in gravel, it aids in the wastewater treatment process
  2. Therefore, locating gravel may indicate that you have located your drainfield. Be warned that in locations where the native soil is hard or rocky to probe into, this may be difficult to do.

Why do I need to know where my drainfield is?

However, while we tend to focus on the tank portion of a septic system, it is actually the drainfield that is the most significant component – it is here that the majority of the treatment takes place. If you don’t know where your drainfield is, you won’t be able to textend the life of your drainfield. If you do any of the following, you risk damaging the lines by accident:

  • Drove over them — Driving a car or heavy equipment over the lines has the potential to destroy them. Build over them — House extensions, sheds, pools, driveways, and other structures can cause damage to underground utility wires, making it more difficult to reach them for repairs. Plantings in the vicinity of or above them –Trees and septic systems are not a good combination. Roots that have invaded the line might cause harm.

Interested in learning more about how your septic system works and what you can do to maintain it in good working order? Download our free booklet, Understanding and Maintaining Your Septic System, to learn more about this topic. Over the course of 80 years, Van Delden Wastewater Systems has proven itself to be the premier Wastewater System provider, supplying San Antonio, Boerne, and the surrounding Texas Hill Country with services you can rely on today and in the future. We can assist you with any of your wastewater system needs, and our specialists can also assist you with your septic installation and maintenance requirements: 210.698.2000 (San Antonio) or 830.249.4000 (Austin) (Boerne).

How to Find Septic Tank Field Lines

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product after clicking on one of our links, we may receive a commission or free product from the firms featured in this post. Amazon is a good illustration of this. Because you are the homeowner, it is your obligation to know where your septic tank field lines are located, as well as the location of your drain field. This is also required for the ongoing upkeep of the drain field. Following a few simple procedures will allow you to locate the field lines with ease.

  • So, what is the best way to locate septic tank field lines?
  • Continue to follow the drain pipes all the way to the septic tank.
  • Because the tank is positioned on the other side of the house from the house, the drain pipes are routed to the leach field.
  • Continue reading to learn why it is important to be aware of the placement of septic tankfield lines, the difficulties that might emerge with these lines, the expenses of replacing these lines, and other information.


The septic tank drainfield is operated in a straightforward manner. The septic tank’s waste is conveyed through the pipe. The perforated pipe then disperses the liquid amongst the particles in the aggregate.

This causes the liquid to trickle slowly through the aggregate. Following that, the effluent is absorbed by the soil. The soil then filters out any dangerous bacteria that may have been present in the trash during the last stage of the procedure. The water is then returned to the groundwater.

Why Do You Need to Find Septic Tank Field Lines?

Knowing the location of septic tank and field lines is important so that you can identify and address potential problems before they become serious. It is possible that you will need to call in the pros to check the field lines, and it is also possible that you will need to locate the field lines if you do not know where they are.

Problems in The Septic Tank Field Lines

It has been seen on several times that difficulties in the septic tank are the result of a problem in the leach field. A few of the most typical reasons for this difficulty are as follows:

  • Damage to the pipes is caused by trees or vegetation. Damage caused by cars going through the leach field or by building on the leach field significant snow melt or heavy rainfall resulting in discharge of water It is necessary to drain via the drain complicated compounds such as paint, grease, and chemicals.


A failed system might manifest itself in a variety of ways. Grumbling sounds in the plumbing, slow draining toilets, foul smelling odors inside your problem, consistent drainage backup, or the presence of bacteria in well water are all indications that this absorption field should be checked.Strong Odors – If there is an unusually strong odor, it is necessary to check this absorption field. It is possible for sewage to infiltrate slowly into the surrounding soil if it is not treated. Gases emitted by the decomposition process may reach the surface.

The source of the problem is located in the region where the greatest odor may be detected.

Patches of grass in odd locations are examples of these indicators.

Furthermore, it might indicate an advanced failure in the system, which would necessitate the need for pricey repairs.

How Can You Tell If Your Septic System is Failing or Might Fail?

It is never a good idea for a homeowner to attempt to enter a septic tank since the presence of gasses trapped inside the tank might result in drowning and death. When a system fails completely, it will have to be rebuilt from the ground up. As a result, a homeowner should be aware of the early warning indicators that indicate the need for expert inspection.


A drain field is constructed in such a manner that the liquid from the tank may be absorbed by the soil underneath it. Solids frequently dissolve and decompose as a result of this process. A natural tendency for liquids to flow from the tank and via the pipes to the drain field is to fill the tank. After that, they depart the building and descend into the earth. They move by passing through gaps in the pipe. Thisleach field, on the other hand, may become clogged or destroyed with time. This might occur as a result of the accumulation of substances.

It makes its way to the drainfield. In most cases, a blocked drain field cannot be cleared using a snake. It cannot be rendered clear in the same way that a drainpipe can. When faced with such a predicament, action must be made to ease the issue.

How to Maintain Your Septic Tank Field Lines

If you are aware of the position of the septic tank field lines, you must take steps to ensure that they are kept in good working order. This will ensure the effective operation of the system as well as the health and cleanliness of your household.

  • No one should be driving over the drain field or the septic tank
  • There are some homeowners that enjoy planting trees on their properties. These trees, on the other hand, may be quite harmful to the drain field lines. As a result, they should not be placed in strategic locations. You must make certain that no additional water is carried to the drain field. If there is an excessive amount of water flowing into the drain field, it can cause damage over time
  • Thus, the drain field must be maintained on a regular basis. The use of a suitable pumper will guarantee that the proper quantity of moisture is present in the soil. There will be symptoms of a problem in the form of sewage backing up into the system. It is possible to fix the septic tank.

Questions pertaining to the reason for the need to locate a septic tank field line

  • In what range will the cost of replacing the septic field line fall?

In addition to being a fundamental element of the septic system, the septic field lines are also important. Their contribution to the conveyance of waste water is significant. If there is a problem with the field line and you need to replace it, you may be required to pay a fee ranging from $2000 to $10000 depending on the circumstances. Ordinarily, the depth of a septic drainfield trench ranges between 18 inches and 30 inches. According to the USDA, the maximum soil cover over this disposal field is typically 2 feet to 5 feet in depth, depending on the season.

  • Is it feasible to have the septic field lines repaired
  • And

It is possible that repairing septic field lines may not always be simple and quick. Minor issues, such as clogging, may be resolved with minimal effort. However, if the problem is connected to thebacterialmat, it may take a long time to fix since the trench must be completely dry before the repair can be completed. This may take some time.

  • What is the lifespan of the septic field lines? Are they long-lasting enough?

The field lines should endure between 15 and 25 years if they are properly maintained. It is vital, however, to make certain that the field lines are correctly retained during the process. A good place to start is by monitoring the amount of water that gets into the septic tank. Your septic system and drainfield are not nearly as difficult as they appear to be to you. It is vital to know the location of your septic tank since you will have specialists come to examine and maintain the tank in the future.


Leave a Comment

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