How To Figure Out Where Septic Tank And Drain Field Is? (Question)

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

  • To locate your septic tank field lines, you can get a septic tank diagram of your drain field. If this isn’t available to you, then you can look for swampy areas in your grass, which are where your drain field is. If worse comes to worst, hiring a professional is always an option.

Are septic tank locations public record?

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

How far down is a leach field?

A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.

How far from septic tank is distribution box?

It’s usually somewhere near the edge of your drain field on the end that’s closest to your septic tank. Distribution boxes are usually only about 6 inches to 2 feet deep. This narrows your search, but you’ll need some other clues to help you find the exact location.

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

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

How do I find my septic lateral lines?

Call your local electric utility provider or gas company to locate buried gas or utility lines before digging. A septic tank probe can also help you find the location. Stick the long, thin metal probe into the ground until you feel it hit the tank and feel the edges of the tank.

How deep should a 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.

Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?

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

How do I calculate the size of my drain field?

Drainfield Size

  1. The size of the drainfield is based on the number of bedrooms and soil characteristics, and is given as square feet.
  2. For example, the minimum required for a three bedroom house with a mid range percolation rate of 25 minutes per inch is 750 square feet.

How close can you build next to a drain field?

– A full foundation must be 10 feet from the septic tank and 20 feet from the leaching area. – A slab foundation such as a garage must be 10 feet from the septic tank and 10 feet from the leaching area. – Concrete columns for a deck must be 5 feet from the leaching area and not disturb the septic system.

How far should drain field be from septic tank?

Common guidelines require at least 50′ clearance distance between a well and a septic system tank or 150′ between a well and a septic drainfield or leaching bed but you will see that different authorities may recommend different distances. Local soil and rock conditions can make these “rules of thumb” unreliable.

How to locate your septic tank and your drainfield

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

Steps to follow to locate your septic tank and drain field

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

If you are unable to locate the tank using this diagram, you will need to do more research on the land in order to determine its position.

  1. This pipe is commonly found in the basement of a home, and it is a 4″ black pipe with a cleanout at the bottom.
  2. Simply look for possible access covers or a structure that could be concealing it.
  3. These pumps are used to remove waste from the building.
  4. It is supposed to be connected to the sewage output pipe.
  5. As soon as you’ve located the sewer outlet in your basement, you can use it to figure out where the sewer line exits your home through an outside wall.
  6. As a result, it is possible that the tank will be located around the corner from the building.

Tips for locating your septic tank

Septic tank lids should be visible from the outside. An underground riser may have been added, which will make it simple to find your septic tank in some instances.

However, it is conceivable that the septic tank cover is buried underground, which is especially true for older homes. Following are some pointers to assist you in locating the septic tank in this and other similar situations.

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

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

Additionally, you can use a thin steel rod to probe the ground in order to pinpoint exactly where the tank is located as you continue digging.

Inspecting the tank

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

How to Find My Septic Tank Lines

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

In This Article

  • Septic System Fundamentals
  • Identifying and Locating a Septic Tank on Your Property
  • Conducting Regular Inspections
  • Checking for Clean-Outs
  • Identifying Natural Indicators
  • Viewing System Diagrams
  • Seek Professional Assistance
  • Check the distribution box
  • Understand the size and scope of the project.

Are you curious about the location of your septic lines? It is critical to know where the septic tank is located on a property in order to properly maintain and protect the system. For example, you don’t want to pave over the ground or grow trees too close together in a forest. It is possible to obtain a copy of the septic tank diagram of the drain field, which will give you a good idea of where the pipes will run. If this is not the case, you may need to try some other methods of locating septic drain lines.

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

When pipes get clogged or when drain fields become too saturated with fluids, problems arise. Other issues can arise as a result of incorrect placement, design flaws, or poor installation.

Locating a Septic Tank on Your Property

Begin your search for the septic tank lines at the residence first. Drain lines from the home’s plumbing should be traced to the septic tank, which is typically located 10 to 20 feet from the home’s exterior. The drain line connects the tank’s end, which is located opposite the house, to the leach field. Check the natural slope of the ground to see whether the leach field may be found there. It is never a good idea to look for drain lines using heavy gear, wrecking bars, or jackhammers. Before digging, contact your local electric utility provider or gas company to determine the location of buried gas or utility lines.

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

Perform Regular Inspection

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

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

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

Check the Distribution Box

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

See also:  How To Empty A 250 Gallong Septic Tank?

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

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

Most likely Locations to Look

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

InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Finding the seepage beds or leaching field with visual clues can be accomplished as follows: What exactly should you look for while looking for the septic drainfield or soakaway bed? This article assists you in locating a septic tank, D-box, soakaway bed or drainfield, and other components by identifying sites on a construction site where such components may have been installed and should have been installed.

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

Visual Clues that Indicate Drain Field Location

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

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

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

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

Large trees and rocks are absent from this older and more mature lawn, despite the fact that these items can be found in other parts of the construction site. The septic tank and drainfield were expected to be located in this location. Leach field trenches are frequently visible as long parallel depressions that run parallel to the ground. Although they are not visible in this photograph (a tank and seepage pit were discovered later), they are visible in the following portion of this article.

They may be visible in systems that are hundreds of years old or younger.

They are perhaps 24 to 30″ wide and many feet long, perhaps 20′ to 40′ and spaced perhaps 4′ to 6′ apart.

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

Drain field depressions may be easier to see in northern climates when there is only a light layer of snow covering the ground for a couple of reasons:

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

Wet Areas may Show a (failing) Drainfield Location

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

  1. It also offers other clues that indicate where you might expect to find the drainfield for the septic system.
  2. The author retains the right to use this content on other websites, in books, or in pamphlets that are available for purchase.
  3. Continue reading at this website.
  4. Alternatively, read SEPTIC TANK, HOW TO FIND for further information on locating the septic tank, chamber, drywell, or seepage pit.
  5. More videos on septic system installation and maintenance can be found at SEPTIC VIDEOSOR take a look at these

Septic Drainfield Location Articles

  • Clearance Disturbances, Septic System
  • Odors, Septic or Sewer
  • Locations of Septic Components
  • Septic Drainfield Inspection Test at Home
  • Septic Drainfield Location
  • Septic Drainfield Inspection Test at Work
  • LOCATION OF THE DRAINFIELD PIPE, EXACT
  • EXCAVATE TO LOCATE THE DRAINFIELD
  • REASONS FOR LOCATION OF THE DRAINFIELD
  • Recordings to LOCATE the DRAINFIELD
  • SURPRISING DRAINFIELD LOCATIONS
  • UNLIKELY DRAINFIELD LOCATIONS
  • VISUAL CLUES LOCATE the DRAINFIELD
  • VISUAL CLUES LOCATE the SEPTIC TANK
  • SERVING SEPTIC DRAINFIELDS
  • SEPTIC DRAINFIELD SIZE
  • SEPTIC DRAINFIELD Shape
  • SEPTIC DRAWINGS
  • SEPTIC DRAINFIELD RESTORERS

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How To Find Septic Tank Location: A Guide for Property Owners

The majority of individuals prefer to relax on their back patio or porch and take in the scenery rather than worrying about where their septic tank could be. When you know exactly where your septic tank is, it will be much easier to schedule routine sewer line cleanouts and maintenance appointments. Continue reading to find out more about how to locate your septic tank.

Follow the Main Sewer Line

Purchase a soil probe that you may use to probe into the earth in order to locate the underground sewage line and septic tank in your property. Find the main sewage line that leads to your septic tank by going to your basement or crawl space and digging about down there. Look for a pipe with a diameter of around four inches that is leading away from your home or building. Keep a note of the position of the sewer pipe and the point at which the line exits your home so that you can locate it outdoors.

If you have a drain snake, you may use it to try to follow the approximate course of the pipes in your home.

Since the majority of states require at least five feet between a home’s septic tank and its foundation, with many tanks located between 10 and 25 feet away, you may have to probe a bit further out before striking the tank.

Inspect Your Property

Purchase a soil probe that you can use to probe into the ground in order to locate the buried sewer line and septic tank in your yard. Find the main sewage line that leads to your septic tank by going to your basement or crawl space and digging about in it. Look for a pipe with a diameter of around four inches that is leading away from your home or business. Recall where your sewer pipe is located, as well as where it exits your home, in order to locate it while you are out in the field. In the case of a septic tank, sewage lines will go to the tank itself.

Every two feet, insert the thin metal probe into the earth to locate and track the sewer lines that have been laid down.

Since the majority of states require at least five feet between a home’s septic tank and its foundation, with many tanks located between 10 and 25 feet away, you may need to probe a bit further out before striking the tank.

  • Paved surfaces
  • Unique landscaping
  • Your water well, if you have one
  • And other features.

If you are still having trouble locating your septic system, you can inquire of your neighbors about the location of their septic tank on their property. Finding out how far away their septic systems are can help you figure out where yours might be hidden in your yard or garden.

Check the Property Records

Are you unsure about how to obtain this? Simply contact your county’s health department for further information. Check with your local health department to see if they have a property survey map and a septic tank map that you can borrow. Perhaps you will be surprised to learn that there are a variety of ways to obtain information about your property without ever leaving the comfort of your own residence. Building permits, for example, are frequently found in county records, and they may provide schematics with specifications on how far away from a septic tank a home should be, as well as other important information such as the size of the tank.

Most counties, on the other hand, keep records of septic tank installations for every address.

Don’t Try to Fix Septic Tank Issues Yourself

Septic tank problems should be left to the specialists. The Original Plumber can do routine maintenance on your septic tank and examine any problems you may have once you’ve located the tank. It is not recommended to open the septic tank lid because toxic fumes can cause serious health problems. Getting trapped in an open septic tank might result in serious injury or death. While it is beneficial to know where your septic tank is located, it is also beneficial to be aware of the potential health dangers associated with opening the tank.

Schedule Septic Tank Maintenance

The maintenance of your septic tank on a regular basis helps to avoid sewer backups and costly repairs to your sewer system. You should plan to have your septic tank pumped out every three to five years, depending on the size of your tank and the number of people that reside in your home. The Original Plumber offers skilled septic tank and drain field maintenance and repair services at competitive prices. While it is useful to know where the septic tank is located, it is not required. Our team of skilled plumbers is equipped with all of the tools and equipment necessary to locate your tank, even if you have a vast property.

We are open seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.

Frequently Asked Questions

A septic system is a system for the management of wastewater. Simply put, wastewater will exit your home through pipes until it reaches your septic tank, which is located outside your home.

Septic tanks are normally located beneath the surface of the earth. Solids and liquids will separate in the septic tank as a result of the separation process. Eventually, the solids will fall to the bottom of the tank and the liquids will run out onto your leach field.

How do I know if I have a septic tank?

Even if there are no obvious signs of a septic tank in your yard – such as uneven landscaping – there are a few ways to determine whether or not your home is equipped with an onsite septic system. Checking your property records is the most reliable technique to ensure that you are utilizing the correct system. When you purchased your home, you should have received a copy of the septic system map with the property records as well. Checking your utility bill is another way to determine this. Because your septic system is a component of your wastewater management system, you should not receive a water bill from the public utility services provider.

See also:  Should It Smell When Your Septic Tank Gets Pumped? (Question)

If you do not have a meter installed, it is likely that you are connected to a private well rather than the public sewage network.

What do I do once I locate my septic tank?

Once you’ve discovered where your septic tank is, there are a few things you should do. It is critical to clearly mark the position of your septic tank. With our inspection, pumping, and repair services, you can save time when you need a sewer line cleanout or a septic tank maintenance job completed quickly. Make a note of the location of your tank so that you can find it again if necessary. It should be heavy enough so that it does not fly away in windy conditions. A creative approach to accomplish this without having an unattractive flag or marking in your yard is to use garden décor or a potted plant.

This way, you’ll have it for future reference and will be able to quickly locate the exact position if necessary.

Then contact The Original Plumber to have your septic system maintained on a regular basis.

All of the heavy lifting has been delegated to our team of professionals.

How to Locate a Septic Tank Drain Field

Home-Diy A septic system is a sort of sewage system that is used to remove wastewater from properties that do not have access to municipal sewage systems. if (sources.length) then this.parentNode.removeChild(sources); then this.onerror = null; this.src = fallback; )(, arguments.target.currentSrc.replace; )(, arguments.target.currentSrc.replace; )(, arguments.target.currentSrc.replace; (//$/, “), (//$/, “), ‘/public/images/logo-fallback.png’) is a fallback logo image. ” loading=”lazy”> ” loading=”lazy”> After passing through the septic tank, water is discharged into the drain field.

A drain field is made up of a series of perforated pipes that channel the wastewater into the ground and into a drainage system (also known as a leach field). Maintaining the cleanliness of your drain field might alert you to problems with your septic system.

  1. To find out if your local municipality has the records from the installation of your septic system, you should contact them. This can provide you with precise information about the location of the drain field. Look for tubes or pipes in your yard that have white caps on the ends of the tubes or pipes. The caps, which are referred to as monitoring ports, allow you to check the amount of liquid in the drain pipes. The caps are located at the end of the drain field
  2. They are made of concrete. Take a look at the surface of your lawn to see if there are any areas where the ground has been depressed in parallel rows. This can be used to identify the drain field. Check your yard for indicators of a drain field to see if there is one. During the winter, look for areas where the frost melts the most quickly to save time. When your lawn begins to turn brown in the summer due to the heat and lack of water, look for green stripes in the grass. The grass is lush and green in these areas as a result of the moisture provided by pipes in the drain field. Engage the services of a competent organization to find the drain field
  3. And

The Drip Cap

  • A septic system is a sort of sewage system that is used to remove wastewater from properties that do not have access to municipal sewage systems. The caps, which are referred to as monitoring ports, allow you to check the amount of liquid in the drain pipes. Find green stripes in the lawn throughout the summer, when your grass begins to turn brown due to the heat and lack of water
  • They are signs of healthy grass. The grass is lush and green in these regions as a result of the moisture provided by pipes in the drain field.

How to Locate Your Septic Tank Field Lines

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

Why Does it Matter?

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

Who Should Look for the Lines?

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

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

How to Locate Your Septic Tank Field Lines

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

Find the Drawings

Reaching out to your local health agency is the most reliable means of locating your septic tankfield lines. It is their policy to keep a dossier on every septic system that has been installed with a permit. Of course, if your system was not constructed with a permit, you will not be successful in this endeavor. It will be possible to see the layout, position, and every aspect of your drain field thanks to the drawings. Typically, they will mail you the drawings that you have requested. You can also get in touch with the contractor who did the septic system installation or the former owner of the house for further information.

The Grass is Much Greener…

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

Cold Climates

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

Warmer Climates

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

Check for Ports

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

Sometimes you’ll find them in your basement or in a closet, but other times you won’t. These ports will direct you to the correct location. It is common for a drain field to have clean-outs at both the beginning and end of the field.

Check Google Maps

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

Consult a Professional

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

Check the Distribution Box

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

Use Your Septic Tank

Knowing where your septic tank is, you can use a little intuition to locate your drain field if you know where it is. Our post on how to locate your septic tank can be found by clicking here. The most important thing to remember about your outlet port is that it is parallel to your inlet port. The output port will, to a greater or lesser extent, orient you in the direction of your field line. At the very least, it will assist you in locating your distribution box, which will direct you to the field lines.

Check for Moisture

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

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

Understand the Size of Your Field

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

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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, some alternative systems are designed to evaporate or disinfect the wastewater.

Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:

  1. 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 an indicator of this.
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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 foul odor is not always the first sign of a septic system that is failing to function 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

Locate Your Drainfield

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What You Need to Know About Your Septic System’s Drainfield

If you’re not linked up to a municipalsewer system, chances are you’re utilizing aseptic systemfor all of your wastewater. It is your septic tank that is emptied every time you flush the toilet or when water drains down the drain from sinks or the laundry. Residential septic systems are available in a variety of configurations, but they invariably include an aseptic tank, into which wastewater is channeled for treatment, and a drainfield, into which effluent evaporates or drains into the ground.

What Is a Septic System Drainfield?

In order for a septic system to work correctly, drainfields, also known as leach fields or absorption fields, must be installed. Drainfields collect and manage wastewater that has been pumped from the septic tank and are thus essential. They are comprised of perforated pipes that are buried two to four feet underground and lead away from the tank. Septic tanks would overflow if a drainfield was not present, resulting in runoff and a foul odor in your yard.

Whenever everything is operating properly, the soil in the drainfield filters the wastewater, and naturally occurring bacteria and microorganisms decompose the solid waste. Drainfields, just like any other component of your septic system, require regular attention and upkeep.

What Are the Signs There Is a Problem With Your Drainfield?

  • Waste smells, particularly outside in the vicinity of the septic tank and drainfield
  • Predominant presence of dark green, lush vegetation covering the drainfield It may be visually appealing, but it indicates a severely overburdened septic system. It’s possible to have wet, soggy, or spongy regions over your septic tank or drainfield even in dry weather. It’s possible that you’ll notice pools of standing water. Kitchen and bathroom drains that are too slow
  • Toilets that are overflowing or sewage backups

What Are the Causes of These Problems?

A drainfield can live for 50 years or longer if it is properly cared for and maintained. However, many of the signs listed above could indicate that a drainfield is beginning to fail. The system just does not have the capability to take any additional garbage. Sewage backups, a foul stench outdoors, and sluggish drainage within your house are all possible consequences of this.

Crushing damage

When erected over a drainfield, heavy objects such as a shed, animals, or automobiles can cause the pipes below to get damaged or destroyed. Compaction of the soil can also be caused by an excessive amount of weight on the drainfield. Wastewater cannot be adequately absorbed in compacted soil, resulting in the occurrence of many of the symptoms described above.

Pipes are blocked

A possible source of obstruction is the infiltration of tree and plant roots into sewer lines, which prevents wastewater from draining correctly. The accumulation of sludge and the flushing of objects that should not be flushed down the toilet can also cause clogging of pipes.

The septic system is overloaded

Doing multiple loads of laundry on the same day as running the dishwasher might cause the septic system to become overburdened. A leaky faucet or a gurgling toilet might also be problematic. Time is required by all septic systems in order for the effluent to pass through the treatment procedures. It is otherwise necessary to compel wastewater to flow into the drainage field at a quicker pace than the drainage field is capable of handling. This can result in standing water or the mushy, spongy conditions described above.

Gutter downspouts draining over the drainfield

Having gutters that drain across the septic system drainfield makes it more difficult for the drainfield to absorb wastewater and perform its function. This might result in a squishy region that is constantly wet or standing water.

What to Do to Maintain a Healthy Drainfield

  • Heavy machinery, automobiles, recreational vehicles, boats, grazing animals, and structures should be kept away from the area above your drainfield. Planting trees or other plants over your drainfield might cause harm to the pipes since the roots will grow into them. Make certain that all gutter downspouts are directed away from the drainfield. Every two to three years, have your septic tank pumped. Solids are carried into the drainfield by the absence of periodic pumping, resulting in clogging of the pipes. Apart from the waste that comes out of your body, the only item that should be flushed down the toilet is toilet paper. Other solids should not be flushed. Additionally, refrain from dumping any fats, oils, or grease down your drains. You should space out your laundry and dishwashing days so that you don’t overburden your septic system.

How to Locate a Septic Tank

A surprising number of homeowners have had to figure out how to find the location of a septic tank on their premises. If you’re purchasing a home with a septic system or discover that your property’s tank hasn’t been maintained in years, you’ll want to know where the tank is located because all septic tanks must be pumped at some point in time. In the course of a real estate transaction, the property owners or real estate agent may be aware of the location of the tank. Inquire about the “as-built,” which is a schematic of the septic system and the specifics of its installation.

Unfortunately, locating the septic tank may not be as simple as it appears.

Because septic system permits have only been needed in Oregon since 1972, you may have to depend on visual indicators to determine whether your system is working properly.

1.Follow the Outgoing Sewer Pipe

Look for the four-inch sewage pipe that runs through the structure and the location where it exits the building in the basement or crawl space. Locate the location outside the building where the pipe exits the building or the location of an access cover over the pipe. It is required that septic tanks be at least five feet away from the structure, although they are usually between 10 and 25 feet away.

You can follow the pipe all the way to the tank with a metal probe. It is important to note that sewage lines may curve and run around the corner of a building rather than following a straight path to the holding tank. Make sure to probe lightly so as not to harm the tank.

2.Search for Septic Tank Risers and Lids

Septic tanks are divided into one or two compartments, depending on their age. Each compartment has a lid, with two compartments for dual-compartment tanks that were installed later. If the tank includes an access point known as a riser, the lid may be readily visible from outside. Look for round, plastic discs that are about a foot or two in diameter. Due to the fact that the lids can be flush with the ground or just a few inches above it, they can become overgrown with grass and other vegetation over time.

Tanks without risers are likewise equipped with lids, however they are located underground.

3.Find the Drain Field First

In the absence of a riser and lid, search for indicators of a drain field, such as an area of grass that grows more quickly or more slowly than the rest of the yard, grass that is a different color from the rest of the yard, or areas where snow melts more quickly than in other parts of the yard. Spots of high or low ground in the yard might possibly indicate the presence of a subterranean tank or drain field. You will be able to discover the tank if you probe these regions.

Reasons to Hire a Contractor for Help

Attempting to locate a septic tank on your own can be dangerous, and in some cases, fatal, if the septic system is old and in danger of collapsing. In the event that you fall into a cesspool, dry well, or septic tank, you will die. Removing septic tank lids on your own might potentially put you at risk of contracting bacterial or virus diseases. If you notice any of the following conditions, please contact a contractor to assist you in locating or inspecting your septic tank:

  • Soil that is sinking around the tank or drain field. Drainage backup into the home’s sewer system, or toilet backup
  • A foul odor in the area where you assume the tank and drain field are located
  • When there is no rain, pooling water, muddy soil, or spongy grass can occur. Septic tank covers that are rusted, broken, or have been replaced with improvised lids are prohibited.

Even though you may be embarrassed about forgetting where your septic tank is, it is a very common problem among homeowners. A contractor can assist you in locating it, and he or she may do so as part of the pumping service. If you need assistance locating your tank or if you have any other questions, please contact us at 503-630-7802. We are available to assist you!

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