How do you find a septic tank?
- Follow the pipe by sticking a thin metal probe into the ground near the sewer line. Probe about every two feet. Most septic tanks are around 10-25 feet away from your home, and cannot be closer than 5ft. Once you feel the probe striking flat concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene you will have located your tank.
How do I find the layout of my septic system?
Go to your basement or crawl space, and then look for the main sewer line that leads to your septic tank. Look for a pipe that’s roughly four inches in diameter that leads away from your house. Remember the location of the sewer pipe and where the pipe leaves your home so you can find it outside.
How do you mark a septic tank location?
In most cases, septic tank components including the lid, are buried between 4 inches and 4 feet underground. You can use a metal probe to locate its edges and mark the perimeter. If you do not find the lid by probing, shallow excavation with a shovel along the tank’s perimeter should reveal the lid.
How do I find out where my leach field is?
Trace the plumbing drain lines to the septic tank, which is usually installed 10 to 20 feet from the home’s exterior. At the tank’s end opposite the house, the drain line leads to the leach field. Check the natural slope of the land to locate the leach field.
How do you tell if 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 is the average life of a septic tank?
Age of the System It’s pretty common for a septic system to last 40 years or longer, which means if you buy a new home, you might never need to replace it. However, you might have an older home whose septic system has been in place for nearly half a century.
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.
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.
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 find a septic tank in the snow?
Outside the home, in the same side of the house where the lines are located, look for a melted area of snow, about 36″ (3 feet) or more wide. Snow may melt the fastest over the septic tank due to using warmer water than the frozen ground around it!
How many lids are on a septic tank?
A septic tank installed before 1975 will have a single 24-inch concrete lid in the center of the rectangle. A two-compartment tank installed after 1975 will have two lids of either fiberglass or polyethylene, centered at opposite ends of the rectangle.
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 do you know if you need a new leach field?
The following are a few common signs of leach field failure: Grass over leach field is greener than the rest of the yard. The surrounding area is wet, mushy, or even has standing water. Sewage odors around drains, tank, or leach field.
How far from septic tank is distribution box?
It’s usually somewhere near the edge of your drain field on the end that’s closest to your septic tank. Distribution boxes are usually only about 6 inches to 2 feet deep. This narrows your search, but you’ll need some other clues to help you find the exact location.
Help reading drawing for septic tank location
Just a few months ago, I purchased a house in North Carolina, which is the first property I’ve ever lived in that has a septic system. I’ve read a lot about the correct care that must be taken, as well as the need of being cautious while planting anything near the tank and drain field. Because we don’t have any trees in our front or back yards, I’m thinking of planting a Crab Apple or Dogwood tree in either the front or back yards, but I want to be sure I know where the septic tank and drainfield are before I do anything.
A 10,000-gallon tank, it states, and it was suggested to have the water drained out and some roots removed from the tank.
When we initially moved home, I was under the assumption that the tank and drain were in the front yard.
We thought the tank was positioned in line with the S painted on the street in front of each house in our development since there is a S painted on the roadway in front of each house in our development.
- At first, I thought it was the septic tank, but after more consideration, I realize it was something else entirely.
- In addition, there is a “repair area” in the front yard.
- This seems like a repair area that needs to be maintained clean (i.e., it cannot be paved or constructed on) in the event that the drain field needs to be relocated, if I understand the terminology properly.
- Due to the fact that our backyard has many dry places and thin grass, and it isn’t particularly level as it is, searching for more clues has proven to be difficult.
- Because the home was abandoned when we purchased it, I suspect that grass would have been grown to conceal it, and despite the fact that our yard is sparse, I didn’t notice any bare ground large enough to expose the manhole.
Is it possible that I’m at least looking in the proper place? If it makes a difference, the house is 10 years old, if that makes any difference.
Find Septic soakaway / drainfield location using documents
- I recently purchased a home in North Carolina, which is the first time I’ve lived in a house with a septic system. I’m looking forward to it. The correct care that must be taken, as well as the caution that must be used when planting anything near the tank and drain field, have all been discussed in great detail elsewhere online. Due to the lack of trees in either our front or back yards, I’m considering planting a Crab Apple or Dogwood tree in either the front or back yards, but I want to make sure I know where the septic tank and drainfield are before I go forward with the installation. The septic tank inspection documentation was among the documents I discovered when going through all of our house’s closing documents. A 10,000-gallon tank, it states, and it was suggested to have the water drained out and some roots cut out of it. We informed the sellers that we desired this to be addressed prior to closing, and they agreed to do so in addition to the other repairs we had requested of them. At the time of our move in, I was under the assumption that the tank and drain were located in the front yard. We assumed the tank was positioned in line with the S painted on the street in front of each house in our development since there is a S painted on the roadway in front of every house in our development. The in ground water meter in our front yard is directly across the street from the S, and a foot further away from that is some other form of rectangular cover that isn’t marked with anything. At first, I thought it was the septic tank, but after more consideration, I discovered it was something different. Finally, I came across a permit in the closing documents for a design that seems to be for the building plans for the home, with the placement of the detox tank and drainfied in the backyard, which I thought was strange. Additionally, in the front yard, there is a “repair area.” So, in the photo I’ve attached, the septic tank is the little box towards the southeast corner of the home, and the drain field is represented by the three long black lines. Is that correct. This seems like a repair area that needs to be maintained free (i.e., it cannot be paved or constructed on) in the event that the drain field needs to be relocated, if I’m understanding you properly. After searching around the backyard, I have yet to come across anything that appears to be the location of the tank. Due to the fact that our backyard has many dry places and thin grass, plus it isn’t particularly level as it is, searching for more clues has proven to be difficult. Because the tank was purportedly examined and cleaned in August, shouldn’t it have been much more obvious that a hole had been dug in the ground at that point? Given that the home was unoccupied when we moved in, I suspect that grass would have been grown to conceal the manhole, and given how sparse our yard is, I didn’t notice any bare ground large enough to expose the manhole in question. Is it possible that I’m at least looking in the correct direction. In case it makes a difference, the house is ten years old.
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. Using records to locate a septic drainfield or soakbed is described as follows: How to get records and revew papers in order to locate a septic tank, drainfield, or soakaway bed in a home or business. How to request paperwork that can document the septic system design “as approved” as well as that which was “as built” is explained in detail.
We also have anARTICLE INDEX for this topic, and you can use the SEARCH BOXes at the top and bottom of the page to obtain the information you need quickly and easily.
How to Use Septic System Records to Find the Drainfield – Whom to Ask – How to Find the Septic Leach Fields – Part 3
When it comes to septic systems, understanding where the drainfield is may be difficult because they are often underground systems. Finding the drainfield can be difficult because they are usually hidden. Because haphazard excavation by hand is extremely time-consuming and because haphazard excavation by backhoe can cause unnecessarily extensive damage to both a septic system and a homesite, drawing a sketch of the location of a septic tank, distribution box, and drainfield trenches or pits is a valuable document to prepare and keep with a home.
- Ask the owner if they have any sketches to leave with you; if they don’t have any sketches but know where the septic components are, walk the property with them and produce your own sketch of the septic components.
- Because anybody seeking for the system in the future is likely to start by locating the point where the sewage line exits the building, a former service worker or contractor understood it was a dependable location to leave a sketch.
- In certain cases, even though septic system and drainfield layout drawings have been submitted, it is possible that the “as built” drain field will not be identical to the plan filed since blockages might be identified during the drain field installation process.
- The septic tank’s center may be located using the simple but accurate measurement triangle depicted in the diagram below.
- It is not need to be visually appealing, to scale, or costly.
- Never rely on the local health agency or the building department to have drawings that show where the fields are located precisely.
- During our investigation, we discovered that one municipality had purposefully destroyed 50 years’ worth of septic and other construction plan records because they were tired of being pestered by residents who wanted that information and then complained when it turned out to be incorrect.
- Speak with contractors who are listed under the categories of Excavation, Plumbing, and Septic System Service since the excavator who has installed or worked on the property of your concern may be classified under one of those categories but not all of them.
- This article series, as well as our accompanyingSEPTIC LOCATION VIDEO, demonstrates how to locate the leach field or drainfield section of a septic system by going around a site with a camera.
(Septic drain fields are sometimes referred to as soil absorption systems or seepage beds in some circles.)
Reader CommentsQ A
@Joseph Coburn, please display the records regarding your septic system. Yes, Joseph, I’d be delighted to assist you in locating the leach bed on your property: Simply follow the “how to identify the drainfield” techniques and procedures outlined in the articles listed above under “Recommended Articles” labeled “How to Find the Drainfield.” LOCATION OF THE SEPTIC DRAINFIELD – BEGIN HERE PRECISE DRAINFIELD PIPE LOCATION – follow these procedures if you need to be precise with your drainage pipe location.
- More drainfield choices and approaches are available, including: It is necessary to excavate in order to locate drainage fields.
- REMARKING DRAINFIELD LOCATIONS OUT OF THE BOUNDS OF THE POSSIBLY UNLIKELY CLUES FROM THE VISUAL WORLD LOCATE THE DRAINFIELD VIA VISUAL INSTRUCTIONS LOCATE THE SEPTIC TANK IN ORDER TO FIND THE LEACH BEDS LOCATE @Dan Dyer, thank you for your comment.
- also have a look at the comments on your identical post at The location of my drain field has been discovered, and I need to figure out where the rest of it is before I can proceed to complete the task on time.
- As well as this, see THE LOCATION OF THE SEPTIC TANK AND THE LOCATION OF THE SEPTIC D-BOX Attempting to locate a septic system Septic drain field is located at 13368 East 49th Drive in Yuma.
- I’m looking to discover if there is any public information on a septic tank located at 5391 Hollis Goodwin rd.
- Continue reading at an SURPRISING DRAINFIELD LOCATIONALITY Select a topic from the closely-related articles listed below, or browse the entireARTICLE INDEX for more information.
Septic Drainfield Location Articles
- At Joseph Coburn, please display the information for the septic system. We’ll be happy to assist you in locating the leach bed on your property, Joseph. Simply follow the “how to identify the drainfield” suggestions and processes outlined in the articles listed above under “Recommended Articles” under “How to Find the Drainfield” to complete the process. Start with the SEPTIC DRAINFIELD LOCATION. EXACTLY WHERE THE DRAINFIELD PIPE IS – Follow these instructions if you need to be precise with your drainage pipe placement. More drainfield choices and methods are available, including the following. It is necessary to excavate in order to locate drainage fields. There are several reasons to locate drainage fields, as well as records that can be used to pinpoint where drainage fields can be located. REMARKING DRAINFIELD LOCATIONS OUT OF THE BOUNDS OF THE POSSIBLY UNLIKELY. CLUES FROM THE VISUAL THE DRAINFIELDVISUAL GUIDELINES THE DRAINFIELDTHE SEPTIC TANKTHE LEACH BEDTHE DRAINFIELD @Dan Dyer, thank you for your time and consideration. Also check with your local building department to see if there is an approved septic system plan on file (keep in mind that “as filed” is not usually the same as “as built” for septic systems), and check with your local utility company to see if there is a plan on file for your well. In addition, please review my remarks on your duplicate post at The location of my drain field is being investigated, and I need to find out where the remainder of it is before I can proceed with the project. Greg In this section, we’ll talk about how to locate your septic drainfield or leachfield. Moreover, please refer to HOW TO DISCOVER THE LOCATION OF THE SEPTIC TANK A septic system was being sought. Septic drain field is located at 13368 E49th Dr in Yuma. Have you tried contacting your local building or health agency for more information? If there is a septic tank at 5391 Hollis Goodwin Rd., Alabama, I’d like to know whether or not it is on public record. CONTINUE READING AT A SURPRISE DRAINFIELD LOCATION So, choose a topic from the articles that are closely relevant to your interest, or browse the entireARTICLE INDEX. Alternatively, have a look at
- LOCATION OF THE DRAINFIELD PIPE, EXACT
- EXCAVATE TO LOCATE THE DRAINFIELD
- REASONS FOR LOCATION OF THE DRAINFIELD
- Recordings to LOCATE the DRAINFIELD
- SURPRISING DRAINFIELD LOCATIONS
- UNLIKELY DRAINFIELD LOCATIONS
- VISUAL CLUES LOCATE the DRAINFIELD
- VISUAL CLUES LOCATE the SEPTIC TANK
- SEPTIC DRAINFIELD RESTORERS
- SEPTIC DRAINFIELD SIZE
- SEPTIC DRAINFIELD SHAPE
- SEPTIC TANK, HOW TO FINDfor information on locating the septic tank, chamber, drywell, or seepage pit
- SEPTIC DRAINFIELD RESTORERS
- SEPTIC TAN SEPTIC VIDEOSon the location of the septic system
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INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES:ARTICLE INDEX to SEPTIC SYSTEMS
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Citations can be shown or hidden by selecting Show or Hide Citations. InspectApedia.com is a publisher that provides references. Daniel Friedman is an American journalist and author.
Surveying Basics: Reading a Contour Map
When looking at a contour map, the hatching lines indicate areas of depression. A topographic map of the proposed sewage treatment system site may be extremely beneficial to both the site assessor and the designer of the system. A topographic map may be used to gather information about the slope of the ground, drainage, and depressions by examining it. It is possible to draw lines linking places of equal elevation on a topographic map to represent a scale diagram. Topographic maps are available in a variety of scales to suit your needs.
- Geological Survey maps available in which the contour interval is a line with an elevation difference of between 10 and 20 feet between two points.
- They are, nevertheless, capable of identifying landscape traits that indicate possible issues for system operation.
- When it comes to site appraisal, the most effective contour maps are those created by land surveyors specifically for lot development, which is commonly done as part of a subdivision.
- Using this size of map, it is possible to get a decent idea of the specific position of the sewage treatment system.
- These contour lines are arranged in a connection to one another, which denotes elevation.
- Similarly, if the contours are closer together, it indicates that the slope is steeper, with elevation changes occurring across a smaller area between them.
- Contour lines can be used to identify depressions in the body.
In order to eliminate the possibility of flooding and infiltration into the sewage treatment system, it is obvious that depressions should be avoided when constructing any section of a sewage treatment system.
Keep in mind that water usually flows perpendicular to contour lines.
Surface and subsurface water flowing in these directions may be collected by your sewage treatment trenches if they are placed in these regions.
The same issue arises whether the system is an aboveground mound or an at-grade system, depending on the configuration.
This orientation causes the soils’ linear loading rate to be readily surpassed, resulting in water surfacing out the toe of the system dike when it is not designed to do so.
If you have any questions concerning septic system maintenance and operation, you can send them to him by email at [email protected]
This post is part of a series on topography and site mapping:
- When viewing a contour map, depressions are represented as hatching lines. Topographic maps of the proposed wastewater treatment system site may be quite useful to both the site assessor and the designer of the proposed system, as shown in the example below. A topographic map can provide valuable information on the slope of the ground, drainage, and depressions. It is possible to draw lines linking places of equal elevation on a topographic map to create a scale diagram. Topographic maps are available in a number of various scales. For example, there are U.S. Geological Survey maps that include contour intervals that are a line with an elevation difference ranging from 10 to 20 feet. Detailed system position can only be determined by using maps at this size. They are, nevertheless, capable of identifying landscape traits that indicate possible concerns for system operation and maintenance. Among these are locations with steep slopes or escarpments, the existence of major drainageways or washes, depressions, and areas where water ponding is possible. For site appraisal, the contour maps generated by land surveyors specifically for lot development, frequently as part of a subdivision, are the most beneficial. In most cases, these maps feature scales of 1 inch equaling 10 to 20 feet, with contour intervals ranging from 2 to 5 feet between each line of sight. The exact position of the sewage treatment system may be seen clearly on maps drawn at this size. In the siting and design processes, as previously stated, maps at greater sizes are still useful. These contour lines are related to one another in order to illustrate height. A flatter slope with less variation in elevation is indicated by a greater distance between the lines. Similarly, if the contours are closer together, it indicates that the slope is steeper, with elevation changes occurring across a smaller distance between the contours themselves. With this information, together with soil information, the designer may evaluate the type of system that will work best for the site and if gravity distribution will suffice or if a pump and pressure distribution system would be needed. Contour lines can be used to identify depressions in different locations of the body. This type of line is depicted as hatching lines on a contour map, rather than as solid lines. In order to reduce the possibility of flooding and infiltration into the sewage treatment system, it is obvious that depressions should be avoided when locating any portion of a sewage treatment system. A similar pattern may be seen on the site map, where concave contour lines denote the presence of drainageways or paths through which water will stream and accumulate. Water always follows contour lines in the opposite direction. Concave lines indicate that water gathers from three sides and accumulates in a concave region in the centre of the structure. If your sewage treatment trenches are positioned in these locations, they have the potential to collect both surface and subsurface water that is moving in these directions. A system that fails as a result of this is almost certain to fail. The same difficulty exists whether the system is an aboveground mound or an at-grade system. It always amazes me how many times I see a mound built because a water problem has been identified, yet the predominant direction of flow for surface and subsurface water has been overlooked or neglected. This orientation causes the soils’ linear loading rate to be quickly surpassed, resulting in water surfacing from the toe of the system dike when it is not designed to be this way. The author’s biographical information is as follows: The University of Minnesota’s onsite wastewater treatment program is overseen by Jim Anderson, who also happens to be an emeritus professor in the university’s Department of Soil, Water and Climate. Send him an email at [email protected] if you have any questions concerning septic system maintenance or operation.
How To Find Septic Tank Location: A Guide for Property Owners
The majority of individuals prefer to relax on their back patio or porch and take in the scenery rather than worrying about where their septic tank could be. When you know exactly where your septic tank is, it will be much easier to schedule routine sewer line cleanouts and repair appointments. Continue reading to find out more about how to locate your septic tank.
Follow the Main Sewer Line
Purchase a soil probe that you may use to probe into the earth in order to locate the underground sewage line and septic tank in your property. Find the main sewage line that leads to your septic tank by going to your basement or crawl space and digging about down there. Look for a pipe with a diameter of around four inches that is leading away from your home or building. Keep a note of the position of the sewer pipe and the point at which the line exits your home so that you can locate it outdoors.
If you have a drain snake, you may use it to try to follow the approximate course of the pipes in your home.
Since the majority of states require at least five feet between a home’s septic tank and its foundation, with many tanks located between 10 and 25 feet away, you may have to probe a bit further out before striking the tank.
Inspect Your Property
Purchase a soil probe that you may use to probe into the earth in order to locate the underground sewage line and septic tank in your yard. Find the main sewage line that leads to your septic tank by going to your basement or crawl space and digging about in it. Look for a pipe with a diameter of around four inches that is leading away from your home or business. Recall where your sewer pipe is located, as well as where it exits your home, in order to locate it while you are out in the field.
If you have a drain snake, you may use it to try to follow the approximate course of the pipes in your house.
Since the majority of states require at least five feet between a home’s septic tank and its foundation, with many tanks located between 10 and 25 feet away, you may need to probe a bit further out before striking the tank.
- Paved surfaces
- Unique landscaping
- Your water well, if you have one
- And other features.
If you are still having trouble locating your septic system, you might inquire of your neighbors about the location of their septic tank on their land. Finding out how far away their septic systems are will help you figure out where yours might be hidden in your yard or garden.
Check the Property Records
Are you unsure about how to obtain this? Simply contact your county’s health department for further information. Check with your local health agency to see if they have a property survey map and a septic tank map that you can borrow. Perhaps you will be shocked to learn that there are a variety of options to obtain information about your property without ever leaving the comfort of your own residence. Building permits, for example, are frequently found in county records, and they may provide schematics with specifications on how far away from a septic tank a home should be, as well as other important information such as the size of the tank.
Most counties, on the other hand, keep records of septic tank installations for every address. For further information on the placement of your septic tank, you can consult your home inspection documents or the deed to the property.
Don’t Try to Fix Septic Tank Issues Yourself
Septic tank problems should be left to the specialists. The Original Plumber can do routine maintenance on your septic tank and examine any problems you may have once you’ve located the tank. It is not recommended to open the septic tank lid since poisonous vapors might cause major health problems. Getting trapped in an open septic tank might result in serious injury or death. While it is beneficial to know where your septic tank is located, it is also beneficial to be aware of the potential health dangers associated with opening the tank.
Schedule Septic Tank Maintenance
The maintenance of your septic tank on a regular basis helps to avoid sewer backups and costly repairs to your sewer system. You should plan to have your septic tank pumped out every three to five years, depending on the size of your tank and the number of people that reside in your home. The Original Plumber offers skilled septic tank and drain field maintenance and repair services at competitive prices. While it is useful to know where the septic tank is located, it is not required. Our team of skilled plumbers is equipped with all of the tools and equipment necessary to locate your tank, even if you have a vast property.
We are open seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.
Frequently Asked Questions
A septic system is a system for the management of wastewater. Simply said, wastewater will exit your home through pipes until it reaches your septic tank, which is located outside your home. Septic tanks are normally located beneath the surface of the earth. Solids and liquids will separate in the septic tank as a result of the separation process. Eventually, the solids will fall to the bottom of the tank and the liquids will run out onto your leach field.
How do I know if I have a septic tank?
Even if there are no obvious signs of a septic tank in your yard – such as uneven landscaping – there are a few techniques to assess whether or not your home is equipped with an onsite sewage system. Checking your property records is the most reliable technique to ensure that you are utilizing the correct system. When you acquired your house, you should have received a copy of the septic system map with the property documents as well. Checking your electricity statement is another way to determine this.
If you’re also using well water, it’s possible that you won’t receive one at all.
What do I do once I locate my septic tank?
Once you’ve discovered where your septic tank is, there are a few things you should do. It is critical to clearly mark the position of your septic tank. With our inspection, pumping, and repair services, you can save time whether you need a sewer line cleanout or a septic tank maintenance job completed quickly. Make a note of the location of your tank so that you can find it again if necessary. It should be heavy enough so that it does not fly away in windy conditions. A creative approach to accomplish this without having an unattractive flag or marking in your yard is to use garden décor or a potted plant.
This way, you’ll have it for future reference and will be able to quickly locate the exact position if necessary.
Then contact The Original Plumber to have your septic system maintained on a regular basis. Preventing worse problems and the need for costly repairs down the line may be accomplished via proper septic system maintenance. All of the heavy lifting has been delegated to our team of professionals.
How to Find My Septic Tank Lines
Credit: Petegar/E+/Getty Images for the image
In This Article
- Septic System Fundamentals
- Identifying and Locating a Septic Tank on Your Property
- Conducting Regular Inspections
- Checking for Clean-Outs
- Identifying Natural Indicators
- Viewing System Diagrams
- Seek Professional Assistance
- Check the distribution box
- Understand the size and scope 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. If this is not the case, you may need to attempt some other methods of locating septic drain lines.
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 connects the tank’s end, which is located opposite the house, to the leach field. Check the natural slope of the ground to see whether the leach field may be found there. 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.
- You can visually trace the orientation of the pipe from the clean-out if there is no other information available.
- Credit: Kyryl Gorlov/iStock/Getty Images for the image.
- When you are looking for the lines, look for grass or vegetation that greens in stripes when the grass surrounding it browns.
- Putting hot water into your system might cause snow or ice to melt above the drain pipes if the system is not properly insulated.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If the agency has a copy of the record, they will mail it to you.
- 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 Find My Septic Tank
- What is a septic tank
- How do I know if I have a septic tank
- And how do I know if I have a septic tank Identifying the location of your septic tank is critical for several reasons. The Best Way to Find a Septic Tank
- What to Do Once You’ve Discovered Your Septic Tank
You may have fallen in love with your new house because of its appealing good looks and characteristics, but there is almost certainly more to your new home than meets the eye. In many cases, the characteristics that make your house run more effectively and allow you to live a pleasant, contemporary life are not readily apparent. Septic tanks, for example, are an important part of your home’s infrastructure. A septic system is responsible for regulating and managing the wastewater generated by your home.
- “How can I locate my septic tank?” is one of the most often requested inquiries we receive.
- When your tank’s lid is difficult to locate – especially if you are not the original homeowner – you may be at a loss for what to do or where to look for the lid when you need it.
- The majority of the time, all of the components of the septic tank are buried between four inches and four feet below ground level.
- In order to do so, it is necessary to first comprehend the functions of septic tanks and septic systems and why it is important to know where yours is located.
How to Locate Your Septic Tank
Your septic tank’s location is not a closely guarded secret. There will be a method for you to locate it and make a note of its position for future reference, and below are a few examples of such methods.
What Is a Septic Tank?
Having a functioning septic tank is an important aspect of having an effective septic system. In the United States, around 20% of households utilize a septic system to handle their wastewater. Houses in rural parts of New England are the most likely to have a septic system, with residences in the Eastern United States being the most prevalent location for septic systems. When there are few and far between residences, it is typically more efficient and cost-effective to employ a septic system to manage wastewater rather than relying on a public sewage system to handle waste water.
Typically, a septic tank is a container that is waterproof and composed of a material such as concrete, polyethylene, fiberglass, or a combination of these.
An important function of a septic tank is to hold on to wastewater until any particulates in the water separate themselves from the water.
Any liquid that remains in the tank eventually drains into a leach field or a drainfield, where it is known as “effluent.” The dirt in the leach field aids in the filtering of the water and the removal of bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants that may be present in it.
Septic tanks erected in Onondaga County must contain input and outlet baffles, as well as an effluent filter or sanitary tees, in order to effectively separate particles from liquids during the treatment process.
How Do I Know If I Have a Septic Tank?
What is the best way to tell if your home has a septic tank? There are generally a few of different methods to tell. Examining your water bill might help you identify whether or not your house is served by a septic system or is part of the public sewage system in your neighborhood. If you have a septic system for wastewater management, you are likely to receive a charge from the utility provider for wastewater or sewer services of zero dollars. In the case of those who are fortunate enough to have a septic system, it is likely that they may not receive any water bills at all.
- A lack of a meter on the water line that enters your property is typically indicative of the fact that you are utilizing well water rather than public utility water, according to the National Association of Realtors.
- A septic system is likely to be installed in your home if you reside in a rather rural location.
- Septic systems are likely to be installed in all of these buildings, which means your home is likely to be as well.
- When a septic tank is present, it is common to find a mound or tiny hill on the property that is not a natural structure.
- Checking your property records is a foolproof method of determining whether or not your home is equipped with a septic system.
Why It’s Important to Know the Location of Your Septic Tank
You might wonder why you should bother trying to discover out where your septic tank is. There are several important reasons for this:
1. To Be Able to Care for It Properly
The first reason you should try to locate your septic tank is that knowing where it is will help you to properly repair and care for it in the future. The standard guideline is to avoid erecting structures or placing heavy objects on top of the septic tank. It’s possible that you don’t want to park your car or truck on top of it, and you don’t want visitors to your house to park their cars on top of it, either. Due to the weight of the automobiles, there is a possibility that the tank would collapse due to excessive pressure.
2. If You Want to Landscape or Remodel Your Property
If you want to build an addition to your home or perform some landscaping around your property, you will need to know where your septic tank is located. Nothing with deep or lengthy roots should be planted on top of or in the area of your tank, since this can cause problems. If roots are allowed to grow into the pipes of your septic system, it is conceivable that your system will get clogged. When you know where the tank is going to be, you may arrange your landscaping such that only shallow-rooted plants, such as grass, are in close proximity to the tank.
For starters, the tank’s weight might lead it to collapse due to the weight of the construction. A second issue is that getting access to the tank becomes more difficult if a permanent building has been constructed on top of it.
3. If a Problem With Your Tank Occurs
Knowing where your tank is buried might also assist you in identifying problems as soon as they arise. Consider the following scenario: you wake up one morning and see that there is flooding or ponding water in the region surrounding your septic tank – a sign that your system is overwhelmed and that an excessive amount of water is being utilized all at once.
4. Ease of Getting It Fixed
Once you have determined the location of your sewer system, you can quickly send a plumber to it in the event that something goes wrong with the system, saving everyone both time and money. Get in Touch With A Plumber Right Away
1. Use a Septic Tank Map
First and foremost, make use of a road map. Using a map is frequently the quickest and most convenient alternative. Most counties keep records of the installation of septic tanks at all of their residents’ residences. These maps should include schematics that illustrate the specific placement of the tank on the land, as well as measurements that allow you to measure and locate the tank’s exact location on the property. Never mind that landmarks may shift over time depending on when the tank was built, so if there are a few more shrubs or a tree nearby, don’t rule out that location as a possibility.
- If you are unable to locate a map or other paperwork that identifies the location of your septic tank, there are a few locations to try to see if you can obtain a map of the area.
- The county health department is responsible for keeping track of septic systems.
- A septic tank’s position could be depicted on a survey map, for example.
- The creation of your own map and documentation may be worthwhile if you cannot locate a map or blueprint of your property and nothing appears to be on file regarding it at the county health department or another municipal agency.
2. Follow the Pipes to Find Your Septic Tank
Whether or not there is an existing map of your septic tank on file, or whether or not you choose to develop one for future reference or for future homeowners, you will still need to track down and find the tank. One method of accomplishing this is to follow the sewer lines that lead away from your residence. The septic tank is situated along the sewage line that goes from your home and into the yard, as we’re sure you’re aware. Find a four-inch sewer pipe in your basement or crawl space. This is the line that will lead to your septic system and should be accessible from the ground level.
- In general, though, you’re searching for a pipe with a diameter of four inches or more that leaves your home via a basement wall or ceiling.
- By inserting a thin metal probe (also known as a soil probe) into the earth near the sewage line, you can track the pipe’s location.
- The majority of septic tanks are located between 10 and 25 feet away from your home, and they cannot be any closer than five feet.
- Going via the sewage line itself is another method of locating the septic tank utilizing it.
- Drain snakes are typically used to unclog clogs in toilets and drains, and they may be used to do the same thing.
- When the snake comes to a complete halt, it has almost certainly reached the tank.
- While drawing the snake back, make a note of how far it has been extended and whether it has made any bends or turns.
- When looking for your septic tank, you may use a transmitter that you flush down the toilet and it will direct you straight to the tank.
If you only want to keep an eye on the condition of your tank and don’t need to dig it up and inspect it, you may thread a pipe camera into the sewer pipe to see what’s happening.
3. Inspect Your Yard
Septic tanks are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible when they are erected. With the passage of time, and the growth of the grass, it might be difficult to discern the visual indications that indicated the exact location of your septic tank’s installation. However, this does not rule out the possibility of finding evidence that will take you to the location of your septic tank in the future. First and foremost, you want to rule out any potential locations for your septic tank, such as:
- Under a road or similar paved surface, for example. Right up against the house (the tank must be at least five feet away)
- Directly in front of the home Immediately adjacent to your well (if you have one)
- In close proximity to trees or densely planted regions
- In the shadow of a patio, deck, or other building
Once you’ve ruled out any potential locations for your tank, it’s time to start hunting for indications as to where it may be hiding in plain sight. Keep your eyes peeled as you go about your property, looking for any inexplicable high or low points that might suggest the presence of an underground tank. When looking at your property, you could see a hill or mound on the ground, which is frequently an indication that there is a septic tank nearby. One further item to consider while searching for the right septic tank for your home is the amount of grass or other foliage in your yard.
Alternatively, if the tank was not adequately buried, you may observe a “bald patch,” which is an area where the grass is struggling to grow in the vicinity.
4. Talk to Your Neighbors
If your neighbors have septic systems as well, they may be able to assist you in locating your tank. Inquire of your neighbors about the location of their septic tanks in relation to their residences. Having a polite conversation with your neighbors regarding septic systems not only provides you with a means to figure out where yours is, but it may also serve as a friendly introduction to the other residents of your community.
5. Look for Your Septic Tank Lid
It is only the first step in the process to discover where your septic tank is located. After you’ve located your tank, the following step is to locate the lid. You can locate it with the help of your soil probe. The majority of septic tanks are rectangular in shape and measure around five feet by eight feet. The perimeter of the tank should be marked with a probe once it has been probed around. A shallow excavation with a shovel within the tank’s perimeter and near the center (or broken into halves for a two compartment tank) should show the position of the lid or lids if you are unable to feel them by probing.
The tank itself is likely to be filled with foul-smelling vapors, if not potentially hazardous ones.
What to Do After You Find Your Septic Tank
Once you’ve determined where your tank is, it’s time to bring in the specialists. Trust us when we say that opening a septic tank is not something that just anybody wants to undertake. Concrete septic tank lids are extremely heavy and must be lifted using special lifting gear in order to be removed. Since the vapors are potentially dangerous due to the contents of the tank, please respect our advice and refrain from attempting to open the tank yourself. An exposed septic tank can be hazardous to anybody wandering around your property’s perimeter, and if someone were to fall into it, it might be lethal owing to the toxicity of the sewage in the tank.
However, before you send in a team of experienced plumbers, there are a few things you can do to ensure that others do not experience the same difficulty locating the tank and to make locating the tank in the future easier.
1. Mark Its Location
The likelihood is that you will not want to post a large sign in your yard that reads “Septic Tank Here!” but you will want to leave some sort of marking so that you can quickly locate the tank and lid when you need them. In an ideal situation, the marker will be substantial enough that it will not blow away in the wind and will not be readily moved by children who are playing in the yard. A patio paver, a potted plant, or a decorative gnome or rock are just a few of the possibilities. In addition to putting a physical sign beside the septic tank, you may draw a map or layout of the area around it to illustrate its position.
2. Take Care of Your Septic Tank
Taking proper care of your tank may save you hundreds of dollars over the course of its lifetime. The expense of maintaining your system could be a few hundred dollars every few years, but that’s a lot less than the thousands of dollars it might cost to repair or replace a damaged tank or a malfunctioning septic system. Two strategies to take better care of your septic tank and system are to avoid utilizing your drain pipes or toilets as garbage cans and to use less water overall. Things like paper towels, face wipes, and cat litter should not be flushed down the toilet since they are not designed to be flushed.
In addition, installing low-flow faucets and high-efficiency toilets can help you reduce the amount of water used in your home.
For example, you don’t want to be washing load after load of laundry or running your clothes washer at the same time as your dishwasher all at the same time.
Call a Professional Plumber
Maintenance of a septic system is not normally considered a do-it-yourself activity. In the Greater Syracuse region, whether your septic tank requires pumping out or cleaning, or if you want to replace your tank, you should use the services of a reputable plumbing firm to do the job right. If you’ve attempted to locate your septic tank on your own and are still unsure of its position, it may be necessary to enlist the assistance of a professional local plumber. Our team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse can assist you with locating, maintaining, or replacing your home’s sewage tank.
Request an Estimate for the Job
A Beginner’s Guide to Septic Systems
- Septic systems are used to dispose of waste from homes and buildings. Identifying the location of the septic tank and drainfield
- What a Septic System Is and How It Works Keeping a Septic System in Good Condition
- Signs that a septic system is failing include:
Septic systems, also known as on-site wastewater management systems, are installed in a large number of buildings and houses. It is easy to lose sight of septic systems, which operate quietly, gracefully, and efficiently to protect human and environmental health due to their burying location.
Septic systems are the norm in rural regions, but they may also be found in a lot of metropolitan places, especially in older buildings. It is critical to understand whether or not your building is on a septic system.
Is Your Home or Building on a Septic System?
It is possible that the solution to this question will not be evident. If a structure looks to be connected to a sewage system, it may instead be connected to a septic system. It is fairly unusual for tenants to be unaware of the final destination of the wastewater generated by their residence. Some of the hints or signs listed below will assist in determining whether the facility is served by a septic system or whether it is supplied by a sewer system:
- Sewer service will be provided at a cost by the city or municipality. Pay close attention to the water bill to see whether there is a cost labeled “sewer” or “sewer charge” on it. If there is a fee for this service, it is most likely because the facility is connected to a sewage system. Look up and down the street for sewage access ports or manholes, which can be found in any location. If a sewage system runs in front of a property, it is probable that the house is connected to it in some way. Inquire with your neighbors to see if they are connected to a sewer or septic system. The likelihood that your home is on a sewer system is increased if the properties on each side of you are on one as well. Keep in mind, however, that even if a sewage line runs in front of the structure and the nearby residences are connected to a sewer system, your home or building may not be connected to one. If the structure is older than the sewer system, it is possible that it is still on the original septic system. Consult with your local health agency for further information. This agency conducts final inspections of septic systems to ensure that they comply with applicable laws and regulations. There is a possibility that they have an archived record and/or a map of the system and will supply this information upon request
All property owners should be aware of whether or not their property is equipped with an on-site wastewater treatment system. Georgia law mandates that the property owner is responsible for the correct operation of a septic system, as well as any necessary maintenance and repairs.
Locating the Septic Tank and Drainfield
Finding a septic system may be a difficult process. They can be buried anywhere in the yard, including the front, back, and side yards. After a few years, the soil may begin to resemble the surrounding soil, making it impossible to distinguish the system from the surrounding soil. It is possible that in dry weather, the grass will be dryer in the shallow soil over the tank and greener over the drainfield, where the cleansed water will be released, but this is not always the case, especially in hot weather.
- The contractor who built the house should have presented the initial owner with a map showing the tank and drainfield locations, according to the building code.
- The installation of the system, as well as any modifications made to it, would have been examined by your local health authority.
- Unfortunately, if the system is very old, any records related with it may be insufficient or nonexistent, depending on the situation.
- Look for the point at where the wastewater pipes join together if the building is on a crawlspace or has an unfinished basement.
- The sewer line that runs through the structure is referred to as the building sewer.
- To “feel” for the tank, use a piece of re-bar or a similar metal probe.
- If you use this free service, you may avoid accidentally putting a rod through your gas or water line.
Try to locate the tank after a rainstorm, when the metal probe will be more easily maneuvered through moist dirt.
This should be done with care; extreme caution should be exercised to avoid puncturing the building sewer.
A tank is normally 5 by 8 feet in size, however the dimensions might vary.
Be aware that there may be rocks, pipes, and other debris in the area that “feels” like the tank but is not in fact part of the tank.
However, it is possible to have the lid or access port positioned on a riser in addition to being on the same level as the top of the tank in some cases.
Once the tank has been identified, make a rough drawing of its placement in relation to the house so that it will not be misplaced again!
It may be easier to discover the drainage lines now that the tank has been identified, particularly if the area has been subjected to prolonged periods of drought.
How a Septic System Works
Typical sewage treatment system (figure 1). It is composed of three components (Figure 1): the tank, the drain lines or discharge lines, and the soil treatment area (also known as the soil treatment area) (sometimes called a drainfield or leach field). The size of the tank varies according to the size of the structure. The normal home (three bedrooms, two bathrooms) will often include a 1,000-gallon water storage tank on the premises. Older tanks may only have one chamber, however newer tanks must have two chambers.
- The tank functions by settling waste and allowing it to be digested by microbes.
- These layers include the bottom sludge layer, the top scum layer, and a “clear” zone in the center.
- A typical septic tank is seen in Figure 2.
- It is fortunate that many of the bacteria involved are found in high concentrations in the human gastrointestinal tract.
- Although the bacteria may break down some of the stuff in the sludge, they are unable to break down all of it, which is why septic tanks must be cleaned out every three to seven years.
- In addition, when new water is introduced into the septic tank, an equal volume of water is pushed out the discharge lines and onto the drainfield.
- The water trickles out of the perforated drain pipes, down through a layer of gravel, and into the soil below the surface (Figure 3).
- A typical drainfield may be found here.
- Plants, bacteria, fungus, protozoa, and other microorganisms, as well as bigger critters such as mites, earthworms, and insects, flourish in soil.
- Mineralogical and metallic elements attach to soil particles, allowing them to be removed from the waste water.
Maintaining a Septic System
The most typical reason for a septic system to fail is a lack of proper maintenance. Septic systems that are failing are expensive to repair or replace, and the expense of repairs rests on the shoulders of the property owner (Figure 4). Fortunately, keeping your septic system in good working order and avoiding costly repairs is rather simple. Figure 4. Septic system failure is frequently caused by a lack of proper maintenance. It is in your best interests to be aware of the location of the system, how it operates, and how to maintain it.
- You should pump the tank if you aren’t sure when the last time it was pumped.
- It is not permissible to drive or park over the tank or drainage field.
- No rubbish should be disposed of in the sink or the toilet.
- It’s important to remember that garbage disposals enhance the requirement for regular pumping.
- When designing a landscape, keep the septic system in mind.
- It is also not recommended to consume veggies that have been cultivated above drainfield lines (see Dorn, S.
- Ornamental Plantings on Septic Drainfields.
Any water that enters your home through a drain or toilet eventually ends up in your septic system.
Don’t put too much strain on the system by consuming a large amount of water in a short period of time.
Additives should not be used.
Various types of additives are available for purchase as treatment options, cleansers, restorers, rejuvenator and boosters, among other things.
To break up oil and grease and unclog drains, chemical additives are available for purchase.
Pumping out the septic tank is not eliminated or reduced by using one of these systems.
They remain floating in the water and travel into the drainfield, where they may block the pipes. Acids have the potential to damage concrete storage tanks and distribution boxes.
Signs a Septic System is Failing
A failing system manifests itself in the following ways:
- Sinks and toilets drain at a snail’s pace
- Plumbing that is backed up
- The sound of gurgling emanating from the plumbing system House or yard aromas that smell like sewage
- In the yard, there is wet or squishy dirt
- Water that is gray in hue that has accumulated
- An region of the yard where the grass is growing more quickly and is becoming greener
- Water contaminated by bacteria from a well
If you notice any of these indicators, you should notify your local health department immediately. An environmentalist from the health department can assist in identifying possible hazards. There are also listings of state-certified contractors available from the local health department, who may do repairs. Repairs or alterations to the system must be approved by the health department and examined by an inspector. Keep an eye out for any meetings that may take place between a health department inspector and a contractor to discuss repairs to your system.
- Household garbage that has not been properly handled is released into the environment when systems fail.
- It has the potential to pollute surrounding wells, groundwater, streams, and other sources of potable water, among other things.
- The foul odor emanating from a malfunctioning system can cause property values to plummet.
- Briefly stated, broken systems can have an impact on your family, neighbors, community, and the environment.
- Septic systems are an effective, attractive, and reasonably priced method of treating and disposing of wastewater.
Figures 2 and 3 reprinted with permission from: CIDWT. 2009. Installation of Wastewater Treatment Systems. Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment. Iowa State University, Midwest Plan Service. Ames, IA.
History of the current status and revisions Published on the 15th of August, 2013. Published on March 28th, 2017 with a full review.