How To Fing Septic Tank Lines? (Solution)

Purchase a soil probe that you can stick into the ground to find the buried sewer line and septic tank. Go to your basement or crawl space, and then look for the main sewer line that leads to your septic tank. Look for a pipe that’s roughly four inches in diameter that leads away from your house.

How to find septic tank field lines?

  • To find the septic tank field lines start the search from your home. Keep tracing the drain lines towards the septic tank. The septic tank will be installed at least 10-20 feet from the exterior. Since the tank is located just to the opposite side of the house, drain lines go to the leach field.

Are septic tank locations public record?

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

How do you find the edges of a septic tank?

A septic tank probe can also help you find the location. Stick the long, thin metal probe into the ground until you feel it hit the tank and feel the edges of the tank. That can help you find the pipes leading away from the tank.

How far down do septic lines go?

A standard leach line is considered to be three (3) feet wide and three (3) feet deep with a length as required.

How do you test a septic drain field?

In order to test the overall health and liquid capacity for your leach field, it is necessary to perform a hydraulic load test. This is done by running water at a certain rate over an allotted period of time. A failure occurs when water back-drains to the source before that allotted time period is up.

How do you find a metal detector with a septic tank?

6 Steps to Locate a Septic Tank

  1. Find Your Main Sewer Drain Line. Sewage from your toilets, sinks, and showers collects into a main drain line.
  2. Check Permits and Public Records.
  3. Determine Septic Tank Material.
  4. Time to Dig.
  5. Mark the Location for Future Maintenance.

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 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.

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.

What do lateral lines look like?

Lateral lines are usually visible as faint lines of pores running lengthwise down each side, from the vicinity of the gill covers to the base of the tail. Most amphibian larvae and some fully aquatic adult amphibians possess mechanosensitive systems comparable to the lateral line.

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.

Should septic tank lids be buried?

In most cases, all components of the septic tank including the lid are buried between 4 inches and 4 feet underground. Unless the septic tank has special risers that position the lid at ground level, you’ll have to dig for it.

How deep is the sewer line in my yard?

How Deep Is a Sewer Line? Sewer lines on private property can be as shallow as 18–30 inches deep or as much as 5–6 feet deep. In areas with cold climates, the pipe will be buried deeper to prevent freezing in the winter.

How steep can a sewer line be?

What is the proper slope or pitch for a drain waste pipe? Plumbing codes and wastewater piping guides commonly specify that building drains should be pitched at 1/8″ to 1/4″ of slope per foot of linear run or distance.

How to Find My Septic Tank Lines

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

In This Article

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

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

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

When pipes get clogged or when drain fields become too saturated with fluids, problems arise.

Locating a Septic Tank on Your Property

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

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

Perform Regular Inspection

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

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

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

Check the Distribution Box

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

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

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

How to locate your septic tank and your drainfield

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

Steps to follow to locate your septic tank and drain field

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

  • If you are unable to locate the tank using this diagram, you will need to do more research on the land in order to determine its position.
  • This pipe is commonly found in the basement of a home, and it is a 4″ black pipe with a cleanout at the bottom.
  • Simply look for possible access coverings or a structure that might be concealing it.
  • These pumps are used to remove waste from the building.

Having discovered it, flush a toilet and listen to the pump to determine where the sewage is being discharged. It is supposed to be connected to the sewage output pipe. You should now be able to see the general orientation of the septic tank and drain field from this point.

As soon as you’ve discovered the sewer outlet in your basement, you may use it to figure out where the sewer line departs your home through an outside wall. The septic tank will be located a few meters away from the home, and the outflow pipe may be at an angle of 30 or 45 degrees from the house. As a result, it is probable that the tank will be positioned around the corner from the building. Work your way around the home in a circle, starting at an electrical outlet and continuing until you find the septic tank.

Tips for locating your septic tank

Septic tank lids should be visible from the outside. An underground riser may have been added, which will make it simple to find your septic tank in some instances. However, it is conceivable that the septic tank cover is buried underground, which is especially true for older homes. Following are some pointers to assist you in locating the septic tank in this and other similar situations.

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

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

Additionally, you may use a small steel rod to probe the earth in order to pinpoint exactly where the tank is located as you continue digging.

Inspecting the tank

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

How to Locate Your Septic Tank Field Lines

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

See also:  How Big Septic Holding Tank Needed? (Solution found)

Why Does it Matter?

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

Who Should Look for the Lines?

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

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

How to Locate Your Septic Tank Field Lines

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

Find the Drawings

Reaching out to your local health agency is the most reliable means of locating your septic tankfield lines. You will be provided with plans that demonstrate the layout, location, and all of the features of your drain field. Of course, if your system was not built with a permit, you will not be successful here. Typically, they will mail you the desired drawings.You may also contact the contractor who conducted the septic work or the previous owner of the house for assistance.If your system has electrical components, you may be able to locate them at your local building department office.

The Grass is Much Greener…

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

Cold Climates

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

Warmer Climates

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

Check for Ports

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

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

Check Google Maps

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

Consult a Professional

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

Check the Distribution Box

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

Use Your Septic Tank

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

Check for Moisture

Using a little intuition, you can locate your drain field if you know where your septic tank is situated. Find out how to locate your septic tank by reading this guide. Your outlet port should be parallel to the inlet, which is a crucial fact to remember while installing your device. In most cases, the outlet port will lead you in the general direction of your field lines. In addition to assisting you in locating your distribution box, which will ultimately bring you to the field lines,

Understand the Size of Your Field

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

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

For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page. Use the SEARCH BOX to discover the information you’re looking for quickly.

Visual Clues that Indicate Drain Field Location

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drain field depressions may be easier to observe in northern regions when there is only a little layer of snow covering the ground for a handful of reasons:

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

Wet Areas may Show a (failing) Drainfield Location

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

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

Septic Drainfield Location Articles

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

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See also:  How To Deal With A Flooded Septic Tank? (Solution)

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How to Locate Your Drain Field

Homeownership entails a large number of duties. Making repairs to the house, keeping the lawns, caring for the landscaping, paying all kind of bills and taxes, and a slew of other responsibilities are required. But it’s all worth it when you finally get to purchase your own house. Consider the following scenario: you have acquired a home in Modesto, CA that has a septic tank installation. Regardless of whether you are familiar with septic systems or not, you must be aware of the location of the tank and drain field.

In light of this, we would like to provide you with some expert guidance to assist you in locating your drain field.

A few sewage system pipe routes are easy to identify in the yard, while others are more difficult to locate.

  • First, take a look around your yard. It’s typical for you to not notice any indicators of your drain field’s presence at first sight. For starters, go around your yard, checking for lines of green grass, dead grass, and sunk-in regions (front, rear, and sides). If you see any of them, go ahead and investigate since these are indications of a drain field installation. Examine the surrounding region for markers: Ideally, a cement marker the size of a manhole cover should be used to indicate the position of your septic tank. Try to find it between 10 and 20 feet away from your house. As soon as you’ve located the tank, head down the steepest slope and look for an empty downward-sloping field to hide in. It’s possible that you’ve just discovered your drain field. Check your yard for gravel by doing the following: Another option is to probe your yard and feel for gravel, because drain field lines are covered in gravel as a manner of guiding wastewater through the treatment process and are therefore difficult to detect. If you come across gravel, you may have discovered your property’s drain field. Please be aware that probing may be difficult in regions where the soil is hard or rocky
  • Thus, caution is advised. Examine the county’s records: A copy of your property’s septic records may be on file with your county’s permits department or with the business that built the septic system in its first place. Read the notes left by past owners: Another option is to inquire with the former owners about the location of the drain field. Even if this isn’t possible, look in the garage, cupboards, and bathroom areas for notes or instruction manuals that may have been left for you by the previous residents. When people are preparing to move, they may gather all of the owners’ manuals or write out their own notes on how to use and maintain specific appliances or systems in the house, as well as important information about the products (age, maintenance records, and so on). There’s also a chance that they’ve sketched out the location of the drain field. Request information from neighbors:You should make yourself known to your immediate neighbors as soon as possible after moving into your new house. This is an excellent moment to inquire as to whether or not they are aware of the location of your drain field.

Alvarado Pumping Septic Service is the company to call in Modesto, California, for the best septic maintenance, drain field services, and septic tank installation you can find. Our septic system professionals are here to assist you at any time with your house or business’ septic system!

How Can I Find My Drainfield?

It’s not always simple to find your septic system’s drainfield, but there are three things you can do to make the work a little bit easier.

  1. Take a look around your yard. In spite of the fact that it is usual for there to be no indicators of the drainfield’s presence, search for lines of green grass, dead grass, or depressed regions. These might be indicators of the location of your drainfield. Check with the permitting authorities (typically the county), the installer, or the designer to see if they have any septic records. A word of caution: septic system designs are not usually correct. Check your yard for gravel by digging about in it. Because your drainfield’s pipes are buried in gravel, it aids in the wastewater treatment process
  2. Therefore, locating gravel may indicate that you have located your drainfield. Be warned that in locations where the native soil is hard or rocky to probe into, this may be difficult to do.

Why do I need to know where my drainfield is?

Have you had a look around your property? Although it is usual for there to be no indicators of a drainfield’s presence, search for lines of green grass, dead grass, or depressed regions in the landscape. Depending on where your drainfield is located, these might be indicators. Check with the permitting authorities (typically the county), the installer, or the designer to see if they have septic records. Precaution: septic system diagrams may be inaccurate in some cases. Check your yard for gravel by digging about in it with your hands.

Be aware that in locations where the native soil is hard or rocky to probe into, this may be difficult to do.

  • Drove over them — Driving a car or heavy equipment over the lines has the potential to destroy them. Build over them — House extensions, sheds, pools, driveways, and other structures can cause damage to underground utility wires, making it more difficult to reach them for repairs. Plantings in the vicinity of or above them –Trees and septic systems are not a good combination. Roots that have invaded the line might cause harm.

Interested in learning more about how your septic system works and what you can do to maintain it in good working order? Download our free booklet, Understanding and Maintaining Your Septic System, to learn more about this topic. Over the course of 80 years, Van Delden Wastewater Systems has proven itself to be the premier Wastewater System provider, supplying San Antonio, Boerne, and the surrounding Texas Hill Country with services you can rely on today and in the future. We can assist you with any of your wastewater system needs, and our specialists can also assist you with your septic installation and maintenance requirements: 210.698.2000 (San Antonio) or 830.249.4000 (Austin) (Boerne).

Locate Your Drainfield

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The location of your drainfield is particularly significant since you may inspect the drainfield for symptoms of a problem, such as damp soil and foul aromas. Obteng a copy of the record drawing that corresponds to your system. It is a diagram that shows where the various components of your septic system are placed. This diagram was previously referred to as a “as-built.” You can obtain further information by contacting the Thurston County Permit Assistance Center (PAC) at 360-786-5490 or by downloading the Request for Record Drawing/Permit Information form (PDF). The PAC is situated on the second floor of Building 1 at 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98202. (PAC Hoursof Operation-LimitedHours Please Check Before You Leave). Prepare your eleven-digit tax parcel number in advance of calling or visiting. In the case of county tax statements, this is the number that shows. To obtain your tax parcel number, contact the County Assessor’s office. (If you do not know your tax parcel number, call the County Assessor’s office.) The level of detail and quality of the record drawings varies significantly from one to the next. The configuration of your system may be shown in a very crude and simplistic manner in an earlier diagram (created before 1980). a more recent diagram will indicate the tank, drainfield, replacement area (which will be used in the future if a replacement field is required), and any additional components of your system, such as a pump chamber or mound, You can provide information on the tank’s dimensions and the length of the drainfield lines. You can use the following suggestions to find your drainfield if a copy of your record sketch is not accessible.
For more information on troubleshooting problems,contact the Septic Help Line at 360-867-2669.

How to Locate a Septic Drainfield or Septic Tank – GeoModel

Landowners must be aware of how to find buried septic tanks or underground septic drainfield pipelines on their property. What is the most effective technique of locating a septic tank or a septic drainfield, and why? Underground septic tanks and buried septic drainfield pipe lines can only be detected and located with the use of ground penetrating radar, which is the most accurate approach available. GeoModel, Inc. has over 25 years of expertise in the detection and location of underground septic tanks and septic drainfields throughout the United States.

  1. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) and frequency location are two of the technologies used to locate septic tanks and septic drainfields, respectively (to detect any buried electrical power lines associated with the drainfield system).
  2. personnel who are experts in the field.
  3. conducts a ground penetrating radar (GPR) study to find and detect a septic drainfield.
  4. As soon as a GeoModel, Inc.
  5. An picture of a ground penetrating radar (GPR) cart in the process of identifying septic drainfield lines is shown in the following paragraph: GPRG is a technique for detecting a septic drainfield.
  6. Plastic or PVC drainfield pipe, as well as other forms of nonconductive pipe, such as concrete and terra cotta septic drainfield pipe, can be located using GPR, especially under appropriate soil conditions.
  7. An subterranean cross-sectional picture of the septic drainfield pipes is obtained using GPR, allowing the locations of the drainfield pipes to be determined.

Like a rule of thumb, the drainfield pipes should appear as upside-down U-shapes (parabolas).

The drainfield pipes in the illustration below are around one to one and a half to two feet below the surface of the earth.

GeoModel, Inc.

A frequency transmitter is used to apply a specified frequency to a buried power wire that is buried underground.

Ground penetrating radar has been used by GeoModel, Inc.

An orange paint mark indicates the position of a subterranean septic tank, which was discovered using ground penetrating radar (GPR).

Obtain our underground septic tank and septic drainfield locating services for your property or facility now by contacting GeoModel, Inc.

locating septic field lines (tank, steel, pipes, building) – House -remodeling, decorating, construction, energy use, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, building, rooms

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Hi all. We are buying a house in Decatur Al and are planning on building a detached garage in the back where the field lines are. How can we find out exactly where they run? We got a sketch from the health dept so we have a general idea but it’s not to scale and we don’t want to encroach on the system. Thanks.
04-19-2013, 10:47 AM
The usual way is to just wait and see where the grass is greenest.The nutrients from the system fertilize it and the soil is a little looser over the trenches because of the digging.
When we did addition,the health used a steel rod to locate lines and outline of tank.This will tell them size of tank and number and lengths of leach field runs.Steel rod with bend for handle about 4 or so feet long,5/16 in dia.,push it down to locate runs.My runs had visquene over them so no green runs.
Can’t you damage the septic lines with the steel rod?
Location: Houston, Texas10,440 posts, read47,549,765timesReputation: 10550
Quote:Originally Posted byirene61189Can’t you damage the septic lines with the steel rod?Yes you can damage the septic lines if you poke it hard enough. It’s usually thick mill PVC which is hard to break but in the very old days it was cast iron which is real easy to damage. The worst is old cast iron waste lines collapse from the inside and the outside appears good. Nothing will pass through it when it collapses obviously.You said you had the drawing that was on file in the Health Dept. As you see, they are usually very crude. None or few are to scale and have any dimensions of any value. Also the depth of the lines could be anything from 6″ to several feet below the surface. Yes it’s true that quite often the grass is greener over the perforated leach field but this time of the year shouldn’t make a difference since most northern states have all dormant grass anyway. I forgot where you said you are.Start with figuring out where the main line leaves the house. Is there a basement or crawl space, you can see it? If so you’re lucky. If it’s a slab you will have to do some logic guesses. Do you know where the holding tank is? The line usually will exit on that side of the house. You should dig a few holes to locate it as it exits the house. From here you will verify the direction it goes. Now every say 3 feet dig another hole. I have followed them this way by digging several holes when I knew where it was.If you start to find fine gravel you know somewhere in about a 12″ x 12″ channel of gravel is your leach line.If you know where your holding tank is then skip all the above. Start your little hole digging around the tank lid to find the direction your leach field goes. Sometimes if you open the lid you can see the outgoing effluent line which leads to the leach field.Some areas do have minimum set backs from any building structure to where the leach field is as well as where the holding tank may be. Keep that in mind.You will have to be a Detective using the clues you have to find your tank and leach field.Good luck
Location: Southern New Hampshire9,119 posts, read15,739,309timesReputation: 30809
Hmmm, don’t septic systems have to be pumped every few years? Seems like the previous owner should know where the tank and leach field are?
Location: Eastern Washington15,887 posts, read51,501,363timesReputation: 15737
Quote:Originally Posted bykaren_in_nh_2012Hmmm, don’t septic systems have to be pumped every few years? Seems like the previous owner should know where the tank and leach field are?To pump the tank, you need to find the lid of the tank, you don’t necessarily need to find the leach field.If you dig on the downhill or away from the house side of the tank, you will find the line that leads out to the leach field.Really, if you use the right kind of sounding rod, you should be able to find the leach pipes without damaging them.Harry has a good idea as usual, wait a few more weeks and your grass will let you know.
04-19-2013, 10:12 PM
desertsun, the OP lives a few miles south of me.The lawns are just beginning to green so it shouldn’t be too long.My fields are more robust and already going strong.


Last edited by harry chickpea; 04-19-2013 at10:26 PM.

I have a septic tank and we have a general idea of where our lines are. The previous owners only lived in the house 18 months and never had the tank pumped (which was really bad when we had it done). So asking anything of them was useless, plus they were idiots.My grass is not greener where the lines are. I asked the septic guy if he could tell where they ran and he pointed in the same direction of the yard I figured they ran. yes you can take a steel rod, just dont stab the ground like a crazed killer. Just push the rod into the ground and you will feel it stop against something. The lines are really not that deep into the ground.
I would suggest you consider a septic dye test.That will also test the condition of the septic system.Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.About Septic Dye Testing
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5 Signs Your Septic Drainfield Has Stopped Working

Unlike municipal septic systems, which consist just of a subterranean tank that collects waste and water, residential septic systems are more complex. Water finally departs the tank through an outlet pipe and into a network of long perforated pipes known as the leech or drainfield after reaching the tank’s interior. The drainfield is equally as vital as, if not more so than, the septic tank in terms of wastewater treatment. In the event that this component of the system begins to fail, prompt action might mean the difference between relatively small repairs and a total drainfield replacement.

  1. Drainage is being slowed.
  2. As long as there is still any water in the pipes of the field, the drains in your home will continue to function, albeit at a slower rate.
  3. The presence of obstructions in the inlet or outlet pipe, as well as several other septic problems that are less difficult to resolve than drainfield problems, might result in delayed drainage.
  4. 2.
  5. You may detect puddles or spongy and mushy ground all over the place if you look closely.
  6. A backup occurs when the water level rises to a level that forces sewage up the input pipe and into the lowest drains in your house, which is known as a back up in the system.
  7. 3.

Drainfield leaks can provide visible consequences on the surface if the drainfield leaks at a higher rate than typical or contains decaying material that is meant to remain in the tank.

Returning Flow is the fourth step.

If you presume that the tank just need pumping, the service technician may discover water and sewage entering the tank from the outlet in a reverse flow, which would indicate that the tank requires more than pumping.

The presence of reverse flow from the drainfield is an obvious indication that you want jetting or pipe replacement services.

The Development of Odors In the end, you can utilize your sense of smell to detect indicators of drainfield issue.

Any sewage or toilet scents, even if they are weak and difficult to detect, signal that you should have a professional evaluate your home immediately.

This is the most effective way.

Whenever we observe a decrease in drainage capacity, we will inform you of the problem and your choices for resolving it before the system stops processing waste altogether.

In addition, we’re pleased to address any of your questions or concerns concerning your drainfield or septic system in general with a professional response.

How to Locate Your Septic Tank

It may seem impossible to imagine that one of the largest and most visible elements of your whole plumbing system is also one of the most difficult to locate, but when your property is served by a septic system, this is perfectly true. A strong explanation for this is because septic tanks are huge, unattractive, stink horrible and give off an unwarranted impression of dirt. Not only does burying them underground assist to prevent them from harm, but it also provides you with additional useable space on your property and conceals what would otherwise be a blight on your landscape.

This site is dedicated to assisting you in locating your septic system without the need for any time-consuming digging.

How To Find A Septic Tank: Step By Step

It is critical to maintain the health of your septic tank since it is responsible for securely storing and handling the wastewater that drains from your house. It is necessary to pump your septic tank once every 1-3 years, depending on the number of people living in your household and the size of your tank, in order to avoid septic tank repairs or early failure, which means you must be familiar with the location of your tank. It’s not often simple to identify your septic tank, and many plumbers charge extra for this service, which is especially true if your tank’s lid is buried beneath.

1. Gather Some Helpful Tools

Septic tank location may be made much easier with the use of several simple instruments and techniques. To locate your septic tank, you only need to know the following information: A soil probe is one of the most useful instruments for locating a septic tank. It is a tiny piece of metal that is used to puncture through the earth and detect anything that could be buried underneath. Start at the point where your sewage line exits your home and work your way straight out, inserting your soil probe every two feet along the way.

Using this method, you may also locate the cover for your septic tank.

While we highly advise keeping your cover clean and exposed in the event that you require emergency septic service, we recognize that this is not always the case.

2. Use a Septic Tank Map

If you are a new homeowner who is trying to figure out where your septic tank is, a septic tank map should be included in your inspection documentation.

You can use this information to assist you in pinpointing the exact position of your storage tank. If you don’t have access to this map, there are a few of additional strategies you might employ.

3. Start Ruling Areas Out

The inspection documentation should include a septic tank map if you are a new homeowner who is trying to figure out where your septic tank is located. You can use this information to assist you in locating the precise position of your storage tank. It’s possible to use some different techniques if you don’t have access to this map.

  • If you are a new homeowner who is trying to figure out where your septic tank is, a septic tank map should be included in your inspection documents. You can use this information to assist you in locating the precise position of your tank. If you don’t have access to this map, there are a few of additional strategies you may use.

4. Inspect Your Property

If you take a close look at your property, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to locate your septic tank without having to do any probing whatsoever. In many cases, a septic tank can be identified by a small dip or hill on your property that cannot be explained by any other means. Due to the fact that the hole that your contractors dug for your septic tank may not have been exactly the right size, they proceeded to install the tank regardless. This is a fairly common occurrence. It is common for builders to fill in a hole that was too small with more soil, resulting in a small mound on your property that is often covered with grass, dirt, or other natural plants.

During rainstorms, this is typically an area that becomes extremely wet, and in some cases, floods.

Because of code violations or simply because it doesn’t make sense, it’s highly unlikely that your septic tank will be located near any of the following locations:

  • Your water well, if you have one (for a variety of reasons that are rather clear)
  • Any paved surfaces (it won’t be under a patio, sidewalk, or driveway unless they were added after the home was built and no one performed a proper inspection before it was built)
  • Any paved surfaces (it won’t be under a driveway, sidewalk, or patio unless they were added after the home was built and no one conducted a proper inspection before it was built)
  • Any paved surfaces (it won’t be under a patio, sidewalk, or driveway unless they were added after the home was built If there is any particular landscaping

5. Inspect Your Yard

A comprehensive investigation of your yard may be necessary to discover your septic tank considerably more quickly in some cases. The following are important items to check for in your yard:

  • If your septic tank is overfilled, sewage can leak out into the ground and function as fertilizer for your lawn, resulting in lush green grass. A area of grass that is very lush and green is a good sign that your septic tank is just beneath it
  • Puddles that don’t make sense: If your septic tank is seriously overfilled, it is possible that water will pool on your grass. Another telltale indicator that your septic tank is below ground level is an unexplainable pool of water. Ground that is uneven: When installing septic tanks, it is possible that the contractors will mistakenly create high or low patches on your grass. If you come across any uneven terrain, it’s possible that your septic tank is right there.

The metal soil probe can let you find out for certain whether or not your septic tank is located in a certain area of your yard or not. As soon as your metal soil probe makes contact with the tank, you may use your shovel to dig out the grass surrounding it and discover the septic tank lid.

6. Follow Your Sewer Main/Sewer Pipes

Following your sewage lines is one of the most straightforward methods of locating your septic tank. These pipes have a diameter of roughly 4 inches and are commonly found in the basement or crawlspace of your house. They are not dangerous. Following the pipes from your house out into your yard, using your metal soil probe every 2 feet or so until you reach the tank, is a simple process once they are located. Aside from that, every drain in your home is connected to your sewage main, which in turn is connected to your septic tank.

The likelihood that one of your major sewer lines is located in your basement or crawlspace is high if you have exposed plumbing lines in your basement or crawlspace.

If the line is labeled, it is usually made of plastic or rubber. It is important to determine where this line exits your property and in which direction it is moving, as it often travels straight out to the septic tank itself.

7. Check Your Property Records

Lastly, if all else fails, a search of your property’s public records will almost certainly reveal the location of the tank you’re looking for. Your builders most likely secured a permit for your property because septic systems are required to be installed by law in every state. In order to do so, they had to develop a thorough plan that depicted your property as well as the exact location where they intended to construct the tank. This is done to ensure that the local health department is aware of the tank and is prepared to deal with any issues that may arise as a result of its presence.

If you look hard enough, you may be able to locate the original building records for your home without ever having to get in your car or visit your local records center.

What to Do Once You Find Your Septic Tank

Upon discovering the position of your septic tank, you should mark its location on a map of your property. Use something to indicate the location of your lid, such as an attractive garden item that can’t be changed, to help you locate it. A birdbath, a rock, or a potted plant are just a few of the possibilities. You are now ready to arrange your septic tank inspection and pumping service. Contact us now! If you have any more concerns regarding how to locate your septic tank, or if you want septic tank servicing, please contact The Plumbing Experts at (864) 210-3127 right now!

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