- The tanks installed from 1960 through the mid- to late 1970s held up pretty well. Tanks installed after that decayed rapidly. In 1995, code changed to allow an open tee for an inlet, as opposed to a 90-degree elbow or plugged tee.
How do I tell how old my septic tank is?
If you cannot find the septic system and know nothing about it or its history, start by checking the age of the building and its plumbing system with the premise that for most sites the septic tank and fields won’t be older than those.
Are septic tank locations public record?
Contact your local health department for public records. These permits should come with a diagram of the location where the septic system is buried. Depending on the age of your septic system, you may be able to find information regarding the location of your septic system by making a public records request.
How do I find out if my septic tank is registered?
Check if your septic tank is already registered You can check if your tank has already been registered by contacting your environmental regulator. If you are unsure then it is best to check and avoid making an unnecessary payment. The NIEA and SEPA have records of all registered septic tanks.
Where can I get a diagram of my septic system?
The contractor who designed and installed the septic tank on your property should have filed an as-built diagram at the local health authority. If you have the contact information of the contractor, you can request them for the diagram and then you can use it to locate your septic tank.
How long can a septic tank go without being pumped?
You can wait up to 10 years to drain your tank provided that you live alone and do not use the septic system often. You may feel like you can pump your septic tank waste less frequently to save money, but it’ll be difficult for you to know if the tank is working properly.
Do old septic tanks need to be registered?
Many homes are not connected to mains drainage, instead having sewage treatment systems or septic tanks or occasionally cesspools. If your sewage treatment system or septic tank discharges to a river or stream it must be registered immediately.
Do I have to change my septic tank?
Under the new rules, if you have a specific septic tank that discharges to surface water (river, stream, ditch, etc.) you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.
How do you find a metal detector with a septic tank?
6 Steps to Locate a Septic Tank
- Find Your Main Sewer Drain Line. Sewage from your toilets, sinks, and showers collects into a main drain line.
- Check Permits and Public Records.
- Determine Septic Tank Material.
- Time to Dig.
- Mark the Location for Future Maintenance.
What is OWTS?
An Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) is a privately owned and maintained sewage disposal system. They are commonly referred to as septic systems. All OWTS have two basic components: a two-compartment septic tank and a disposal field.
What are the new rules on septic tanks?
According to new regulations passed in 2015, if your septic tank discharges to surface water such as a ditch, stream, canal or river, you will have to upgrade your system to a sewage treatment plant or install a soakaway system by 1 January 2020.
Can you sell a property with a septic tank?
If you’re selling a property with a septic tank, then you must be transparent with buyers about the fact the property uses a one and provide a detailed specification of the system. In fact, You are required by law to inform a buyer in writing about the presence of a septic tank. The age of the system.
How do I know if my septic tank has a drainage field?
Some of the signs that your property has a septic tank are:
- The tank needing to be emptied each year.
- 2, 3 or 4 manholes in close proximity to each other above ground.
- Possible vent pipes above ground – these take unpleasant smells and gasses from the tank and distribute them into the air.
How often should I clean my septic tank?
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.
Can you walk on a leach field?
Your family can walk on a well-maintained drain field without fear of encountering puddles of affluent and dangerous bacteria. Bicycles and tricycles are also acceptable because they are not heavy enough to compress or disturb the soil.
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.
Septic System Age How Old is the Septic Tank, Septic Fields, Septic Piping?
- ASK a question or make a comment regarding the normal life expectancy of septic system components in the comments section.
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. Determining the age of a septic system This article series discusses the normal life expectancy of septic systems as well as the various components that make up a septic system. For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page. Use the SEARCH BOX to discover the information you’re looking for quickly.
Septic System Age Determination
2018/05/25 Marie-Josée Raymond expressed herself as follows: Occupation of a residence at 3397 Kentucky Lane in Navan, Ontario. I’d want to know how old my septic tank and field are, please. This Q & A about the age of a septic system was first posted at The following is an index of SEPTIC SYSTEMS articles.
Marie, Thank you for your outstanding question: how can I establish the age of my septic system, tank, and drainfields? I appreciate your help. While on the job, your septic contractor can examine the following components of your septic system: the septic tank access port, cleanout cover, tank material, pipe material (PVC, cast iron, terra cotta, ORANGEBURG PIPE), and the septic tank itself. septic tanks and lines In addition to the kind of plumbing, the materials used in septic tanks (steel, concrete, plastic, fiberglass, and home-made) provide date information.
- Leaning over (methane asphyxiation) or falling into a septic system both carry the danger of death.
- The life expectancy of a septic tank is mostly determined by the materials used in its construction, but the life expectancy of septic system pipe is largely determined by the likelihood of damage by vehicle traffic, root blockage, or flooding by groundwater.
- If you can’t identify the septic system and don’t know anything about it or its history, the first step is to determine the age of the building and its plumbing system, with the assumption that the septic tank and fields are not much older than the structure and plumbing system.
- If so, look atPLUMBING MATERIALSFIXTURE AGE.
- ORANGEBURG PIPE was originally utilized in Boston in 1865, although it was not employed in septic drain fields until the late 1940s and early 1960s, according to historical records.
- Check with your local building or health department to see whether any plans for your septic system have been submitted in the past, and if so, when.
- It is possible that the septic system drawings submitted as part of a permit procedure will not correctly depict the septic system that was ultimately completed, but you will be within the correct time frame.
- Website: (in French).
- Check see theSEPTIC TANK INSPECTION PROCEDUREAtCESSPOOL AGING ESTIMATES for more information on how to check a septic tank, including the tank’s location, size, type, materials, and overall condition.
I have not attempted to replicate the results for typical septic systems, which employ a septic tank and a drainage field. More information about septic system age may be found in these two articles. THE EXPECTANCY OF SEPTIC LIFE THE EXPECTANCY OF SEPTIC DRAINFIELD LIFE
Reader CommentsQ A
These nevertheless are made of something like clay and range in size from 12 to 18 inches in section. At the construction phase, they do not like to fit inside of one another; instead they butch up to one another and are covered with tar paper merely at the seams, which is why they are called “tar paper.” @Michelle, The Orangeburg pipe, which was a black perforated pipe that was utilized in septic drain fields, was what I believe you were referring to. Please refer to the app description for further information.
- I’m curious as to what type of drain field makes use of 12 to 18 inch sections of pipe that are kept together with tar paper.
- As an aside, I would want to point out that the size of the septic tank is inadequate by today’s standards, and the Orangeburg pipe that you describe is undoubtedly something that you would presume is no longer in working order.
- Our house was once a cottage that was only sometimes utilized.
- The piping that I can see is Orangeburg, and there is no distribution box; instead, there is a T approximately 6 feet away from the tank.
- It just had two lines, in my opinion, because it was a modest home.
- Given the age and character of the property, what are your thoughts?
- For example, unlike some other items, septic tanks are not often date stamped, and they do not have a product ID code or data tag attached to them.
For example, you could come across plans for the installation of a septic system that have been filed.
What is the best way to determine the age of my septic tank?
If you fall in, you might suffer serious injuries or perhaps death.
The cover for a steel septic tank is generally readily pulled off by excavating slightly past the perimeter of the tank lid when it is in this location.
It is possible that it will need to be emptied and replaced.
As well as this, see WHERE CAN I FIND A SEPTIC TANK?
So far, this is what I’ve discovered.
Is this an entry point for the pump out system?
Is it necessary to add another access point?
There are two bedrooms and a bathroom in this tiny home.
Way You may try posting a photo of the Stone album cover that you were discussing using the head image button and I might be able to offer a more useful response.
It is made of stone with four holes in the centre, and it is entirely by hand.
wayne Lisa See the information provided atSEPTIC OR SEWER CONECTION.
I’d want to know when a house’s septic system and well water were installed.
According to Mark Cramer, a Tampa-based specialist, it all depends.
Best case scenario: fecal waste can be stored for decades in a sewage pit, seepage pit, cesspit, or outhouse due to the fact that it is extremely concentrated in one location with little to no oxygen, bacteria, or dilution.
In order to get more information, go to our article on SEPTIC CLEARANCE DISTANCES in theARTICLE INDEX.
Alternatively, it is likely that gravity was used to direct water to the d-box at the specified depth.
Hi: I recently discovered that the distribution box for my septic system is 6 feet below the surface of the ground.
Does this imply that the drain field is also far deeper under the surface than it would be otherwise?
Do you have any clue why the D-box and drain are buried so deep beneath the surface?
Please accept my thanks for your enlightening response; have a wonderful day.
In my opinion, you are possibly not paying attention to the essence of the matter, which is that any system that is that old would be deemed to be at or near the end of its anticipated life in any event, regardless of its age.
When it comes to buried components, I would anticipate your counsel to state that as long as the nature of what’s there is disclosed, you are not making any representations regarding their future utility.
Even if those do not reveal an immediate problem, if a system is tiny and old, and I were advising a buyer, I would advise them to budget for the possibility of having to replace the system in the future.
Very often, you’ll discover that what you’re concerned about is not what your consumer is concerned about at all.
My main worry is that I want to keep the number of residents as low as possible to avoid the septic tank overflowing during the sale of my property with owner financing.
For clarification, I contacted the local health department to see whether I could limit the number of individuals to three, and the response I received was as follows: Septic systems have traditionally been designed to accommodate two persons per bedroom.
What I’m wondering is, do you happen to know what the average size of a septic tank was in 1940?
Thank you so much for your assistance.
Is it possible for water from a strong rain or rising lake water to seep into a storage tank? How well are they protected from groundwater intrusion from the outside?
Question:septic system installation in Newfoundland, Canada lasted 60 years
(15th of May, 2014) Art Mercer recalled his involvement in the construction of a concrete septic tank for his family’s home in Newfoundland, Canada, in 1958 when he was 14 years old. With the help of 8″ pieces of aluminum piping, we dug a septic field behind the house (on rural land). This septic system has been in continuous service since that time (for more than 60 years), and it has never been closed or opened. It will be switched to the local town septic system later this week, by my brother (who was not even born at the time of the conversion).
Thank you for informing me about your achievement, Art. In fact, there are several historic septic system drainfields that are still in use today. On a regular basis, I observe that soil qualities are critical to the efficient disposal of wastewater. As an example, in 1998, I dug a septic system that had been installed in 1920 but was still “working,” sustaining the residence of a single elderly inhabitant who had noticed odors surrounding the septic tank and reported them to me. We discovered that there was no drainfield or even a seepage hole where we were looking.
The effluent was disposed away, despite the fact that it had received very rudimentary treatment.
Question: 36 year old septic systems: contractor wants too much to do a repair
22nd of October, 2014) Sherry Lewis shared her experience, saying, “My septic system is 36 years old.” It is made of concrete (if the stand pipes are made of concrete, I assume the tank is as well), it has two tanks (the second is said to be an overflow tank), the soil in my area is mostly sandy (due to the proximity to the ocean), and I have lived in my house for approximately 30 years as the only occupant.
- In addition, I only use the garbage disposal for the tiniest pieces of food that manage to find their way into it, and I don’t put anything else into the system other than water, soap, the tiniest amount of garbage trash, and toilet waste.
- In the past, I phoned them because air was gushing out of my downstairs toilet and a buddy said that this meant danger as well as a full tank of gas.
- The pumper man stated that, partly because of the system’s age, it was probably time to replace it, either completely or at the very least the leach field.
- 2) When I spoke with a contractor about the task, he informed me that a lift station would be required owing to the high level of ground water (8′).
- He recommended the lift station without visiting my home to measure the depth of my present sewage pipe, and I intend to contact him to confirm this rather than assume that they will not accommodate a standard system like the one I already have.
- In the end, the gentleman who came to dig the test hole in order to determine the water level estimated an approximate cost of $7,000 or slightly more if I declared 4 instead of 3 bedrooms.
Because of the lift station, the contractor that will perform the replacement work has quoted a price that is nearly twice as much as the original estimate! That appears to be absurdly expensive! Please, someone assist me! Thank you so much for your assistance.
(February 13th, 2015) The following is what Harry Ford said: You should definitely urge the new house owner to get the home’s septic system assessed before purchasing it.
We wholeheartedly agree with Harry. See The Home Buyer’s Guide to Sewer and Drainage Systems Additionally, we provide septic system guidance to clients who are selling their house. SEPTIC TESTS FOR HOME SELLER’S GUIDELINES
Question: remove a tree from the septic tank?
Ron Lee asked on April 9, 2015: Would you be willing to remove an ash tree from near a septic tank?
Yes An in-depth guide may be found at PLANTSTREES OVER SEPTIC SYSTEMS. Continue reading atSEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY, or choose a topic from the closely-related articles listed below, or see the completeARTICLE INDEX for a comprehensive list of articles. Alternatively, consider the following:
Details about the life expectancy of a septic system
- CESSPOOL AGE ESTIMATES
- SEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY
- SEPTIC DRAINFIELD LIFE
- SEPTIC LIFE MAXIMIZING STEPS
- SEPTIC FIELD FAILURE CAUSES
- SEPTIC SYSTEM AGE
- SEPTIC TANK, HOW TO FIND
- SEPTIC TANK,
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AGEatInspection OF THE SEPTIC SYSTEM 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 Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
Prior to discharging wastewater into the environment, several alternative systems are designed to evaporate or disinfect the effluent.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.
Do you have a septic system?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
Where’s my septic tank?
There are a few solutions available if the previous homeowner failed to supply this critical information or if you have misplaced your original copy:
- Your local DHEC office may have a copy of your building permit on file if your house was built within the last five years or fewer, according to the DHEC. A copy of a septic tank permit can be obtained from the local office by any individual or group, regardless of whether or not they own the land in question. Because of this, it is highly recommended that you have as much of the following information as possible ready at the time of your request.
- Number of the tax map
- Lot number
- Block number
- Address in the physical world
- When the system was installed or when the house was built (if this information is available)
- Name of the original permit holder (if any information is available)
- Name of the subdivision (if the property is located within a subdivision)
- You may also submit a request for a copy of the permission through our Freedom of Information office, although this is not mandatory. To obtain a copy through the Freedom of Information Office, please complete and submit a copy of the DHEC FOI form. Instructions are given with the application. If feasible, please include the information about the property that is stated above. When looking around your yard, search for manhole covers or lids that have been buried by grass or leaves if your house was constructed before 1990.
Septic Tank Alerts Septic Tank Alerts
How To Find My Septic Tank
- What is a septic tank
- How do I know if I have a septic tank
- And how do I know if I have a septic tank Identifying the location of your septic tank is critical for several reasons. The Best Way to Find a Septic Tank
- What to Do Once You’ve Discovered Your Septic Tank
You may have fallen in love with your new house because of its appealing good looks and characteristics, but there is almost certainly more to your new home than meets the eye. In many cases, the characteristics that make your house run more effectively and allow you to live a pleasant, contemporary life are not readily apparent. Septic tanks, for example, are an important part of your home’s infrastructure. A septic system is responsible for regulating and managing the wastewater generated by your home.
- “How can I locate my septic tank?” is one of the most often requested inquiries we receive.
- When your tank’s lid is difficult to locate – especially if you are not the original homeowner – you may be at a loss for what to do or where to look for the lid when you need it.
- The majority of the time, all of the components of the septic tank are buried between four inches and four feet below ground level.
- In order to do so, it is necessary to first comprehend the functions of septic tanks and septic systems and why it is important to know where yours is located.
How to Locate Your Septic Tank
Your septic tank’s location is not a closely guarded secret. There will be a method for you to locate it and make a note of its position for future reference, and below are a few examples of such methods.
What Is a Septic Tank?
Having a functioning septic tank is an important aspect of having an effective septic system. In the United States, around 20% of households utilize a septic system to handle their wastewater. Houses in rural parts of New England are the most likely to have a septic system, with residences in the Eastern United States being the most prevalent location for septic systems. When there are few and far between residences, it is typically more efficient and cost-effective to employ a septic system to manage wastewater rather than relying on a public sewage system to handle waste water.
Typically, a septic tank is a container that is waterproof and composed of a material such as concrete, polyethylene, fiberglass, or a combination of these.
An important function of a septic tank is to hold on to wastewater until any particulates in the water separate themselves from the water.
Any liquid that remains in the tank eventually drains into a leach field or a drainfield, where it is known as “effluent.” The dirt in the leach field aids in the filtering of the water and the removal of bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants that may be present in it.
Septic tanks erected in Onondaga County must contain input and outlet baffles, as well as an effluent filter or sanitary tees, in order to effectively separate particles from liquids during the treatment process.
How Do I Know If I Have a Septic Tank?
What is the best way to tell if your home has a septic tank? There are generally a few of different methods to tell. Examining your water bill might help you identify whether or not your house is served by a septic system or is part of the public sewage system in your neighborhood. If you have a septic system for wastewater management, you are likely to receive a charge from the utility provider for wastewater or sewer services of zero dollars. In the case of those who are fortunate enough to have a septic system, it is likely that they may not receive any water bills at all.
- A lack of a meter on the water line that enters your property is typically indicative of the fact that you are utilizing well water rather than public utility water, according to the National Association of Realtors.
- A septic system is likely to be installed in your home if you reside in a rather rural location.
- Septic systems are likely to be installed in all of these buildings, which means your home is likely to be as well.
- When a septic tank is present, it is common to find a mound or tiny hill on the property that is not a natural structure.
- Checking your property records is a foolproof method of determining whether or not your home is equipped with a septic system.
Why It’s Important to Know the Location of Your Septic Tank
You might wonder why you should bother trying to discover out where your septic tank is. There are several important reasons for this:
1. To Be Able to Care for It Properly
The first reason you should try to locate your septic tank is that knowing where it is will help you to properly repair and care for it in the future. The standard guideline is to avoid erecting structures or placing heavy objects on top of the septic tank. It’s possible that you don’t want to park your car or truck on top of it, and you don’t want visitors to your house to park their cars on top of it, either. Due to the weight of the automobiles, there is a possibility that the tank would collapse due to excessive pressure.
2. If You Want to Landscape or Remodel Your Property
If you want to build an addition to your home or perform some landscaping around your property, you will need to know where your septic tank is located. Nothing with deep or lengthy roots should be planted on top of or in the area of your tank, since this can cause problems. If roots are allowed to grow into the pipes of your septic system, it is conceivable that your system will get clogged. When you know where the tank is going to be, you may arrange your landscaping such that only shallow-rooted plants, such as grass, are in close proximity to the tank.
For starters, the tank’s weight might lead it to collapse due to the weight of the construction. A second issue is that getting access to the tank becomes more difficult if a permanent building has been constructed on top of it.
3. If a Problem With Your Tank Occurs
Knowing where your tank is buried might also assist you in identifying problems as soon as they arise. Consider the following scenario: you wake up one morning and see that there is flooding or ponding water in the region surrounding your septic tank – a sign that your system is overwhelmed and that an excessive amount of water is being utilized all at once.
4. Ease of Getting It Fixed
Once you have determined the location of your sewer system, you can quickly send a plumber to it in the event that something goes wrong with the system, saving everyone both time and money. Get in Touch With A Plumber Right Away
1. Use a Septic Tank Map
First and foremost, make use of a road map. Using a map is frequently the quickest and most convenient alternative. Most counties keep records of the installation of septic tanks at all of their residents’ residences. These maps should include schematics that illustrate the specific placement of the tank on the land, as well as measurements that allow you to measure and locate the tank’s exact location on the property. Never mind that landmarks may shift over time depending on when the tank was built, so if there are a few more shrubs or a tree nearby, don’t rule out that location as a possibility.
- If you are unable to locate a map or other paperwork that identifies the location of your septic tank, there are a few locations to try to see if you can obtain a map of the area.
- The county health department is responsible for keeping track of septic systems.
- A septic tank’s position could be depicted on a survey map, for example.
- The creation of your own map and documentation may be worthwhile if you cannot locate a map or blueprint of your property and nothing appears to be on file regarding it at the county health department or another municipal agency.
2. Follow the Pipes to Find Your Septic Tank
Whether or not there is an existing map of your septic tank on file, or whether or not you choose to develop one for future reference or for future homeowners, you will still need to track down and find the tank. One method of accomplishing this is to follow the sewer lines that lead away from your residence. The septic tank is situated along the sewage line that goes from your home and into the yard, as we’re sure you’re aware. Find a four-inch sewer pipe in your basement or crawl space. This is the line that will lead to your septic system and should be accessible from the ground level.
- In general, though, you’re searching for a pipe with a diameter of four inches or more that leaves your home via a basement wall or ceiling.
- By inserting a thin metal probe (also known as a soil probe) into the earth near the sewage line, you can track the pipe’s location.
- The majority of septic tanks are located between 10 and 25 feet away from your home, and they cannot be any closer than five feet.
- Going via the sewage line itself is another method of locating the septic tank utilizing it.
- Drain snakes are typically used to unclog clogs in toilets and drains, and they may be used to do the same thing.
- When the snake comes to a complete halt, it has almost certainly reached the tank.
- While drawing the snake back, make a note of how far it has been extended and whether it has made any bends or turns.
- When looking for your septic tank, you may use a transmitter that you flush down the toilet and it will direct you straight to the tank.
If you only want to keep an eye on the condition of your tank and don’t need to dig it up and inspect it, you may thread a pipe camera into the sewer pipe to see what’s happening.
3. Inspect Your Yard
Septic tanks are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible when they are erected. With the passage of time, and the growth of the grass, it might be difficult to discern the visual indications that indicated the exact location of your septic tank’s installation. However, this does not rule out the possibility of finding evidence that will take you to the location of your septic tank in the future. First and foremost, you want to rule out any potential locations for your septic tank, such as:
- Under a road or similar paved surface, for example. Right up against the house (the tank must be at least five feet away)
- Directly in front of the home Immediately adjacent to your well (if you have one)
- In close proximity to trees or densely planted regions
- In the shadow of a patio, deck, or other building
Once you’ve ruled out any potential locations for your tank, it’s time to start hunting for indications as to where it may be hiding in plain sight. Keep your eyes peeled as you go about your property, looking for any inexplicable high or low points that might suggest the presence of an underground tank. When looking at your property, you could see a hill or mound on the ground, which is frequently an indication that there is a septic tank nearby. One further item to consider while searching for the right septic tank for your home is the amount of grass or other foliage in your yard.
Alternatively, if the tank was not adequately buried, you may observe a “bald patch,” which is an area where the grass is struggling to grow in the vicinity.
4. Talk to Your Neighbors
If your neighbors have septic systems as well, they may be able to assist you in locating your tank. Inquire of your neighbors about the location of their septic tanks in relation to their residences. Having a polite conversation with your neighbors regarding septic systems not only provides you with a means to figure out where yours is, but it may also serve as a friendly introduction to the other residents of your community.
5. Look for Your Septic Tank Lid
It is only the first step in the process to discover where your septic tank is located. After you’ve located your tank, the following step is to locate the lid. You can locate it with the help of your soil probe. The majority of septic tanks are rectangular in shape and measure around five feet by eight feet. The perimeter of the tank should be marked with a probe once it has been probed around. A shallow excavation with a shovel within the tank’s perimeter and near the center (or broken into halves for a two compartment tank) should show the position of the lid or lids if you are unable to feel them by probing.
The tank itself is likely to be filled with foul-smelling vapors, if not potentially hazardous ones.
What to Do After You Find Your Septic Tank
Once you’ve determined where your tank is, it’s time to bring in the specialists. Trust us when we say that opening a septic tank is not something that just anybody wants to undertake. Concrete septic tank lids are extremely heavy and must be lifted using special lifting gear in order to be removed. Since the vapors are potentially dangerous due to the contents of the tank, please respect our advice and refrain from attempting to open the tank yourself. An exposed septic tank can be hazardous to anybody wandering around your property’s perimeter, and if someone were to fall into it, it might be lethal owing to the toxicity of the sewage in the tank.
However, before you call in a team of professional plumbers, there are a few things you can do to ensure that others do not experience the same difficulty locating the tank and to make locating the tank in the future easier.
1. Mark Its Location
The likelihood is that you will not want to post a large sign in your yard that reads “Septic Tank Here!” but you will want to leave some sort of marking so that you can quickly locate the tank and lid when you need them. In an ideal situation, the marker will be substantial enough that it will not blow away in the wind and will not be readily moved by children who are playing in the yard. A patio paver, a potted plant, or a decorative gnome or rock are just a few of the possibilities. In addition to putting a physical sign beside the septic tank, you may draw a map or layout of the area around it to illustrate its position.
2. Take Care of Your Septic Tank
Taking proper care of your tank may save you hundreds of dollars over the course of its lifetime. The expense of maintaining your system could be a few hundred dollars every few years, but that’s a lot less than the thousands of dollars it might cost to repair or replace a damaged tank or a malfunctioning septic system. Two strategies to take better care of your septic tank and system are to avoid utilizing your drain pipes or toilets as garbage cans and to use less water overall. Things like paper towels, face wipes, and cat litter should not be flushed down the toilet since they are not designed to be flushed.
In addition, installing low-flow faucets and high-efficiency toilets can help you reduce the amount of water used in your home.
For example, you don’t want to be washing load after load of laundry or running your clothes washer at the same time as your dishwasher all at the same time.
Call a Professional Plumber
Maintenance of a septic system is not normally considered a do-it-yourself activity. In the Greater Syracuse region, whether your septic tank requires pumping out or cleaning, or if you want to replace your tank, you should use the services of a reputable plumbing firm to do the job right. If you’ve attempted to locate your septic tank on your own and are still unsure of its position, it may be necessary to enlist the assistance of a professional local plumber. Our team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse can assist you with locating, maintaining, or replacing your home’s sewage tank.
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How Do I Find My Septic Tank
What is the location of my septic tank? Natalie Cooper is a model and actress who has appeared in a number of films and television shows. 2019-10-24T 02:52:07+10:00
How Do I Find My Septic Tank
Whether or not my property has a septic tank is up in the air. If you live on an acreage or in a rural region, it is highly probable that you have a septic tank or a waste water treatment system in your home. What Is the Appearance of a Septic Tank? The great majority of septic tanks are 1600L concrete tanks, which are common in the industry. They feature a spherical concrete top with a huge lid in the center and two little lids on the sides. They are made out of concrete. Although the lids of these tanks may have been removed or modified on occasion, this is a rare occurrence.
A tiny proportion of septic tanks have a capacity of 3000L or more.
Our expert lifts the hefty lid of a 3000L septic tank and inspects the contents.
If you have discovered a tank or tanks that do not appear to be part of a waste water treatment plant system, it is possible that you have discovered a septic tank system. To learn more about our wastewater treatment plant, please visit our Waste Water Treatment Plant website.
How Can I Find My Septic Tank?
According to standard guidelines, the septic tank should be positioned close to the home, preferably on the same side of the house as the toilet. It can be found on the grass or within a garden bed, depending on its location. Going outdoors to the same side of the home as the toilet and performing a visual check of the septic tank is a smart first step to taking in order to discover where your septic tank is. The location of the toilets from outside can be determined if you are unfamiliar with the location of the toilets (for example, if you are looking to purchase a property).
Unfortunately, the position of septic tanks can vary widely and is not always easily discernible from the surrounding landscape.
In cases where the septic tank is no longer visible, it is likely that it has become overgrown with grass, has been buried in a garden or has had a garden built over it, that an outdoor area has been added and the septic tank has been paved over, or that a deck has been constructed on top of the tank.
- They should indicate the position of your septic tank, as well as the location of your grease trap and greywater tank, if any.
- Alternatively, if we have previously serviced the property for a different owner, our helpful office staff can examine our records to see if there are any notes pertaining to the site.
- A specific gadget is used to locate the location of the septic tank, and our professional will mark the location of the tank so that it may be exposed and cleaned out.
- Using an electronic service locator, you may locate a septic tank.
- In the event that you’re not experiencing any problems, the toilets are flushing normally, and there are no foul odors, you may ponder whether it’s best to leave things alone rather than attempting to locate and unburden a hidden septic tank.
- Although you could wait until there is a problem, this would almost certainly result in a significant amount of additional charges.
- Does it make sense for me to have many toilets and also multiple septic tanks?
It is decided by the number of bedrooms, which in turn determines the number of people who are anticipated to reside in the house, that the size of the septic tank should be. The following is the relationship between septic tank volumes and the number of bedrooms:
- There are three sizes of sewer tanks available: 3000L for three bedrooms, 3500L for four bedrooms, and 4000L for five bedrooms.
The most typical septic tank size is 1600L, although there are also some 3000L septic tanks available on the market. It is possible to have septic tanks with capacities as large as 3500L or 4000L, although they are not as popular, and most residences that require these capacities have numerous septic tanks in order to meet the septic litre requirements for each bedroom. Using the septic tank lid as a test, you may quickly determine whether all of the toilets in your home are linked to the same septic tank.
Check the rest of the toilets in the home by repeating the procedure.
Please call us immediately to have your septic tank pumped out or to schedule a free septic tank test when we are next in your area.
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Septic System Owner’s Guide
What kind of computer system do you have? In North Carolina, there are many distinct types of septic systems in use, but the vast majority of the over 2 million systems in use throughout the state are minor variations of the typical septic system. This system includes a septic tank as well as a drainfield that is filled with gravel (usually two to six trenches). Since the mid- to late-1990s, classic gravel aggregate trenches have been phased out in favor of innovative gravel-less trench designs, which have become increasingly popular.
- Some of the most often used gravel-free trenches nowadays are either long and narrow, tunnel-shaped chambers in the trenche, or gravel replacements such as expanded polystyrene aggregate.
- A booklet from the Cooperative Extension Service, AG-439-13, Septic Systems and Their Maintenance, outlines the typical system, easy adjustments to it, and the most significant maintenance requirements.
- The application of these technologies is now widespread, whether in new housing projects or in the replacement or repair of malfunctioning septic systems in residences and businesses.
- In order to address this, state regulations provide specified maintenance requirements for a number of these more advanced technology.
- Furthermore, state regulations mandate that the health department examine these systems on a regular basis.
- Are you familiar with the location of your septic system and repair area?
- If you do not have a copy of your septic system permit or a soil evaluation document, contact your local health department.
This Septic System Owner’s Guidefile folder should contain the following items: It is normally possible to establish the location of a septic tank and drainfield by looking at a copy of the permit and consulting with a septic contractor, a consultant, or the local health department A “repair area or replacement area,” in which a second drainfield might be constructed if necessary, has been required on nearly all home sites approved since the early 1980s, according to state law.
It should be noted on your septic system permit that this repair area was designated by the health department when the site was allowed.
Some Important Facts to Understand About Your Septic System
- In what form of septic system do you have
- Where is it situated
- And where is the repair area situated? Is the septic system up and running? In the past, has it been kept up to date? What can you do on a day-to-day basis to ensure that your system continues to function properly? What kind of maintenance will be required in the future
On the grid labeledSeptic System Layout, draw a rough sketch of your home, septic system (including both the tank and drainfield), repair area, and any other essential features (such as your driveway). The distance between the home and the access port on the septic tank should be measured and recorded when having your septic tank drained. This will assist you in locating it again. You may also want to indicate the position of your tank as well as the limits of your drainfield in your yard. If you do not have a riser installed over the access port for your septic tank, you may want to consider having one put in.
- Even when properly maintained, septic tanks can contain harmful gases and pollutants, as well as bacteria and other germs that can cause major health problems if not addressed.
- Is your septic system in proper functioning order?
- Many individuals are unaware that untreated sewage that has accumulated on the surface of the ground might be a health threat.
- Before fixing a malfunctioning septic system, you must get a permit from the local health authority, according to state regulations.
- What kind of upkeep has been carried out?
- If you are purchasing an existing house, you should ask the seller a few critical questions, such as the following:
- What is the age of the system
- What is the location of the tank and drainfield (they may or may not be on the same property or even on the same parcel of land)
- When was the last time the tank was pumped
- What is the frequency with which it has been pushed
- Is it necessary to clean the “effluent filter” in the septic tank on a regular basis (effluent filters are required for systems established after 1999)
- Has there been any indication of a likely failure? In what location can I get a copy of the permit and documentation proving how effectively (or poorly) the system has been maintained
- Do you know whether any improvements have been made to the house that would necessitate expanding the capacity of the system? Is the system still operational, and if so, when and by whom was it repaired?
If the house has only recently been constructed, request that the septic system contractor give you with a “as built” schematic, which may include elements that were not included in the permit. If the house is equipped with a pump, request that the contractor and the local health agency supply specifics on how the pump was initially installed. In order to properly care for your septic system, you must manage it on a day-to-day basis as well as perform periodic maintenance and repairs. Layout of a septic system.
- However, the drainfield does not have an indefinite capacity. The average daily water use per person is 50 gallons. Even for brief periods of time, the soil drainfield has a maximum daily design capacity of 120 gallons per bedroom, which is routinely exceeded. Overloads can occur at any time of year, on a daily basis, or on weekends. Fix any leaky faucets or toilets you may have. Water conservation will help you get more use out of your system.
Keep waste disposal to sewage alone.
- It is not acceptable to utilize your septic tank as a garbage can for items such as cigarette butts, tissues, feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, cat litter, coffee grinds, or disposable diapers. Reduce the amount of time you use your garbage disposal. These contribute a significant amount of additional solids. It is not recommended to throw fat or cooking oil down the drain. You should avoid putting toxic chemicals into your system, such as solvents and oils. You should avoid using paint thinners and paint thinners that have been dumped. You should avoid disinfectants and pesticides. Conserve your funds. Most of the time, commercial septic tank additives are not required.
Ensure that the system is protected against physical harm (site maintenance).
- Maintain a layer of plants on the soil over the drainfield to prevent soil erosion from occurring. Don’t drive your car above the system’s limits. Try to avoid building over the system or in the repair area. The natural shape of the terrain immediately downslope of the system should be preserved, and this region should be protected against excavation (cutting and filling). Neither asphalt nor concrete should be used to cover the tank or drainfield.
All wastewater should be disposed of in a system that has been authorized.
- You shouldn’t install a separate pipe to transport washwater to a side ditch or into the woods. This is against the law
The house and the yard (site maintenance)
- Conserve and preserve the area where your septic tank and drainfield are located
- Trees that thrive in moist environments should be cut down and removed. Willows, elms, sweetgums, and certain maples are examples of such trees. Surface water should be diverted away from the tank and drainfield by landscaping the yard. Inspect the system to make sure that water from the roof, gutter, and foundation drains does not overflow
- It is recommended that if your system is located at the base of a slope, you build a french drain to channel subterranean water. Ensure that drainage ditches, subsurface tiles, and drainage outlets are kept in good condition so that water may readily flow from them.
Sewage treatment system (Septic tank)
- Tanks should be elevated if they are 6 inches or deeper below the surface. They offer quick and convenient access for solids measurement and pumping, as well as for cleaning the effluent filter. The rate at which sludge and scum build in the tank is measured. Make a note of this information and provide it to your expert pumper. Solids should be pushed out of the tank as necessary. Most septic tanks have two sections
- It is necessary to have them drained out. More information about pumping frequency can be found in the Cooperative Extension Service document AG-439-13, Septic Systems and Their Maintenance, which is available online. It is not necessary to wait till your drainfield collapses before having your tank pumped. By that time, the drainfield may have been completely destroyed. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to septic systems.
|Preventive Maintenance Record|
|Your Septic System Installer|
|Date System Installed:|
- If sewage is backing up into your toilets, tubs, or sinks, call a plumber. Slowly draining fittings, especially after it has rained
- Slow-draining fixtures A foul odor associated with damp soil or sewage dumped onto the ground or into neighboring ditches or wooded areas
- Please keep in mind that sewage from pump systems may rise to the surface of the ground when the pump is switched on and then disappear when the pump is turned off. This is still a failure of the system, and it must be fixed. a red light blinking or beeping in the home or in the yard, signaling that a pump is not functioning correctly or that the water level in a pump tank is excessive and on the verge of failing
- A rise in the number of diseases or illnesses related with swimming in nearby lakes or rivers
Regulations and safeguards are necessary.
- Any system that includes a pump should be operated by a state-certified subsurface system operator. In the case of low pressure pipe (LPP) systems erected or repaired after July 1, 1992, as well as underground drip irrigation systems, aerobic treatment units (ATUs), peat biofilters, sand biofilters, textile biofilters, and other sophisticated systems, a permit will be required by law. Those interested in obtaining a list of state-certified subsurface system operators should contact the North Carolina Water Pollution Control System Certification Commission at 919-707-9089. Between planned maintenance visits, check to see that the pump and electrical components are still in proper operating order. Germs found in sewage have the potential to cause disease. Never go into a septic tank unless absolutely necessary. Toxic and explosive gases are present in the tank, posing a threat. Tanks that are more than a decade old may collapse. Electrical controls provide a risk of electric shock and sparking. Children should not be able to open the septic tank lid, hence it should be secured. Do not attempt to repair a malfunctioning system on your own time. Obtain a repair permit and employ a contractor with extensive expertise
For further information about septic systems, speak with an Extension agent in your county or the local public health agency. This paper is an updated version of a previous publication. It is with gratitude that we acknowledge Tom Konsler (Orange County Health Department), Deanna Osmond, Mitch Woodward, and Grace Lawrence (North Carolina Cooperative Extension) for their contributions to the document’s peer review, as well as Debra Ireland for her work on the document’s graphic design, layout, and editing.
Discrimination and harassment are prohibited at North Carolina Cooperative Extension, regardless of age, color, handicap, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political opinions, racism, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or veteran status.