How To Restart An Abandoned Septic Tank? (Perfect answer)


  • Theories abound about the best way to start-up a new septic system. Most theories deal with “seeding” the septic tank to get good bacterial growth started. Advice has ranged from flushing a pound of yeast into the system, to seeding the septic tank with manure, all the way to placing a dead cat in the septic tank. The Health Department doesn’t recommend any of these.

What happens when a septic system sit unused?

Nothing happens to a septic system if it’s unused. A septic system that sits unused is safe. At most, a septic system that’s sat unused is only breaking down that solid waste. Depending on when someone uses the system again, even that solid waste may be gone.

Can you reuse an old septic tank?

In addition to the standard abandonment process of pumping your septic tank and having it rendered useless by filling it with gravel or cement and crushing the tank lids, you have the opportunity to reuse your tank as a cistern.

How long can a septic tank go without being pumped?

You can wait up to 10 years to drain your tank provided that you live alone and do not use the septic system often. You may feel like you can pump your septic tank waste less frequently to save money, but it’ll be difficult for you to know if the tank is working properly.

How do you fill an old collapsed septic tank?

How to Fill in Old Septic Tanks

  1. Ask your local health department to see whether you need a permit to fill the septic tank.
  2. Pump out any water in the septic tank with a water pump.
  3. Remove the lid and destroy it.
  4. Drill holes in all of the side walls and bottom of the septic tank.
  5. Fill the septic tank with dirt or gravel.

Can you build over an abandoned leach field?

Overall, it is not recommended to build over your leach filed and you should also not put anything heavy on top of it, such as parking a vehicle.

Do old septic tanks need to be registered?

Many homes are not connected to mains drainage, instead having sewage treatment systems or septic tanks or occasionally cesspools. If your sewage treatment system or septic tank discharges to a river or stream it must be registered immediately.

Can you sell a house with an old septic tank?

If you’re selling a property with a septic tank, then you must be transparent with buyers about the fact the property uses a one and provide a detailed specification of the system. In fact, You are required by law to inform a buyer in writing about the presence of a septic tank.

How were old septic tanks built?

Many of the first septic tanks were concrete tanks that were formed out of wood and poured in place in the ground and covered with a concrete lid or often some type of lumber. In the 1960s, precast concrete tanks became more prevalent as the standard of practice improved.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:

  • Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
  • Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
  • Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
  • You Hear Gurgling Water.
  • You Have A Sewage Backup.
  • How often should you empty your septic tank?

Is it possible to never have to pump a septic tank?

A septic tank without a septic field would need to be pumped out often. If not pumped out then raw sewage would bubble up out of the tank and contaminate the yard. If you don’t put anything in it that you shouldn’t, the bacteria in the tank can reduce the waste for a very long time.

How do you tell if your septic tank is full?

How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying

  1. Pooling water.
  2. Slow drains.
  3. Odours.
  4. An overly healthy lawn.
  5. Sewer backup.
  6. Gurgling Pipes.
  7. Trouble Flushing.

How do old septic tanks work?

Septic tanks work by allowing waste to separate into three layers: solids, effluent and scum (see illustration above). The solids settle to the bottom, where microorganisms decompose them. The middle layer of effluent exits the tank and travels through underground perforated pipes into the drainage field.

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.

How do old brick septic tanks work?

Septic tanks work by allowing solids to settle in the bottom of the tank and the liquid to drain out. The first septic tanks were normally brick-built, consisting of 2 or 3 chambers. As you can see from the above diagram, baffles stop the floating solids from getting through, and out of the chamber.


I recently completed the purchase of a resale house. The house has a septic system, which hasn’t been used in around three years. Is there a certain procedure I should follow while getting started? Thanks The leach field should be in excellent condition, having had three years for soil microorganisms to thoroughly clean it. In terms of the tank, it should be pumped by a trustworthy company. Make sure they back-flush to remove all of the scum and sludge from the system. If the tank is somewhat porous or has a little leak, it is possible that the liquid has drained out, leaving the scum on top of the sludge in the tank’s bottom, where it has accumulated.

It is possible that some of the scum will get through the exit baffle when the water level rises and block your exit pipe if you do not take this precaution.


Fortunately, human waste falls under this category.

  • Then, after a year, have it pumped and examined once more for safety.
  • (Local ordinances enacted by Modulo) There should be absolutely no action taken.
  • The leach field, on the other hand, is likely in excellent condition, having had three years for soil microorganisms to clean it up.
  • Make sure they back-flush to remove all of the scum and sludge from the system.
  • Make sure you remove it from the tank before resuming use of the container.
  • No, I would not flush the toilet.
  • That is one of the results of a system that is correctly working.

Wait until the scum and sludge has accumulated near the field drain pipes and then have it pushed out of the system.

when the tank’s operational level is at its optimal level Nothing that has been mentioned thus far contradicts this.

Then, when the tank is placed back into regular operation, entering sewage causes the layer of pre-existing scum to rise as a result of the increased volume of incoming sewage.

A large amount of scum collects on the “exit side” of the exit baffle and then flows into the exit pipe from there.



Alternatively, open it up and check it thoroughly before putting it into use.

Nothing to the contrary was mentioned.

It is not necessary to pump the tank if the tank has a downpipe on the exit instead of (or in addition to) an exit baffle since this transition issue is not present.

The OP should be made aware that what you are stating here is that he has to have the tank opened up and examined on an annual basis, which you should make very obvious. There are others who would claim that doing so is more costly and inconvenient than merely pumping on a regular basis.

In no way, shape, or form! First and foremost, this is a do-it-yourself club, and the majority of us will never pay someone to come onto our property and inspect anything – ever. Here in Texas, if a septic tank inspector comes onto our property to inspect it, he is shot and killed on the spot. Second, if you maintain your septic system properly, you should only have to open it once every ten years. The reason you do this is because you are hosting a holiday party for the members of your gun club this year and you are not sure if your plumbing system can handle 200 flushes per hour.

Additionally, you should be concerned about more than simply the sludge itself.

It’s not a problem if you get the tank pumped out on a regular basis and on a fair timetable.


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

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

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

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

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

The abandonment has been documented and plotted on a map.

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

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

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

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

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

How To Deal With An Abandoned Septic Tank System – B&B Pumping – Top Rated Septic Cleaning Services

Septic systems are one of two contemporary options for properly disposing of human waste (the other being connected to your city’s sewage system), and they are becoming increasingly popular. That this is crucial cannot be overstated since human waste, when it contaminates our water supply, can create deadly infections that can lead to death, as was commonly the case hundreds of years ago before the development of modern sewage systems. Septic Pumping Services by B B Pumping Cleaning your home or business septic system in the Fort Worth region is the focus of Aerobic Cleaning’s services.

Septic systems, on the other hand, can be abandoned from time to time, whether by previous homeowners, present homeowners, or those who have been foreclosed upon.

In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the procedures that must be followed when dealing with a septic system that has been abandoned.


  • Sinkholes. Septic systems are built beneath the ground surface. When these systems are abandoned with human waste and water sitting in them, the water and waste have the potential to disintegrate the underlying rock and erode the surrounding landscape. When enough of this rock has dissolved, a hole of sorts is left in the ground, and the soil above it is no longer able to sustain itself. When the earth finally collapses, it is generally as a result of an external force acting on it, such as when you walk across it. Diseases that are extremely dangerous. It is possible for people to get infections when human waste comes into contact with our drinking water supply. Diseases such as tetanus, hepatitis A, leptospirosis, cholera, dysentery, and gastrointestinal sickness have been linked to this situation. Gases that are toxic. Gases such as methane and hydrogen sulfide can accumulate in abandoned septic tank systems, posing a risk of explosion or illness to anyone exposed. This is related to the decomposition of human feces, which occurs when it is left in one location exposed to the elements.

Cesspools, which were little more than a large pit under your yard where human waste was flushed, were commonly used in homes built before city sewer systems became the standard (mostly before the 1970s). When the city sewage system was eventually able to provide service to these properties, many of the cesspools and old septic tanks were simply abandoned and neglected, with little effort made to ensure that they were properly turned off. The owner of BB Pumping in Fort Worth points out that local laws have been put in place to ensure that your septic system has been properly abandoned before connecting to the municipal sewage system.


  • If you have an excessive amount of weed growth on your lawn, or if you have a pond on your property, you may see a lot of algae development
  • The same part of your grass never appears to be able to dry up fully, and it is always damp
  • A specific region of your yard has an awful odor, similar to that of human feces. When compared to the rest of your lawn, a portion of your lawn appears to be unstable and may be sinking in
  • However, this is not the case. You can see the pipes that are part of the dispersion system. Surface erosion, for example, might cause them to be pushed up from the ground by water or other factors.


  1. Make use of the services of specialists. Most likely, you’ll be required to demonstrate that your septic tank system has been abandoned in accordance with the city’s regulations, which a professional septic tank system firm, such as BB Pumping in Fort Worth, can attest to in this scenario. The majority of people simply lack the necessary knowledge to properly decommission a septic tank system. Apart from that, it is filthy, difficult work that is best left to professionals who are qualified to perform it quickly and effectively rather than you spending hours and hours attempting to do it yourself. The septic tank must be entirely emptied and properly disposed of. We utilize a powerful vacuum to pull the muck out of the tank and into our trucks, where it can then be hauled to the appropriate location for proper disposal
  2. When we empty a septic tank, we use a high-powered vacuum to pull the muck out of the tank and into a storage tank on our trucks, where it can then be hauled to the proper location for proper disposal
  3. Remove the tank from the vehicle. In some cases, the procedure may alter depending on the local codes. For those who want to have their septic tank removed, there are various possibilities. One option is to remove the entire tank and dispose of it in a landfill, which seems likely. You may totally crush the tank and backfill it, making sure that the tank has a hole in it for adequate drainage of rainfall in the process. Another option is to fill the tank with a substance such as concrete or another granular material and then cover it with another material (making sure that is a drainage hole as well). In this case, it’s critical to recall that there is no chance that the tank may collapse in the future
  4. Determine whether or not the dispersion system needs to come out of service. A dispersion system, which drains the treated material onto what is usually known as a leach field, where the material is cleaned through the soil process, is typically installed after the human waste has been treated in the septic tank. These pipes may need to be removed in certain cases, but they may also be able to be kept underground in others. It is necessary to take additional measures since human excrement has come into touch with the soil in this location
  5. Otherwise, the pipes will have to be removed. Dispose of any electrical components or gadgets in the proper manner. Modern septic tank systems might have electronics installed that monitor your septic tank system, but previous systems may have employed mercury floats that must be properly disposed of before backfilling the tank with water. All wires should be disconnected, and the conduit should be sealed with a cover. Mercury is considered to be a hazardous substance, which is another another reason why you should entrust your septic system abandonment to the pros at BB Pumping in Fort Worth to handle it for you. Fill in the gaps. This frequently necessitates the hauling in of more earth, especially if the septic tank is removed in its entirety. For the purpose of ensuring the general public’s safety, this is the most critical component.
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BB Pumping provides the most dependable residential and business septic services in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area, including If you keep your septic system in good working order, you’ll not only increase its lifespan, but you’ll also avoid unpleasant scenarios such as backups into your house, which are not only unsightly, but also toxic and potentially hazardous to you and your family. We can assist you with the repair and maintenance of both aerobic and traditional septic tank systems. BB Pumping is a family-owned and run septic company that places a strong emphasis on providing excellent customer service.

Choosing us to do your next septic tank maintenance service will ensure that your septic tank system will survive for years to come.


4 Steps to Deal With an Unused Septic System

Septic systems are long-lasting and durable waste management solutions, but their design is based on the assumption that they would be in operation for an extended period of time. Long periods of inactivity, as is the case with many home features, might result in a range of possible difficulties and dangers. Being how to deal with an old septic system may be quite useful whether you’re acquiring a new home or refurbishing one you currently own. Fortunately, you should be able to restore the majority of underutilized septic systems without incurring significant time or financial costs.

  • They are included in no particular order.
  • Compile a list of pertinent information When it comes to septic systems, knowledge is power, and this is never more true than when dealing with septic systems.
  • By contacting your local city government, you may be able to obtain information such as permits, site maps, and even inspection reports in many circumstances.
  • Many contractors should be able to give you with references and information about their previous projects.
  • You should aim to end this process with an accurate site map that shows the tank, drainfield, distribution box, and plumbing systems, among other things, 2.
  • It is possible to perform a quick walk-around of the property if you have easy access to it and are looking for visible signs of trouble.
  • During this operation, you should keep a close eye out for any constructions that have been built over the drainage system.

The tank will be opened as part of this thorough assessment in order to establish the effluent level and overall condition of the tank.


Once the tank has been emptied, your inspector will be able to conduct a more complete examination of the tank inside.

During this inspection, any obstructions in the inlet or outflow should be visible.

In the absence of a thorough understanding of the system’s history, it is possible that obstructions exist everywhere from the tank outlet to the leaching field drain pipes.

Issues must be addressed and resolved.

An problem with your leaching field might cause sewage to back up along the full system, for example.

Leaks that occur at any point in the system might also result in a potentially dangerous environmental condition.

In order to safeguard the environment and to prevent future harm to the system, you should always repair these concerns before resuming usage of the property.

Allen’s Septic Tank Service will assist you with every step of the process of restoring the previously underutilized septic system on your property to full operational status. In order to make an appointment, please contact us immediately.

How Long Can A Septic System Sit Unused? (What To Know)

The inspection of the septic system is an important aspect of the process of purchasing a new property. If an item has been sitting unused for a long period of time, you may have concerns about its integrity and usefulness. Repairing a septic system is a costly endeavor. After purchasing your property, you may find that you do not have the financial resources to do so. Find out how long a septic system may be left unattended in the following section of the guide!

How Long Can A Septic System Sit Unused? (What To Know)

When properly maintained, septic systems can endure 15–40 years. Unused septic systems may endure much longer than those that have been utilized regularly. When it comes to how long a septic system may be left inactive, there are a few variables to consider. To assist you in determining how long a septic system may be left unattended, we’ll go through four of these criteria in further detail.

1. Septic Tank Materials

Septic tanks are available in a variety of different materials. Steel is one of these materials. Steel, on the other hand, has the disadvantage of corroding over time. It doesn’t matter whether the septic system has been inactive for several years; the steel is still susceptible to groundwater contamination. It may rust and disintegrate as a result of the prolonged exposure. However, it may last for a longer period of time than a septic tank that is currently in use. In the event that a septic system is in operation, the components are constantly wearing down over time.

  • This is not a concern if the septic tank is not being utilized.
  • The other type of material is a composite made of concrete and fiberglass, which is used in construction.
  • It helps to avoid corrosion-related issues.
  • A concrete septic system that has not been utilized in several decades can endure for several decades.
  • It is the pieces that will wear down first, and not the concrete tank itself.

2. Vehicle Traffic In The Piping Area

Another element that affects the longevity of an underused septic tank is the amount of vehicle traffic that passes through it. Your septic system uses pipes beneath the earth to transfer liquid waste into the soil. These pipes are extremely fragile. While strolling on the ground does not pose a threat, the usage of automobiles and heavy machinery can be problematic. In the event that someone has ever driven their vehicle or equipment over the pipes, there is a potential that the pipes have been damaged.

  1. Consequently, no one will be driving their car or equipment over the pipes as a result.
  2. This necessitates the use of a vehicle as well as pipes.
  3. However, if the place is difficult to reach, they may be forced to drive closer to the pipes in order to empty the tank completely.
  4. A clogged septic tank is also a sign that someone is currently residing in the house.

They may require equipment on-site to complete a variety of jobs. Any of those vehicles has the potential to damage the pipes. Because there are less hazards to the plumbing of an underutilized septic system, it can endure for a longer period of time.

3. Root Clogs And Damage

Tree roots are another potential hazard to the longevity of a septic system. The root systems of trees grow in size as they mature. Some of your backyard’s roots might be several meters in length, indicating that the area has been overgrown. One of those roots has the ability to penetrate a pipe. It has the potential to choke the pipe or perhaps cause it to burst completely. The difficulty with an unattended septic system is that no one is there to keep a check on the trees and root systems that may be growing in the area.

It is dependent on the distance between the closest root system and the location of the closest root system.

4. Flooding Groundwater

The groundwater table is one last aspect that might have an impact on the longevity of a septic system. A septic system is buried far beneath the surface of the land. Groundwater plays just a minor factor in this area’s ecology. If, on the other hand, the house is located in a region where groundwater frequently floods, this might result in damage to the septic system. When groundwater floods the cavity of the tank, the tank rises as a result of the water pressure. When the tank rises, it causes the pipes to break off.

If you live in a location where groundwater frequently floods, an underused septic system will not last long.

Someone will be responsible for the upkeep of any septic systems that are in operation.

How Long Do Steel Septic Tanks Last?

Steel septic tanks have a lifespan of 15–20 years if they are properly maintained. If they’re not utilized, they can endure for 10–30 years. The corrosion of steel septic tanks is the most serious issue they face. Every time the tank comes into contact with water, it has a chance of rusting. The rusting out of the bottom of a steel septic system is one of the most prevalent causes of failure. The dense sludge weighs down on the bottom of the tank and causes it to crack open. Corrosion damages the tank’s bottom, allowing the solid waste to do more damage to the tank.

Even the top of the tank can rust and constitute a hazard if not properly maintained.

The pieces aren’t moving either.

How Long Does A Concrete Septic System Last?

If properly maintained, a concrete septic system can last 10–40 years. A concrete septic system that hasn’t been utilized in a long time can endure nearly indefinitely. When it comes to water, concrete septic systems do not provide the same issues that steel systems do.

The only thing that may cause a concrete septic system to fail is excessive pressure applied to the pipes, root systems, and worn out components. This means that a concrete septic system that has been left unused might last indefinitely.

What Happens to A Septic System If It’s Unused?

When a septic system is not in use, nothing occurs to it. A septic system that is left unattended is completely safe. It is not susceptible to wear and tear as a result of normal use. If the tank has previously been used, it is possible that it contained solid waste. Unused septic systems are only capable of breaking down the solid waste that has accumulated in them. Even that solid garbage may be gone depending on how many times someone uses the system in a given day.

Do Septic Systems Go Bad If They’re Unused?

No, it is not a problem if septic systems are left unattended. That does not imply, however, that it is in the finest physical condition of its existence. As a new homeowner, you should always examine the septic system before putting it to use for any purpose. It’s impossible to tell what the prior owner did to it since you don’t know who did it. However, due to the fact that the septic system is not in operation, it is doubtful that any issues would arise. If anything, the fact that it was left unused is what most likely contributed to its longer lifespan.

Signs Your Septic Tank Is Failing

There are a few signs that your septic system is about to fail that you should look for.

1. Sewage Backups

Nothing is more upsetting than having sewage backed up into your home from the sewer line. It doesn’t matter if it’s coming from the toilet, shower, or sink; it’s a complete disaster. Furthermore, it is an indication that your septic system is deteriorating. Something is preventing the wastewater from escaping through the pipes and into your land, according to the experts. An obstruction might be the source of the problem. It’s possible that your tank has to be emptied. It is also possible that the problem is with the septic system’s pipes.

2. Slow Drains

When you use the sink, the shower, or the toilet, you expect the contents to instantly go down the sink or shower drain. This will be ensured by the presence of properly functioning and healthy plumbing. If the water and its contents are taking an unusually long time to drain, the problem may be with your septic system. The presence of a clog someplace in the tank indicates the presence of a blockage. It’s possible that it’s coming from the house’s internal plumbing. If the tank is nearly full, that might be the source of the problem.

Slow drains are frequently the first indication that your septic system need attention.

3. Gurgling Sounds

The plumbing in your home is normally quite silent. The only thing you can hear is the flow of water as it goes through the pipelines. If you begin to hear a gurgling sound, this indicates that something is wrong. The sound of gurgling indicates that there is air trapped within the plumbing system.

Something is wrong with the way the drain is draining. Occasionally, gurgling might be associated with sewage backups in the home. bubbling sounds indicate that it is time to have your septic system inspected by an expert.

4. Standing Water In Drain Field Or Tank Area

The plumbing in your home is often very quiet, though. Water is the only sound you hear as it rushes through the pipes. Whenever you begin to hear a gurgling sound, you should be concerned. bubbling indicates that there is air trapped in the plumbing system. The sink isn’t draining properly for some reason! Gushing water and sewage backups are two things that can happen together at times. Septic system inspection may be necessary if you hear gurgling or other unusual noises.

5. Bad Odors

The stench of sewage is similar to that of rotting eggs. If you detect the odor, it indicates that something is amiss with your septic system. The source of the stink might be anywhere, but it commonly emanates from your plumbing system. In addition, you can smell it outside, particularly in the area where the tank is located. It’s possible that foul scents indicate that you just need your tank emptied. The inability of solid waste to pass from your plumbing into the tank might potentially indicate a problem with the plumbing itself.

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6. Spongy And Lush Green Grass

It’s possible that you enjoy the sight of beautiful green grass. It may, on the other hand, signal that your septic system is experiencing difficulties. When grass is fertilized, it grows quickly and vigorously. The material found within sewage tanks may be used to produce excellent fertilizer. Unfortunately, this indicates that the solid waste contained within the tank is seeping into the surrounding soil. Your septic system is no longer capable of storing solid waste, which poses a health risk to you and your family.

The presence of spongy and lush grass in the vicinity of the problem indicates that the issue is related to your septic system.

7. Algal Blooms In Water Sources

If you have a pond, lake, or any other type of natural water source in your yard, you may observe the formation of algal blooms in the surrounding area. The sewage overflow that has caused these algal blooms is to blame. These organisms flourish in the presence of bacteria and germs that are present in the aquarium. Additionally, it indicates that sewage is flowing into the water supply. Consult with a specialist to determine the most effective solution to the situation.

8. Increased Nitrates And Coliform Bacteria In Wells

In addition, the presence of nitrates and coliform bacteria in the drinking water from your well is a symptom that your septic system is in need of repair. The groundwater that supplies your well water is a source of supply. If your septic system is leaking, the nasty bacteria can get into your well water and cause it to become contaminated. Having a properly working septic system prevents this sort of germs from entering your well. Testing your well water on a regular basis can assist to guarantee that it is safe to drink and use.

How To Prevent Septic Tank Failures

In order to keep your septic system from failing, you can take a few precautionary measures.

1. Decreased Use

It is possible to extend the life of your septic system by using it less frequently. The less it is used, the less wear and tear it takes on the components. Water conservation measures such as limiting water consumption and finding alternative methods of disposing of garbage and waste can be beneficial.

2. Regular Inspections

Regular maintenance is the single most important factor in extending the life of an item. While your tank will most likely need to be pumped every few months or once a year, you should take advantage of this opportunity to check it. A specialist can perform repairs on parts and ensure that they continue to function properly. It is less damaging to your septic system’s components when it is operating at peak performance. As a result, it has a longer shelf life.

3. Soil Conditions

It’s important to evaluate the soil conditions while moving into a new home or when considering transferring your septic tank to a different place. The existence of floods is one of the most significant issues to consider. If the earth floods, it has the potential to cause harm to your tank. Consider putting the tank at a higher-than-normal location. The existence of bacteria is another criterion to consider. These microorganisms will eliminate the harmful bacteria that are present in the waste water.

4. Regular Tank Pumping

In addition to doing regular inspections and maintenance, you should also have the system pumped on a regular basis. If your tank is overflowing at the seams, you’ll have trouble keeping it filled. Wastewater is also impossible to exit the pipes due to the blockage. Solid trash continues to clog the system. It has the potential to be a formula for disaster. Having the system pumped out on a regular basis can help to guarantee that everything operates as it should.

5. Not Flushing Non-Biodegradable Materials

The tendency of dumping non-biodegradable objects down the toilet is a new issue that is creating consternation among plumbers. The most common offenders are wet wipes, baby wipes, and other similar goods. The difficulty with these materials is that the bacteria in the tank will not be able to break them down in the presence of these materials. Therefore, they cause blockages in sewage pipes and catastrophic damage to the rest of the system. They also remain in the tank for years because there is nothing that can break down their structure.


A septic system that is not utilized for several years might endure for several decades. It is possible that the septic system will survive eternally if it is constructed of certain materials such as concrete. A few variables can contribute to the premature aging of a septic system, whether it is in operation or not. Septic system problems can manifest itself in a variety of ways. It is possible to make your system survive even longer if you avoid certain behaviors and are aware of its current state of health.

Protocol for Onsite Sewage System Abandonment

  • There are occasions when the usage of an onsite sewage system (OSS) or its components must be ceased, either because of a connection to a sanitary sewer or because the system must be replaced because of a malfunction. In order to properly terminate the usage of an OSS or a component, it is necessary to follow the appropriate abandonment or removal processes. All tanks must be properly abandoned to minimize future safety issues owing to unprotected tank openings or from tank collapse. Other components may be removed by the homeowner for a variety of reasons, including aesthetics and practicality. The homeowner is liable for the abandonment and removal of the property from the property. If the abandonment or removal process poses a harm to the health or safety of individuals performing the procedure, the homeowners, or other members of the community, it is critical to take precautions. In order for the OSS to be free of pathogens, the pathogens must be able to survive and reproduce in the OSS components, which include septic and dosage tanks, distribution boxes, and sand mounds as well as subsurface soil absorption fields, among other things. After reviewing relevant literature, it was discovered that the following factors influence pathogen survival in an OSS after its use has been discontinued:
  • The major factors that influence the survival of enteric pathogens in soil are moisture content, moisture holding capacity, temperature, pH, and sunlight Survival durations have been seen to be longer in wet soils (with a high moisture content) and during periods of heavy rainfall, for example. Sandalwood soils have a shorter survival duration than loam soils because they have lesser water holding capacity. The bacteria Salmonella typhosa could live between 4 and 7 days in sand that dried quickly due to limited moisture retention. This was true during dry weather. A study found that enteroviruses lasted just 15-25 days in samples of air-dried soil, but they survived 60-90 days in samples containing 10 percent moisture. Number one, infections have a shorter survival time when temperatures are higher. Winter survival periods have been found to be much longer than summer survival times. A Salmonella typhosa infection can last for up to 24 months when kept at freezing conditions. In one study, exposed soil plots were exposed for 3.3 days in the summer and 13.4 days in the winter before a 90 percent reduction in the quantity of fecal coliforms was achieved. In addition, it was discovered that poliovirus survival was higher in the winter than in the summer in Cincinnati, Ohio, according to the study. 1. It has been claimed that Cryptosporidiumoocysts can remain latent in soil for several months if temperatures are kept cold and the soil is kept wet under the right conditions. 3) The bacteria Salmonella typhosa, E. coli, and Streptococcus faecalis die off in a few days in soils with pH values ranging from 2.9 to 4.5, but they may survive for many weeks in soils with pH values ranging from 5.8 to 7.8. 1
  • Shorter survival periods have been recorded at the soil surface, where the pathogens are exposed to more sunlight than at other locations. This might be owing to the harmful effect of ultraviolet light, which is found in sunshine, on infections, as previously stated. 1
  • The impact of these elements on the abandonment of an OSS will differ based on the season and soil type. Another issue to consider is the variety of pathogens that are present in the system. Consequently, it is hard to predict a certain time period after which the cessation of an OSS would offer no harm to persons who have been exposed to the procedure. In order to reduce the likelihood that the abandonment of an OSS will pose a health or safety risk, it is recommended that the following recommendations be followed: The use of personal protective equipment and the taking of required occupational precautions are strongly recommended for anyone who will be participating in these processes.


  1. Disconnect all electrical controls and panels from the power source and remove all controls and panels from the area. Remove any electrical wires (including underground service lines) that will not be utilized for any other purpose from the property. Engage the services of a qualified septic tank cleaner to pump out the entire contents of all tanks in the system. Remove the tanks or smash the lids into the tanks to prevent them from being used. Backfill the holes or tanks with debris free sand or other granular material, concrete, or soil material that is compressed to avoid settling. If a sand mound or at-grade system is being decommissioned, the sand, aggregate, and soil cover from the system may be utilized to fill the tank to prevent the tank from overflowing (s). When materials are utilized to fill tank(s), the procedures outlined in Section B (below) must be followed, with the exception of B. 3. d). Grading and establishing vegetative cover should be done properly.

Absorption fields:

  1. If there are no intentions to use the land for any other purpose, it may be possible to leave the components of the absorption field in place. Maintain a healthy vegetative cover. It is necessary to cover effluent-covered regions with hydrated lime followed by top soil in order to produce a vegetative cover. If any of the following components of the absorption field are to be eliminated:
  1. Give yourself plenty of breathing room once the system has been taken out of operation and the tanks have been drained to ensure that the whole absorption field is fully dry. Hire a qualified septic tank cleaner to pump out all of the contents from all of the distribution boxes in the system. Remove the distribution network, aggregate, and sand (if any) from the site with the assistance of a contractor. The items must be disposed of in a landfill that has been approved by the state. Grading and establishing vegetative cover should be done properly.


  1. Groundwater Pollution Microbiology, by G. Bitton and C. P. Gerba. Gerba CP, Wallis C, Melnick JL. Journal of the irrigation and drainage division. 101, 1975: 157
  2. Meinhardt PC, Casemore DP, Miller KB. Epidemiologic Reviews. 18 (2), 1996: 118
  3. Gerba CP, Wallis C, Melnick JL. Journal of the irrigation and drainage division. 101, 1975: 157
  4. Gerba CP, Wallis C, Melnick JL. Journal of the irrigation and drainage division. 101,

Protocol for the Abandonment of an Onsite Sewage System in PDF format –

DIY Septic Tank Abandonment: Money-Saver or Potential Danger?

Septic tank abandonment is a dirty process, but it’s one that has to be done at some point. And if you’re a do-it-yourselfer considering becoming that person in order to save money or simply because you enjoy a good challenge, you might want to think again. When connecting to city sewer systems, it used to be more typical to abandon a tank on your own rather than calling for help (today, only about20 percent of Americanscontinue to maintain their own sewage disposal system). Codes and regulations, on the other hand, have been put in place to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of others.

  1. Of course, this will not deter some individuals from trying their hand at it.
  2. When You’re on Dangerous Ground Septic tanks that have been improperly abandoned have been known to generate deadly sinkholes in their immediate vicinity, resulting in damage or even death.
  3. For 45 minutes, neighbors assisted him in keeping his head above the toxic water until firefighters were eventually able to carry him out using a crane.
  4. Digging Up Danger Sinkholes aren’t the only possible concern posed by septic tanks.
  • Septic tanks have the potential to harbor disease-causing organisms, resulting in severe sickness. A number of bacterial illnesses, as well as Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Leptospirosis, and gastrointestinal sickness, are notably mentioned in InspectApedia. Septic tanks frequently contain toxic and flammable gases, such as methane (CH4) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which can cause fires. In 2016, a Florida family narrowly escaped with their lives after their septic tank ruptured, destroying their home and causing it to burn to the ground.

Location, Location, and still another location Finding the leach field (the system that disposes of human waste) is a very other story. While you may be aware of the location of the septic tank or may be able to locate it with the use of a metal detector, exposing the septic tank is a completely different story. In order to locate it, you’ll need to map ground conductivity (which is usually different from the rest of the soil) or use Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to locate it (GPR). Unless you have the correct gear, you might end yourself digging aimlessly in the wrong place—or being misled; inaccuracies in metal detector readings have been known to occur at older houses where numerous generations of pipes and cables have been buried over time.

  1. Others, for example, will just fill the tank with sand, gravel, or concrete without first making punctures in the bottom and sides of the tank.
  2. Another concern for do-it-yourselfers.
  3. Look no farther than the DIY Chatroom, an online community where handymen warn one another about the dangers of trying a DIY pump installation.
  4. The only way you can clean it is to hire a professional.

And if you’re ready to call in the specialists right away, get in touch with the knowledgeable pros at Express SewerDrain right now. Plumbing in Sacramento, Sewers, and Do It Yourself

Septic Tank Abandonment

“Whenever the use of an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system is discontinued as a result of connection to a sanitary sewer, as a result of condemnation or demolition, as a result of removal or destruction of a building or property, as a result of discontinuing use of a septic tank and replacement with another septic tank, the system shall be abandoned within 90 days and any subsequent use of the system for any purpose shall be prohibited.” THE ABANDONMENT OF THE SEPTIC TANK MUST BE COMPLETED WITHIN 90 DAYS OF THE CONNECTION TO THE PUBLIC sewage system.

The following are the procedures that homeowners must complete in order to abandon their system:

  • STEP 1: Get in touch with the utility’s customer service department to find out about sewer connection permits and hookup regulations.
  • STEP 2: Submit an application for an abandonment permission and wait for approval. There is a fee of $100.00 for the permission. It is possible to mail us the check for $100.00 in addition to the completed application for processing
  • We will call you by phone when it is available for pickup.
  • Staging the tank for pumping out by a licensed septage hauler and posting a copy of the receipt for this service along with the permit board in a protective plastic bag is the third step to taking care of the tank. The receipt will be collected by the Environmental Health Specialist at the time of the inspection.
  • STEP 4: Crush or collapse the tank in such a way that it will not be able to contain water any more, such as by punching a hole in the bottom of the tank or collapsing the tank’s sides. Owners (if they are still living in the house), certified septic installers, and licensed plumbing contractors are the only ones who may perform this service.
  • To avoid a safety danger, fill the leftover hole with clean sand or other acceptable material. Then grade and stake the tank location.
  • STEP 6: Once all of the above steps have been completed, please contact Environmental Health at 690-2100 to schedule an inspection or for further information about the procedures.
See also:  What Is A Replace Area For A Septic Tank? (Best solution)

While using a commercial septic system, grease traps will continue to function as part of the building’s sewerage system and will not be removed from service.

Septic – Mahoning County Public Health

  • Septic Tank Abandonment, Records Request, and Complaints are all topics covered in the Buying or Selling a Home section. New Home Septic Sites and the New Home Septic Permit Process are covered in the Alteration or Replacement section. Resources, Licensing and Registration, Commercial Septic System,

Septic Tanks for Residential Use Septic systems are used by about one-fifth of all American households to handle their wastewater, and failing to manage a septic system can result in backups, malfunctions, and early failures, which can result in expensive repairs and replacements later on. Regulation of sewage treatment systems in Ohio is carried out by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) under legislative authority created under Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 3718 and Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3701-29, both of which were modified and began effective on January 1, 2015.

One-, two-, and three-family houses, as well as small-flow on-site sewage treatment systems, are examples of sewage treatment systems (facilities that treat up to 1,000 gallons per day).

Click Here to Viewthe New MCPH OperationMaintenance Program Presentation(PDF)

If you would want an evaluation done in line with Ohio Administrative Code 3701-29 and The Mahoning County General Health Districts Supplemental Sewage Treatment Rules, the following information must be given to the health department. Activities carried out before to submitting an application: Make sure your soil has been thoroughly evaluated by an appropriately qualified professional before you submit your application.

  • A list can be accessed on the internet at the following address: The use of a registered installer or a designer to collaborate with a soil assessor for the HSTS installation is highly recommended
  • Nevertheless

2. Delineate the borders of the land and the locations of all proposed buildings and homes. The following documents must be included with the site review application: (This must be obtained in person at the office.) 1. A completed site review application (which must be received in person at the office), as well as the required site review charge (fee schedule below). 2. A copy of the soil evaluation report completed by the certified soil evaluator. 3. Site plan, which includes (but is not limited to) the following:

  • The primary and secondary septic fields, assuming they have already been constructed by the installer or designer
  • The north direction arrow
  • For all structures, roadways, hardscapes, wells, ponds, streams, rivers, and flood plain, the distance between them and the next structure should be calculated. Each and every lot measurement, whether existent or prospective

If the primary and secondary septic fields have been constructed by the installer or designer, the north orientation arrow should be used. For all structures, roadways, hardscapes, wells, ponds, streams, rivers, and flood plain, the distance between them and the next structure must be determined. Lot dimensions, whether actual or intended;

New Septic Installation Permit Process:

In order to get a permit for the installation of a residential sewage treatment system, the applicant must present the following things once the site review has been completed and authorized by the city: Before a septic installation and downspout permission can be acquired, the following elements must be filed, completed, and authorized by the local government:

  • In order to get a permit for the installation of a residential sewage treatment system, the applicant must submit the following things once the site review has been completed and authorized by the city: Before a septic installation and downspout permit may be issued, the following elements must be submitted, completed, and authorized by the city:

The Sanitarian from the health department will analyze the site information and perform a site visit (if necessary) to confirm state and local regulatory compliance prior to issuing or denying the installation permission or alteration permit, depending on the outcome of the review. Once the installation permission has been received, the HSTS can be installed by the licensed installer as soon as the ground conditions are deemed appropriate. An installation permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance and can be transferred if the property is sold within that time period.

In the event that a permit is not obtained while an installation is underway, a 25 percent penalty of the permit cost will be assessed.

A new installation or alteration permit (depending on the system) will be subject to enrollment in the Mahoning County Public Health’s Operation and Maintenance Program before being issued.

Existing Septic Alteration or Replacement Site Review and Permit Application Process:

When updating or replacing an existing HSTS, the following information must be reported to the health department in compliance with OAC 3701-29-09: 1. A completed site review application (which must be received in person at the office), as well as the required site review charge (see attached fee schedule A below). 2. Soils that have been evaluated and classified by a soil scientist or soil classifier accredited by the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). (If judged essential by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency or the Sanitarian District) It is valid for five years from the date of “approval” to get a site approved.

It will be necessary to conduct an extra site inspection and charge a fee if the installation permit is acquired in years 2-5 to confirm that the site has not been changed or disturbed.

Before an installation permission may be given, the following things must be submitted and authorized by the appropriate authorities:

  • Scaled installer’s drawing/layout plan with signature and registration number of installer
  • “Acknowledgement of Regulations” form with owner’s signature (affidavit form below)
  • If appropriate, a National Pollution Discharge Elimination Permit (NPDES) issued by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA). If applicable, or at the discretion of the Sanitarian, construct a field fence around the construction site.

Once the installation permission has been received, the HSTS can be installed by the licensed installer as soon as the ground conditions are deemed appropriate. An installation permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance and can be transferred if the property is sold within that time period. The health department may extend the permit duration for permits issued in accordance with this regulation by an additional six months if the department determines that it is necessary. In the event that a permit is not obtained while an installation is underway, a 25 percent penalty of the permit cost will be assessed.

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Additional Structures on Lot With Septic:

Inspection of a site by the health department, as well as of the sewage system An inspection by a sanitary engineer is necessary before any addition that:

  • Increases the quantity of available sleeping spaces. It alters the footprint of the current home or dwellings
  • Include other structures such as a garage, shed, outbuilding, in-ground or above-ground swimming pool, among other things. Those structures that are subject to a construction permit Structures that are free from agricultural taxation

Before a permit or license may be issued, the following items must be submitted and authorized by the appropriate authorities: 1. A completed site review application (which must be received in person at the office), as well as the required site review charge (fee schedule below). 2. A site plan that includes the following elements (see site plan form below):

  • All existing and/or projected constructions in the direction of the north arrow
  • For all structures, roadways, hardscapes, wells, ponds, streams, rivers, and flood plain, the distance between them and the next structure should be calculated. Both the primary and secondary septic fields are included. Layout of the planned addition’s floor plan
  • The planned insertion of a field stake
  • If appropriate, a zoning permission must be obtained. Permits for downspouts and plumbing, if any are required. The health department’s extra requirements, in any and all forms

The Sanitarian for the health department will analyze the application details; perform a site inspection, if necessary, to check compliance; and then either approve or refuse the addition request. ** As previously stated, existing homes with failing HSTS will be required to repair or replace the HSTS in compliance withOhio Administrative Code 3701-29 and The Mahoning County General Health District Supplemental Sewage Treatment Rules, as described above under the heading Existing HSTS – Alteration/Replacement.

Existing Septic Structure Replacement and Platting:

Inspection of a site by the health department, as well as of the sewage system Before a structure may be replaced with another one, it must first be deemed sanitary and safe. Before a permit or license may be issued, the following items must be submitted and authorized by the appropriate authorities: 1. A completed site review application (which must be received in person at the office), as well as the required site review charge (fee schedule below). 2. A site plan that includes the following elements (see As-Built form below):

  • All current or projected lot measurements
  • A north direction arrow
  • For all structures, roadways, hardscapes, wells, ponds, streams, rivers, and flood plain, the distance between them and the next structure should be calculated. Both the primary and secondary septic fields are included. Layout of the planned new structure’s floor plan
  • Place a stake in the ground to mark the site of the proposed new construction. If appropriate, a zoning permission must be obtained. Permits for downspouts and plumbing, if any are required. All extra regulations established by the Board of Health

The Sanitarian from the health department then evaluates the information supplied above and conducts a site inspection to check that all requirements have been met. *** The proposed additional lots will proceed (with deeds registered) with permitting in accordance with the New HSTS-Site Review Application Process, which is mentioned above. It is not necessary to submit a site review application or pay a fee to the health department in order for the plan or re-plat to be signed by the health department for vacant lots labeled on the plat map as: “Not considered a buildable lot until it conforms to the requirements of OAC 3701-29 and the Health Department Regulations or is accessible to sewer.” Back to the top of the page

Buying or Selling a Home:

Prior to the sale of a home, the Mahoning County Public Health Department mandates that all septic systems and wells be examined.

  • Real Estate Sale Evaluation Form
  • Real Estate Waiver Form
  • Real Estate Sale Evaluation Form

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Financial Resources for Septic Systems:

Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF): The WPCLF is a loan fund for water pollution control projects. A principle forgiveness program, such as this one, is designed to assist with the costs connected with the maintenance or replacement of the HSTS system. Additionally, fifty percent of the funds available in 2021 can be utilized to link failed HSTSs to existing sanitary sewers. Payment for mainline extensions or assessments on sanitary sewer connections will not be possible with the funds available.

Homeowners who are eligible will get 100 percent, 85 percent, or 50 percent of the permitted expenses to repair or replace their HSTS, depending on their situation.

The administration of this program is on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • There is a problem with the Household Sewage Treatment System at the moment. Please complete the application to calculate the size of the family and the total combined income of the household members. Please keep in mind that this application has to be notarized. Verification of all sources of income, as specified in the application, must be submitted. Provide a copy of the deed to prove that you are the owner

Upon completion, the application must be sent to the address shown below, either by mail or in person, with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. When an application is received, it will be date stamped in the order in which it was received. Failure to submit a full application and all of the essential information will cause us to be unable to establish your eligibility in a timely manner. The submission of an application does not imply that your application will be approved in its entirety. Mahoning County Public Health, Attention: WPCLF Program, 50 Westchester Drive, Youngstown, Ohio 44515 If you have any questions, concerns, or require assistance in completing the application, please call our office as soon as possible at (330) 270 – 2855, option 2.

Abandoning a Septic:

It is necessary to get a septic tank abandonment form from our office. The fee is $80. (cash, check, money order) If you are connecting to a sanitary sewer, you will also need to get a clear water plumbing permit from the city office. There is a $60 charge (cash, check, money order). Back to the top of the page

Records Request:

You must come into our office and fill out a septic tank abandonment form. It costs $80 to participate in the program (cash, check, money order) An additional permit for clear water plumbing must be obtained in office if you are connecting to a sanitary sewage system. There is a $60 charge for participating (cash, check, money order). Getting Back to the Beginning of the Page


To make a complaint, please visit this page. Back to the top of the page


3701-29-03 Installers, service providers, and septage haulers must be registered with the state. The Administrative Code states that, “Except as provided in paragraph (M) of this rule, only persons registered by the health department as an installer, septage hauler, or service provider are authorized to perform the duties defined in paragraphs (FFF), (JJJJ), or (OOOO) of rule3701-29-01, respectively.” (FFF)”Installer” refers to any individual who is engaged in the business of installing or changing sewage treatment systems or gray water recycling systems, or who, as an employee of another, installs or adjusts sewage treatment systems or gray water recycling systems.

(JJJJ) As used in this definition, a “septage hauler” is defined as someone who is involved in the collection, transportation, disposal, and/or land application of domestic septage.

(OOOO) “Service provider” refers to any individual who performs maintenance, monitoring, evaluation, or sampling on sewage treatment systems or gray water recycling systems, but does not install or change the systems.

The following are the requirements and applications: Installers

  • Installer Registration Cover Letter
  • Installer Application
  • Installer Registration Cover Letter
  • A cover letter for septage hauler registration
  • A septage hauler application
  • And a septage hauler cover letter.

Service Providers are those who provide services.

  • Cover Letter for Service Provider Registration
  • Service Provider Application
  • Service Provider Cover Letter

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Commercial Septic:

  • Real Estate Sale Evaluation Request for Commercial Property
  • Commercial Wastewater Site Evaluation Inspection Form (EPA Form)
  • Real Estate Sale Evaluation Request for Residential Property

The Commercial Wastewater Site Evaluation Inspection Form (EPA Form) is a request for an evaluation of a commercial property for the purposes of selling it.


Forms for the MCPHInformation:

  • Fee Schedule for SepticWells
  • Site Plan
  • A list of registered installers of household sewage treatment systems
  • A list of registered household sewage treatment system service providers
  • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Wastewater Registrants can find information about training and continuing education credits here. Rules for the Sewage Treatment System Back to the top of the page

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