Can a septic tank be buried deep below the ground?
- In case the septic is buried a few inches below the ground, it is a good practice to install a septic riser. This is a large diameter pipe which provides easy access to the tank for pumping and inspection. How to Find the Septic Tank Lid Deep Below the Surface?
How deep should septic tank be buried?
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.
Why are septic tanks buried?
The septic tank is a buried, water-tight container usually made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. Its job is to hold the wastewater long enough to allow solids to settle down to the bottom forming sludge, while the oil and grease floats to the top as scum.
What is a deep trench septic system?
The trench system consists of shallow, level excavations, usually 1-5 feet deep and 1-3 feet wide. The excavated area is usually filled with 6+ inches of some porous medium, like gravel.
Can you leave an old septic tank in the ground?
Tanks can be completely removed or they can be destroyed and buried in place. The decision depends on if you plan to use the land for something else, such as a home addition or pool, and need the remains of the tank out of the way.
How deep are drain fields buried?
A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.
How long do septic tanks last?
A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.
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?
How do you tell if your septic tank is full?
How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying
- Pooling water.
- Slow drains.
- An overly healthy lawn.
- Sewer backup.
- Gurgling Pipes.
- Trouble Flushing.
Can a leach field be too deep?
Drain Field Depth The result is a drain field about 3 to 4 feet deep. Sometimes, however, a drain field may need to be a bit shallower and can result in drain pipes as close to the surface as 6 inches. Underground obstacles can cause this situation.
How often should a septic tank be pumped?
Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.
What is a disposal trench?
Disposal Trench means a ditch or trench with vertical sides and substantially level bottom designed to receive sewage effluent. Disposal Trench means “absorption trench.”
Can septic tanks collapse?
Collapse of a septic tank Septic tanks can collapse for a variety of reasons. This is one of the most serious septic tank problems that can occur. That is why never place a driveway, building, or swimming pool above a septic tank. Once a tank is emptied of water, it is much more prone to collapse.
How do you abandon a septic tank?
Abandoning Septic Tanks and Soil Treatment Areas
- Remove and dispose of the tank at an approved site (normally a landfill).
- Crush the tank completely and backfill. The bottom must be broken to ensure it will drain water.
- Fill the tank with granular material or some other inert, flowable material such as concrete.
How Deep Are Septic Tanks Buried? (And How Do You Find It?)
It is possible that this content contains affiliate links. It is possible that I will receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link. In addition, as an Amazon Associate, I receive a commission from qualifying purchases.- Septic tanks, for example, might become a requirement in more remote places where some services are not readily available or easily accessible. After all, we rely on contemporary conveniences such as adequate plumbing to make our lives more comfortable and easy.
Discovering the location of your septic tank in your yard, as well as what may be grown near or on top of it, will help you determine how much of your yard is suitable for regular gardening.
You May Not Know
Despite the fact that it appears to be something that every homeowner should be aware of, understanding how deep a septic tank is buried can be difficult to determine. Perhaps you forgot about the septic tank after it was installed years ago, or perhaps you are moving into a house that already has a septic tank constructed in previously. Whatever the situation, determining the depth of your septic tank can be a challenging task under the circumstances, especially if you are unsure of the location of the lids.
How to Locate Your Septic Tank
Perhaps you’re unsure of the location of your septic tank on your property and are attempting to identify it on your own. There are really quite a few quick and simple methods for determining the location of your tank without having to go through a lengthy process. The first method is to follow the path laid out by your sewer lines. Typically, the tank and your drain field will be placed along a line parallel to the sewage line that goes from your property out to the street. Your home’s crawl area or basement may even have a four-inch sewage line that leads away from the structure of the building.
- Follow the pipe all the way across the yard, checking every few of feet to make sure you’re still on the right track, and then turn around.
- When you don’t feel like digging around in your yard, you can always look up your house’s address in the county records database.
- Diagrams with measurements and even the particular location of where the septic tank is located should be included in this document.
- You can also choose to dig your lid out from under it.
- This is what will tell you how many lids are on your septic tank and how many are missing.
- The majority of septic tanks are rectangular in shape and measure around in the neighborhood of 5′ x 8′ in size.
- If you are unable to determine the position of your septic tank using a probe, you will need to do a shallow excavation around the perimeter of the tank using a shovel in order to finally locate the lid.
- First, look for visual cues to help you.
- There is no doubt about it, this will tell you exactly where the tank is located beneath.
- Take a look at the plumbing in your structure, as well as the overall state of the property, to get a good sense of where the tank is situated.
It will be full to just a few inches below the underside of your tank lid when your tank is fully charged to its regular level of filling capacity. If the lid is constructed of plastic, fiberglass, or steel, the upper surface of the lid may have some variation in color or texture.
Where Should the Septic Tank Be Located?
If your property does not presently have a septic tank, but you are interested in the possibility of installing one, it is critical that you understand where it should be installed. Ordinarily speaking, most septic tanks will be situated between 10 and 25 feet away from the house. You should bear in mind that septic tanks cannot and should not be located any closer than five feet from your residence. Using a probe, you may search for flat concrete to determine whether or not a tank has previously been put on a property that you have recently purchased.
Planting Above a Septic Tank
Even though it may not appear to be the finest idea in the world, putting vegetation over a septic tank may really be perfectly acceptable as long as you choose the appropriate plants to grow. Not only is it perfectly OK to do so, but it may also be rather helpful depending on what you are planting and harvesting. It is possible to avoid erosion in your tank with the correct sort of vegetation, and it is even possible to absorb some of the additional moisture that might accumulate in your drain field.
- Perennial plants and grasses (as previously indicated) are the ideal kind of plants to use in and around your drain field and septic tank.
- You can use non-woody ground covers for a similar purpose as you do with woody ground covers.
- Take, for example, the expanding environment.
- If you don’t have access to enough sunshine, you might want to choose a shade garden plant instead.
- Keep in mind that the soil that surrounds the septic tank drain field will typically be wetter than the surrounding soil in the rest of the yard.
- As a result, choose a perennial such as a hollyhock, wild violet, or bee balm to ensure that you cover all of those bases when planting.
- A septic system beneath these plants does not imply that deer will avoid the area because of its presence on your property.
- Something like a spring bulb or an attractive grass that the deer aren’t generally interested in eating.
Plants That You Don’t Want to Grow
Just because you have the option of planting over your septic tank does not mean that everything is appropriate for this situation. A few plants should be avoided at all costs while landscaping around your septic tank, particularly huge trees that are known for their rapid growth. On the same vein, shrubs and trees with aggressive root systems are some of the worst plants to grow around your home. These roots will shoot out in quest of water, and they will not be concerned with where they locate it.
The infiltration of those roots into your septic drain field might result in catastrophic damage to your septic tank and drain field.
It’s possible that you’ll need a complete replacement.
Many other plants have strong root systems that you should avoid growing anywhere near your septic tank or drain field, and there are lots of them.
How Your Septic System Works
It is possible that understanding how your septic system operates may help you better manage, maintain, and care for it. Aside from that, it is just a large tank buried in the ground that collects your waste (which is true, but still). In remote locations, there may be a deficiency in sewage infrastructure. Because not every rural location is the same, it is not a given that septic systems will be required in your local rural area. The septic tank, in any case, serves as a form of wastewater treatment facility when there are no sewage lines available.
- The tank is designed to be waterproof, ensuring that your wastewater does not leech into the surrounding environment.
- Solids sink to the bottom of the container, scum rises to the top of the container, and liquids sit in the center of the three levels described above.
- The wastewater that is being discharged from your home is the cause of the exit.
- This liquid is carried out of your home through a pipe and into a bigger portion of your sanitary sewer system.
- Your drain is typically comprised of a network of perforated PVC pipes that are put underground in trenches to collect water and waste.
- Because the drains are perforated, the wastewater is allowed to seep out into the crushed gravel or stone, and then eventually into the surrounding soil.
- The natural evaporation process will then take care of any surplus moisture in the soil, unless you do something to prevent the water from flowing out of the pipes.
How to Plan a Septic Field
The tank is only one component of the whole equation. You’ll also need a drain field to catch all of the liquid waste that will be generated. When you are planting around your septic tank, the drain pipes are the most significant source of worry. Having those aggressive roots infiltrate and ruin your septic drain system is the very last thing you want. When this occurs, it can prevent your septic tank from emptying correctly and potentially cause it to get contaminated by groundwater. According to a solid rule of thumb, the less horticultural labor you have to do in close proximity to your septic tank, the better.
Just remember that they must be planted every year, so keep that in mind while planting them.
The first step is to fill in the septic drain field with earth.
In the second instance, too much mulch is being applied to the area in question. The third issue is that you may be watering your plants more than you should be. All three of these factors can impair the capacity of your drain field to evaporate in a typical manner.
Septic Tank Design Depth – how deep should the septic tank be located
- When establishing a septic tank, you may ask a QUESTION or make a COMMENT regarding how deep the septic tank should be located.
InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Design depth for a septic tank: What are the most frequent depths to which septic tanks, cesspools, seepage pits, and drywells are buried? Is it necessary to locate the septic tank below the frost line in order to prevent it from freezing? Septic tanks are placed at a certain depth, and there are various elements that impact the actual depth to which a septic tank (or cesspool, drywell, or soak-pit) will be sunk, which are discussed below.
For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page.
Septic Tank Installation Depth
Table of Contents for the Article Series
- SEPTIC TANK DESIGN DEPTH- this article
- SEPTIC TANK DESIGN DEPTH
- SEPTIC TANKDRAINFIELDFREEZE PROTECTION
How Deep Should WePutthe Septic Tank at Original Installation?
Septic tanks may be built almost anywhere in the soil, regardless of its depth. When operating in a freezing climate, even in uninhabited homes, it is unlikely that the septic tank serving an occupied home or even an unoccupied one will freeze. This is due in part to latent heat received by the septic tank’s bottom from earth, in part to heat generated by bacteria in the septic tank, and in part to warm wastewater entering from a building served by the septic system, and in part to warm wastewater entering from the building served by the septic system.
You’ll kill the bacteria, damage the drainfield, and taint the surrounding ecosystem as a result of this.
Factors Determining Septic Tank Depth
The following are the primary elements that influence the actual depth at which a septic tank is likely to be buried (and, consequently, the depth to which you may have to dig to locate the septic tank) at a specific site:
- The depth to which the lowest sewage line departs the structure that the septic tank serves is referred to as the sewer line depth. Given that we often rely on gravity to transport sewage from a building to a septic tank, the tank will be lower than the waste line that exits the building that it serves. a spot where the contractor discovered site characteristics suited for burying a septic tank because of its form, rocks, and impediments If a location has bedrock or huge rocks that are near to the surface, the tank may be relocated
- The greater the distance between the tank and the structure, and the greater the depth of the tank if the system relies on gravity to carry sewage, the deeper the tank will be. We don’t place septic tanks any deeper than they need to be since we are normally transporting effluent from the septic tank to the drainfield by gravity as well as by pumping it out. Plumbers often build sewage lines to slope down from the inlet to the outlet at a rate of 1/8″ per foot to 1/4″ per foot of linear run of the waste pipe, depending on the kind of waste pipe. In order to avoid septic drainfield burial at an excessive depth, we must ensure that there is sufficient air in the soil, since the absence of oxygen deep in the soil will inhibit certain desired bacterial action (the aerobic bacteria) that is required to break down and process sewage. It is certainly possible to locate and position the septic tank anywhere, including uphill from the building, if a sewer ejector pump or grinder pump system is utilized to transport sewage from a structure to an underground storage tank. If a sewage effluent pump is used to transport septic effluent from the septic tank to the drainfield, we may, of course, locate the tank “downhill” from the drainfield as well
- But, if a sewage effluent pump is not utilized, we cannot. Growing grass: If the septic tank is just 2 or 3 inches below the surface of the earth, you might as well have left the top of the tank visible, because grass will not grow in such thin soil as you would expect. Adding 6″ to 12″ of backfill may be sufficient to allow grass to grow over the septic system
- However, this is a purely aesthetic issue and does not affect the system’s functionality. See SEPTIC SYSTEMS, OVERHAULED PLANTS
- Recommendations from the manufacturer: Some modern septic treatment system designs need the use of a skilled system operator to perform highly specified inspection and maintenance intervals. According to the information provided atBAT MEDIA SEPTIC PLANTS, BAT septic systems (biologically accelerated treatment) are maintained or examined at 6-month intervals, among other things. According to the maker of that technology (Jet Inc.), it is extremely critical that the finishing grade slope away from the facility when completed. In addition, the grade must be at least 1″ below the bottom of the access covers to be considered. (Jet retired in 2016)
A service riser should be put in deep septic tanks to provide access to the tank. Plungers are large-diameter “wells” that are installed over the entrance and/or outlet ports of a septic tank in order to provide simple access for tank pumping, inspection, and baffle repair. Plungers are also used for septic tank pumping, inspection, and baffle repair. If the septic tank is sunk more than a few inches below the surface of the earth, good practice calls for the installation of a septic riser, which is a high diameter pipe that allows for easy access to the septic tank for inspection and cleaning.
Continue reading atSEPTIC TANK DEPTH to learn how to determine the depth of a septic tank’s cover, or choose a topic from the closely-related articles listed below, or see the completeARTICLE INDEX for more information.
Alternatively, view the FAQs on SEPTIC TANK DESIGN DEPTH – questions and answers that were originally posted on this page. Alternatively, consider the following:
Septic Tank Articles
- The following topics are covered: SEPTIC DRAINFIELD LOCATION
- SEPTIC DRAINFIELD SIZE
- SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECTION LEVELS
- SEPTIC TANK COVERS
- SEPTIC TANK DESIGN STRENGTH SPECS
- SEPTIC TANKDRAINFIELDFREEZE PROTECTION
- SEPTIC TANK, HOW TO FIND
- THE DISTANCE TO THE SEPTIC TANK
- FINDING THE MAIN WASTE LINE EXIT
- POSITIVE SEPTIC TANK LOCATIONS
- SEPTIC TANK COVERS
- SEPTIC TANK DEPTH
- SEPTIC TANK DESIGN DEPTH
- SEPTIC TANK LOCATING EQUIPMENT
- SEPTIC TANK RISERS
- SEPTIC TANK GRASS OR SNOWMELT
- THE MISTAKES MADE IN SEPTIC TANK PUMPING
- THE SEPTIC TANK PUMPING PROCEDURE
- THE SEPTIC TANK PUMPING SCHEDULE
- THE SEPTIC TANK RISERS
- THE U.S. SEPTIC AUTHORITIESDESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
- THE MISTAKES MADE IN SEPTIC TANK PUMPING
Suggested citation for this web page
DEPTH AT INSPECTION OF SEPTIC TANK DESIGN An online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, and issue preventive information is available at Apedia.com. Alternatively, have a look at this.
INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES:ARTICLE INDEX to SEPTIC SYSTEMS
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Septic Tank Depth
Trevor, The amount of heat generated by biological activity in a septic tank is unknown to me, but I suspect that a tank that is actively functioning will generate more heat than a tank that is in “vacation” mode. The total amount of warm water and “food” put into the tank may not be very much if you have a two-person household like mine, so the tank may not hold very much in general. If you are away from home for an extended period of time, it is possible that the temperatures in the tank will stratify.
- If the frost line penetration corresponds to the tank height, the overall temperature in the tank may be able to reach freezing temperatures at some point.
- The ground temp 6′ down may only be 35-40 in the dead of winter, but that should be enough to keep an inactive tank from freezing.
- The heated added by a warm shower is not terribly great when flowing into a 1500 gallon tank.
- Ice expands in all directions, which may put pressure on the tank’s walls as a result of the expansion.
- The tank I have is quite thin in comparison to the ones I remember from decades past, so maybe someone out there can provide anecdotal observation about how strong the new thin tanks really are.
- My neighbor had to rescue a friend one very cold winter when the frost went deep enough into the ground to freeze all the water flowing from the house.
- Oddly, I don’t recall my neighbor saying if the outlet pipe froze up as well.
- The reason proposed is that vehicles drive frost into the ground.
- I think a bigger issue would be driving a vehicle across the tank top.
Snow has some insulation value, but it sounds like windy conditions might keep the snow thin like your sand has done. Maybe Michael can add real life observations about the inlet and outlet risk for your area. I am supposedly in a 6B zone, but we do get down to -20F at times.
Types of Septic Systems
Septic system design and size can differ significantly from one neighborhood to the next, as well as throughout the country, due to a variety of variables. Household size, soil type, slope of the site, lot size, closeness to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, and even municipal ordinances are all considerations to take into consideration. The following are 10 of the most often encountered septic system configurations. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list; there are several additional types of septic systems.
- Septic Tank, Conventional System, Chamber System, Drip Distribution System, Aerobic Treatment Unit, Mound Systems, Recirculating Sand Filter System, Evapotranspiration System, Constructed Wetland System, Cluster / Community System, etc.
This tank is underground and waterproof, and it was designed and built specifically for receiving and partially treating raw home sanitary wastewater. Generally speaking, heavy materials settle at or near the bottom of the tank, whereas greases and lighter solids float to the surface. The sediments are retained in the tank, while the wastewater is sent to the drainfield for further treatment and dispersion once it has been treated.
Septic tanks and trench or bed subsurface wastewater infiltration systems are two types of decentralized wastewater treatment systems (drainfield). When it comes to single-family homes and small businesses, a traditional septic system is the most common type of system. For decades, people have used a gravel/stone drainfield as a method of water drainage. The term is derived from the process of constructing the drainfield. A short underground trench made of stone or gravel collects wastewater from the septic tank in this configuration, which is commonly used.
Effluent filters through the stone and is further cleaned by microorganisms once it reaches the soil below the gravel/stone trench, which is located below the trench.
Gravelless drainfields have been regularly utilized in various states for more than 30 years and have evolved into a standard technology that has mostly replaced gravel systems. Various configurations are possible, including open-bottom chambers, pipe that has been clothed, and synthetic materials such as expanded polystyrene media. Gravelless systems can be constructed entirely of recycled materials, resulting in considerable reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during their lifetime. The chamber system is a type of gravelless system that can be used as an example.
The key advantage of the chamber system is the enhanced simplicity with which it can be delivered and built.
This sort of system is made up of a number of chambers that are connected to one another.
Wastewater is transported from the septic tank to the chambers through pipes. The wastewater comes into touch with the earth when it is contained within the chambers. The wastewater is treated by microbes that live on or near the soil.
Drip Distribution System
An effluent dispersal system such as the drip distribution system may be employed in a variety of drainfield configurations and is very versatile. In comparison to other distribution systems, the drip distribution system does not require a vast mound of dirt because the drip laterals are only placed into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. In addition to requiring a big dosage tank after the sewage treatment plant to handle scheduled dose delivery of wastewater to drip absorption areas, the drip distribution system has one major disadvantage: it is more expensive.
Aerobic Treatment Unit
Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are small-scale wastewater treatment facilities that employ many of the same procedures as a municipal sewage plant. An aerobic system adds oxygen to the treatment tank using a pump. When there is an increase in oxygen in the system, there is an increase in natural bacterial activity, which then offers extra treatment for nutrients in the effluent. It is possible that certain aerobic systems may additionally include a pretreatment tank as well as a final treatment tank that will include disinfection in order to further lower pathogen levels.
ATUs should be maintained on a regular basis during their service life.
Using mound systems in regions with short soil depth, high groundwater levels, or shallow bedrock might be a good alternative. A drainfield trench has been dug through the sand mound that was erected. The effluent from the septic tank runs into a pump chamber, where it is pumped to the mound in the amounts recommended. During its release to the trench, the effluent filters through the sand and is dispersed into the native soil, where it continues to be treated. However, while mound systems can be an effective solution for some soil conditions, they demand a significant amount of land and require regular care.
Recirculating Sand Filter System
Sand filter systems can be built either above or below ground, depending on the use. The effluent is discharged from the septic tank into a pump compartment. Afterwards, it is pushed into the sand filter. The sand filter is often made of PVC or a concrete box that is filled with a sand-like substance. The effluent is pushed through the pipes at the top of the filter under low pressure to the drain. As the effluent exits the pipelines, it is treated as it passes through the sand filtering system.
However, sand filters are more costly than a standard septic system because they provide a higher level of nutrient treatment and are thus better suited for areas with high water tables or that are adjacent to bodies of water.
Evaporative cooling systems feature drainfields that are one-of-a-kind. It is necessary to line the drainfield at the base of the evapotranspiration system with a waterproof material. Following the entry of the effluent into the drainfield, it evaporates into the atmosphere. At the same time, the sewage never filters into the soil and never enters groundwater, unlike other septic system designs. It is only in particular climatic circumstances that evapotranspiration systems are effective. The environment must be desert, with plenty of heat and sunshine, and no precipitation.
Constructed Wetland System
Construction of a manufactured wetland is intended to simulate the treatment processes that occur in natural wetland areas. Wastewater goes from the septic tank and into the wetland cell, where it is treated. Afterwards, the wastewater goes into the media, where it is cleaned by microorganisms, plants, and other media that eliminate pathogens and nutrients. Typically, a wetland cell is constructed with an impermeable liner, gravel and sand fill, and the necessary wetland plants, all of which must be capable of withstanding the constant saturation of the surrounding environment.
As wastewater travels through the wetland, it may escape the wetland and flow onto a drainfield, where it will undergo more wastewater treatment before being absorbed into the soil by bacteria.
Cluster / Community System
In certain cases, a decentralized wastewater treatment system is owned by a group of people and is responsible for collecting wastewater from two or more residences or buildings and transporting it to a treatment and dispersal system placed on a suitable location near the dwellings or buildings. Cluster systems are widespread in settings like rural subdivisions, where they may be found in large numbers.
How Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
Prior to discharging wastewater into the environment, several alternative systems are designed to evaporate or disinfect the effluent.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.
Do you have a septic system?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
HOW TO SAFELY ABANDON AN OLD SEPTIC TANK ON YOUR PROPERTY
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.
- The old tank may either be demolished or filled with water to solve the problem.
- It is possible that permits and inspections will be required.
- They are dangerous because curious children may pry open the lid and fall into the container.
- 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.
- Eventually, this approach was phased out due to the fact that the steel would corrode and leave the tank susceptible to collapse.
- When it comes to ancient septic tanks, they are similar to little caves with a lid that might collapse at any time.
- 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.
Septic System Frequently Asked Questions
A septic system, sometimes known as a septic tank, is an underground system that processes the sewage that flows from your house before disposing of the treated, cleaner water. Septic systems are typically seen in residential areas. The treated water is subsequently re-introduced into the environment through filtration. This is critical because untreated sewage may harm nearby streams and water systems, as well as the soil around the perimeter of your septic system. Because your septic system is designed to cleanse and filter sewage, it is critical that it is in proper operating order.
What is a Drainfield?
The drainfield, also known as the leach field, is the area where the water from your septic system is sent after it has been cleansed and filtered. It is necessary to construct a drainfield in order to ensure that water is distributed uniformly back into the soil.
How do I find my septic system?
If you’re fortunate enough to have a contemporary septic system in your yard, it may be equipped with an access lid that is visible from the ground floor. If this is the situation at your residence, locating your septic system is as simple as taking a few steps into your backyard. It’s unfortunate that this isn’t true for older septic systems. It’s possible that you may locate an older system in your home by checking for greener, faster-growing grass or even an area with less growth than the rest of your yard if you live in an older home.
This will show you exactly where your septic system is located in your yard, if you have one.
You’ll need to look for the location where your septic system’s sanitary line exits your home and follow that line until you find your septic tank, which will take some time.
If you are unable to discover your septic system, your yard may need to be dug up by a septic system installation in order to locate your septic tank as a last option.
How long do septic systems last?
Septic systems are not designed to endure for a specific number of years, thus there is no defined time frame. In the event of adequate maintenance, you may expect your septic system to last several decades before it has to be replaced; but, if your system fails or deteriorates as a result of bad care, its lifespan will be drastically diminished. In order to obtain an accurate estimate of how much longer the life of your septic system may be extended, you must first have it checked thoroughly by an experienced septic system installation or repairer.
However, if you are confident that your tank is in good condition, the date of installation should provide you with an indication of how long it will endure.
What’s the advantage of installing a newer septic system rather than an older system?
Although it is not required to install a new system, there are advantages to having a modern septic tank rather than an older one. For starters, when you get a new septic tank, you can be confident that it will serve you for decades if it is properly maintained, and you will not have to worry about it being “too old.” Additionally, newer systems have been modified to reduce the likelihood of your system becoming clogged, and if something does go wrong with a new system or when it comes time to have your septic system pumped, a new system will likely be easier to locate because they are frequently constructed with ground-level lids.
New septic systems also provide a further treatment for your waste water, allowing it to be cleaner before it is released into the surrounding environment.
How much does a new septic system cost?
Installation of new septic systems may be a significant financial commitment, with costs typically reaching tens of thousands of dollars. Whenever you have to replace an outdated septic system, you should look into financing alternatives that will make it simpler for you to pay for a new septic system in the long run. Purchase further information from a septic system installation business on how to obtain septic systems at the most competitive prices while also taking advantage of low-interest financing options.
How big is my septic tank?
Septic tank capacity is determined by the amount of water consumed in your property as well as local codes and requirements. Check with your local health agency to find out how big your tank is before installing it.
Why should my septic system be pumped out?
Without regular pumping, the gases emitted by human waste accumulate in your septic system, increasing the risk of septic tank damage and the need for more frequent pumping. The regular pumping of your septic system will allow you to limit the rate at which your tank deteriorates and save money in the process. It’s crucial to remember, though, that degeneration is unavoidable in the long run. It is only via regular maintenance, such as pumping your tank, that your septic system will survive longer.
Does my tank need to be dug up to know if it needs to be pumped?
Risers are commonly found in newer septic systems, which allow you to access your tank from the ground level through a lid. It is straightforward for any septic system professional to determine whether or not your yard has risers placed, and whether or not it is necessary to pump it. If, on the other hand, your tank cannot be accessible from the ground level, it will need to be dug up in order to determine whether it has to be drained.
Instead of inspecting your septic system to see whether it needs to be pumped on a regular basis, set a timetable for having your system pumped every 2-3 years.
Why should I have risers and lids installed on my septic system?
As a result, when it comes time to find, pump, or repair your septic system, risers are the best choice since they provide ground-level access to your system. Having a septic system lid will allow you to mow your grass while still being able to find your system with no difficulty. Lids and risers also have the advantage of being accessible all year round, as opposed to earlier septic systems that could only be accessed by digging a trench through your yard. If your septic system has to be pumped or repaired for any reason during the winter months, getting beneath layers of frozen earth can be difficult, if not impossible, and you may be forced to wait until the spring to have access to your tank again.
How often should my septic system be pumped out?
A typical septic system contains a 1,500-gallon tank, which needs to be pumped around every 2-3 years for a household of four, according to industry standards. If you have less than four people living in your house, you will most likely be able to pump your septic system every five years rather than every three. You should speak with your local health agency to determine the exact size of your tank, and you should consult a septic system business to determine how frequently your tank should be pumped based on the size of your family and the size of your septic tank.
Do I need to have the septic tank pumped if I’m selling my house?
Consult with your local health department to learn about the restrictions that apply to your region of residence. Generally speaking, as long as your septic system has been pumped on a regular basis by a licensed septic system company and recently enough for the new homeowners to be able to live there for a year or two without having to pump the septic system, you should not be required to have it pumped again in the near future.
How do I find someone to pump my septic system?
It is important to be aware that not all septic system businesses are licensed and that not all firms properly dispose of or recycle the waste they pump from your septic system when you are looking for one to pump it. Finding a firm that complies with EPA standards should be your first concern, and then you should look at price, how pricing is split down, and which company is delivering the most honest, economical, and dependable service should be your next consideration. Investigate business evaluations, and when you select a septic system provider to pump your septic tank, be certain that they do the work properly, leaving enough water and waste to keep the sewage decomposing while leaving no visible trace more than a few inches of waste behind.
How much does it cost to have my septic system pumped?
It is recommended that you call many pumpers before making a selection, and that you ask as many questions as possible to ensure that you are receiving the best service for your money. Pumping may cost upwards of $200, so it is always wise to shop around before making a decision.
You should not consider it a waste of money to have your septic system pumped when the time comes. By correctly maintaining your septic system, you may avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars to replace your septic system long before it should have been replaced in the first place.
What happens if I don’t have my septic system pumped?
The sediments will pile up in your septic tank if you don’t pump it out regularly, ultimately overflowing into the drain field and clogging the drain field. Backups can occur, causing damage to your property and even necessitating the replacement of your drain field, which can be a very expensive error.
I just had my septic system pumped. Why is it full already?
Septic systems are designed to refill rapidly since the purpose of pumping is not to remove water but rather to remove non-biodegradable waste, and the water itself is not the aim of pumping. Once your septic system has been pumped and you begin to use the water in your house, your tank will quickly refill in order to maintain good operation of the system. If the water level rises to a point where it is above the outlet line, contact your septic system service provider for assistance immediately.
What do you look for when inspecting my septic system?
When we do an inspection, we make certain that your septic system is in good operating condition and that it satisfies the standards for receiving a Certificate of Compliance. If you’re planning to sell your home, you should have your septic system checked out by a professional who is certified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. This will allow you to sell your home faster and for more money, if you can prove that your system has been checked out by an accredited professional. The level of liquid in your septic tank will be checked, and we’ll make sure there is no surface-level discharge.
The drains in my home aren’t draining as quickly as they normally do. Does this have to do with my septic system?
Drains that are clogged and that empty slowly are not necessarily a big source of concern. Before presuming that there is an issue with your septic system, check sure that there isn’t anything obstructing your drain first. In the case of one plumbing fixture in your house that is draining slowly, it is likely due to clogging; however, if all of the drains in your home are slow or leave waste backed up, it is probable that your septic system requires inspection and may even require pumping.
What happens when my septic system fails?
Symptoms of a failing septic system may include minor issues such as drain breaks or pipes that have been stopped, which can be caused by tree roots intersecting with the system. Septic system failure, on the other hand, might indicate that your septic tank has degraded to the point that it cannot be repaired and must be replaced. A blocked drainfield will hopefully not become your problem because it is the most expensive component of your system to replace; nevertheless, if it does, you must act quickly to make the necessary repairs or else your waste will continue to back up, perhaps causing damage to your property.
A blocked drainfield is likely the reason of your sluggish draining pipes, damp yard above your tank or drainfield, sewage stench coming from your yard, or tainted well water. You’ll need to replace the drainfield as soon as possible to avoid further pollution of drinking water sources.
How do I prevent my septic system from failing? How can I properly maintain my septic system?
Your septic system should degrade at a normal rate over the course of several decades if you maintain it on a regular basis. Maintenance normally consists of getting your septic system pumped on a regular basis and making certain that you do not flush or wash anything down the drain that might block your septic system.
What shouldn’t I flush down the toilet?
As a general rule, only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed. There are several reasons why flushing medicine down the toilet is not a good idea. First, medication might kill some of the bacteria in your septic tank, which is necessary to break down solid waste. Second, drugs can pollute adjacent well water. In addition, you should avoid flushing feminine hygiene items, paper towels, tissues, hair, cat litter (even if it is flushable), diapers, wipes, condoms, cigarettes, and anything else that seems to be inorganic and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet.
What shouldn’t I pour down the drain?
Grease from the kitchen, motor oil, anti-freeze, gasoline, paint, and food should not be flushed down the toilet or drain. You should avoid flushing anything down your drain other than soap and water, and you should especially avoid flushing any form of chemical down your drain that should not be recycled back into the environment, such as fertilizer.
Is using a garbage disposal bad for my septic system?
Using a trash disposal will result in the requirement to pump your septic system more frequently than you would otherwise need to do if you avoided flushing food particles down your drains. Too much food collection in your tank might cause your drainfield to clog since the microorganisms in your tank are not capable to digesting it. When using a trash disposal, check with your septic system company to find out how frequently the disposal should be serviced.
Should I add bacteria to my septic system?
Aside from being completely useless, introducing bacteria to your septic tank is also highly discouraged. The bacteria produced by human waste is sufficient to break down the solid sewage in your tank without the need of bacteria supplements or other methods. If, on the other hand, multiple members of your home are using pharmaceuticals, they will enter your septic system through human waste and kill some of the beneficial bacteria in your tank, causing it to malfunction. Please contact the firm who installed your septic system to see whether or not you should be worried about the amount of bacteria-killing compounds entering the system.
There’s a strong sewer odor outside of my house. Could this be my septic tank?
Strong sewage stench coming from your yard might be coming from your septic system, but it could also be coming from someplace else completely. Identifying the source of the smell is important. Check for propane or gas leaks in your home before concluding that your septic system is at fault; however, if your gas or propane lines are not leaking, determine how long it has been since you had your tank pumped, and whether there is any sewage waste in your yard or other signs of septic system failure before making your final decision.
Can my septic system contaminate nearby water?
It is possible for your septic system to pollute surrounding water sources if it is not properly managed or fails completely.
In the event that you suspect that your septic system is failing, make sure that it is routinely pumped and inspected by an expert.
My gutters’ downspouts drain into my yard above my septic system. Is this a bad thing?
The drainage of your gutters into your yard above your septic system, and particularly into your drainfield, can be hazardous to your septic system. All water should be diverted away from your septic system in order to minimize flooding and damage to your septic system’s tank or drain field.