How To Find A Septic Tank: Step By Step
- Gather Some Helpful Tools. There are a few tools that will make locating your septic tank easier.
- Use a Septic Tank Map.
- Start Ruling Areas Out.
- Inspect Your Property.
- Inspect Your Yard.
- Follow Your Sewer Main/Sewer Pipes.
- Check Your Property Records.
How often should I Have my septic tank inspected?
- The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often, generally once a year.
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 check an old septic tank?
While the septic tank is open, look for evidence of places where ground water might be leaking into the tank (DO NOT ENTER THE SEPTIC TANK) – and check the condition of the septic tank inlet and outlet baffles to be sure they are in place. If the septic tank is not empty inspect the sewage and effluent levels.
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.
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.
Can a metal detector find a 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 were old septic tanks built?
Many of the first septic tanks were concrete tanks that were formed out of wood and poured in place in the ground and covered with a concrete lid or often some type of lumber. In the 1960s, precast concrete tanks became more prevalent as the standard of practice improved.
How long do septic tanks last?
A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.
Do old septic tanks need to be registered?
Many homes are not connected to mains drainage, instead having sewage treatment systems or septic tanks or occasionally cesspools. If your sewage treatment system or septic tank discharges to a river or stream it must be registered immediately.
What are signs of septic tank problems?
7 Warning Signs Your Septic System Is Failing
- Gurgling Pipes. They would occur when you run water in the house (e.g. when using the sink or shower) or flush the toilet.
- Bad Odours. It’s never a pleasant experience when this occurs.
- Water At Ground Level.
- Green Grass.
- Slow Drainage.
- Blocked Pipes.
What happens when a septic system sits unused?
Nothing happens to a septic system if it’s unused. A septic system that sits unused is safe. At most, a septic system that’s sat unused is only breaking down that solid waste. Depending on when someone uses the system again, even that solid waste may be gone.
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.
Septic System Inspections
Nick Gromicko, CMI®, and Kenton Shepard wrote this article. A septic system is a system that collects, processes, and disposes of waste water and solids that are generated by a building’s plumbing system. When the solids are partially broken down into sludge, they are separated from the liquid effluent (water) and scum in a septic tank (fat, oil and grease). Effluent is discharged from the tank on a regular basis into a drainfield, where it is naturally filtered by microorganisms and re-enters the groundwater supply.
The septic system should be tested at least once a year, and it should be done immediately before putting the house on the market for sale.
Prospective home buyers who have not recently had their septic system checked should insist on having the system checked before they acquire the property, since it is in their best interests.
When it comes time to examine or pump the tank, this is typically not a problem.
- The placement of the tank should be depicted on a “as-built” design of the home. These designs are frequently kept on file by municipal health and zoning departments. It is possible that older systems do not have such a record. It is possible to get in touch with the prior owner
- Modern tanks are equipped with risers that protrude clearly above the ground surface. It is possible to probe a suspicious location using a thin metal rod that has been placed into the soil. It is critical to do this carefully and only on soft, damp soil in order to prevent harming the tank and its accompanying pipelines. Another option is to use a shovel, although this will need a little more effort. If a sufficient number of tank components are made of metal, a metal detector can be utilized. A tiny radio transmitter that can be flushed down the toilet and followed by a receiver can be used to communicate. The grass that grows the most lushly in a yard is frequently seen just over the sewage tank. Snow melts more quickly above the tank than it does in the rest of the yard. While they are not failsafe techniques of finding a place, they have been shown to be beneficial in the past.
What kinds of things may InterNACHI inspectors be looking for?
- Find out when the tank was last pumped by looking at the date on the tank. The sludge level should ultimately indicate if a tank has to be pumped, although having a record of past pumping dates might be useful as a reference. Using a “sludge judge” or a similar instrument, determine the amount of sludge present. It is normal for sludge to collect on the tank bottom, but it should not take up more than one-third of the tank’s total capacity or climb to the level of the baffles. The septic tank and drainfield should be located far away from wells and streams, for obvious reasons. Make certain that the system is large enough to accommodate the household it serves. A 1,200-gallon tank is normally required for a four-bedroom house, for example. The number of people that live in the house determines the size of the tank that is necessary. The tank’s capacity in gallons may be computed based on the size of the tank. For rectangular tanks, the capacity in gallons is equal to the product of the length, breadth, and depth in feet multiplied by 7.5. For circular tanks, the capacity in gallons is calculated as 3.14 times the radius squared x the depth in feet multiplied by 7.5. Check the ground surface for any liquid waste that has found its way to the surface. This is an unclean state that signals that the system is overburdened and needs to be repaired. In order to prevent wastewater contamination of groundwater and groundwater from flowing into the tank and causing it to overfill, make certain that it is waterproof. The presence of a riser lid should be checked for cracks and the integrity of the lid should be checked as well. Check to see that the baffles are securely attached to the tank’s inlet and exit pipes. It is recommended that each drain line receives the same quantity of wastewater. By opening the distribution box, you will be able to see what they are made of. If the box becomes tipped or blocked, it will distribute effluent in an excessively large amount, and it may even flood areas of the drainfield.
In a septic tank, baffles are components that restrict wastewater entry to a sufficient degree to guarantee that particles are distilled and that solids (as well as scum) are not discharged into the drainfield. It is via this process that they are able to protect the soil’s absorptive quality and hence extend the life of the entire system. They are often constructed of the same materials as the septic tank, which might be fiberglass, steel, or concrete in construction. Inspectors should look for the following things in baffles:
- The baffle is covered in solids. This should be reported as soon as possible because it implies overflow. There is evidence of prior overflow due to chemical and water erosion. Ideally, the sewage level should be several inches below the baffle top of the drain. A lower level implies leakage, whereas a greater level indicates obstruction.
Inspectors should be familiar with the following facts so that they may advise their clients about the various ways in which they might cause harm to their septic system:
- The only thing that can be flushed down the toilet is bath tissue. Tampons, paper towels, cigarette butts, and diapers should all be disposed of in the garbage. In order to prevent microorganisms in the septic system from being damaged by household chemicals such as gasoline, paint, medicine, antifreeze, or pesticides from being flushed, they should never be put down the toilet or down the sink. In little volumes, detergents and bleach can make their way into the plumbing system. There should be no driving on or near the drainfield unless absolutely necessary. Their weight might cause damage to subsurface plumbing without them realizing it. There should be no other vegetation grown over the septic tank and drainfield. Roots from trees and huge bushes can create harm that is not visible. People are not permitted to excavate or construct structures on top of a drainfield. Ensure that any water drainage from rains, sump pumps, or any other source of surface water is routed away from the drainfield. An over-saturated drainfield can cause the water treatment process to be slowed down and plumbing fittings to get clogged. Fixing leaking faucets and toilets as soon as they occur is a simple method to extend the life of a septic system and avoid having to pay for an expensive replacement. Any waste of water in the home should be avoided at all costs. Taking shorter showers and avoiding using the garbage disposal are two examples of strategies to conserve water.
- It is not recommended that inspectors enter the septic tank to search for cracks. Tank interiors are extremely filthy, and entering should be avoided at all costs. The fracture will most likely be located at the level of the effluent, which will have drained from the tank via the crack if one is there. An effluent level that is much lower than the level of the tank outflow is a clear indicator of the presence of a fracture. A tank that has flaws that enable sewage to escape into the surrounding soil is effectively a cesspool and should be removed as soon as possible
- If the water comes from the tank, it indicates that the septic system is overburdened and has to be repaired. Sometimes, inspectors will use a dye that is flushed down the toilet to confirm that the water is coming from the residence and not from somewhere else. Despite the fact that this metric might be beneficial, it is not an accepted means of testing the operation of a septic system. A malfunctioning septic system will be confirmed if dye from the flushed dye shows in the puddle
- However, a working septic system is not guaranteed if dye does not appear. It may take many days for the dye to develop, and it may be too diluted to see properly
- It is outside the scope of a standard house inspection to evaluate a septic system, and this needs specialized skills. Laws differ from one jurisdiction to the next, and inspectors should be well-versed in them before providing this job. They should disclaim all responsibility for any component of the septic system examination that they did not do
Septic systems are meant to manage hazardous waste, and they may pose major health risks to both residents and inspectors if they are not properly maintained. Precautions include the following, in no particular order:
- Solid waste should be removed from septic tanks by a professional septic tank pumping service, not by an inspector. No one else should be allowed to enter a tank unless they are a licensed and properly equipped professional. Noxious gasses such as methane can induce asphyxiation and death in a matter of minutes. When a septic tank begins to exhibit indications of fragility, proceed with extreme caution! Collapse has the potential to be deadly. Keep an eye out for tanks with rusted metal, improvised lids, or anything else that seems to be in unsafe condition.
In conclusion, septic system inspections should be conducted on a yearly basis to verify that the system is operating properly. The septic tank is the most expensive household fixture, and it will have a much shorter lifespan if it is not properly cared for and maintained.
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 fly 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 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. An easy method to find out is to check out your 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 odds are quite high that your house has a septic tank.
Where Can’t Your Septic Tank Be?
In the following part, we’ll look into the numerous ways to discover your tank. But first and foremost, it’s crucial to note that there are several sites where your tank is not permitted. This will help limit 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
Because your home is older, it’s possible that you don’t know who lived there before you. That implies you won’t be able to just ask around for directions. The good news for you is that no matter how old your house is, there are a variety of methods for locating your septic tank. Before continuing, keep in mind the locations where your tank is not permitted to operate.
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.
You Might Also Like…
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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
You could 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 visible. Septic tanks, for example, are an important part of your home’s design. Controlling and managing the wastewater generated by your house is the responsibility of your septic system.
- “How can I locate my septic tank?” is one of the most often requested inquiries.
- 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 the tank is overfilled.
- A septic tank is typically buried between four inches and four feet underground, depending on the circumstances.
- 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 identify where yours is.
What Is a Septic Tank?
Having a functioning septic tank is an important aspect of having an effective septic system. In the United States, around 20% of households utilize a septic system to handle their wastewater. Houses in rural parts of New England are the most likely to have a septic system, with residences in the Eastern United States being the most prevalent location for septic systems. When there are few and far between residences, it is typically more efficient and cost-effective to employ a septic system to manage wastewater rather than relying on a public sewage system to handle waste water.
Typically, a septic tank is a container that is waterproof and composed of a material such as concrete, polyethylene, fiberglass, or a combination of these.
An important function of a septic tank is to hold on to wastewater until any particulates in the water separate themselves from the water.
Any liquid that remains in the tank eventually drains into a leach field or a drainfield, where it is known as “effluent.” The dirt in the leach field aids in the filtering of the water and the removal of bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants that may be present in it.
Septic tanks erected in Onondaga County must contain input and outlet baffles, as well as an effluent filter or sanitary tees, in order to effectively separate particles from liquids during the treatment process.
How Do I Know If I Have a Septic Tank?
What is the best way to tell if your home has a septic tank? There are generally a few of different methods to tell. Examining your water bill might help you identify whether or not your house is served by a septic system or is part of the public sewage system in your neighborhood. If you have a septic system for wastewater management, you are likely to receive a charge from the utility provider for wastewater or sewer services of zero dollars. In the case of those who are fortunate enough to have a septic system, it is likely that they may not receive any water bills at all.
- A lack of a meter on the water line that enters your property is typically indicative of the fact that you are utilizing well water rather than public utility water, according to the National Association of Realtors.
- A septic system is likely to be installed in your home if you reside in a rather rural location.
- Septic systems are likely to be installed in all of these buildings, which means your home is likely to be as well.
- When a septic tank is present, it is common to find a mound or tiny hill on the property that is not a natural structure.
- Checking your property records is a foolproof method of determining whether or not your home is equipped with a septic system.
Why It’s Important to Know the Location of Your Septic Tank
You might wonder why you should bother trying to discover out where your septic tank is. There are several important reasons for this:
1. To Be Able to Care for It Properly
The first reason you should try to locate your septic tank is that knowing where it is will help you to properly repair and care for it in the future. The standard guideline is to avoid erecting structures or placing heavy objects on top of the septic tank. It’s possible that you don’t want to park your car or truck on top of it, and you don’t want visitors to your house to park their cars on top of it, either. Due to the weight of the automobiles, there is a possibility that the tank would collapse due to excessive pressure.
2. If You Want to Landscape or Remodel Your Property
If you want to build an addition to your home or perform some landscaping around your property, you will need to know where your septic tank is located. Nothing with deep or lengthy roots should be planted on top of or in the area of your tank, since this can cause problems. If roots are allowed to grow into the pipes of your septic system, it is conceivable that your system will get clogged. When you know where the tank is going to be, you may arrange your landscaping such that only shallow-rooted plants, such as grass, are in close proximity to the tank.
For starters, the tank’s weight might lead it to collapse due to the weight of the construction. A second issue is that getting access to the tank becomes more difficult if a permanent building has been constructed on top of it.
3. If a Problem With Your Tank Occurs
Knowing where your tank is buried might also assist you in identifying problems as soon as they arise. Consider the following scenario: you wake up one morning and see that there is flooding or ponding water in the region surrounding your septic tank – a sign that your system is overwhelmed and that an excessive amount of water is being utilized all at once.
4. Ease of Getting It Fixed
Once you have determined the location of your sewer system, you can quickly send a plumber to it in the event that something goes wrong with the system, saving everyone both time and money. Get in Touch With A Plumber Right Away
1. Use a Septic Tank Map
First and foremost, make use of a road map. Using a map is frequently the quickest and most convenient alternative. Most counties keep records of the installation of septic tanks at all of their residents’ residences. These maps should include schematics that illustrate the specific placement of the tank on the land, as well as measurements that allow you to measure and locate the tank’s exact location on the property. Never mind that landmarks may shift over time depending on when the tank was built, so if there are a few more shrubs or a tree nearby, don’t rule out that location as a possibility.
- If you are unable to locate a map or other paperwork that identifies the location of your septic tank, there are a few locations to try to see if you can obtain a map of the area.
- The county health department is responsible for keeping track of septic systems.
- A septic tank’s position could be depicted on a survey map, for example.
- The creation of your own map and documentation may be worthwhile if you cannot locate a map or blueprint of your property and nothing appears to be on file regarding it at the county health department or another municipal agency.
2. Follow the Pipes to Find Your Septic Tank
First and foremost, make use of a map to navigate your way. Using a map is frequently the quickest and most convenient method. Most counties keep records of the installation of septic tanks at all of its constituents’ addresses. They should contain schematics that show you where the tank will be located in relation to the rest of the land, as well as dimensions that allow you to measure and locate the tank. Also, keep in mind that landmarks may shift over time depending on when the tank was built, so even when there are some additional shrubs or a tree close, you shouldn’t rule out that location.
- 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 copy of a map for free.
- A septic system’s records are kept by the county’s health departmentsoften.
- The position of a septic tank may be included on a survey map for convenience purposes.
- 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 about it with the county health department or another municipal agency.
In this way, if you ever decide to sell your property, you will be able to supply the new owner with everything they will need to locate the tank and manage their septic system on their own.
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.
Request an Estimate for the Job
Inspecting Your Septic Tank
Version that can be printed Septic tanks are mostly comprised of settling chambers. They provide enough time for particles and scum to separate from wastewater so that clean liquid may be properly discharged to a drainfield without contamination. Increasing the thickness of thescum and sludge layers over time results in less space and time for wastewater to settle before it is discharged to the drainfield. In the tank, one gallon of water is pumped out into the drainfield for every gallon that enters.
Septic tanks should be inspected for accumulation every one to three years until you can establish a regular pumping plan for your system.
The frequency with which particles are removed from the tank is determined by the size of the tank, the number of persons in the household, and the amount and kind of solids entering the tank.
The “stick test” process will walk you through the steps of assessing the quantity of scum and sludge in the tank, establishing the tank’s functional capacity, and determining whether or not the tank requires pumping.
A more thorough check will look at the condition of the baffles as well as the pipe seals leading into and out of the storage tank (seeStep 4).
What You Need to Do the Stick Test
- One 90-degree elbow*
- Two SxMPT threaded adapters*
- One coupler*
- Two feet of white rag or old gym sock
- String or duct tape
- A pencil or waterproof marker
- A disinfecting solution made of 1/4 cup bleach per gallon of water in a bucket
- A plastic bag for storing the towel, rag/sock, and gloves*. All PVC materials are 1/2-inch Schedule 40 PVC plastic
- No other PVC materials are used.
The slime stick to the right measures 6 feet in length and has a 6-inch leg. The sludge stick is made up of two 5-foot portions that have been fastened together. Scum and sludge sticks can be any length up to 10 feet in length. (NOTE: To learn how to make the scum and sludge sticks, check Step 2 – Measuring the Scum Level andStep 3 – Measuring the Sludge Level in the following sections: Continue to Step 1 – Locate the Tanks. Additionally, see: Step 2 – Determining the Scum Concentration Step 3 – Determining the Sludge Concentration Check the baffles in step four.
Septic System Inspections: A Guide
With a well-maintained septic system, you may prevent a variety of problems, including backed-up drains and toilet backups. However, in order to keep your septic system in excellent working order, it must be inspected on a regular basis. The frequency of inspections is determined by a variety of factors. As a result, a one-size-fits-all approach may not be effective for many households. Understand the many types of septic inspections and their significance for the health of your septic system in order to identify the best strategy to your septic system maintenance and repair.
- An Examination by the Eyes If you are looking to purchase a new house, a visual inspection may be quite beneficial.
- They will next make a comparison between the information they received from the previous owner and what they saw during their examination.
- In order to estimate the likelihood of future water damage, it is critical to complete this stage.
- During this portion of the inspection, they will also check the water pressure to ensure that everything is operating properly.
- When performed in conjunction with a visual examination, this inspection can reveal hidden faults that would otherwise go undetected.
- As an example, if you have an older septic system, you should plan more frequent checks to protect yourself from any unforeseen concerns that may arise.
- They next flow water through the system to detect whether any abnormally high levels of wastewater are present within the tank.
Your septic inspector may next pump out the septic tank while keeping an eye out for any potential backflow problems.
What Is the Importance of Regular Septic Inspections?
Major Issues are de-escalated A septic system check can detect problems in the early stages before they become severe enough to cause system collapse.
Consider the possibility that your house’s inspection professional will identify inadequate drainage symptoms before you notice any drain or toilet backups in your property.
It provides you with information on when to pump.
Because of the increased number of people in the family, your septic tank may fill up more quickly.
Following that, they may advise you on how regularly you should pump your tank in order to avoid it being overloaded.
Regular inspections and pumps can assist to keep your system in good working order and may increase your chances of selling it in the future.
More importantly, the better you take care of your septic system, the longer it will last. Set up a thorough system checkup with Upstate Septic Tank, LLC, today to help prevent septic problems in the future.
Buying a Home with a Septic Tank? Get it Inspected!
Having a properly functioning septic tank system is critical to increasing the value of a home. As a result, it should not be ignored. When acquiring a new house that has a septic system, it’s critical to understand exactly what you’re receiving. Just though the water appears to be running well, the toilets are flushing, and the sinks are draining, does not always imply that the septic system is in perfect operating order. When purchasing a new house, it is critical to have a septic examination performed.
- When was the last time it was pumped?
- An inspection will inform you of any work that has to be done before you can move into the home, saving you time and money.
- What is the age of the tank?
- However, if you are unsure of the tank’s actual age or how it has been maintained, an examination will be required to determine these details.
- Is it up to code and safe to use?
- A septic inspection will provide you with the peace of mind that your system is safe and in compliance with all applicable municipal rules and ordinances.
- You may even be able to bargain with the sellers to have them complete the task for you, or to request a decrease in the selling price of the house.
- Never purchase a new house that has a septic tank without first having it inspected.
- We, at Affordable Pumping Services, provide complete septic inspections as well as any other services you might require.
HOW TO SAFELY ABANDON AN OLD SEPTIC TANK ON YOUR PROPERTY
If you’ve recently purchased an older house, it’s possible that a septic tank is located on the property. This is true even if your home is currently linked to the municipal water and sewer systems. A prior owner may have abandoned the ancient septic system and connected to the city sewage system when it became accessible at some time in the past. Despite the fact that there are standards in place today for properly leaving a septic tank, it was typical practice years ago to just leave the tanks in place and forget about them.
The old tank may either be demolished or filled with water to solve the problem.
It is possible that permits and inspections will be required.
They are dangerous because curious children may pry open the lid and fall into the container.
Falls into a septic tank can be lethal owing to the toxicity of the contents and the fact that concrete can collapse on top of you while falling into a tank.
Eventually, this approach was phased out due to the fact that the steel would corrode and leave the tank susceptible to collapse.
When it comes to ancient septic tanks, they are similar to little caves with a lid that might collapse at any time.
The old tank is crushed and buried, or it is removed from the site.
If it is built of steel, it will very certainly be crushed and buried in its current location.
After that, the tank can be completely filled with sand, gravel, or any other form of rubble and buried.
Tanks can either be entirely dismantled or destroyed and buried in their original location.
The abandonment has been documented and plotted on a map.
It’s possible that you’ll forget about the tank once it’s been abandoned.
As a result, you might wish to sketch a map of the area where the old tank used to stand.
If you can demonstrate that an old septic tank was properly decommissioned, you may be able to increase the value of your property, and the new owners will enjoy knowing that large chunks of concrete are buried underground before they start digging in the yard to put something in it.
It may take some detective work to discover about the history of your land and what may be lying beneath the surface of the earth.
Upon discovering an old septic tank on your property that is no longer in service, contact Total Enviro Services for propertank abandonment procedures that meet with local standards and protect your family, pets, and farm animals from harm or death.