How Big Of A Septic Tank Do I Need State Of Michigan? (Solution found)

  • Septic tank volume for a conventional tank and onsite effluent disposal system (such as a drainfield) is estimated at a minimum of 1000 gallons or 1.5 x average total daily wastewater flow. Quoting the EPA manual:

How do I know what size septic tank I need?

The larger your home, the larger the septic tank you’re going to need. For instance, a house smaller than 1,500 square feet usually requires a 750 to 1,000-gallon tank. On the other hand, a bigger home of approximately 2,500 square feet will need a bigger tank, more than the 1,000-gallon range.

Is it legal to install your own septic system in Michigan?

Homeowners are allowed to install their own septic system. All others must be licensed by District Health Department #10. District Health Department #10 recommends to pump your septic tank every 3 to 4 years.

Do you have to have a septic tank in Michigan?

Michigan is the only state without a statewide sanitary code … meaning it is left up to counties or townships to set standards. Time of Sale/Transfer ordinances which require local inspection of well and septic systems prior to the sale of a property.

How big should a septic tank be for a 3 bedroom house?

The correct size of the septic tank depends mostly on the square footage of the house and the number of people living there. Most residential septic tanks range in size from 750 gallons to 1,250 gallons. An average 3-bedroom home, less than 2500 square feet will probably require a 1000 gallon tank.

How often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?

For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.

How do I calculate the size of my septic 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 deep is a septic field in Michigan?

A typical septic drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36″; or per the USDA, 2 feet to 5 feet in depth.

Are plastic septic tanks legal in Michigan?

Michigan Septic Tanks Save up to 50% on plastic septic tanks. These septic tanks are state approved for use in the state of Michigan.

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 many septic systems are in Michigan?

The regulations already in place The scale of the issue is large. Michigan has between 1.3 and 1.4 million onsite septic systems and 35 percent of its residents rely on septic systems, according to EGLE. And though Michigan does not have a statewide code, there are local ordinances that relate to septic systems.

Are dry wells legal in Michigan?

Dry wells are not allowed per the Michigan plumbing code but are allowed if they can drain completely either in combination with a sump or outlet pipe as follows in items 5 and 6. In addition to a dry well, a SUMP may be placed in the dry well where a pump can be installed during wet times.

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

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

How long do septic tanks last?

A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.

Septic System Ordinances

Septic inspection and pumping are required at the point of sale (POS) or at the time of sale/transfer (TOST). Michigan is the only state that does not have a statewide sanitary code, which means that requirements are imposed by individual counties or townships. According to Michigan’s public health code, municipal health departments are in responsibility of drafting and enforcing regulations governing water wells and sewage treatment facilities. The adoption of Time of Sale/Transfer (TOST) septic regulations is becoming more common in local municipalities across the state (also called Point of Sale, or POS).

Such inspections are intended to detect well and septic systems that are no longer operating as intended (or that were installed in violation of the code), and to take corrective action if necessary.

Nevertheless, if it is discovered that a system is deteriorating, it will be necessary to fix or replace it.

Additional References

Organization County Resource Description Resource Link
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council Charlevoix County Article: “The Septic Question” Click here

Additional Ordinance Examples

Municipality County Resource Description Resource Link
Milton Township Antrim County Septic Inspection and Property Transfer Ordinance Click here
Barry County Barry County Sanitary Code Click here
Benzie County Benzie County Sewage and Well Evaluation Form Click here
Eaton County Eaton County Sanitary Code Click here
Long Lake Township Grand Traverse County Ordinance 107: Inspection of on Site Sewage Disposal Systems Click here
Kalkaska County Kalkaska County Sanitary Code Chapter 5: Wastewater and Sewage Disposal Click here
Village of Empire Leelanau County Ordinance 135: Septic Inspection at Time of Sale Click here
Manistee County Manistee Sanitary Code Chapter 5: Wastewater and Sewage Disposal Click here
Springfield Township Oakland County Section 40-639 (b): Lots abutting waterbodies- septic tankminimum setback regulation Click here
Shiawassee County Shiawassee County Click here
Washenaw County Washtenaw County Time of Sale Inspection Requirements Program Click here

Sewage System Sizing

Adding more plumbing fixtures, such as separate showers with whirlpool tubs instead of tub/shower combos, double lavatories, bidets, and other similar items, has been demonstrated to increase the quantity of wastewater created by a residence, according to research. Any two extra fixtures may result in an increase in the size of the septic tank and/or drainfield. If you want to add a number of fixtures, consulting with our Sanitarians early on will allow you to determine the necessary size of the septic tanks and drainfields to be installed.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • It is recommended that you use the sizes mentioned for primary drainfield regions. The sum of the primary and reserve drainfield areas is the total drainfield area that is required. Effluent filters are highly recommended and may be necessary on some sites and on alternative on-site sewage systems. The reserve area is 1.5 times the size of the principal drainfield. In the wastewater exiting the septic tank, effluent filters remove tiny solid particles, preventing the particles from entering the drainfield. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for proper usage and maintenance.

An additional bedroom, study, den, or similar area that has the potential to be transformed must be included in the total number of bedrooms.

Septic System Regulations in Michigan

In the lack of a municipal sewage system, a major portion of Michigan’s suburban and rural population relies on privately owned septic tanks for its waste disposal. As a result, the state has laws and regulations in place to act as guides and to guarantee that the highest possible health standards are maintained.

Regulation of Septic Contractors and Private Septic Systems in Michigan

This program is implemented by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), in partnership with the Water Bureau and county health departments. They carry out the following activities to guarantee appropriate construction and maintenance of sewage systems on private property:

  • Soil analysis
  • Issuance of permits
  • Inspections
  • And investigation of septage violations are all responsibilities.

In addition to these agencies, each county may have its own governing bodies, each with its own set of rules and regulations that must be followed.

Licensure Requirements for Septic System Contractors

According to the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, only an authorized individual who possesses a valid septage waste service license as well as a septage waste vehicle license is permitted to engage in the servicing, construction, or maintenance of a sewage collection system. It is not possible to apply for a driver’s license without first completing an introductory 10-hour course within two years after submitting a formal application. From January 2010, the number of hours of lessons may be increased to 30 hours.

Under normal conditions, both the septage license and the septage vehicle license are valid for a period of five years after they have been issued to the applicant. These permits are not transferrable under any circumstances.

Installing a New Septic System

The homeowner is responsible for submitting an application to the county Department of Public Health in order to obtain approval to build a septic system. Soil tests are carried out to establish whether the land is appropriate for the building of a sewage system without creating pollution of ground water or posing other health risks to the public.

How to File a Complaint

Contacting the MDEQ is the best way for consumers to make a complaint about sewage disposal or any other connected problem. Michigan Department of Environmental QualityDrinking Water and Radiological Protection DivisionP. O. Box 30630Lansing, MI 48909 Michigan Department of Environmental QualityDrinking Water and Radiological Protection Division

Finding a Septic Service Company in Michigan

Septic tank pumping in Michigan may be found in our business profiles listed below.

What Size Septic Tank Do I Need

The size of an underground septic tank is referred to as its total volume handling capacity in this article, and it will be discussed in further detail later in this article. For additional information on above-ground septic tanks and systems, see our page on above-ground septic tanks. The minimum septic tank capacity requirements are determined by a variety of variables. State, county, and/or city regulations may specify permitted tank sizes, as well as tank materials and installation.

The size of the septic tank will vary depending on whether it is intended for domestic or commercial usage; in this section, we will cover residential use.

Shortly stated, the required size of a septic tank will be determined by the following factors: (1) the specific septic system type; (2) local government requirements; (3) the compatibility of the ground geology; and (4) the anticipated volume of wastewater depending on the size of the residence.

However, this is not true.

Furthermore, plastic septic tanks will not corrode, are weatherproof, are waterproof, are less expensive, are lighter, and are easier to build.

1) The Specific Septic System Type

There are seven different types of septic tank systems, and the size of the tank required will vary depending on the system you choose. The scope of this article does not allow for a comprehensive discussion of each system type and its associated size requirements. We are referring to traditional gravity-fed anaerobic septic systems in this context when we say “system type.” The anaerobic septic system is the most prevalent type of septic system, and it is the one that most people think of when they imagine a septic tank.

The following are the seven most popular types of septic systems, and modern polyethylene septic tanks may be used in nearly all of these systems that require a tank, if not all of them:

  1. Generally speaking, there are seven different types of septic tank systems, and the size of the tank required will vary depending on the system you choose. It is beyond the scope of this article to provide an overview of each system type and their size requirements. Conventional, gravity-fed anaerobic septic systems are the sort of system we are talking about here. It is the anaerobic septic system that is the most commonly seen and the one that most people envision when they think of a septic tank or leach field. The following are the seven most popular types of septic systems, and modern polyethylene septic tanks may be used in nearly all of these systems that require a tank, if not all of them.
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If your septic tank system is anything other than a traditional, anaerobic system, the instructions in this page may not be applicable in their entirety to your situation.

2) Local Government Regulations

The laws for septic tanks imposed by local governments vary greatly across the United States. In part, this is due to the significantly diverse soil geography and water features that exist from state to state and can even differ by a few miles in some cases. In order to determine the appropriate septic tank size and the best position on the land for installation, it is essential to consult with local government rules first. Take, for example, theWastewater Treatment Standards – Residential Onsite Systemsdocument from the New York State Department of Health, which provides a comprehensive informational overview of codes, rules, and regulations frequently promulgated by governing bodies, as well as common terminology and definitions in the industry.

3) Suitability of the Ground Geology

The subterranean soil type has a significant impact on the efficacy of the system and, consequently, the size of the septic tank. This topic is highly tied to the rules of the local government. In most cases, it is related to the standards and recommendations of a designated authority that regulates septic tank installations, which is typically the department of health. In order to determine whether or not the ground is suitable for a septic tank system, a trained specialist must come out to the prospective installation site and conduct a series of tests.

A perc test will assess whether or not the subterranean soil is capable of handling and filtering septic tank effluent in an appropriate manner.

Whether you are hiring an experienced professional or doing it yourself, it is your obligation to contact your local oversight agency and arrange for perc tests and/or ground area evaluations to be performed.

4) The Expected Volume of Wastewater

The typical amount of wastewater that will be generated and that the septic tank will be able to manage is the most essential factor in determining the size of the septic tank that is required. In a home with simply a septic system, all wastewater is disposed of in the septic tank unless a separate system for managing greywater is in place to handle the waste. In order to calculate and approximate these values for residential dwellings, business structures, and facilities, extensive study has been carried out.

Starting with a 1000-gallon septic tank for residential usage, the advice is to go from there.

Some experts propose adding an additional 250 gallons of septic tank capacity for each additional bedroom over three bedrooms.

This is frequently the case when considering the situation collectively for the entire household rather than individually.

This article has demonstrated that septic tank recommendations are extremely diverse and depend on a variety of factors like where you reside, local government rules, subterranean soil type, house size, and the amount of wastewater that your unique home is predicted to produce.

Minimum Septic Tank Capacity Table

For further information on the minimum septic tank capacity dependent on the number of residential bedrooms, please see the following table:

Number of Bedrooms Minimum Septic Tank Size Minimum Liquid Surface Area Drainfield Size
2 or less 1000 – 1500 Gallons 27 Sq. Ft. 800 – 2500 Sq. Ft.
3 1000 – 2000 Gallons 27 Sq. Ft. 1000 – 2880 Sq. Ft.
4 1250 – 2500 Gallons 34 Sq. Ft. 1200 – 3200 Sq. Ft.
5 1500 – 3000 Gallons 40 Sq. Ft. 1600 – 3400 Sq. Ft.
6 1750 – 3500 Gallons 47 Sq. Ft. 2000 – 3800 Sq. Ft.

Take note of the following in relation to the table above:

  • As defined by the State of New York, the Minimum Liquid Surface Area is the surface area given for the liquid by the tank’s width and length measurements. The range of Drainfield Sizes is depending on the kind of groundwater present. The State of Michigan provides the above-mentioned drainfield recommendations, which might vary greatly depending on local standards and terrain.

Additional Thought: Can a Septic Tank Be Too Big?

In the absence of consideration for cost, it is reasonable to ask: “Can a septic tank be too large?” The answer is a resounding nay. As long as the septic tank is placed appropriately, it is impossible for a septic tank to be too large; the only thing that can happen is that it is too little. According to the majority of suggestions, constructing a larger-capacity septic tank is frequently the safer and more preferable solution. The following are the reasons behind this:

  1. With a bigger septic tank, you can adapt for changes in household consumption, such as those caused by parties or long-term guests. In the event that your family grows in size or you want to make improvements to your house, such as adding more bedrooms and bathrooms or installing new plumbing fixtures, having a bigger septic tank can save you the expense of installing a new tank.

Takeaways | What Size Septic Tank Do I Need

The septic tank size recommendations offered here are merely that: suggestions. They are built on a foundation of information gathered from government and academic sources. The actual size of the septic tank you require will vary depending on the factors discussed in this article. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution when it comes to determining the appropriate septic tank size for your property. There is a great deal of variation depending on where you reside. With addition to providing a basic insight into the septic tank and system size that may be most suited to your application, the providedMinimum Septic Tank Capacity Tablecan also assist in cost estimations.

Before beginning any septic tank installation project, check and double-check with the state, city, or local county’s agency that is in charge of septic tanks, soil testing, and permissions.

If you’re searching for a chart of tank sizes, have a look at our page on the many sizes and quantities of septic tanks available.

They are available in both single chamber and double chamber designs.

Michigan has nation’s weakest regulations on septic systems

The septic tank size suggestions offered here are merely that: guidelines. Based on information gathered from government and academic sources, they provide recommendations. You will require a different septic tank capacity depending on the factors discussed in this article. 1. If you’re wondering what size septic tank you should have for your house, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Based on where you reside, there is a great deal of variation. With addition to providing a broad insight into the septic tank and system size that may be most suited to your application, the providedMinimum Septic Tank Capacity Table may also assist in cost estimations.

If you are planning to construct a septic tank, make sure to check with the agency responsible for septic tanks, soil testing, and permissions in your state, city, or local county before you begin.

Look no farther than our blog post on the many types of available septic tank volumes and sizes measurements for a chart with the various tank capacities.

Consider this article from Texas A M University, which provides an overview of onsite wastewater treatment systems, for further information on traditional septic systems.

Septic System FAQ’s Grayling MI

Is it necessary to get my septic tank cleaned or serviced on a regular basis? In accordance with the recommendations of the District Health Department10, a service frequency of about every 3 to 4 years is recommended. (To be added to our “service reminder” email list, please click here. ) Q2:How can I find the location of my septic tank? A2: Visual indications, such as slightly mounded or slightly depressed portions in the yard, may sometimes be used to identify the position of a septic tank.

  • Most of the time, the tank is constructed of concrete and is positioned within 20 feet of the structure.
  • When purchasing a property with a septic system, what should I do is to ask the following questions: A3:We suggest that a septic system check be performed prior to the sale of any house.
  • For price information or to book an inspection, please contact us.
  • A4: Please see ourSeptic System Maintenance Tipspage for more information.
  • In the case of a big vehicle or machinery, you should avoid driving over the septic tank or drainfield area entirely if possible.
  • Q6:How can I determine whether or not I have a septic system or whether or not I have sewer service?
  • If you want to be certain, you should contact that particular unit of government.
  • Anything with a large root system should not be planted within 10 feet of the septic tankORdrainfield, according to A7.

Environmental Health

Waste water treatment is a critical component in maintaining the quality of groundwater supplies. The sewage disposal program studies soil to determine its potential to effectively treat waste water before reintroducing it into the groundwater supply system. In addition, the program grants a permit and oversees the development of the system. ​​

  • A significant component of groundwater quality control is the treatment of waste water. The sewage disposal program studies soil to determine its potential to effectively treat waste water before reintroducing it to the groundwater supply system. Construction of the system is overseen by the program, which also grants permits. ​​

Please read this link to view an example of a typical septic tank system.

Permit Application

Permits are necessary for any new septic system construction, as well as for the replacement of an existing septic tank or tile field, among other things. For any additions to or expansions of septic systems, as well as for any alterations to the system, a permit is necessary.

The Environmental Health Department of the Huron County Health Department is responsible for issuing permits. Permit applications are available online. What information is required to complete an application? ​

  • Property code or property identification number
  • The name and postal address of the current owner
  • Name and postal address of the applicant
  • Township and section number of the property
  • Layout of the site

You will be given with all of the forms and instructions you will need to complete the application process.

Protecting Michigan’s Environment

Do you have a minute? Learn how a house septic system works and why it is critical to the protection of public health, our Great Lakes, and the environment to perform regular maintenance on your system. Do you have a few minutes? Learn more about septic systems by visiting this site. ​

E Coli

Do you have a minute? Learn about the factors that lead beaches and rivers to shut or to display health hazard flags. Do you have a few minutes? If you want to learn more, visit one of the websites listed below: ​

DEQ Water Sampling 101 – Thermal Preservation

This video will demonstrate how to properly pack and transport a drinking water sample in order to ensure that it meets the required thermal preservation standards. The procedures presented in this video are applied to a disinfection byproducts sample, but they may also be applied to other drinking water samples that require thermal preservation. Visit for further information and helpful hints on how to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act. ​

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What size of septic tank do I need?

Probably one of the last things on your mind when you are constructing a new house is the location of your septic system. After all, shopping for tanks isn’t nearly as entertaining as shopping for cabinetry, appliances, and floor coverings. Although you would never brag about it, your guests will be aware if you do not have the proper septic tank placed in your home or business.

septic tanks for new home construction

The exact size of the septic tank is determined mostly by the square footage of the house and the number of people who will be living in it. The majority of home septic tanks have capacities ranging from 750 to 1,250 gallons. A 1000 gallon tank will most likely be required for a typical 3-bedroom home that is smaller than 2500 square feet in size. Of course, all of this is dependent on the number of people who live in the house as well as the amount of water and waste that will be disposed of through the plumbing system.

For the most accurate assessment of your septic tank needs, you should speak with an experienced and trustworthy sewer business representative.

planning your drainfield

Here are some helpful hints for deciding where to locate your drainfield when you’re designing it.

  • Vehicles should not be allowed on or around the drainfield. Planting trees or anything else with deep roots along the bed of the drain field is not recommended. The roots jam the pipes on a regular basis. Downspouts and sump pumps should not be discharged into the septic system. Do not tamper with or change natural drainage features without first researching and evaluating the consequences of your actions on the drainage field. Do not construct extensions on top of the drain field or cover it with concrete, asphalt, or other materials. Create easy access to your septic tank cover by placing it near the entrance. Easy maintenance and inspection are made possible as a result. To aid with evaporation and erosion prevention, plant grass in the area.

a home addition may mean a new septic tank

Do not make any big additions or renovations to your house or company until you have had the size of your septic system assessed. If you want to build a house addition that is more than 10% of your total floor space, increases the number of rooms, or necessitates the installation of new plumbing, you will almost certainly need to expand your septic tank.

  • For a home addition that will result in increased use of your septic system, your local health department will require a letter from you that has been signed and authorized by a representative of your local health department confirming that your new septic system is capable of accommodating the increase in wastewater. It is not recommended that you replace your septic system without the assistance of a certified and competent contractor.

how to maintain your new septic system

Septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services are provided by Norway Septic Inc., a service-oriented company devoted to delivering outstanding septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to households and business owners throughout the Michiana area.

“We take great delight in finishing the task that others have left unfinished.” “They pump, we clean!” says our company’s motto. Septic systems are something we are familiar with from our 40 years of expertise, and we propose the following:

  • Make use of the services of a qualified specialist to develop a maintenance strategy. Make an appointment for an annual examination of your septic system. Utilize the services of an effluent filter to limit the amount of particles that exit the tank, so extending the life of your septic system. Waste items should be disposed of properly, and energy-efficient appliances should be used. Make sure you get your septic system professionally cleaned every 2 to 3 years, or more frequently if necessary, by an experienced and qualified expert
  • If you have any reason to believe that there is an issue with your system, contact a professional. It is far preferable to catch anything early than than pay the price later. Maintain a record of all septic system repairs, inspections, and other activities

common septic questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by our septic customers.

How do I determine the size of my septic tank?

If you have a rectangular tank, multiply the inner height by the length to get the overall height of the tank. In order to find out how many gallons your septic tank contains, divide the number by.1337.1337

How many bedrooms does a 500-gallon septic tank support?

The exact size of the septic tank is determined mostly by the square footage of the house and the number of people who will be living in it. The majority of home septic tanks have capacities ranging from 750 to 1,250 gallons. A 1000 gallon tank will most likely be required for a typical 3-bedroom home that is smaller than 2500 square feet in size.

How deep in the ground is a septic tank?

Your septic system is normally buried between four inches and four feet underground, depending on the climate.

Buying or Selling a Home? — Shunk Fiedler Septic Service

When it comes to the transfer of a house, we find many buyers and sellers who are both perplexed by the function played by the septic system. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to be on the lookout for, so please read everything carefully and then contact if you have any questions.

  1. When it comes to selling, what are your responsibilities? What can we do to assist you
  2. As a buyer, you should be aware of the following:

What Are You Required to Do as a Seller?

When it comes to septic regulations, many of the homeowners with whom we deal are perplexed or bewildered during the process of purchasing or selling a house. Conditions for the selling of a property vary based on where you live in the country. Septic inspections at the point of sale are not required in Michigan since there are no state-level standards in this state. In fact, we’re the only state in the whole country that doesn’t have a septic code that applies to the entire state (learn more).

We usually recommend giving your county health department a quick call before getting ready to sell, just in case anything isn’t right.

Ingham Countyis the only county in our local service region that, to our knowledge, currently demands a point of sale record for the septic tank itself, which we are unable to provide.

  • The tank must be emptied within three years after the purchase date. The county must have a copy of the Septic Tank Maintenance Report on file. Well-received approval Drainfield and well must be approved by the Septic Inspector.

Essentially, you’ll want the services of a septic pumper (such as us) to pump and examine your tank. We include a freeelectronicSeptic Tank Maintenance Report (which is needed) with every pumping service we perform, however the majority of our rivals will charge you a significant amount of money for this. Furthermore, you’ll want the services of a Well and Septic Inspector to independently approve your drainfield and well, and you may discover a list of approved inspectors on the county’s web site.

How We Can Help

Buying or selling a property may be a stressful and time-consuming process. Septic systems, on the other hand, are a component of property purchasing and inspections that is sometimes disregarded. We can make things a little simpler on you in a number of ways:

  • Tank pumping and cleaning
  • Repair and retrofit
  • Second opinions
  • Point of sale reports
  • And other services. STMR stands for Septic Tank Maintenance Report.

STMRs are included with every pumping service we perform since 2017, making us the only local provider to do so. Starting in 2019, we’ve upgraded our procedures to better serve our clients by capturing and distributing STMRs electronically, ensuring that they don’t get misplaced or forgotten! What’s the best part? Our free inspections and reports continue to be included with every pumping job that we perform. It’s important to inquire for inspection quotes from different businesses while you’re comparing pricing, because you could be shocked.

Contact us now for more information.

The cost of purchasing a home and then discovering that your septic system has been neglected and needs be updated may quickly escalate to more than $20,000 in expenses.

If you have a system in our service area that needs pumping, cleaning, inspecting, or reporting on the health and function, please contact us.

What to Watch Out For as a Buyer

Buyers should exercise caution. Often ignored and out of sight, septic systems are an important part of your home’s plumbing system. Failure to exercise due diligence in this situation might result in a very expensive problem. As previously stated, a septic system in Ingham County must have been pumped and inspected within three years after the sale of a residence. In many other counties, on the other hand, it might have been many more years (or even decades) since that system has had sufficient maintenance.

  • In the vast majority of these situations, it is quite likely that lasting damage has already been done to the system’s drainfield.
  • Performing regular pumping of an underground septic system is important because it allows for the removal of sediments that would otherwise be carried down to the drainfield.
  • Pumping alone, on the other hand, will not repair or reverse harm that has already been sustained.
  • A good collection of data demonstrating frequent pumping (usually over a period of 3-5 years) is a reliable indicator.
  • Many older farmhouses in our state are still using the original septic system that was installed decades ago.
  • We urge that you let a professional to examine and evaluate your system in order to eliminate any risks, accidents, or miscommunication.
  • If a septic system has been functioning without an exit device for an extended period of time, it is almost probable that sediments have entered the drainfield.
  • It is possible to install contemporary filters into septic systems that have out-of-date, damaged, or missing outlet devices in order to assist maintain and extend the life of the system.
  • Make sure you understand the system you’re purchasing.
  • After all, you’re now in charge of it, and when the toilets begin to back up or it’s time to have the system serviced, some basic information about your system will be required.

Inquire about the septic system records at your site, or call the local health agency to make a request for them directly. These should include the following:

  • The location of the tank, as well as the distances measured from the foundation
  • The tank’s volume
  • Tank outlet device (or devices)
  • The number of tank access lids is limited. With dimensions, indicate the location and size of the drainfield.

It has been our experience that septic tanks are hidden behind driveways, beneath decks with no access, and in other troublesome locations. Don’t make the mistake of being the customer who didn’t do their homework. Carry out some investigative work. Once you’ve determined the location of the tank and drainfield, it’s time to conduct some on-the-ground investigation. Drainfields require soil that is permeable and free of compacted material in order to function correctly. Compaction over the tank or drainfield should be investigated.

  • Accidental crushing of drainfields and tanks can occur when heavy equipment is used.
  • Is the terrain around you sloping in the direction of or away from your drainage system?
  • Areas that have been moist for months in the autumn, winter, and spring may be bone-dry throughout the months of July and August in some cases.
  • (Yes, we’ve seen this type of issue several times.) Keep an eye out for low places, depressions, and marshy or low regions in the surrounding area.
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Septic Systems – Van Buren Conservation District

Septic tanks have been discovered under driveways, behind decks with no access, and in other difficult-to-reach locations. Be careful not to be the buyer who doesn’t complete their research. Investigate the situation. You will need to conduct some boots-on-the-ground investigation once you have located the tank and drainfield. Drainfields require soil that is permeable and free of compacted material in order to operate correctly. Compaction over the tank or drainfield should be observed. When was the last time you saw any new construction or landscaping?

  1. Drainage should be found.
  2. During the rainy season, does the ground around your drainfield get saturate?
  3. Because it turns out your neighbor’s hill slopes directly into your drainfield, you do not want to be startled when your septic system backs up and your toilets begin to gurgle after the first big rain of the year.
  4. Keep an eye out for low spots, depressions, surrounding marshy or low regions, and other potential trouble situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a permit set you back? District Health Department No. 2 provides a wide range of services for which licenses and fees are required. Any permit’s current cost may be determined by referring to the fee schedule on this page or contacting the District Health Department No. 2 office in your area. How long does it take to have a permit approved or denied? Site assessments will be done within eight (8) business days of receipt of the application and cost, in accordance with the rules of District Health Department No.

  1. It is possible that this period will vary owing to a variety of reasons such as incomplete applications, the complexity of the project, the participation of other authorities, and harsh weather conditions.
  2. What is the procedure for obtaining a “perc test?” A “perc test” is a broad phrase that refers to the soil assessment that is performed during a vacant land or septic permit site examination, among other things.
  3. An individual must submit a completed application along with the required money to the health department, which will then conduct the site evaluation that has been requested by the individual.
  4. Both forms of assessments are carried out in the same manner as one another.

The primary difference is that, if approved, a septic permit evaluation authorizes the construction of a sewage disposal system, provides specific construction specifications, and has an expiration date, whereas a well permit evaluation does not authorize the construction of a sewage disposal system.

Vacant land assessments do not have a set end date, and as a result, they are often performed in instances where the property is unlikely to be developed for a long length of time.

Important to note is that a vacant land evaluation approval does not imply authorization to construct a wastewater treatment system; rather, an application to construct a wastewater treatment system must be submitted and a construction permit issued before any wastewater treatment system construction can begin.

  • The seasonal high water table is the maximum level or elevation of groundwater at which the soil is flooded by groundwater during the regularly wet seasons of the year.
  • The inspection of soils, soil saturation, soil mottling (during dry seasons of the year), soil structure, historical records, technical data, or other verifiable data may be used to identify the seasonal high water table.
  • To ensure that new construction sites comply with current District Health Department No.
  • How can I keep my septic system in good working order?
  • Septic tanks should be opened and examined at least once a year, and excessive sludge or scum should be removed if necessary.
  • Aside from that, practicing water conservation is a wise decision.
  • Using the sewage disposal system to dispose of sump pump water, water softener recharge water, and storm water runoff is not recommended.

It is critical to repair leaky fittings as soon as possible.

It is important to note that septic tanks are the major source of treatment for residential sewage since they contain huge quantities of bacteria that are necessary for the treatment and breakdown of sewage wastes.

It is critical not to use excessive amounts of cleansers or disinfectants in the septic tank since they can interfere with the bacteriologic activities that occur in the tank.

Avoid using your waste disposal unit excessively since these units increase the quantity of particulates entering your system that are tough to break down and so should be avoided.

Is it possible for me to install my own septic system?

A final inspection by the health department must be performed prior to the system being used to ensure that it has been installed in accordance with the permit specifications and the requirements of the local sanitary code.

What if I require a copy of a permit for a system that is already in place?

Form for Making a Request

Septic Systems

Your septic system is a critical component of your home’s infrastructure. It purifies the water that you use on a daily basis. In addition to being extremely expensive to repair, a damaged septic system may be a substantial source of bacterial pollution in both ground and surface water. The failure of a correctly built system can be avoided by periodic inspections and normal maintenance procedures. Download our septic system information sheet.

Learn how.

It should be inspected and pumped out. Septic systems should be examined by a competent expert at least once every two to three years. It is advised that you have your tank pumped out every 3-5 years (or more frequently as recommended) by an experienced septic tank service professional who is required to hold a state permit in order to handle and dispose of the waste products. In the Michigan Septage Haulers Directory, you may find service contractors that are currently licensed by the state’s septage waste program.

  1. Water should be conserved.
  2. Streamline water conservation inside your house by installing water-saving equipment and spreading out water-intensive tasks such as showering, dishwashing, and laundering.
  3. Keep strong chemicals to a minimum.
  4. Check the labels of products to check if they are appropriate for use in septic systems.
  5. Make use of a garbage can.
  6. Septic systems are also intended for the limited disposal of human and pet waste.
  7. Throw away solids such as “disposable” wipes, cigarette butts, diapers, coffee grounds, tampons, condoms, as well as fats, oils, and grease from cooking in your household garbage.
  8. Put a stop to the poisons.
  9. Always dispose of home toxics and household hazardous trash at a county collection site or through a take-back program to keep them out of your septic system and out of the environment.
  10. Make certain that you are aware of the location of your septic tank and drainfield.

Never park, drive, or construct anything on or near your tank or drainfield. Soil compaction and paving cause pipes to get clogged, preventing oxygen from reaching the soil (beneficial microorganisms in the system need oxygen to break down and treat sewage).

Signs of Trouble and What to Do

The following are indications that your septic system may be malfunctioning:

  • When water is used or the toilet is flushed, gurgling sounds can be heard in the pipes. If your drains are slow to run or jam up, it might be due to a clog in your house pipes, the sewer line going to your home’s septic tank, your septic tank itself, your drain field or your roof vent. scents resembling sewer gas in the house or yard When you walk on the earth over the drain field, it becomes mushy. More lush and/or growing more fast than the grass around the drain field, the grass above it is greener, healthier, and/or more vigorous than the grass around the drain field. Family members suffer from digestive disease on a regular basis. If the septic system fails and the well water is in close proximity to each other, the well water might get contaminated. An increase in weed growth or algae blooms in surrounding ponds or drainage ditches may be the consequence of elevated levels of phosphate or nitrogen in surface water as a result of a failed septic system failing. Keep an eye out for overgrown plant and algae development along the coastline of a stream, river, or lake if you live near one.

When water is used or the toilet is flushed, the pipes make gurgling sounds. If your drains are slow to run or jam up, it might be due to a blockage in your house pipes, the sewer line leading to your home’s septic tank, your septic tank itself, your drain field or your roof vent; scents resembling sewer gas in the home or yard It is gooey when you walk on the ground above the drain field. More lush and/or growing more fast than the grass around the drain field, the grass over it is greener, healthier, and/or longer-lasting.

Because they are in close proximity to each other, a malfunctioning septic system might pollute well water.

Keep an eye out for overgrown plant and algae development along the shores of a stream, river, or lake if you live close by.

How a Septic System Works

Water from your bathrooms, kitchen, and washing machine all goes into the septic tank, where sediments settle out and are disposed of properly. The majority of these substances are digested by helpful bacteria in the intestines. Once in a drainfield, the liquid gently filters through the earth, where it is discarded. The remainder of the trash is consumed by microorganisms in the soil. In a normal septic system, there are three basic processes that take place: The waste leaves the home and is routed to the septic tank, where solids settle and grease and scum rise to the top of the tank, where they are collected.

It takes time for the solids that have settled to the bottom of the tank to partially disintegrate.

It is between these two levels, where the cleanest liquid can be seen, that the tank outflow may be detected.

2—Liquid effluent is channeled via the distribution system.

The effluent is then transported uniformly through perforated pipes and onto the drainfield, where it is absorbed by the soil and used for treatment.

The drainfield is made up of a series of lateral pipes that allow the effluent to gently drain out through holes that are strategically placed along the length of the pipe.

Besides supporting the pipe, gravel acts as a protective envelope surrounding it, keeping roots and other creatures at bay.

Percolation is a term used to describe the movement of effluent downward due to the force of gravity. During the process of percolating through the soil, the effluent is cleaned of minute particles, bacteria, and nutrients that are present.

More Septic System Resources

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