The general rule of thumb is that most septic tanks can be buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground.
- Whatever the case may be, knowing the depth of your septic tank can be a difficult thing given the circumstances, especially if you don’t know where the lids are. The general rule of thumb is that most septic tanks can be buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground. How to Locate Your Septic Tank
How deep is my septic tank buried?
Septic tanks are typically rectangular in shape and measure approximately 5 feet by 8 feet. In most cases, septic tank components including the lid, are buried between 4 inches and 4 feet underground. You can use a metal probe to locate its edges and mark the perimeter.
How do you know if your septic tank is deep?
Your septic tank will most certainly be installed along the main sewer line that runs out of your home. Look for the 4-inch sewer that exits the crawl space or basement, and locate the same spot outside the home. Septic tanks are usually located between ten to 25 feet away from the home.
How deep are drain fields buried?
A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.
How long do septic tanks last?
A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.
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.
Does every house have a septic tank?
A septic tank is a crucial part of a home’s septic system. In the U.S., about 20% of homes use a septic system to manage their wastewater. Septic systems are most commonly found in the Eastern U.S., with homes in rural areas of New England being the most likely to have a septic system present.
How often should a septic tank be pumped?
Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.
Will metal detector find septic tank?
If it’s Concrete or Steel, Use a Metal Detector. Based on your conclusions in Step 3, if your septic tank is likely made from concrete or steel, a metal detector can make the task of locating it much easier. But not just any metal detector will do.
Why is my grass dying over my drain field?
As temperatures increase, grass draws more moisture from the soil beneath it. The soil above leach lines is shallower than the soil in the rest of the lawn, so it holds less water compared to the rest of the lawn, causing grass directly above the lines to dry out and turn yellow.
Can I put dirt over my drain field?
Never add additional soil over the drain field unless it is a minimal amount used to restore an area that may have been eroded or pulled up by removing another plant. Try not to be overly zealous when tilling the soil for planting. Remember that the drain lines may be as close as 6 inches from the soil surface.
How do I calculate the size of my septic drain field?
- The size of the drainfield is based on the number of bedrooms and soil characteristics, and is given as square feet.
- 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.
Septic Tank Design Depth – how deep should the septic tank be located
- When establishing a septic tank, you may ask a QUESTION or make a COMMENT regarding how deep the septic tank should be located.
InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Design depth for a septic tank: What are the most frequent depths to which septic tanks, cesspools, seepage pits, and drywells are buried? Is it necessary to locate the septic tank below the frost line in order to prevent it from freezing? Septic tanks are placed at a certain depth, and there are various elements that impact the actual depth to which a septic tank (or cesspool, drywell, or soak-pit) will be sunk, which are discussed below.
For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page.
Septic Tank Installation Depth
Table of Contents for the Article Series
- SEPTIC TANK DESIGN DEPTH- this article
- SEPTIC TANK DESIGN DEPTH
- SEPTIC TANKDRAINFIELDFREEZE PROTECTION
How Deep Should WePutthe Septic Tank at Original Installation?
Septic tanks may be built almost anywhere in the soil, regardless of its depth. When operating in a freezing climate, even in uninhabited homes, it is unlikely that the septic tank serving an occupied home or even an unoccupied one will freeze. This is due in part to latent heat received by the septic tank’s bottom from earth, in part to heat generated by bacteria in the septic tank, and in part to warm wastewater entering from a building served by the septic system, and in part to warm wastewater entering from the building served by the septic system.
You’ll kill the bacteria, damage the drainfield, and taint the surrounding ecosystem as a result of this.
Factors Determining Septic Tank Depth
Installation of septic tanks is possible at almost any depth in the ground. When operating in a freezing climate, even in uninhabited homes, it is unlikely that the septic tank serving an occupied home or even an unoccupied one will freeze. This is due in part to latent heat received by the septic tank’s bottom from earth, in part to heat generated by bacteria in the septic tank, and in part to warm wastewater entering from a building served by that septic system, and in part to warm wastewater entering from the building served by the septic system.
Besides contaminating the surrounding environment, you’ll also kill the microorganisms and degrade the drainfield.
- The depth to which the lowest sewage line departs the structure that the septic tank serves is referred to as the sewer line depth. Given that we often rely on gravity to transport sewage from a building to a septic tank, the tank will be lower than the waste line that exits the building that it serves. a spot where the contractor discovered site characteristics suited for burying a septic tank because of its form, rocks, and impediments If a location has bedrock or huge rocks that are near to the surface, the tank may be relocated
- The greater the distance between the tank and the structure, and the greater the depth of the tank if the system relies on gravity to carry sewage, the deeper the tank will be. We don’t place septic tanks any deeper than they need to be since we are normally transporting effluent from the septic tank to the drainfield by gravity as well as by pumping it out. Plumbers often build sewage lines to slope down from the inlet to the outlet at a rate of 1/8″ per foot to 1/4″ per foot of linear run of the waste pipe, depending on the kind of waste pipe. In order to avoid septic drainfield burial at an excessive depth, we must ensure that there is sufficient air in the soil, since the absence of oxygen deep in the soil will inhibit certain desired bacterial action (the aerobic bacteria) that is required to break down and process sewage. It is certainly possible to locate and position the septic tank anywhere, including uphill from the building, if a sewer ejector pump or grinder pump system is utilized to transport sewage from a structure to an underground storage tank. If a sewage effluent pump is used to transport septic effluent from the septic tank to the drainfield, we may, of course, locate the tank “downhill” from the drainfield as well
- But, if a sewage effluent pump is not utilized, we cannot. Growing grass: If the septic tank is just 2 or 3 inches below the surface of the earth, you might as well have left the top of the tank visible, because grass will not grow in such thin soil as you would expect. Adding 6″ to 12″ of backfill may be sufficient to allow grass to grow over the septic system
- However, this is a purely aesthetic issue and does not affect the system’s functionality. See SEPTIC SYSTEMS, OVERHAULED PLANTS
- Recommendations from the manufacturer: Some modern septic treatment system designs need the use of a skilled system operator to perform highly specified inspection and maintenance intervals. According to the information provided atBAT MEDIA SEPTIC PLANTS, BAT septic systems (biologically accelerated treatment) are maintained or examined at 6-month intervals, among other things. According to the maker of that technology (Jet Inc.), it is extremely critical that the finishing grade slope away from the facility when completed. In addition, the grade must be at least 1″ below the bottom of the access covers to be considered. (Jet retired in 2016)
The depth to which the lowest sewage line departs the structure that the septic tank serves is referred to as sewer line depth. Given that we often rely on gravity to transport sewage from a building to a septic tank, the tank will be lower than the building’s departing waste line while it is in use. Site circumstances (such as form, rocks, and obstructions): the area where the contractor discovered site conditions appropriate for burying the septic tank It may be necessary to relocate the tank if the site has bedrock or huge rocks that are near to the surface; the greater the distance between the tank and the structure, in the event that the system relies on gravity to transport sewage, the deeper the tank will be.
- We don’t build septic tanks any deeper than they need to be since we are normally transferring effluent from the septic tank to the drainfield by gravity as well.
- Since the absence of oxygen deep in the soil would impede certain desired bacterial action (the aerobic bacteria) that we require to break down and process septic effluent, we don’t want the septic drainfield to be buried to an extra depth.
- The tank can be placed “downhill” from the drainfield if the sewage effluent pump is used to transport septic effluent from the septic tank to the drainfield; however, if the sewage effluent pump is not used, the tank must be placed “uphill” from the drainfield.
- Growing grass over the septic system may be possible with backfill between 6″ and 12″ in depth; however, this is primarily an aesthetic problem and not a practical one.
- According to the information provided atBAT MEDIA SEPTIC PLANTS, BAT septic systems (biologically accelerated treatment) are maintained or inspected every six months.
In accordance with the manufacturer of that system (Jet Inc.), it is critical that the completed grade slope away from the facility. In addition, the grade must be at least 1″ below the bottom of the access covers to be acceptable. In 2016, the United States Air Force retired from the military.
Septic Tank Articles
- The following topics are covered: SEPTIC DRAINFIELD LOCATION
- SEPTIC DRAINFIELD SIZE
- SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECTION LEVELS
- SEPTIC TANK COVERS
- SEPTIC TANK DESIGN STRENGTH SPECS
- SEPTIC TANKDRAINFIELDFREEZE PROTECTION
- SEPTIC TANK, HOW TO FIND
- THE DISTANCE TO THE SEPTIC TANK
- FINDING THE MAIN WASTE LINE EXIT
- POSITIVE SEPTIC TANK LOCATIONS
- SEPTIC TANK COVERS
- SEPTIC TANK DEPTH
- SEPTIC TANK DESIGN DEPTH
- SEPTIC TANK LOCATING EQUIPMENT
- SEPTIC TANK RISERS
- SEPTIC TANK GRASS OR SNOWMELT
- THE MISTAKES MADE IN SEPTIC TANK PUMPING
- THE SEPTIC TANK PUMPING PROCEDURE
- THE SEPTIC TANK PUMPING SCHEDULE
- THE SEPTIC TANK RISERS
- THE U.S. SEPTIC AUTHORITIESDESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
- THE MISTAKES MADE IN SEPTIC TANK PUMPING
Suggested citation for this web page
THE MISTAKES MADE IN SEPTIC TANK PUMPING; THE SEPTIC TANK PUMPING PROCEDURE; THE SEPTIC TANK PUMPING SCHEDULE; THE SEPTIC TANK RISERS; THE U.S. SEPTIC AUTHORITIESDESIGN SPECIFICATIONS; THE MISTAKES MADE IN SEPTIC TANK PUMPING;
INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES:ARTICLE INDEX to SEPTIC SYSTEMS
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How Deep Are Septic Tanks Buried? (And How Do You Find It?)
It is possible that this content contains affiliate links. It is possible that I will receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link. In addition, as an Amazon Associate, I receive a commission from qualifying purchases.- Septic tanks, for example, might become a requirement in more remote places where some services are not readily available or easily accessible. After all, we rely on contemporary conveniences such as adequate plumbing to make our lives more comfortable and easy.
Discovering the location of your septic tank in your yard, as well as what may be grown near or on top of it, will help you determine how much of your yard is suitable for regular gardening.
You May Not Know
Despite the fact that it appears to be something that every homeowner should be aware of, understanding how deep a septic tank is buried can be difficult to determine. Perhaps you forgot about the septic tank after it was installed years ago, or perhaps you are moving into a house that already has a septic tank constructed in previously. Whatever the situation, determining the depth of your septic tank can be a challenging task under the circumstances, especially if you are unsure of the location of the lids.
How to Locate Your Septic Tank
Perhaps you’re unsure of the location of your septic tank on your property and are attempting to identify it on your own. There are really quite a few quick and simple methods for determining the location of your tank without having to go through a lengthy process. The first method is to follow the path laid out by your sewer lines. Typically, the tank and your drain field will be placed along a line parallel to the sewage line that goes from your property out to the street. Your home’s crawl area or basement may even have a four-inch sewage line that leads away from the structure of the building.
- Follow the pipe all the way across the yard, checking every few of feet to make sure you’re still on the right track, and then turn around.
- When you don’t feel like digging around in your yard, you can always look up your house’s address in the county records database.
- Diagrams with measurements and even the particular location of where the septic tank is located should be included in this document.
- You can also choose to dig your lid out from under it.
- This is what will tell you how many lids are on your septic tank and how many are missing.
- The majority of septic tanks are rectangular in shape and measure around in the neighborhood of 5′ x 8′ in size.
- If you are unable to determine the position of your septic tank using a probe, you will need to do a shallow excavation around the perimeter of the tank using a shovel in order to finally locate the lid.
- First, look for visual cues to help you.
- There is no doubt about it, this will tell you exactly where the tank is located beneath.
- Take a look at the plumbing in your structure, as well as the overall state of the property, to get a good sense of where the tank is situated.
It will be full to just a few inches below the underside of your tank lid when your tank is fully charged to its regular level of filling capacity. If the lid is constructed of plastic, fiberglass, or steel, the upper surface of the lid may have some variation in color or texture.
Where Should the Septic Tank Be Located?
If your property does not presently have a septic tank, but you are interested in the possibility of installing one, it is critical that you understand where it should be installed. Ordinarily speaking, most septic tanks will be situated between 10 and 25 feet away from the house. You should bear in mind that septic tanks cannot and should not be located any closer than five feet from your residence. Using a probe, you may search for flat concrete to determine whether or not a tank has previously been put on a property that you have recently purchased.
Planting Above a Septic Tank
Even though it may not appear to be the finest idea in the world, putting vegetation over a septic tank may really be perfectly acceptable as long as you choose the appropriate plants to grow. Not only is it perfectly OK to do so, but it may also be rather helpful depending on what you are planting and harvesting. It is possible to avoid erosion in your tank with the correct sort of vegetation, and it is even possible to absorb some of the additional moisture that might accumulate in your drain field.
- Perennial plants and grasses (as previously indicated) are the ideal kind of plants to use in and around your drain field and septic tank.
- You can use non-woody ground covers for a similar purpose as you do with woody ground covers.
- Take, for example, the expanding environment.
- If you don’t have access to enough sunshine, you might want to choose a shade garden plant instead.
- Keep in mind that the soil that surrounds the septic tank drain field will typically be wetter than the surrounding soil in the rest of the yard.
- As a result, choose a perennial such as a hollyhock, wild violet, or bee balm to ensure that you cover all of those bases when planting.
- A septic system beneath these plants does not imply that deer will avoid the area because of its presence on your property.
- Something like a spring bulb or an attractive grass that the deer aren’t generally interested in eating.
Plants That You Don’t Want to Grow
Just because you have the option of planting over your septic tank does not mean that everything is appropriate for this situation. A few plants should be avoided at all costs while landscaping around your septic tank, particularly huge trees that are known for their rapid growth. On the same vein, shrubs and trees with aggressive root systems are some of the worst plants to grow around your home. These roots will shoot out in quest of water, and they will not be concerned with where they locate it.
The infiltration of those roots into your septic drain field might result in catastrophic damage to your septic tank and drain field.
It’s possible that you’ll need a complete replacement.
Many other plants have strong root systems that you should avoid growing anywhere near your septic tank or drain field, and there are lots of them.
How Your Septic System Works
It is possible that understanding how your septic system operates may help you better manage, maintain, and care for it. Aside from that, it is just a large tank buried in the ground that collects your waste (which is true, but still). In remote locations, there may be a deficiency in sewage infrastructure. Because not every rural location is the same, it is not a given that septic systems will be required in your local rural area. The septic tank, in any case, serves as a form of wastewater treatment facility when there are no sewage lines available.
- The tank is designed to be waterproof, ensuring that your wastewater does not leech into the surrounding environment.
- Solids sink to the bottom of the container, scum rises to the top of the container, and liquids sit in the center of the three levels described above.
- The wastewater that is being discharged from your home is the cause of the exit.
- This liquid is carried out of your home through a pipe and into a bigger portion of your sanitary sewer system.
- Your drain is typically comprised of a network of perforated PVC pipes that are put underground in trenches to collect water and waste.
- Because the drains are perforated, the wastewater is allowed to seep out into the crushed gravel or stone, and then eventually into the surrounding soil.
- The natural evaporation process will then take care of any surplus moisture in the soil, unless you do something to prevent the water from flowing out of the pipes.
How to Plan a Septic Field
The tank is only one component of the whole equation. You’ll also need a drain field to catch all of the liquid waste that will be generated. When you are planting around your septic tank, the drain pipes are the most significant source of worry. Having those aggressive roots infiltrate and ruin your septic drain system is the very last thing you want. When this occurs, it can prevent your septic tank from emptying correctly and potentially cause it to get contaminated by groundwater. According to a solid rule of thumb, the less horticultural labor you have to do in close proximity to your septic tank, the better.
Just remember that they must be planted every year, so keep that in mind while planting them.
The first step is to fill in the septic drain field with earth.
In the second instance, too much mulch is being applied to the area in question. The third issue is that you may be watering your plants more than you should be. All three of these factors can impair the capacity of your drain field to evaporate in a typical manner.
How Deep Is A Septic Tank?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product after clicking on one of our links, we may receive a commission or free product from the firms featured in this post. Amazon is a good illustration of this. Septic tanks are tanks that are built below the surface of the ground. The depth of the tank is determined by a variety of elements that are taken into consideration during the tank’s installation. It is vital to know the depth of a septic tank, especially when access is required for pumping or inspection of the tank.
So, how far down does a septic tank go?
They are generally rectangular in design and measure 5 by 8 feet in dimensions.
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When it comes to septic tanks, how deep should they be? Because every condition and location is unique, the depth of a septic tank must be determined based on the specifics of the situation. As a result, before settling on a structure, the designer takes a variety of things into consideration. Assume that the soil type is such that it permits the use of the gravity system to function. Consequently, the septic tank may be built in a convenient location near to the surface. Now, this suggests that the lid can be raised to the level of the grade.
- So it allows for the entire effluent to be transported from the septic tank to the distribution section.’ This is the location where they are disseminated.
- Depending on the weather conditions, they might be shallower or deeper.
- The depth of the drain field is also determined by the level of the tank.
- Septic tanks are built substantially deeper in colder climates to accommodate the ice and snow that accumulates.
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This is determined by elements such as the kind of soil and geology in which it is constructed. Another consideration is the depth of the sewer pipe leading out from the property. Similarly, in cold areas, the latent heat from the earth, along with the bacterial activity of the sewage, keeps the water from being frozen.
Any septic tank should not be buried too deeply underground, since this might cause harm to it and prevent it from performing its intended purpose. Here are a few examples of such elements that have been well explained:
- The presence of a high water table makes a deep septic tank an unwise choice in these circumstances. It is possible that extra soil will be required in order to improve absorption. It results in the formation of a mound, which can function as an above-ground drainfield.
- Type of Soil– The type of soil and the amount of organic matter in the soil influence the depth of the septic tank. High water tables are frequent in clay-rich areas, and they are especially prevalent in the southwestern United States. Professionals can assess the composition of the soil and make recommendations for the depth of the septic tank based on their findings.
- Site Characteristics– As you plan your system, your contractor will be able to evaluate the characteristics of your property. Drainage patterns, water bodies in the area, and slope are all included in this type of study. They can calculate the optimal depth of the septic tank based on these considerations.
- Tank Kind– The type of tank also has an impact on its performance. There are several different types of septic tanks available, some of which may contain up to 2 to 3 feet of earth on top. As a result, if the tanks are placed significantly deeper, the manufacturer’s guarantee will be violated.
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A riser should be constructed in septic tanks that are located deep in the ground. Risers are large-diameter tubes that are commonly referred to as ‘wells.’ These are installed directly above the input baffle access point for the septic tank. This is often where the outlet is located. The major reason for installing it is to make it easier for specialists to get to the pump when they arrive to work. Professionals require access to perform services such as baffle repair, inspection, septic tank pumping, cleaning, and other tasks.
This pipe has a big diameter, which allows for convenient access to the tank for pumping and inspection purposes.
How to Find the Septic Tank Lid Deep Below the Surface?
Following these procedures will assist you in determining the depth of your septic tank lid, which will assist you in determining the depth of your septic tank lid:
- You must look for the locations where pipes are exiting your home. This will be located in the basement area. So simply keep an eye on where these pipes are leading. You only have to walk 10 steps from your home. Septic tanks are typically located roughly 10-20 feet from your front door
- You may inspect them with a steel probe if necessary. This should be a maximum of 5 feet in length. Make use of it to drive into the earth. You will be able to feel the location of the septic tank
- Nevertheless, you must use caution so as not to harm the lid. It is possible to puncture it if you are not careful. The first cap is normally found in a grassy area, and if it is punctured, it will cost a lot of money to repair it, so be careful not to puncture it. This is generally located towards the edge of the tank
- The tank’s general width is six feet
- And you may now go back to your front door. You should be able to identify the other cap after only 6 feet of walking. You will receive the discharge cap after taking two steps.
Questions Related to How Deep is a Septic Tank
The lids of septic tanks are often situated around the ground level. The lids are often buried anywhere from 4 inches to 4 feet deep, depending on the situation.
- It is important to understand what happens if a septic tank is installed excessively deep.
It is not suggested to put a septic tank at a location that is too deep. If it is implanted too deeply, it is possible that it will malfunction on a regular basis. It is possible that effluent may backlog on a regular basis and will not naturally flow into the drainfield.
- Whether I am allowed to drive over the septic tank, which is buried underground
No, you should never drive over a septic tank, even if you are aware that it is buried deep down. In a short period of time, driving over the tank will damage its surface, causing it to crack, and cause it to stop operating.
- Anyone who can tell me what the depth of my septic tank is, please.
You can look through your property records to see if there are any details concerning the septic tank’s construction. If you have only recently moved into the neighborhood, you might inquire with the homeowner. If nothing else seems to work, you might enlist the assistance of the specialists who come to examine or pump your water.
- How can I find out if there is a problem with my septic tank, which is buried deep underground?
It is advised that you have your septic tank tested on a regular basis in order to spot problems early on. Furthermore, if you notice any indicators of a septic tank problem, such as a bad odor or sewage backup, it is time to have it checked. If you are unsure about the depth of your septic tank, you can get assistance from a septic tank professional. They can assist you in discovering the lid of the tank much more quickly, regardless of how deep the lid is hidden. The depth of the septic lid is typically 5 feet, however this might vary depending on the depth of the tank.
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Depth. According to the Clemson Cooperative Extension, the pipes should be placed in the leach field at a depth of at least 6 inches and most likely between 18 and 36 inches deep. Because soil and water tables differ from state to state and even within states, each leach field must be designed specifically for that location. 4 feet and 8 inches How deep is a 1000-gallon septic tank, for that matter?
|Steel Septic Tank Typical Dimensions|
|Steel Septic Tank Size (Gallons Capacity)||Tank Length (Inches)||Tank Depth (Height) (Inches)|
In addition to the aforementioned, may a septic tank be too deep? The depth of the septic tank should not be more than is necessary, because effluent is normally transported from the septic tank to the drainfield by gravity as well as by pumping or suction. Plumbers often build sewage lines to slope down from the inlet to the outlet at a rate of 1/8″ per foot to 1/4″ per foot of linear run of the waste pipe, depending on the kind of waste pipe. Should the lids of septic tanks be buried?
A typical septic tank will have all of its components including the lid buried between four inches and four feet underground in the vast majority of situations. You’ll have to dig for it unless the septic tank has special risers that keep the lid at ground level.
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.
How Deep Should a Septic Leach Field Be?
Photograph courtesy of Valerie Loiseleux/E+/Getty Images.
In This Article
- Drain Field Operation
- Drain Field Depth
- Drain Field Width and Length
- How the Drain Field Works
It is critical to appropriately size a septic system’s drain or leach field, as an inadequately sized field might result in serious complications. Waste puddles appearing on your lawn are just one of the issues that might arise, therefore it’s crucial to grasp the fundamentals of how a drain field works. Although you are not required to become an expert in septic systems, a little information may go a long way toward ensuring that your drain field is in good operating condition.
The final depth of a septic system’s drain field is determined by a variety of factors. Drain fields, on the other hand, are typically between 2 and 5 feet deep.
How the Drain Field Works
Solid waste is contained in your septic tank until it is pumped out, which is the final step in the process. The bacteria found in that trash, on the other hand, is far more mobile in nature. As part of the septic process, solid waste is removed from your tank and deposited at the bottom of your tank, while wastewater (together with the bacteria it contains) is discharged from your tank and into your drain field. Once there, the water percolates through the soil and eventually joins the local groundwater supply system.
- In the long run, bacteria are eaten by microbes in the soil.
- This is a significant project that necessitates the establishment of correct soil conditions, including the selection of the appropriate drain fieldsize and depth.
- Typically, a completed bed comprises 12 inches of gravel below the pipe and additional 2 inches of gravel on top of the pipe.
- The end product is a drain field that is approximately 3 to 4 feet deep.
- This type of circumstance might be caused by underground impediments.
- High groundwater tables have the potential to accomplish the same thing, necessitating the installation of a drain field capable of filtering germs at a deeper depth in order to avoid pollution.
Occasionally, this is accomplished by making the drain field shallower, but wider or longer in length. In other cases, a mounded or elevated drain field will be required to prevent flooding.
Drain Field Width and Length
If you have more than one bedroom in your house, your septic system designer will figure out what size drain field you’ll need based on the number of bedrooms you have. In addition, the designer will take into consideration the zoning regulations, soil conditions, and the peculiarities of your lot while designing your home. According to many towns’ regulations, for example, your drain field must be at least a set distance away from your property line. The setbacks from streams, marshes, water supply lines (including local water wells), and other possible barriers are also defined by municipal construction standards.
In addition, pipes are frequently spaced 6 feet apart from one another.
The fact that they are spaced 6 feet apart, on the other hand, provides for the addition of more pipes at a 3-foot spacing if necessary in the future without enlarging the total footprint of the drain field.
It is then decided how this pipe should be laid out in relation to the amount of land available for the leach field to be used.
Septic Tank Depth
Trevor, The amount of heat created by biological activity in a septic tank is unknown to me, but I think that a tank that is actively functioning will generate more heat than a tank that is in “holiday” mode. The overall amount of warm water and “food” placed into the tank may not be very much if you have a two-person family like mine, hence the tank may not contain very much in general. If you are away from home for an extended period of time, it is possible that the temperatures in the tank will stratify.
- If the frost line penetration corresponds to the tank height, the total temperature in the tank may be able to reach freezing temperatures at some point.
- Even though the ground temperature 6′ down may only be 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of winter, that should be sufficient to keep an idle tank from freezing.
- When flowing into a 1500 gallon tank, the amount of heat provided by a warm shower is not very significant.
- Ice spreads in all directions, which may put pressure on the tank’s walls as a result of the expansion.
- Because the tank I have is relatively thin in comparison to the ones I remember from decades ago, I’m hoping that someone out there can offer anecdotal evidence regarding how robust the new thin tanks are.
- When the ice penetrated deep enough into the earth to freeze all the water pouring from the house during a particularly harsh winter, my next-door neighbor was forced to rescue a friend.
- Oddly enough, I don’t recollect my neighbor mentioning whether or not the output pipe had frozen as well.
- The hypothesized explanation is that automobiles push ice into the ground while on the road.
- I believe that driving a car across the tank top would be a more serious problem.
- Snow provides some insulating properties, however it appears that windy circumstances may cause the snow to become thin, as your sand has done in your case.
Perhaps Michael can contribute some real-world insights concerning the inlet and outflow danger in your region based on his own experiences. Although I live in a 6B zone, temperatures can drop below -20 degrees Fahrenheit at times.
How Your Septic System Works
Trevor, The amount of heat created by biological activity in a septic tank is unknown to me, but I think that a tank that is actively functioning will generate more heat than a tank that is in the “vacation” state. The overall amount of warm water and “food” placed into the tank may not be very much if you have a two-person family like mine, therefore the tank may not be particularly full in general. If you are away from home for an extended period of time, it is possible that the temperatures in the tank will become stratified.
- Depending on how far the frost line penetrates and how high the tank is, the total temperature in the tank may eventually reach freezing.
- A tank that is not in use should not freeze, even if the ground temperature is only 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit 6 feet below the surface.
- When flowing into a 1500 gallon tank, the amount of heat provided by a warm shower is not significant.
- It is possible that the ice may extend in all directions, putting strain on the tank walls.
- Because the tank I have is relatively thin in comparison to the ones I remember from decades ago, I’m hoping that someone out there can offer anecdotal evidence regarding how robust the new thin tanks are in reality.
- When the ice penetrated deep enough into the earth to freeze all the water pouring from the house during a particularly harsh winter, my next-door neighbor was forced to save a buddy.
- My neighbor didn’t mention anything about the outlet pipe freezing up, which is strange because I don’t remember him saying anything about it either.
- The hypothesized explanation is that automobiles push frost into the ground when driving through the snow.
- Driving a car across the tank top would, I believe, be a more serious problem.
- The insulating value of snow is debatable, however it appears that windy circumstances may keep the snow thin, as your sand has.
Perhaps Michael can provide real-world insights regarding the inlet and outflow danger in your area based on his own experiences. Despite the fact that I live in a 6B zone, temperatures can drop below -20 degrees Fahrenheit occasionally.
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:
- There are several signs of a faulty septic system, and not all of them are unpleasant odors. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek professional help:.
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
It is only the beginning of the effort to locate your septic tank. Following the discovery of the tank, the following step is to locate the lid. Your soil probe will be able to help you track it down. The majority of septic tanks are rectangular in shape and measure around five feet by eight feet in length and width. Investigate the tank’s circumference to determine its edges and mark them with a marker. A shallow excavation with a shovel within the tank’s perimeter and near the center (or broken into half for a two compartment tank) should show the position of the lid or lids if you are unable to feel them with your fingers.
A foul odor, if not deadly, vapors, are likely to emanate from within the tank itself. Keep your joy at having located your tank, but leave any maintenance or repair work on it to a team of experienced plumbers.
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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