The general rule of thumb is that most septic tanks can be buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground.
- Generally, septic tank components along with its lid are deeply buried between 4 inches and 4 feet underground. These tanks are usually rectangular in shape and measure 5 feet by 8 feet.
What is the standard depth of a septic tank?
Tanks are typically buried 4 inches to 4 feet deep depending on local site conditions, shape, slope, and other factors. Here is the basic math for computing septic tank capacity (volume) in gallons.
How deep are most septic tanks buried?
Over time, all septic tanks fill up with solids and require pumping to continue working as they should. Often, septic tank lids are at ground level. In most cases, they have buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground.
How much dirt should be on top of a septic tank?
Each layer should be uniform, no greater than 24 inches thick, and of nearly equal heights around the perimeter of the tank. However, compaction under the haunch (bottom curvature of some tanks) is best done in 6- to 12-inch layers.
Can a septic tank be too deep?
Keep septic tanks high: we don’t put the septic tank any deeper than necessary, since we are usually moving effluent from the septic tank to the drainfield also by gravity. Plumbers usually install sewer lines to slope down from inlet to outlet, at 1/8″ per foot to 1/4″ per foot of linear run of the waste pipe.
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 often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?
For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.
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 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.
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 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?
Can I plant a garden on my septic field?
Planting over a septic leach field (drain field) is possible if it is done with care. Growing shallow-rooted plants over the drainage area is recommended because they help remove excess moisture and nutrients from the soil and reduce erosion.
Why is the ground soft around my septic tank?
The presence of healthy, lushly growing plants around your septic tank or along the route of your drainage lines indicates wet areas, as does a spongy or damp feel to the ground. Excess moisture might mean that your tank is full or that your drainage pipes are damaged.
How deep is the septic tank outlet pipe?
After the solids settle out, effluent leaves the septic tank through the outlet pipe and flows to the drain field. The outlet pipe should be approximately 3 inches below the inlet pipe.
How do I know what size septic tank to get?
The larger your home, the larger the septic tank you’re going to need. For instance, a house smaller than 1,500 square feet usually requires a 750 to 1,000-gallon tank. On the other hand, a bigger home of approximately 2,500 square feet will need a bigger tank, more than the 1,000-gallon range.
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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How Deep Should a Septic Leach Field Be?
Photograph courtesy of Valerie Loiseleux/E+/Getty Images.
In This Article
- Drain Field Operation
- Drain Field Depth
- Drain Field Width and Length
- How the Drain Field Works
It is critical to appropriately size a septic system’s drain or leach field, as an inadequately sized field might result in serious complications. Waste puddles appearing on your lawn are just one of the issues that might arise, therefore it’s crucial to grasp the fundamentals of how a drain field works. Although you are not required to become an expert in septic systems, a little information may go a long way toward ensuring that your drain field is in good operating condition.
The final depth of a septic system’s drain field is determined by a variety of factors. Drain fields, on the other hand, are typically between 2 and 5 feet deep.
How the Drain Field Works
Solid waste is contained in your septic tank until it is pumped out, which is the final step in the process. The bacteria found in that trash, on the other hand, is far more mobile in nature. As part of the septic process, solid waste is removed from your tank and deposited at the bottom of your tank, while wastewater (together with the bacteria it contains) is discharged from your tank and into your drain field. Once there, the water percolates through the soil and eventually joins the local groundwater supply system.
- In the long run, bacteria are eaten by microbes in the soil.
- This is a significant project that necessitates the establishment of correct soil conditions, including the selection of the appropriate drain fieldsize and depth.
- Typically, a completed bed comprises 12 inches of gravel below the pipe and additional 2 inches of gravel on top of the pipe.
- The end product is a drain field that is approximately 3 to 4 feet deep.
- This type of circumstance might be caused by underground impediments.
- High groundwater tables have the potential to accomplish the same thing, necessitating the installation of a drain field capable of filtering germs at a deeper depth in order to avoid pollution.
Occasionally, this is accomplished by making the drain field shallower, but wider or longer in length. In other cases, a mounded or elevated drain field will be required to prevent flooding.
Drain Field Width and Length
If you have more than one bedroom in your house, your septic system designer will figure out what size drain field you’ll need based on the number of bedrooms you have. In addition, the designer will take into consideration the zoning regulations, soil conditions, and the peculiarities of your lot while designing your home. According to many towns’ regulations, for example, your drain field must be at least a set distance away from your property line. The setbacks from streams, marshes, water supply lines (including local water wells), and other possible barriers are also defined by municipal construction standards.
In addition, pipes are frequently spaced 6 feet apart from one another.
The fact that they are spaced 6 feet apart, on the other hand, provides for the addition of more pipes at a 3-foot spacing if necessary in the future without enlarging the total footprint of the drain field.
It is then decided how this pipe should be laid out in relation to the amount of land available for the leach field to be used.
How Deep Is A Septic Tank?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product after clicking on one of our links, we may receive a commission or free product from the firms featured in this post. Amazon is a good illustration of this. Septic tanks are tanks that are built below the surface of the ground. The depth of the tank is determined by a variety of elements that are taken into consideration during the tank’s installation. It is vital to know the depth of a septic tank, especially when access is required for pumping or inspection of the tank.
So, how far down does a septic tank go?
They are generally rectangular in design and measure 5 by 8 feet in dimensions.
CALL 855.925.0760 FOR SEPTIC SERVICES
When it comes to septic tanks, how deep should they be? Because every condition and location is unique, the depth of a septic tank must be determined based on the specifics of the situation. As a result, before settling on a structure, the designer takes a variety of things into consideration. Assume that the soil type is such that it permits the use of the gravity system to function. Consequently, the septic tank may be built in a convenient location near to the surface. Now, this suggests that the lid can be raised to the level of the grade.
So it allows for the entire effluent to be transported from the septic tank to the distribution section.’ This is the location where they are disseminated.
Depending on the weather conditions, they might be shallower or deeper.
The depth of the drain field is also determined by the level of the tank.
As a result, the top of this septic tank should preferably be directly below grade, with additional soil cover on top. Septic tanks are built substantially deeper in colder climates to accommodate the ice and snow that accumulates.
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This is determined by elements such as the kind of soil and geology in which it is constructed. Another consideration is the depth of the sewer pipe leading out from the property. Similarly, in cold areas, the latent heat from the earth, along with the bacterial activity of the sewage, keeps the water from being frozen. Any septic tank should not be buried too deeply underground, since this might cause harm to it and prevent it from performing its intended purpose. Here are a few examples of such elements that have been well explained:
- The presence of a high water table makes a deep septic tank an unwise choice in these circumstances. It is possible that extra soil will be required in order to improve absorption. It results in the formation of a mound, which can function as an above-ground drainfield.
- Type of Soil– The type of soil and the amount of organic matter in the soil influence the depth of the septic tank. High water tables are frequent in clay-rich areas, and they are especially prevalent in the southwestern United States. Professionals can assess the composition of the soil and make recommendations for the depth of the septic tank based on their findings.
- Site Characteristics– As you plan your system, your contractor will be able to evaluate the characteristics of your property. Drainage patterns, water bodies in the area, and slope are all included in this type of study. They can calculate the optimal depth of the septic tank based on these considerations.
- Tank Kind– The type of tank also has an impact on its performance. There are several different types of septic tanks available, some of which may contain up to 2 to 3 feet of earth on top. As a result, if the tanks are placed significantly deeper, the manufacturer’s guarantee will be violated.
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A riser should be constructed in septic tanks that are located deep in the ground. Risers are large-diameter tubes that are commonly referred to as ‘wells.’ These are installed directly above the input baffle access point for the septic tank. This is often where the outlet is located. The major reason for installing it is to make it easier for specialists to get to the pump when they arrive to work. Professionals require access to perform services such as baffle repair, inspection, septic tank pumping, cleaning, and other tasks.
This pipe has a big diameter, which allows for convenient access to the tank for pumping and inspection purposes.
How to Find the Septic Tank Lid Deep Below the Surface?
Following these procedures will assist you in determining the depth of your septic tank lid, which will assist you in determining the depth of your septic tank lid:
- You must look for the locations where pipes are exiting your home. This will be located in the basement area. So simply keep an eye on where these pipes are leading. You only have to walk 10 steps from your home. Septic tanks are typically located roughly 10-20 feet from your front door
- You may inspect them with a steel probe if necessary. This should be a maximum of 5 feet in length. Make use of it to drive into the earth. You will be able to feel the location of the septic tank
- Nevertheless, you must use caution so as not to harm the lid. It is possible to puncture it if you are not careful. The first cap is normally found in a grassy area, and if it is punctured, it will cost a lot of money to repair it, so be careful not to puncture it. This is generally located towards the edge of the tank
- The tank’s general width is six feet
- And you may now go back to your front door. You should be able to identify the other cap after only 6 feet of walking. You will receive the discharge cap after taking two steps.
Questions Related to How Deep is a Septic Tank
The lids of septic tanks are often situated around the ground level. The lids are often buried anywhere from 4 inches to 4 feet deep, depending on the situation.
- It is important to understand what happens if a septic tank is installed excessively deep.
It is not suggested to put a septic tank at a location that is too deep. If it is implanted too deeply, it is possible that it will malfunction on a regular basis. It is possible that effluent may backlog on a regular basis and will not naturally flow into the drainfield.
- Whether I am allowed to drive over the septic tank, which is buried underground
No, you should never drive over a septic tank, even if you are aware that it is buried deep down. In a short period of time, driving over the tank will damage its surface, causing it to crack, and cause it to stop operating.
- Anyone who can tell me what the depth of my septic tank is, please.
You can look through your property records to see if there are any details concerning the septic tank’s construction. If you have only recently moved into the neighborhood, you might inquire with the homeowner. If nothing else seems to work, you might enlist the assistance of the specialists who come to examine or pump your water.
- How can I find out if there is a problem with my septic tank, which is buried deep underground?
It is advised that you have your septic tank tested on a regular basis in order to spot problems early on. Furthermore, if you notice any indicators of a septic tank problem, such as a bad odor or sewage backup, it is time to have it checked. If you are unsure about the depth of your septic tank, you can get assistance from a septic tank professional.
They can assist you in discovering the lid of the tank much more quickly, regardless of how deep the lid is hidden. The depth of the septic lid is typically 5 feet, however this might vary depending on the depth of the tank.
CALL 855.925.0760 FOR SEPTIC SERVICES
Probably one of the last things on your mind when you are constructing a new house is the location of your septic system. After all, shopping for tanks isn’t nearly as entertaining as shopping for cabinetry, appliances, and floor coverings. Although you would never brag about it, your guests will be aware if you do not have the proper septic tank placed in your home or business.
septic tanks for new home construction
The exact size of the septic tank is determined mostly by the square footage of the house and the number of people who will be living in it. The majority of home septic tanks have capacities ranging from 750 to 1,250 gallons. A 1000 gallon tank will most likely be required for a typical 3-bedroom home that is smaller than 2500 square feet in size. Of course, all of this is dependent on the number of people who live in the house as well as the amount of water and waste that will be disposed of through the plumbing system.
For the most accurate assessment of your septic tank needs, you should speak with an experienced and trustworthy sewer business representative.
planning your drainfield
Here are some helpful hints for deciding where to locate your drainfield when you’re designing it.
- Vehicles should not be allowed on or around the drainfield. Planting trees or anything else with deep roots along the bed of the drain field is not recommended. The roots jam the pipes on a regular basis. Downspouts and sump pumps should not be discharged into the septic system. Do not tamper with or change natural drainage features without first researching and evaluating the consequences of your actions on the drainage field. Do not construct extensions on top of the drain field or cover it with concrete, asphalt, or other materials. Create easy access to your septic tank cover by placing it near the entrance. Easy maintenance and inspection are made possible as a result. To aid with evaporation and erosion prevention, plant grass in the area.
a home addition may mean a new septic tank
Do not make any big additions or renovations to your house or company until you have had the size of your septic system assessed. If you want to build a house addition that is more than 10% of your total floor space, increases the number of rooms, or necessitates the installation of new plumbing, you will almost certainly need to expand your septic tank.
- For a home addition that will result in increased use of your septic system, your local health department will require a letter from you that has been signed and authorized by a representative of your local health department confirming that your new septic system is capable of accommodating the increase in wastewater. It is not recommended that you replace your septic system without the assistance of a certified and competent contractor.
how to maintain your new septic system
Septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services are provided by Norway Septic Inc., a service-oriented company devoted to delivering outstanding septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to households and business owners throughout the Michiana area. “We take great delight in finishing the task that others have left unfinished.” “They pump, we clean!” says our company’s motto. Septic systems are something we are familiar with from our 40 years of expertise, and we propose the following:
- Make use of the services of a qualified specialist to develop a maintenance strategy. Make an appointment for an annual examination of your septic system. Utilize the services of an effluent filter to limit the amount of particles that exit the tank, so extending the life of your septic system. Waste items should be disposed of properly, and energy-efficient appliances should be used. Make sure you get your septic system professionally cleaned every 2 to 3 years, or more frequently if necessary, by an experienced and qualified expert
- If you have any reason to believe that there is an issue with your system, contact a professional. It is far preferable to catch anything early than than pay the price later. Maintain a record of all septic system repairs, inspections, and other activities
common septic questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by our septic customers.
How do I determine the size of my septic tank?
If you have a rectangular tank, multiply the inner height by the length to get the overall height of the tank. In order to find out how many gallons your septic tank contains, divide the number by.1337.1337
How many bedrooms does a 500-gallon septic tank support?
The exact size of the septic tank is determined mostly by the square footage of the house and the number of people who will be living in it. The majority of home septic tanks have capacities ranging from 750 to 1,250 gallons. A 1000 gallon tank will most likely be required for a typical 3-bedroom home that is smaller than 2500 square feet in size.
How deep in the ground is a septic tank?
Your septic system is normally buried between four inches and four feet underground, depending on the climate.
How deep are septic tank lines buried?
Depth. According to the Clemson Cooperative Extension, the pipes should be placed in the leach field at a depth of at least 6 inches and most likely between 18 and 36 inches deep. Because soil and water tables differ from state to state and even within states, each leach field must be designed specifically for that location. 4 feet and 8 inches How deep is a 1000-gallon septic tank, for that matter?
|Steel Septic Tank Typical Dimensions|
|Steel Septic Tank Size (Gallons Capacity)||Tank Length (Inches)||Tank Depth (Height) (Inches)|
In a similar vein, you can wonder if a septic tank might be too deep. The depth of the septic tank should not be more than is necessary, because effluent is normally transported from the septic tank to the drainfield by gravity as well as by pumping or suction. 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. Should the lids of septic tanks be buried? A typical septic tank will have all of its components including the lid buried between four inches and four feet underground in the vast majority of situations.
How to Run a Septic Tank Line From Your House
A septic system is made up of two lengths of pipe that are connected together. Initially, it runs from the house, where the system services are located, to a tank, where the waste is separated and solids settle out. The second section runs from the tank to the drainage field, where fluids from the tank are dispersed into the earth underneath the tank. The process of installing the first run of pipe is quite similar to that of installing a traditional sewage line. It is necessary to maintain a downhill slope to the storage tank.
Locating the Septic Tank
The tank serves as the nerve center of the septic system. It is required to be situated between the residence and the drainage field. Each and every septic installation must begin with a soil test, and depending on the results, soil conditions may necessitate the placement of the tank in a less-than-ideal site for digging sewer lines. Also required are minimum setback distances from property borders, functioning wells, surface water and other obstructions to provide a safe working environment.
A standard septic tank has a 4-inch intake at the top, which is positioned towards the bottom. Ideally, a 1/4-inch-per-foot slope toward the pipe from the house should be maintained by the pipe connecting to it. To put it another way, for every 10 feet of distance between a tank and a home, the inlet must be 2 1/2 inches lower than where the pipe departs the house at its lowest point.
The pipe usually exits at ground level, although it may need to pass beneath a foundation footing or concrete pad in rare cases. Because the pipe can never be reversed in its slope, the depth of the footing or pad at the bottom defines the depth of the tank below the surface.
Digging the Trench
The trench for the septic pipe should be dug before the hole for the tank since you will need a backhoe to complete the work and the tank will get in your way if it is already in the ground. To allow rainfall to drain properly, the pipe should be placed on a 2- or 3-inch bed of drain rock, so remember to account for this extra depth when digging. It is normal to use a four-inch pipe, and it should be installed far enough down to link with the main soil stack, which is a three-inch pipe that runs vertically past the main bathroom and through the roof of the home.
Local building and health agencies will demand permits for a septic tank installation. You will also be required to submit a design plan before the permits will be provided, so prepare ahead of time. This layout should be developed in collaboration with a local builder who is familiar with the unique characteristics of the topography in your neighborhood. Stay away from planting trees or plants near the tank, drainage field, or any of the pipe systems. They will be drawn to the pipes in their hunt for nutrition, and their roots will be able to successfully block them.
Removal may be both expensive and time-consuming.
Septic Tank Depth
Trevor, The amount of heat created by biological activity in a septic tank is unknown to me, but I think that a tank that is actively functioning will generate more heat than a tank that is in “holiday” mode. The overall amount of warm water and “food” placed into the tank may not be very much if you have a two-person family like mine, hence the tank may not contain very much in general. If you are away from home for an extended period of time, it is possible that the temperatures in the tank will stratify.
- If the frost line penetration corresponds to the tank height, the total temperature in the tank may be able to reach freezing temperatures at some point.
- Even though the ground temperature 6′ down may only be 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of winter, that should be sufficient to keep an idle tank from freezing.
- When flowing into a 1500 gallon tank, the amount of heat provided by a warm shower is not very significant.
- Ice spreads in all directions, which may put pressure on the tank’s walls as a result of the expansion.
- Because the tank I have is relatively thin in comparison to the ones I remember from decades ago, I’m hoping that someone out there can offer anecdotal evidence regarding how robust the new thin tanks are.
- When the ice penetrated deep enough into the earth to freeze all the water pouring from the house during a particularly harsh winter, my next-door neighbor was forced to rescue a friend.
- Oddly enough, I don’t recollect my neighbor mentioning whether or not the output pipe had frozen as well.
- The hypothesized explanation is that automobiles push ice into the ground while on the road.
- I believe that driving a car across the tank top would be a more serious problem.
- Snow provides some insulating properties, however it appears that windy circumstances may cause the snow to become thin, as your sand has done in your case.
Perhaps Michael can contribute some real-world insights concerning the inlet and outflow danger in your region based on his own experiences. Although I live in a 6B zone, temperatures can drop below -20 degrees Fahrenheit at times.
How a Septic System Works – and Common Problems
This Article Discusses Septic Tanks are a type of septic tank that is used to dispose of waste. Field Sizing and System MaintenanceProblems with the Leach FieldSystem Performance Questions and comments are welcome. See Also: Septic System Frequently Asked Questions Articles on SEPTIC SYSTEM may be found here. In locations where there are no municipal sewage systems, each residence is responsible for treating its own sewage on its own property, which is known as a “on-site sewage disposal system,” or septic system, more popularly.
One of the most commonly seen types of leach field is composed of a series of perforated distribution pipes, each of which is placed in a gravel-filled absorption trench.
The wastewater is collected in the septic tank once it has been discharged from the residence. Septic tanks are normally between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons in capacity and are composed of concrete, strong plastic, or metal, depending on the model. Highly durable concrete tanks, which should endure for 40 years or more provided they are not damaged, are the most common. Many contemporary tanks are designed with two chambers in order to maximize efficiency. Household wastewater is collected in the septic tank, where it is separated and begins to degrade before being discharged into the leach field.
- In the tank, oil and grease float to the top of the tank, where they are known as scum, while solid waste falls to the bottom, where they are known as sludge.
- Bacteria and other microorganisms feed on the sediments at the bottom of the tank, causing them to decompose in an anaerobic (without oxygen) process that begins at the bottom of the tank.
- Solids and grease must be pushed out of the system on a regular basis in order for it to continue to function effectively.
- Each gallon added to the tank results in one gallon being discharged to the leach field, leach pit, or other similar treatment facility.
A large amount of water delivered too rapidly to the tank may discharge untreated effluent, along with oil and particulates, into the leach field, where it may block the field and cause a backup.
When used properly, a leach field (also known as a “drain field”) is a series of perforated pipes that are typically buried in gravel trenches 18 to 36 inches below grade — deep enough to avoid freezing, but close enough to the surface that air can reach the bacteria that further purify the effluent (see illustration below). As little as 6 inches might separate you from the ground surface, depending on your soil type and municipal regulations. It is customary to cover the perforated pipes with approximately two inches of gravel and a layer of topsoil that is 18 to 24 inches in depth.
- Grass is often sown above the ground.
- The leach field is comprised of rows of perforated pipes in gravel trenches that are used to spread wastewater over a vast area in order to further purify it.
- A bacteria-rich slime mat forms where the gravel meets the soil, and it is responsible for the majority of the water purification work.
- Despite the fact that wastewater freezes at a far lower temperature than pure water, freezing is still a hazard in cold areas.
- The leftover pathogens are converted into essential plant nutrients by these organisms, while sand, gravel, and soil filter out any solids that remain.
- If the system is operating effectively, the filtered wastewater will return to the aquifer as naturally clean water that is suitable for human consumption at this stage.
- Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
- Special systems may also be necessary in regions where there are flood plains, bodies of water, or other ecologically sensitive areas to protect against flooding.
SIZING THE LEACH FIELD
Using perforated pipes put in gravel-filled trenches, the drain field is sized to accommodate the number of beds in the house. In order for the system to function successfully, the leach field must be appropriately sized for the soil type and amount of wastewater, which is normally determined by the number of bedrooms in the house. In order for the liquid to seep into the soil, it must be permeable enough to do so. As a result, the denser the soil, the larger the leach field that is necessary.
- Better to have surplus capacity in your system than to have it cut too close to the bone.
- Septic tank backup into your house, pooling on the surface of the earth, or polluting local groundwater are all possibilities if the ground is incapable of absorbing the liquid.
- Dense clay soils will not absorb the liquid at a sufficient rate, resulting in a backlog.
- If the soil is mostly composed of coarse sand and gravel, it might drain at such a rapid rate that untreated sewage can poison the aquifer or damage surrounding bodies of water.
- Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
These systems sometimes cost twice or three times as much as a regular system and require significantly more upkeep. Near flood plains, bodies of water, and other ecologically sensitive places, special systems may also be necessary to protect people and property.
SEPTIC SYSTEM CAREMAINTENANCE REQUIRED
If you take good care of your system, you will be rewarded with years of trouble-free operation. Pumping the septic tank on a regular basis is necessary to remove the particles (sludge) and grease layer (scum) that have built up in the tank. The solids will ultimately overflow and spill into the leach field, decreasing its efficacy and diminishing its lifespan if this is not done. The rehabilitation of a clogged leach field is difficult, if not impossible; thus, constant pumping is essential!
- Cooking fats, grease, and particles may also wash into the leach field if the tank is too small for the amount of water being used or if the tank is overcrowded on a regular basis.
- Extra water from excessive residential consumption or yard drainage can overwhelm the system, transporting oil and particles into the leach field and causing it to overflow.
- In addition, don’t try to complete a week’s worth of laundry for a family of five in a single day.
- To minimize overburdening the system, the following measures should be taken:
- Distribute your washing loads and other high-water-use activities across the week
- And In the kitchen and bathroom, use low-flow appliances, faucets, and fixtures. Toilets, in general, are the source of the greatest amount of water use. Water should be diverted away from the leach field from the yard, gutters, and basement sump pumps.
In addition, refrain from flushing sediments, strong chemicals, and just about anything else down the toilet or sink other than biological waste and white toilet paper. Avoid using garbage disposals in the kitchen. If you really must have one, keep it for small non-meat bits only. Avoid flushing chemicals or paints down the toilet since many chemicals can destroy beneficial microorganisms or cause water contamination in the surrounding area. Avoid flushing the following down the toilet:
- Grease, fats, and animal scraps
- Paints, thinners, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals
- And a variety of other materials sanitary napkins, tampons, and other supplies Paper towels and disposable diapers are examples of such products. Egg shells, coffee grounds, and nut shells are all good options. Antibacterial soaps and antibiotics are available.
It is preferable to put grass over the leach field and to refrain from driving or parking in the vicinity. Excessive weight placed on top of the drain field might compress the earth, diminishing its efficiency as a drain field. Drain pipes can also become clogged by trees and plants with invasive roots. In order to prevent damage to the leach field, the following measures should be taken:
- Heavy machinery should not be driven, parked, or stored on top of the leach field (or septic tank). Placement of a deck, patio, pool, or any other sort of construction over the leach field is prohibited. Remove any large trees or other plants with deep roots from the leach field. Grass is the most effective groundcover.
Even with careful use and routine maintenance, however, leach fields are not guaranteed to survive indefinitely. It is inevitable that the soil will get saturated with dissolved elements from the wastewater, and that the soil will be unable to absorb any more incoming water. The presence of an odorous wet area over the leach field, as well as plumbing backups in the house, are frequently the first indicators that something is wrong. Many municipalities mandate septic system designs to incorporate a second “reserve drain field” in the case that the first field fails.
A well constructed and maintained system should last for at least 20 to 30 years, if not longer than that. After a few tears, the initial field will naturally heal and may be used once again when the situation calls for it to be. More information on Septic System Maintenance may be found here.
SEPTIC SYSTEM PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS
Poor original design, abuse, or physical damage, such as driving heavy trucks over the leach field, are the root causes of the majority of septic system issues. The following are examples of common situations that might cause a septic system to operate poorly: Plumbing in the home. obstructed or insufficient plumbing vents, a blockage between the home and the septic tank, or an insufficient pitch in the sewer line leading from the house are all possible causes. Sewage tank to leach field connection Septic tank and leach field blockage caused by a closed or damaged tank outlet, a plugged line leading to the leach field caused by tree roots, or a blockage caused by sediments that overflowed from the tank Piping in the leach field.
Most of the time, tree roots do not make their way through the gravel bed and into the perforated pipe.
Reduced flows, achieved through the use of flow restrictors and low-flow faucets and fixtures, may be beneficial.
Because of the seasonal high water table, the soil around the trenches might get saturated, reducing the soil’s ability to absorb wastewater.
This may frequently be remedied by adding subsurface drains or curtain drains to intercept the water flow into the leach field region and to lower the water table in the immediate area around the drainage system.
Likewise, see: In order to do a perc test, who should I hire?
Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime?
Performing an Inspection on a Septic System When Is the Best Time to Take a Perc Test?
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