- To find the septic tank, first check the septic tank map of your property which will have a diagram, with the location of the tank. You can also use a metal detector to detect the metallic rods of the septic tank, or look for visual signs in the yard, ask the neighbors where their tanks are located or follow the septic pipes as they exit from your home as they will eventually end in the septic tank.
How do I find out where my septic tank is located?
Follow the Main Sewer Line Look for a pipe that’s roughly four inches in diameter that leads away from your house. Remember the location of the sewer pipe and where the pipe leaves your home so you can find it outside. The sewer pipes will lead to where your septic tank is located.
How do you find a septic tank in an old house?
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. Insert a thin metal probe into the ground every few feet, until you strike polyethylene, fiberglass or flat concrete.
How do you find a buried septic tank?
Tips for locating your septic tank
- If the septic tank lid is underground, you can use a metal detector to locate it.
- You can use a flushable transmitter that is flushed in the toilet and then the transmitter is tracked with a receiver.
Are septic tank locations public record?
Contact your local health department for public records. These permits should come with a diagram of the location where the septic system is buried. Depending on the age of your septic system, you may be able to find information regarding the location of your septic system by making a public records request.
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.
How do I find out if my septic tank is registered?
Check if your septic tank is already registered You can check if your tank has already been registered by contacting your environmental regulator. If you are unsure then it is best to check and avoid making an unnecessary payment. The NIEA and SEPA have records of all registered septic tanks.
How far is septic tank from house?
Requirements vary from one area to another, but the normal minimum distance from the house is 10 feet. If you’ll be using a private well for drinking water, however, note that many state departments of health require a minimum of 50 feet between a new septic tank and a well, according to APEC Water.
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 deep is a septic tank in the ground?
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 far down is a leach field?
A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.
What happens if septic tank not pumped?
What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.
How do I find my drain field?
Look at your yard. Although it is common to not have any signs of the drainfield location, look for lines of green grass, dead grass, or depressed areas. These could be signs of your drainfield location. Check for septic records with the permitting authority (usually the county), the installer, or the designer.
What is OWTS?
An Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) is a privately owned and maintained sewage disposal system. They are commonly referred to as septic systems. All OWTS have two basic components: a two-compartment septic tank and a disposal field.
Do I have to change my septic tank?
Under the new rules, if you have a specific septic tank that discharges to surface water (river, stream, ditch, etc.) you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.
Locating Septic Tanks the Old-Fashioned Way
When it comes to locating septic tanks, Ray Harrison prefers to utilize an old-fashioned listening rod.
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Receive articles, news, and videos about Systems/ATUs sent directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Systems/ATUs+ Receive Notifications The chances are good that when Ray Harrison is out on a job site, he will at some time unload a long steel rod from his truck. His response: “That’s something that we utilize very much on a regular basis.” “It’s a little out of the way. “A large number of individuals have converted to cameras.” In Chestertown, Maryland, on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, he owns and operates Raymond Harrison Septic Services, and the instrument that he cherishes the most is a sounding rod.
You can tell the difference between a concrete tank and a plastic tank.
- With a little practice, you can tell the difference between PVC and cast iron.
- Everything is dependent on how the earth or a subterranean structure reacts to the rod.
- PVC has a bounce to it, and it has a deeper sound than other materials.
- It’s impossible to move something after you strike it,” Harrison explains.
- Commercial sounding rods are available for purchase, but Harrison chooses to do the more inexpensive method.
- It performs exactly what its name indicates for electricians: it does what it says it will do.
- These rods are composed of galvanized steel, which ensures that they will survive for a long time, and they are available in a variety of lengths.
That’s the most manageable length.
It takes time and effort to become proficient with a sounding rod.
His father had taught him how to use the sounding rod, and he owed his success to him.
Maryland has a large number of septic systems, many of which are ancient, and Harrison receives calls from people who are unsure about the location of their septic system roughly every other week.
When utilizing any instrument to probe the earth, extreme caution should be exercised.
A “digger’s hotline” service should be installed on the electric, gas, and cable utilities prior to the arrival of workers on the job site. In the April edition of Onsite Installer, you can read a comprehensive profile of Raymond Harrison Septic Services.
How To Find a Septic Tank Location in an Old House (Tips and Techniques)
It is important for every homeowner to be aware of the location of their septic tank. It is quite beneficial for dealing with a variety of septic system difficulties. The septic tank can be difficult to identify in some older homes, which can be a major hassle if you are moving into one. In this post, we’ll discuss the significance of your septic tank, as well as how to determine whether or not you actually have one. Following that, we’ll go through some of the measures you may take to locate a septic tank in an old house or property.
Importance of Locating Your Septic Tank
There are a variety of reasons why it is important for you to be aware of the location of your septic tank. For starters, it makes it easier to inspect and fix your septic system. Being aware of the location of your septic tank can also assist you with any future maintenance you conduct around the property. It is impossible to avoid damage to the tank and its associated lines unless you are aware of their location. If you hire a professional, they will be able to spend more time searching for your tank.
More information may be found at:
- How To Locate Your Septic Drain Field Lines
- Different Types Of Septic Systems (Which Is The Best For You? )
- How To Find Your Septic Drain Field Lines
How to Know if You Have a Septic Tank
If you have recently purchased a home, it is possible that you are unaware of the presence of a septic tank. The simplest method to find out is to look at your monthly water bill. Sewer services will not be charged if you have a septic tank, which will save you money. Additionally, the location of your home is an important factor to consider. If you live in a rural region, the likelihood that your home is equipped with a septic tank is rather high.
Where Can’t Your Septic Tank Be?
In the next part, we’ll have a look at the various strategies for locating your tank. But first and foremost, it’s crucial to note that there are several sites where your tank is not permitted. This will assist you in narrowing down your search.
Under Paved Surfaces
A tank is not permitted to be located beneath any paved surface. This refers to a driveway or a number of parking spaces.
In the House
Most individuals would probably consider this to be self-evident. Septic tanks are not permitted to be installed anyplace in your home. However, the tank is usually buried someplace outdoors, despite the fact that there are hints in your home that would lead you in the appropriate location. Can you image how bad that would smell?
Immediately Next to Your House
Tanks are not only not permitted in your home, but they are also not permitted in close proximity to your home. In accordance with the building regulations, any tank that is located within five feet of the home must be decommissioned.
Under the Patio
The same line of reasoning holds true for installing a septic tank beneath your deck, patio, addition, shed or other structure. If you notice a building in your backyard, don’t even bother looking for your tank there.
Next to Your Well
It’s safe to assume that if you have a well, there is no tank in the vicinity.
Anyone who wants to plant trees should avoid doing so above or near to their sewage tank. Due to the age of your home, there is a possibility that this regulation will not be effective. After the tank was initially erected, it’s possible that someone came by and planted a tree decades later.
The presence of a tree near your septic tank increases the likelihood of frequent blockages and other difficulties with your system. It is usually recommended to remove any trees that are in close proximity to your septic system.
How to Find Your Septic Tank
Anyone who wants to plant trees should avoid doing so above or near to their septic tanks. It’s possible that this guideline won’t work in your situation because your house is older. After the tank was initially erected, it is possible that someone came by and planted a tree. If your tank is located beneath a tree, you should expect to experience frequent blockages and other issues with your septic system. In general, it is recommended to remove any trees that are in close proximity to your septic tank.
Look at the Drawings
Every septic system that has been installed with a permit has been documented with a drawing. These drawings are public documents, and you may obtain a copy of them by contacting the health department in your county. It may be more difficult to obtain the blueprints for certain older homes because of their age. However, it is still a smart initial step because it will provide you with the most precise information on where your tank is. These drawings show the location of your septic system, as well as a flow diagram and the components that make up your system.
Visually Inspect Your Yard
For the majority of folks, visual inspection of their yard is the most straightforward method of locating their tank. There are some clues to hunt for, so you get to pretend for a little while that you’re a detective on the case! You may expect the tank to be buried in your yard at some point. In older homes, the earth around the tank has had more opportunity to settle as a result of the passage of time. Here are several visible cues that indicate that you have located your septic tank: Grass that is more lush than usual Septic systems are responsible for releasing liquid waste and fertilizer into the surrounding soil.
- Some individuals opt to spend a few days without watering their lawn in order to see a more visible improvement in the quality of their grass.
- Grass that has died If you have a large patch of dead grass, this might be an indication that something is wrong with your tank.
- It might also be a sign of a problem with your computer system.
- See which area of grass thaws the fastest compared to the others.
- Spots of high or low pressure It is impossible to miss a little slope or pit in an otherwise level backyard.
Look at the Pipes
If you are unable to locate some hints outdoors, let us look inside. You are already aware that your plumbing drains into your septic tank, which implies that there is a line that runs from your home to the tank and back again. A pipe might be found in the crawlspace or basement of your home (typically 3-6 inches in diameter). It should be one of the only pipes that exits your home, and it has the strength to punch through a wall. This is the conduit that connects your tank to the rest of the house.
Exit your home and get to the area of your yard where the pipe is located immediately.
Because the pipe will be in a straight line, it will be simple to follow along with it.
Take a soil probe and follow the line to the end.
Concrete, polyethylene, or fiberglass are the most common types of hard, flat materials you’ll come across when looking. When you come upon a hard surface, congratulate yourself! The location of your septic tank indicates that you’ve struck gold.
Use a Pipe Camera
The usage of a pipe camera is a more high-tech alternative. This is a snake with a camera attached to the end of its tail. In order to see what’s going on, you may input the line into the machine. You’ll eventually reach your septic tank, at which point you’ll be able to exit the house and continue down the route. This also helps you to check whether there are any clogs or blockages in your line. The pipe camera also allows you to physically check the intake of your septic tank, which is an added bonus.
This product’s price and availability information will be presented on the product’s purchase page at the time of purchase.
Call a Pro
If all else fails, you may always hire an expert to assist you. They will be well aware of what to do and where to look. You could even witness them use some of the techniques described above, but these professionals will have access to equipment and expertise that is well beyond that of a typical DIYer.
Safety Tips While Searching for an Old Septic Tank
You should be on the lookout for a few additional safety dangers in your home because it is an older structure. If you see sinking dirt in locations that might potentially contain your septic tank throughout this operation, proceed with caution. Avoid going near these locations since it might be an indicator that your tank or system has collapsed, so stay away from them. Walking across these spots has the potential to cause you to fall through and into your tank, which is extremely dangerous and might be fatal.
Lastly, keep an eye out for any signs of rust on any portion of your septic system that you may come across.
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Over time, all septic tanks become clogged with sediments and must be pumped out in order to continue functioning properly. Septic tank lids are frequently located at ground level. The majority of the time, they have been buried anywhere between four inches and four feet underground. In the event that you have recently purchased a property and are unsure as to where your septic tank is located, this article will give instructions on how to identify your septic tank. Noteworthy: While every property is unique, septic tanks are usually typically huge and difficult to build.
5 Ways to Find Your Septic Tank
1. Check with the municipal records. The most straightforward method of locating your septic tank is to review the building plans for your home that were approved by the local government. You should have received an application from the business that installed the septic tank, which should contain schematics and specifications that will help you to locate the precise location where the septic tank was installed. 2. Look for highs and lows in your data. The majority of septic tanks are constructed in such a way that they are barely noticeable.
- Almost usually, your septic tank will be constructed near where the main sewage line exits your property.
- Septic tanks are typically positioned between ten and twenty-five feet away from a home’s foundation.
- When you do, that’s when your septic tank comes into play!
- Look for the Lid.
- You will most likely find two polyethylene or fiberglass covers positioned on opposing sides of the perimeter of your septic tank if it was built after 1975 and installed after 1975.
- Those areas should be excavated in order to disclose the lids.
- Get in touch with the pros.
- Lifting concrete lids will necessitate the use of specialized equipment.
- A fall into an unprotected septic tank has the potential to be lethal.
- Produce your own diagram of your yard, which you may file away with your other important house paperwork.
That’s all there is to it! If you’ve been wondering where your septic tank is, you now have five alternatives to choose from, which should make finding it easier than ever. To book a plumbing service in Bastrop County, please contact us now!
How To Find Septic Tank Location: A Guide for Property Owners
The majority of individuals prefer to relax on their back patio or porch and take in the scenery rather than worrying about where their septic tank could be. When you know exactly where your septic tank is, it will be much easier to schedule routine sewer line cleanouts and repair appointments. Continue reading to find out more about how to locate your septic tank.
Follow the Main Sewer Line
Purchase a soil probe that you may use to probe into the earth in order to locate the underground sewage line and septic tank in your property. Find the main sewage line that leads to your septic tank by going to your basement or crawl space and digging about down there. Look for a pipe with a diameter of around four inches that is leading away from your home or building. Keep a note of the position of the sewer pipe and the point at which the line exits your home so that you can locate it outdoors.
If you have a drain snake, you may use it to try to follow the approximate course of the pipes in your home.
Since the majority of states require at least five feet between a home’s septic tank and its foundation, with many tanks located between 10 and 25 feet away, you may have to probe a bit further out before striking the tank.
Inspect Your Property
Purchase a soil probe that you may use to probe into the earth in order to locate the underground sewage line and septic tank in your yard. Find the main sewage line that leads to your septic tank by going to your basement or crawl space and digging about in it. Look for a pipe with a diameter of around four inches that is leading away from your home or business. Recall where your sewer pipe is located, as well as where it exits your home, in order to locate it while you are out in the field.
If you have a drain snake, you may use it to try to follow the approximate course of the pipes in your house.
Since the majority of states require at least five feet between a home’s septic tank and its foundation, with many tanks located between 10 and 25 feet away, you may need to probe a bit further out before striking the tank.
- Paved surfaces
- Unique landscaping
- Your water well, if you have one
- And other features.
If you are still having trouble locating your septic system, you might inquire of your neighbors about the location of their septic tank on their land. Finding out how far away their septic systems are will help you figure out where yours might be hidden in your yard or garden.
Check the Property Records
Are you unsure about how to obtain this? Simply contact your county’s health department for further information. Check with your local health agency to see if they have a property survey map and a septic tank map that you can borrow. Perhaps you will be shocked to learn that there are a variety of options to obtain information about your property without ever leaving the comfort of your own residence. Building permits, for example, are frequently found in county records, and they may provide schematics with specifications on how far away from a septic tank a home should be, as well as other important information such as the size of the tank.
Most counties, on the other hand, keep records of septic tank installations for every address. For further information on the placement of your septic tank, you can consult your home inspection documents or the deed to the property.
Don’t Try to Fix Septic Tank Issues Yourself
Septic tank problems should be left to the specialists. The Original Plumber can do routine maintenance on your septic tank and examine any problems you may have once you’ve located the tank. It is not recommended to open the septic tank lid since poisonous vapors might cause major health problems. Getting trapped in an open septic tank might result in serious injury or death. While it is beneficial to know where your septic tank is located, it is also beneficial to be aware of the potential health dangers associated with opening the tank.
Schedule Septic Tank Maintenance
The maintenance of your septic tank on a regular basis helps to avoid sewer backups and costly repairs to your sewer system. You should plan to have your septic tank pumped out every three to five years, depending on the size of your tank and the number of people that reside in your home. The Original Plumber offers skilled septic tank and drain field maintenance and repair services at competitive prices. While it is useful to know where the septic tank is located, it is not required. Our team of skilled plumbers is equipped with all of the tools and equipment necessary to locate your tank, even if you have a vast property.
We are open seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.
Frequently Asked Questions
A septic system is a system for the management of wastewater. Simply said, wastewater will exit your home through pipes until it reaches your septic tank, which is located outside your home. Septic tanks are normally located beneath the surface of the earth. Solids and liquids will separate in the septic tank as a result of the separation process. Eventually, the solids will fall to the bottom of the tank and the liquids will run out onto your leach field.
How do I know if I have a septic tank?
Even if there are no obvious signs of a septic tank in your yard – such as uneven landscaping – there are a few techniques to assess whether or not your home is equipped with an onsite sewage system. Checking your property records is the most reliable technique to ensure that you are utilizing the correct system. When you acquired your house, you should have received a copy of the septic system map with the property documents as well. Checking your electricity statement is another way to determine this.
If you’re also using well water, it’s possible that you won’t receive one at all.
What do I do once I locate my septic tank?
Once you’ve discovered where your septic tank is, there are a few things you should do. It is critical to clearly mark the position of your septic tank. With our inspection, pumping, and repair services, you can save time whether you need a sewer line cleanout or a septic tank maintenance job completed quickly. Make a note of the location of your tank so that you can find it again if necessary. It should be heavy enough so that it does not blow away in windy conditions. A creative approach to accomplish this without having an unattractive flag or marking in your yard is to use garden décor or a potted plant.
This way, you’ll have it for future reference and will be able to quickly locate the exact position if necessary.
Then contact The Original Plumber to have your septic system maintained on a regular basis. Preventing worse problems and the need for costly repairs down the line may be accomplished via proper septic system maintenance. All of the heavy lifting has been delegated to our team of professionals.
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
Finally, if you know where your septic tank is, you can simply guide a plumber to it if there is a problem with the system – saving everyone both time and money. Contact A Plumber Now
1. Use a Septic Tank Map
First and foremost, make use of a road map. Using a map is frequently the quickest and most convenient alternative. Most counties keep records of the installation of septic tanks at all of their residents’ residences. These maps should include schematics that illustrate the specific placement of the tank on the land, as well as measurements that allow you to measure and locate the tank’s exact location on the property. Never mind that landmarks may shift over time depending on when the tank was built, so if there are a few more shrubs or a tree nearby, don’t rule out that location as a possibility.
- If you are unable to locate a map or other paperwork that identifies the location of your septic tank, there are a few locations to try to see if you can obtain a map of the area.
- The county health department is responsible for keeping track of septic systems.
- A septic tank’s position could be depicted on a survey map, for example.
- The creation of your own map and documentation may be worthwhile if you cannot locate a map or blueprint of your property and nothing appears to be on file regarding it at the county health department or another municipal agency.
2. Follow the Pipes to Find Your Septic Tank
Whether or not there is an existing map of your septic tank on file, or whether or not you choose to develop one for future reference or for future homeowners, you will still need to track down and find the tank. One method of accomplishing this is to follow the sewer lines that lead away from your residence. The septic tank is situated along the sewage line that goes from your home and into the yard, as we’re sure you’re aware. Find a four-inch sewer pipe in your basement or crawl space. This is the line that will lead to your septic system and should be accessible from the ground level.
- In general, though, you’re searching for a pipe with a diameter of four inches or more that leaves your home via a basement wall or ceiling.
- By inserting a thin metal probe (also known as a soil probe) into the earth near the sewage line, you can track the pipe’s location.
- The majority of septic tanks are located between 10 and 25 feet away from your home, and they cannot be any closer than five feet.
- Going via the sewage line itself is another method of locating the septic tank utilizing it.
- Drain snakes are typically used to unclog clogs in toilets and drains, and they may be used to do the same thing.
- When the snake comes to a complete halt, it has almost certainly reached the tank.
- While drawing the snake back, make a note of how far it has been extended and whether it has made any bends or turns.
- When looking for your septic tank, you may use a transmitter that you flush down the toilet and it will direct you straight to the tank.
If you only want to keep an eye on the condition of your tank and don’t need to dig it up and inspect it, you may thread a pipe camera into the sewer pipe to see what’s happening.
3. Inspect Your Yard
Septic tanks are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible when they are erected. With the passage of time, and the growth of the grass, it might be difficult to discern the visual indications that indicated the exact location of your septic tank’s installation. However, this does not rule out the possibility of finding evidence that will take you to the location of your septic tank in the future. First and foremost, you want to rule out any potential locations for your septic tank, such as:
- Under a road or similar paved surface, for example. Right up against the house (the tank must be at least five feet away)
- Directly in front of the home Immediately adjacent to your well (if you have one)
- In close proximity to trees or densely planted regions
- In the shadow of a patio, deck, or other building
Once you’ve ruled out any potential locations for your tank, it’s time to start hunting for indications as to where it may be hiding in plain sight. Keep your eyes peeled as you go about your property, looking for any inexplicable high or low points that might suggest the presence of an underground tank. When looking at your property, you could see a hill or mound on the ground, which is frequently an indication that there is a septic tank nearby. One further item to consider while searching for the right septic tank for your home is the amount of grass or other foliage in your yard.
Alternatively, if the tank was not adequately buried, you may observe a “bald patch,” which is an area where the grass is struggling to grow in the vicinity.
4. Talk to Your Neighbors
If your neighbors have septic systems as well, they may be able to assist you in locating your tank. Inquire of your neighbors about the location of their septic tanks in relation to their residences. Having a polite conversation with your neighbors regarding septic systems not only provides you with a means to figure out where yours is, but it may also serve as a friendly introduction to the other residents of your community.
5. Look for Your Septic Tank Lid
It is only the first step in the process to discover where your septic tank is located. After you’ve located your tank, the following step is to locate the lid. You can locate it with the help of your soil probe. The majority of septic tanks are rectangular in shape and measure around five feet by eight feet. The perimeter of the tank should be marked with a probe once it has been probed around. A shallow excavation with a shovel within the tank’s perimeter and near the center (or broken into halves for a two compartment tank) should show the position of the lid or lids if you are unable to feel them by probing.
The tank itself is likely to be filled with foul-smelling vapors, if not potentially hazardous ones.
What to Do After You Find Your Septic Tank
Once you’ve determined where your tank is, it’s time to bring in the specialists. Trust us when we say that opening a septic tank is not something that just anybody wants to undertake. Concrete septic tank lids are extremely heavy and must be lifted using special lifting gear in order to be removed. Since the vapors are potentially dangerous due to the contents of the tank, please respect our advice and refrain from attempting to open the tank yourself. An exposed septic tank can be hazardous to anybody wandering around your property’s perimeter, and if someone were to fall into it, it might be lethal owing to the toxicity of the sewage in the tank.
However, before you send in a team of experienced plumbers, there are a few things you can do to ensure that others do not experience the same difficulty locating the tank and to make locating the tank in the future easier.
1. Mark Its Location
The likelihood is that you will not want to post a large sign in your yard that reads “Septic Tank Here!” but you will want to leave some sort of marking so that you can quickly locate the tank and lid when you need them. In an ideal situation, the marker will be substantial enough that it will not blow away in the wind and will not be readily moved by children who are playing in the yard. A patio paver, a potted plant, or a decorative gnome or rock are just a few of the possibilities. In addition to putting a physical sign beside the septic tank, you may draw a map or layout of the area around it to illustrate its position.
2. Take Care of Your Septic Tank
Taking proper care of your tank may save you hundreds of dollars over the course of its lifetime. The expense of maintaining your system could be a few hundred dollars every few years, but that’s a lot less than the thousands of dollars it might cost to repair or replace a damaged tank or a malfunctioning septic system. Two strategies to take better care of your septic tank and system are to avoid utilizing your drain pipes or toilets as garbage cans and to use less water overall. Things like paper towels, face wipes, and cat litter should not be flushed down the toilet since they are not designed to be flushed.
In addition, installing low-flow faucets and high-efficiency toilets can help you reduce the amount of water used in your home.
For example, you don’t want to be washing load after load of laundry or running your clothes washer at the same time as your dishwasher all at the same time.
Call a Professional Plumber
Maintenance of a septic system is not normally considered a do-it-yourself activity. In the Greater Syracuse region, whether your septic tank requires pumping out or cleaning, or if you want to replace your tank, you should use the services of a reputable plumbing firm to do the job right. If you’ve attempted to locate your septic tank on your own and are still unsure of its position, it may be necessary to enlist the assistance of a professional local plumber. Our team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse can assist you with locating, maintaining, or replacing your home’s sewage tank.
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Everything you need to know about your old cesspool
Acresspool, also known as a sump pit or a soakaway, is a hole in the ground enclosed by cement, stone, concrete, brick, or other material that is used to collect wastewater from a home or other structure. The material used to construct the pit wall may be perforated to enable wastewater to seep in from the sides in some instances. Cesspools, in other words, serve as a temporary holding facility for wastewater until it is absorbed into the earth. Originally, there was no connection between them and a septic tank.
In this case, the wastewater was discharged straight into the pit.
Solids and liquids could not be separated because they lacked a separation mechanism.
They also filled up far more fast and required more frequent emptying than other types of containers.
All of these considerations explain why sumps are no longer constructed on new construction sites. If, on the other hand, you purchase a house that was built decades ago, you may discover a cesspool.
How does a cesspool work?
An acesspool, also known as a sump pit or a soakaway, is a hole in the ground that is enclosed by cement, stone, concrete, brick, or other materials and is used to collect wastewater from the home. The material used to construct the pit wall may be perforated to allow wastewater to seep in from the sides in some cases. Cesspools, in other words, serve as a temporary holding tank for wastewater until it is absorbed into the soil. Originally, there was no connection between them and a septic system.
- All of the effluent was dumped into a pit on-site.
- Solids and liquids could not be separated because they lacked a mechanism.
- They also filled up far more fast and required more frequent emptying than other types of containers did.
- A cesspool, on the other hand, may be discovered if you purchase a property that was built decades ago.
How to know if you have a cesspool on your property
Cesspools were added in residences that were constructed before the year 1970. As a result, if your house is newer than that, it is quite improbable that you have one. This is due to government laws prohibiting the installation of sump pumps on new construction sites beginning in the 1970s. If you are unclear about the age of your property or whether or not you have a cesspit or a drainfield, you may look up the information on your certificate of location.
Why were cesspools banned for new properties?
Previously used cesspools that were not linked to a septic tank were hazardous to the environment and blocked up in a short period of time. Because the wastewater was not treated prior to disposal, it ended up in the ground. A single location was used to collect and treat wastewater. Wetland runoff was far more likely to pollute the artesian well, the water table, and other surface waterways than dryland runoff. This has a variety of negative consequences for public health, as well as other unfavorable environmental consequences.
The absorption area, on the other hand, was quite restricted, and black sludge (biomat) built extremely rapidly.
This makes it much easier for the effluent to be treated as it infiltrates the receiving soil and before it reaches the groundwater.
How to know if you have a failed cesspool
A cesspool does not have to be entirely clogged for you to notice that it is no longer operating correctly, contrary to common perception.
Despite the fact that this is one of the most evident symptoms, it is conceivable that the soakaway pit is still collecting wastewater despite the fact that it is no longer in perfect operating condition. When checking your cesspool, there are a few things you should look for.
- Most noticeable indicator of a malfunctioning sump is when it becomes overflowing and cannot retain any more wastewater (whether it is on the ground or within the home). This occurs when a stream, wetland, or drinking water well gets contaminated as a result of the pit’s operation. There is a problem when the liquid level in the septic tank is higher than the drain pipe that is connected to the cesspool. When the bottom of the sump dips lower than the water table, the sump effluent comes into direct contact with the groundwater (this is extremely hazardous and should be avoided at all costs)
A malfunctioning cesspool will contaminate the environment and can lead to the spread of microorganisms that cause numerous illnesses. Any indication of a system failure should be taken extremely seriously, and corrective action should be performed as soon as possible. Our recommendation is for a shock treatment, which is a means of injecting billions of bacteria into a cesspit by adding biological ingredients to the mixture. The bacteria will aid in the digestion of organic waste, allowing the system to return to its ideal functioning state as a result.
Should I replace my cesspool with a leaching bed?
Because it is a grandfathered right, the government will allow you to maintain your old cesspool as long as it is not harming the environment. It will be your obligation, however, to guarantee that the sump pit does not pollute groundwater in any manner. Having said that, it may be necessary to replace your old cesspool with a new septic system if you fall into one of the following categories:
- Your pit must be no more than 200 feet (or less) from a public water well, body of water, or any other source of drinking water. If your cesspool feeds non-residential facilities or if your house is converted into a multi-family housing, you may be required to install a septic system. If your cesspool overflows and pollutes the environment, contact a professional immediately.
How much does it cost to replace the cesspool?
The cost of replacing a cesspool with a new septic system is between $10,000 and $30,000 Canadian dollars. Sumps cannot be replaced with standard septic systems in all cases, though. It may be essential to build an advanced treatment system on tiny properties or those that are close to wells or other bodies of water. To further diminish the presence of fecal coliforms, you may need to employ a tertiary treatment system that includes a UV light. Advanced systems treat the system at a deeper level than standard systems.
You will be advised by an engineer on the sort of septic system that is most appropriate for your property.
If your home was constructed before to the 1970s, there is a good probability that you have a cesspool on your property. As long as the sump is located a reasonable distance away from a drinking water source (at least 200 feet) and is not harming the environment, you should have no need to be concerned. Of course, you must be vigilant in monitoring your system and ensuring that it is properly maintained in order to avoid any type of malfunction. In any case, it’s a good idea to prepare for the replacement of your old cesspool with a new septic system, which will provide better treatment of your sewage.
Evolution Of The Septic System
In the beginning, when man desired some solitude and shelter from the weather while performing his “chores,” he dug a hole in the ground, lined it with stone, brick, wood, or any other available material, and erected a “outhouse” on top of it. Gravity was responsible for transporting the garbage to its final resting spot. Eventually, if the hole became too large, the outhouse was relocated to a new place. With the creation of the flush toilet by Thomas Crapper, man was finally able to do his household responsibilities in the comfort of his own home.
- He connected the pipe to the pit that supplied the outhouse and covered the hole to keep the odor under control and to prevent the neighbor’s dogs and children from falling into the pit and drowning.
- It soon became apparent that thecesspoolcouldn’t always manage the additional strain caused by the wastewater in addition to the garbage.
- The term “septic tank” was used to describe this treatment chamber.
- Because it was the component of the system that returned “clarified” wastewater to the earth, the old pit remained in place.
- Because of extensive use, bad soil conditions, the age of the system, or any combination of the foregoing, the drywell may get blocked from time to time.
- It is common practice to build a second (or third, or fourth) drywell following a first drywell in order to expand the soil absorption area.
- In later years, as mankind grew more concerned with safeguarding the environment, it was discovered that many septic systems were installed too deeply into the earth.
- According to New Hampshire laws, any leaching element of a septic system (the part that returns water to the earth) must be at least four feet above the seasonal high-water table in order to function properly.
- Around the same time, the majority of installers made the changeover from the old-fashioned steel septic tanks to the newer, presumably more durable concrete septic tanks (shown here).
- To bring wastewater up to thesemound systems, it is now necessary to build pumps in many situations.
- The likelihood is that you have a blueprint accessible that shows you the sort of system you have and its location if you have a reasonably new system that incorporates one of these current advancements.
Using the Troubleshooting Guide that comes with the system should assist you in determining what sort of system you have and also what is wrong with it if you are experiencing a problem. Good luck, and go to work on troubleshooting.
Caring for Septic Systems
However, while it may appear that maintaining a septic system is more difficult than maintaining a sewer system, it is just a little amount of effort to avoid big repair or replacement expenditures in the future. Photograph courtesy of Josh Reynolds Is it possible for you to explain what happens when you flush the toilet? In a metropolis, people seldom give the question much attention because their wastes are normally channeled via a central sewage system and then to a wastewater treatment facility.
- Because a breakdown in their system might have serious consequences for their property and possibly contaminate their drinking water, they must pay close attention to what is happening.
- As a result, it is completely up to you to ensure that your system is properly cared for and maintained.
- Cesspools are enormous vaults made of brick, stone, or concrete in which solids can collect and settle.
- A privy is a simple structure built over a hole in the ground that may be relocated once it has been filled.
- Anaerobic bacteria break down organic waste in septic tanks, which function as reservoirs for the bacteria.
- Plastic is being used in the manufacture of newer tanks (as illustrated above).
- Wastes are transported from the toilet, sink, shower, or washer to the septic tank through the indoor plumbing system.
- The tank is located underground.
- Solid wastes disintegrate over time as a result of anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that can survive in the absence of oxygen).
- If any liquid leaks out of a tank, it is distributed to the ground via disposal beds, which are perforated or open-jointed pipes buried in shallow, gravel-filled ditches.
Although the liquid has reached this condition, it still includes a huge amount of hazardous bacteria and organic materials. In order for the liquid to reach underground water supplies, it must first pass through the soil and be absorbed.
Why Do Septic Systems Fail?
It is inevitable that solids will accumulate in the septic tank due to the fact that the pace of decomposition is far slower than the rate at which the system is adding new sewage. Some substances, on the other hand, will never disintegrate at all. Furthermore, the fats and oils that build in the scum layer accumulate at a higher pace than the rate of breakdown, resulting in a scum layer. The scum layer is held in place by baffles in the tank. Scum can get into the disposal pipes through broken baffles, blocking them and making the disposal system malfunction.
- All of these items will not degrade, and they may have the effect of killing the “good bacteria” or just clogging the tank’s drainage system.
- The main issues with older systems are the degradation of components (especially tank baffles) and the clogging of laterals (pipes in the leach field).
- These, which are made of ceramic pipes or concrete blocks, are susceptible to cracking or deterioration over time.
- In the past, pipes were often composed of ceramics or tar paper composites, which had a lifespan of 20 to 30 years if used properly.
Maintaining Your Septic System
The disposal field (also known as the leaching bed) is set out in the shape of a pitchfork on level ground. The leaching bed may zig-zag downwards in areas where the home is situated on a rise. Many homeowners, particularly those who live in older homes, are unsure about the exact location of their tank and field in relation to their home. It is critical that you identify the location of the tank since it will ultimately require service. First, locate the pumpout and observation openings on the equipment.
- To gently probe the soil for the tank and distribution box, you can also use a slender steel rod with a 1/8-inch diameter to gently probe the earth.
- Once you’ve located the tank, look for the dumping field, which is normally accessible by a distribution box fanning from it.
- Please be aware that identifying the laterals can be difficult—in fact, in some situations even septic professionals have problems locating all of the components of the system.
- The most important thing to remember is to empty your tank on a regular basis.
- Depending on the size of the tank and the number of people that it serves, the frequency will vary.
- A septic tank requires cleaning on average every three to five years if it is used and cared for correctly (more if you use a sink-mounted garbage disposal unit).
- Expect to spend around $200 for each pumpout, depending on the size of the tank and your geographic location.
In addition, while the tank is open, the technician can inject some water into the distribution box to obtain an idea of how effectively the leach field is performing.
Additionally, even just glancing into the tank, you should use caution.
Depending on the tree, roots can grow up to 30′ to 40′ from the base of the tree and burst or dislodge the distribution box, connecting pipes, and laterals.
Don’t even think of driving cars or heavy equipment over the dumping area.
Because of this, solids will ascend to the top of the tank and block the laterals, overloading the tank.
Installing water-saving toilets and showerheads is one technique to limit the quantity of water that enters the system.
Don’t attach sump pumps to your septic system until you’ve fixed any leaky toilets and faucets.
After being clogged with sediments or having their integrity compromised by tree roots or automobiles, laterals begin to collapse.
Cooking oils, fats, and grease should not be poured down the kitchen sink drain.
Please do not flush non-biodegradable things such as disposable diapers, clumps of cat litter, filtered cigarettes, feminine hygiene products or plastic tampon applicators, paper towels, condoms, or other similar materials.
These chemicals have the potential to harm beneficial microorganisms in the tank and the soil, as well as pollute groundwater supplies.
None of these goods has been shown to be of considerable benefit in terms of enhancing performance or preventing failures.
Many over-the-counter septic system cleaning products include chemicals that are potentially harmful and are not biodegradable, as is the case with many household products.
Experts advise against using cleansers that contain sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, or hydrogen peroxide.
Use of any product containing toxic chemicals in excess of one percent by weight is prohibited, including trichloroethane, trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, methylene chloride, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, toluene, napthalene, trichlorophenol, pentachlorophenol, acrolein, acrylonitrile, and benzidine.
How To Tell If Your System Is Failing
While there are no 100-percent accurate ways for spotting a malfunctioning septic system, you should be on the lookout for the following signs of a potential problem: In the event of a toilet backup into the house: To begin, rule out the possibility of a clogged soil line or other interior plumbing issues. Drainage system failure due to sewage or effluent leaking into the structure or basement: The water resulting from this condition will have a distinct odor. In the vicinity of the disposal field, there is a puddle of effluent on the soil surface.
It is not recommended that the grass above the septic field be too green in a healthy system.
It is important to remember that wastewater on the ground is a major health danger and should be addressed as soon as is practical.
What To Do If The System Fails
If you have any reason to believe that your system is failing, contact your local health department. In addition, you should seek the services of a skilled septic system installer. Then collaborate with both of these parties to build a strategy for moving forward. It is not unusual to find a septic system that is either underdesigned for the current level of use required by the residents, incorrectly placed, or at a position that will no longer sustain the sort of system that is already installed in an older home.
While a new septic system installation can be expensive (usually between $4,000 and $10,000), a properly operating septic system is critical to the running of your home as well as the health and safety of you and your loved ones.
As with so many other aspects of an old property, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to septic systems.