- Dig a trench that’s 4 × 26 × 3 ft (1.22 × 7.92 × 0.91 m). Use either a shovel or an excavator to make a hole in the spot where you want your tank. Keep digging until the hole is 4 feet (1.2 m) wide, 26 feet (7.9 m) long, and 3 feet (0.91 m) deep. You can usually rent excavators for digging from a heavy machinery supply store.
Can a septic tank be made of metal?
Types of Septic Tank Materials There are four major materials that septic tanks are manufactured with: concrete, steel, fiberglass, and plastic. Concrete has been the most widely used septic tank material since the 1880s. These tanks are durable enough to last for roughly 40 years.
How long will a steel septic tank last?
The life expectancy of a steel tank is shorter than a concrete one. Inspectapedia estimates that a steel tank baffles will rust out in 15 to 20 years and may collapse if driven over, but a concrete tank will last 40 years or more as long as the wastewater is not acidic.
What material is best for a septic tank?
The best choice is a precast concrete septic tank. Precast septic tanks hold many advantages over plastic, steel, or fiberglass tanks. This is why so many cities and towns actually require the use of concrete septic tanks.
Do septic tanks have metal lids?
You can locate the lid of your septic tank by poking the ground every few feet with a metal probe. You can also use a metal detector, as most lids have a metal handle or fastener on them to keep the lid closed. Another reason you might not be able to find your lid is due to the depth it was buried.
Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?
The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.
What is the smallest septic tank available?
If you’re looking to install a septic system, the smallest tank size you’re likely to find is 750-gallon, which will accommodate one to two bedrooms. You can also opt for a 1,000-gallon system, which will handle two to four bedrooms.
How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?
How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.
Can a septic system last forever?
How long does a septic system last? On average, a new septic system will last for 20-30 years. Soil quality – the quality of soil will determine how durable your septic tank is. For instance, acidic groundwater can corrode a concrete septic tank.
How big of a septic tank do I need?
The larger your home, the larger the septic tank you’re going to need. For instance, a house smaller than 1,500 square feet usually requires a 750 to 1,000-gallon tank. On the other hand, a bigger home of approximately 2,500 square feet will need a bigger tank, more than the 1,000-gallon range.
How often should you pump your septic tank?
Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.
What size septic tank do I need for a tiny house?
Tiny homes typically require a 500 to 1,000-gallon septic tank. Though, it’s not always possible to implement a tank of this size. In some states, for example, the minimum tank size is 1,000 gallons. There may be exceptions to this rule if your home is on wheels.
How to Construct a Small Septic System
Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation There are two main sections to most private septic systems: the holding and digesting tanks, and the dispersion field or leach field. As the liquid waste in the first holding tank fills up, it will be transferred to the second holding tank. Once the second tank is completely filled with liquid, the liquid will dissipate into the earth underneath it. The system displayed here is a modest system that is intended for limited use by two persons who do not need to do laundry.
When compared to a conventional house septic system, this system employs two 55 US gallon (210 L) drums, rather than the 1,000–2,000 US gallon (3,800–7,600 L) tanks that are utilized in a standard home septic system.
Property owners considering installing a system similar to this one should be advised that this system would fail inspections by any public health department in the United States, and that the owner may be liable to a fine if the system was discovered in operation by a health official.
Toilets that conserve water nowadays utilize less than two litres of water every flush.
It might be a lifeline for those who live in areas where septic treatment is not available.
Part 1 of 3: Cutting the Tanks
- 1Cut a hole in the center of the top of each drum that is the same size as the outer measurement of the toilet flange. Take the outside diameter of the toilet flange that you’re using and multiply it by two. Place the hole close to the edge of the drum so that you may simply connect them to pipes in the near future. Cut the drums using a saber saw to make them lighter
- 2 Each hole should be capped with a 4 in (10 cm) toilet flange. Push the flanges into the top of each tank until they are flush with the surface. As soon as the flanges are in position, tighten them down so they don’t move or shift once they are in place. Advertisement
- s3 Cut a hole in the first drum that is 4 in (10 cm) in diameter on the opposite side of the drum from the hole in the top. Placing the hole approximately 4–5 inches (10–13 cm) below the top of the drum and ensuring that it lines up with the hole on the top of the tank are the most important steps. 4 Make a hole in the wall with a saber saw or a hole saw. Cut two holes in the side of the drum at 45-degree angles to the center of the hole on the top, one on each side of the drum. The center line is the line that runs through the middle of the hole on the top of the drum. Make 45-degree angles from either side of the centerline, then mark them on the second drum using a permanent marker. Make your holes in the barrel by cutting through the side with a saber or a hole saw and drilling them out. Advertisement
Part 2 of 3: Placing the Tanks Underground
- 1 Dig a trench that is 4 ft 26 ft 3 ft (1.22 m 7.92 m 0.91 m) in length and width. Excavator or shovel are both good options for digging a hole in the ground where you wish to put your tank. Continue excavating until the hole measures 4 feet (1.2 m) in width, 26 feet (7.9 m) in length, and 3 feet (0.91 m) in depth.
- Excavators for excavating are often available for hire from a heavy machinery supply company. Look for equipment rentals on the internet
- 2Place the drum at the end of the trench, with one side hole drilled in it. When you place the drum on the floor, make sure it is level. Check to see sure the drum’s top is at least 4 inches (10 cm) below the surface of the water. 3 Dig a hole that is one foot (30 cm) deeper than the first to accommodate the positioning of the second drum in front of the first. In order to ensure a tight fit and prevent the drum from shifting, make your hole the same diameter as the drum you’re inserting in it. 4 The hole should be leveled with gravel until a 90-degree curve can be made to connect the top drum’s hole on one side to the toilet flange on the other. Check the alignment of the holes in the 90-degree bend between the two drums by dry fitting it between the two drums. If you need to improve the alignment of the pipe line, dig the hole a little deeper. 5 To make the bend, cut 31 2in (8.9 cm) pieces of ABS pipe and adhere them to the bend with epoxy or hot glue. With a hacksaw, cut the ABSpipe parts, also known as nipples. 6 Insert the pieces into the bend and hold them in place using PVC adhesive. Check the fit between the two drums to ensure that they are in alignment. Insert the end of the 21 2in (6.4 cm) nipple into the side hole of the first drum and tighten the nut. 7Glue the end of the 31 2in (8.9 cm) nipple into the toilet flange on the second tank, making sure that the nipple on the other end aligns with the hole on the top of the second drum. To hold the bent in place, apply PVC adhesive to the inside of the curve. Don’t be concerned about the link to the first drum just yet
- You’ll make that connection later. 8. Glue a Y-bend to a 31 2in (8.9 cm) nipple, and then bend the angled piece of the Y-bend at a 45-degree angle. Using your PVC adhesive, attach a nipple to the end of the Y-bend and let it dry. Assemble the Y-bend and align the angled pipe on it so it meets the incoming waste line, then glue it onto the toilet flange. 9 21 2in (6.4 cm) nipples are cut and glued to one end of the 45-degree bends at the bottom of the lower drum, and they are then inserted into the side of the lower drum. Directional bends are defined as those that are perpendicular to the bottom of the trench at their ends. Advertisement
Part 3 of 3: Connecting the Drain Pipes
- Put a stake into the ground and level it with the bottom of each of the 45-degree bends. 2Put a stake into the ground and level it with the top of the 45-degree bends. It doesn’t matter what sort of stakes you use since they all work. Use a mallet or hammer to pound the stakes into the ground. Attach a one-inch-wide block to the end of a four-foot-long (1.2-meter-long) level using duct tape. This will assist you in ensuring that you create sloped drain pipes so that your tanks can empty
- 3Place another stake approximately 37 8ft (1.2 m) down the trench from the first one
- 4Place another stake approximately 37 8ft (1.2 m) down the trench from the first one
- 5Place another stake approximately 37 8ft (1.2 m) down the trench from the first one. Drive the stake down until it is the same height as the first one using your hammer or mallet
- 4 Place the end of the level without the block on the first stake and the block on the second stake to complete the level without the block. Continue to pound the second stake into the ground until the level is balanced. 1 inch (2.5 cm) lower than the previous post, or 1 inch (0.64 cm) lower per 1 foot (30 cm)
- 5Repeat this method until you have stakes running the whole length of the trench
- Continue to place stakes down the rest of the trench every 37 8feet (1.2 m) from the last one, ensuring that the stakes slope away from the drums
- 6Place gravel in the trench until the top of the gravel is level with the top of the stakes
- 7Place gravel in the trench until the top of the gravel is level with the top of the stakes The gravel will now slope away from the drums at a rate of 1 4 inch (0.64 cm) per 1 foot (30 cm) of horizontal distance
- 7Place 20 ft (6.1 m) of perforated drain pipe into each hole on the second drum
- 8Place 20 ft (6.1 m) of perforated drain pipe into each hole on the third drum
- 9Place 20 ft (6.1 m) of perforated drain pipe into each hole on the fourth drum
- 10P Insert the ends of the drain pipes into the 45-degree bends on the lower drum to complete the installation. 9Make certain that the perforations in the pipes are facing down so that liquids may soak back into the earth
- 8checking the pipes with a level to ensure that the 1 4in (0.64 cm) slope is consistent throughout the length of the pipe. Fill up any gaps in the slope by adding or removing gravel under the pipe. Seal the 45-degree and 90-degree bends that connect the lower and top drums, respectively, with silicone. For the greatest seal possible on your drain pipes, use a two-part epoxy or silicone caulk. For this purpose, consider utilizing flex pipe, which will yield a little bit if the ground changes. Tenth, fill the lower drum halfway with water to keep it from collapsing under the weight of all the gravel. Place the remaining gravel over the trench and into the bottom drum, covering it completely. 11Lay landscape fabric over the top of the gravel. As a result, the dirt will not be able to seep into the gravel and you will be able to keep proper drainage on your tanks
- 12Fill the remaining trench area with soil, compacting it to the original grade. When you have finished filling up the area with your dirt, check to see that the ground is level. 13Fill the upper drum with water, leaving the top pipe from the first tank exposed so that you can readily reach the tanks if you need to drain them later. 14Fill the lower drum with water. Fill the top drum with water and pour it directly down the exposed pipes on the bottom drum. Continue filling the drum until it is completely filled, then secure the top with a cap to keep out the elements. Advertisement
Community Q A
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- Question What is considered a low level of use? Low consumption is defined as less than 125 gallons per day. Question Was the ‘y’ elbow on the first tank’s tank for any particular reason? Is it left open or sealed when it has been completed? Isn’t it going to stink if it’s left open? The clean out requires a threaded cap or plug, which is provided. Question What kind of water do you use to fill it? “Fill” is the most important term here. Continue to fill the drum with water until the level does not rise any more
- Question Suppose I neglected to attach a slip coupler to the perforated pipe and only had 10 feet of it. Is it still possible to use this? Yes, however you will need to raise the depth of the field in order to get the same cubic feet of capacity
- Nevertheless Question What is the best way to find out if something is legal in my state? This is a quick and easy approach that is unlikely to be appropriate for long-term usage in the majority of states. It is possible that the property owner and/or the installation will be penalized if this is uncovered. Question Is it possible to utilize two or three 275-gallon water totes instead, or a water tote and barrel combination? It doesn’t matter either direction you go. It’s best to utilize a single tote and a barrel as a digestion tank and a distribution box if you have only one tote. Question What is the purpose of filling the higher barrel with water? You fill the top barrel with water so that when sewage waste is introduced into the barrel, it flows into a sufficient amount of water to initiate the anaerobic digestion process. Question What is the best way to clean up this system? If there is enough bacteria in it, it will clean itself with minimal effort. If it starts to fill up, you may call a septic service to have it emptied
- If it doesn’t, you can do it yourself. Question What is the correct grade slope of the drain field for every ten feet of length of the drain field? It is possible for the field’s bottom to be level. When running away from the drums, the pipe system should be sloped at 2 percent, or 2.5 inches every 10 feet. Question Is it possible for this system to freeze in the winter? And might I use antifreeze in the mix as well? Antifreeze will destroy the beneficial bacteria that are required for the process to function properly. The process is biological, and it will generate some of its own heat as part of the process. It’s always possible to dig a little deeper to gain a little extra insulation above it.
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- The horizontal side of the “Y” links to the waste source, and it should be fitted with a connector that is compatible with the source supply line
- Instead of using a 90° elbow, you should join two of them together to produce a U-shaped connection. In this manner, the end that is in the first barrel will be pointed towards the bottom of the tank, rather than the top. This should be reinforced with a short segment of straight pipe that is several inches deeper towards the bottom. Solids either float or sink depending on their density. They don’t seem to congregate in the middle. As a result, only the broken down liquid waste makes it to the second tank, and the solids are never seen again. The same procedure should be followed for each of the drainage pipes that originate from the second barrel. Just to be completely certain that no solids find their way into the global drain field, the waste is dumped into the first tank, with the solids settling to the bottom of the first tank. Whenever the liquid level exceeds the outfall to the second tank, it is drained into the tank below it. If there are any solids present, they will sink to the bottom. Whenever the liquid from the second tank reaches one of the two outfalls, it is transported to the gravel leaching field for dispersion. Over time, the vast majority of the solids will liquefy and disperse. Solids may accumulate at the top of the tank after many years, necessitating the removal of the solids. Thirty percent of the waste is absorbed into the earth, with the remaining seventy percent being dissipated by sunshine. It is important not to compress the soil since this would interfere with the evaporation process
- The vertical side of the “Y” will be used to pump out the tank after it is entirely filled with solids
- The depth of the trench should be proportional to the depth of the waste source line. If the line is deeper or higher than the one depicted, you will need to dig the trench deeper or shallower to suit the new line depth or height. It’s not that difficult to find out. In the event that you have a septic system that is too shallow, it may be more susceptible to damage. After a period, you may discover that the ground has sunk below the trench’s location. Fill it in with extra dirt and compact it
- It is assumed that you are familiar with working with ABS plastic pipe. In addition, you must have the necessary tools to dig the trench (or be ready to put in a lot of effort).
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Things You’ll Need
- 3/4 or 1 1/2 crushed rock or blue metal
- 80 square feet (7.4 m 2) of landscaping fabric
- 9 cubic yards (6.9 m3) of 3/4 or 1 1/2 crushed rock or blue metal 55 US gal (210 L) plastic drums
- 10 feet (3.0 m) of ABS plastic pipe with a diameter of 4 in (10 cm)
- 4 in (10 cm) ABS 90-degree bend
- 4 in (10 cm) ABS Y-bend
- 3 ABS 45-degree bends with sizes of 4 in (10 cm)
- 2 55 US gal (210 L) plastic drums A total of 40 feet (12 meters) of 4 inch (10 cm) perforated drain pipe
- Two 4 inch (10 cm) diameter drain pipe couplers
- And two toilet flanges with 4 inch (10 cm) diameters are included. PVC glue, two-part epoxy or silicone sealant, a level, and ten wood stakes are all required. 1 in (2.5 cm) thick wood block
- Duct tape
- 4 in (10 cm) ABS detachable cap
- 1 in (2.5 cm) thick wood block
About This Article
wikiHow Staff Writer contributed to this article. This article was written in part by members of the wikiHow Staff. Our highly skilled staff of editors and researchers checks articles for correctness and completeness before publishing them. The work of our editorial staff is regularly monitored by wikiHow’sContent Management Team to ensure that each article is supported by reliable research and fulfills our high quality standards. A total of 2,330,920 people have looked at this article. Co-authors:53 The most recent update was made on January 15, 2022.
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- INSTRUCTIONS: SUBMIT A QUESTION OR COMMENTONSTEEL septic tanks: unique difficulties, inspection, installation, troubleshooting, repairs, age, and longevity
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. Steel septic tank warnings include the following: This paper outlines how to examine the state of a septic tank, with additional considerations for examining steel septic tanks being included in addition. Steel septic tanks are a critical component of onsite wastewater disposal systems, and they must be regularly inspected. Steels septic tank faults, life expectancy, specific issues, and repair procedures are discussed in detail.
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.
STEEL SEPTIC TANKS – Life Expectancy, What Breaks, What to Look For, How to Fix a Damaged or Leaky Steel Septic Tank or Tank Cover or Baffle
Steel septic tanks generally survive 20-25 years before rusting and collapsing due to corrosion. If you don’t do this, steel baffles may rust off, clogging the drain field with sludge, the tank top may become corroded and dangerous, or the tank bottom may have rusted through before the time limit. The steel septic tank baffle can be seen in the lower left corner of this photograph; did you notice that the top corners of the baffle have corroded away over time? The steel septic tank lid in this photograph had rusted through and was covered with brush and roughly two inches of earth, as depicted in the photograph.
Guide to Steel Septic Tank Maintenance and Repair
Make sure to keep surface and roof runoff away from steel septic tanks or any other type of septic tank, as well as other septic system components such as D-boxes and drainfields. When unwelcome water is allowed to enter the system, it increases the danger of drainfield collapse and the failure of the septic system. The steel septic tank in the photograph is not only too close to the home (as was customary at the time of its construction in the 1960s), but it is also too close to a roof drainage downspout, which is a safety hazard.
Special Hazard Warning for Steel Septic Tank Covers
Keep an eye out for: Steel tank covers that have rusted may be deadly! Covers that are rusted might collapse. As recently as December 1997, we have received reports of children and adults who have died as a result of this danger. In 2000, the author was consulted in the case of a death involving an adult who had fallen into a sanitary sewer. During a construction inspection, the author, although taking caution not to trip over a buried, rusted-through steel septic tank lid, was caught by surprise (shown in the photos above on this page).
This might be a steel septic tank that has collapsed, or it could be a steel access riser to a cesspool that has been constructed out of stones.
Furthermore, there was no secure cover.
Septic gases are very hazardous and can cause death within minutes of being exposed to them.
Special Problem with Rusted Off Baffles in Steel Septic Tanks – repair may be possible
Baffling issues with steel septic tanks: On a steel septic tank, the baffles at the inlet and exit are frequently rusted out and break off before the owner notices that the tank requires repair or replacement. It is on the right side of the manhole of this septic tank (picture at left).
Solids are able to enter the soil absorption system as a result of this degradation. The steel septic tank baffle depicted in the photo above on this page has rusted away at the top, which can be seen in the bottom left of the tank top aperture in the photo above.
Should we repair a steel septic tank that has lost its baffles?
If a steel septic tank is otherwise in good condition, but its baffles have gotten broken or have been lost totally, placing a plastic tee into the intake and outlet waste lines may be a viable alternative solution. Baffling, or septic tank teeing, is used to prevent solid waste from flowing out of the tank into the drainfield, as well as to prevent waste flow into the tank from the building it serves from being blocked. For further information on this septic system component, please seeSEPTIC TANK TEES (PDF).
Here’s an example: this steel septic tank is still holding effluent, but its sides are crumbling and its baffles have been removed, and it is likely missing its protective septic tank cover.
Until the tank can be replaced, it should be cordoned off and kept out of reach of the public and employees.
Steel Septic Tank SideBottom Rust-Out, Leaks, Abnormal Sewage Levels
Steel tank bottoms rust away, allowing effluent to escape into the soils around the tank and, in certain cases, creating a big void in the tank at the time of testing, so causing a loading or dye test to be invalidated. Because steel tank tops can be replaced while the previous tank is still in place, the condition of the top itself is not a good predictor of the state of the tank in question. You may tell whether a steel septic tank has a leak if the bottom or lower sides are missing by observing that the amount of sewage in the septic tank is lower than the level of sewage in the outlet baffle or pipe for a septic tank that is currently in use and has not been pumped out.
Technical content contributors
Thank you so much to
- In addition to being a trained ASHI home inspector, a Licensed Pesticide Applicator, a BPI Building Analyst, and an Envelope Professional with 18 years of house inspection experience, Lawrence Transue is also a Pennsylvania building scientist and consultant. Lawrence Transue may be reached at the following numbers: 610.417.0763 and by email:[email protected] His WEB SITE and FACEBOOK pages are also worth checking out.
Reader CommentsQ A
Lola Thank you for taking the time to leave such a valuable remark. When you have your septic tank pumped, you may want to have a professional evaluate the baffles and the tank itself to ensure that they are in good working order. Considering the age of the tank, it would not be surprising if the baffles and even the sides and bottom of the tank had not rusted away by now @ Crystal, Yes, this is a possibility. On our steel septic tank, which was built in 1960, we have a concrete lid. It is still operational.
Crystal Anything is conceivable when it comes to the variety of things that individuals do to and with their structures, but it would be odd to find a concrete cover on a metal septic tank.
Be cautious if you notice signs that the septic tank lid is tipping, settling, breaking, or collapsing; this is a very dangerous and potentially fatal hazard (if someone falls into the tank).
Hello, we have a concrete cover on our septic tank that we would like to remove.
Is it feasible to install a concrete cover on top of a metal septic tank?. Continue reading atSEPTIC TANK BAFFLES, or choose a topic from the closely-related articles listed below, or see the completeARTICLE INDEX for more information. Alternatively, consider the following:
- THE TROUBLE WITH THE SEPTIC SYSTEM: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT DOESN’T
- SEPTIC TANKS-WHERE DO I START?
- SEPTIC TANK BACK FLOODING
- SEPTIC TANK BAFFLES
- SEPTIC TANK TEES
- SEPTIC TANK CLEANING
- SEPTIC TANK, HOW TO FIND
- SEPTIC TANK LEAKS
- SEPTIC TANK LEVELS OF SEWAGE
- SEPTIC TANK SAFETY
- SEPTIC TANK TESTING
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ASSESSMENT OF SEPTIC TANKS, STEEL An online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, and issue preventive information is available at Apedia.com. Alternatively, have a look at this.
INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES:ARTICLE INDEX to SEPTIC SYSTEMS
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How to Find a Septic Tank With a Metal Detector
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How do septic systems work?
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Waste from toilets, sinks, and showers is sent down a main sewage line and into a holding tank known as the septic tank. A septic tank is a large, subterranean container that acts as the initial stage of a home’s sewage treatment system by collecting and treating sewage. Watertight containers such as concrete, steel, plastic, and fiberglass are used to construct the tank. Until the particles and liquids separate into three different layers, sewage is allowed to remain in the septic tank. This picture shows how sewage from the home drains into a two-compartment underground septic tank.
The liquid wastes are subsequently discharged into the drain field.
The bacteria produce a sludge that is “digested” and stays in the tank until it is drained.
This stratum is referred to as effluent in most circles.
Drain fields are composed of layers of gravel and dirt that allow liquid sewage to flow down.
It eventually becomes part of the groundwater supply. Aerobic bacteria (bacteria that require oxygen to survive) and other microbes decompose the organic debris that remains.
What happens if a septic tank gets too full?
In the event that your septic tank becomes overflowing, sewage may back up into your home. It is more difficult to breakdown sludge than it is to collect it. If the sludge isn’t cleaned, the solids will build up until they overflow into the drain field, causing the drain to back up. This has the potential to clog pipes and produce a backup. The sludge must be cleared on a regular basis in order to avoid this. Many households only get their tanks emptied after the system malfunctions. Waiting until that stage can result in repair expenses in the tens of thousands of dollars.
6 Steps to Locate a Septic Tank
Water from your toilets, sinks, and showers is collected in a main drain pipe and disposed of properly. This line departs your home and enters your septic tank through the basement or crawl area where it was installed. Find the line in question. Afterwards, walk outside and look for the identical location on the opposite side of the wall. Make a note of this spot since you’ll need it in a moment.
2. Check Permits and Public Records
The majority of county health agencies keep public records of septic system installation permits on their websites. These permits must be accompanied by a schematic or design depicting the proposed location of the septic tank and drainage field systems. They also give a description of the tank’s dimensions and construction material. Having this information can be quite beneficial when trying to locate a submerged tank lid. In some cases, depending on the age of your septic system and the digitization efforts of your county’s health department, you may be able to do a public records search online.
If you live in Colorado, we’ve provided links below that will allow you to check septic records in a few different areas.
- Colorado’s counties of Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Colorado Septic Records Search
- Colorado Permits Search
- El Paso County Records Search
- Jefferson County Septic Records Search
- Jefferson County Records Search
- Mesa County Septic Systems Search
- Pueblo County Records Search. Colorado Septic Records Search
- Pueblo County Records Search
3. Determine Septic Tank Material
If you’ve located your septic permit, you’ll find information about the size, shape, and material of your septic tank there as well. But don’t be concerned if your septic data aren’t readily available. We can perform some basic detective work to determine what material your septic system is built of. Let’s start with a look at the materials.
Types of Septic Tank Materials
Construction of septic tanks is mostly done using four types of materials: concrete, steel, fiberglass, and polyethylene plastic. Until the 1880s, the most extensively used septic tank material was concrete, which was then replaced by steel. These tanks have a lifespan of around 40 years and are built to last. They are susceptible to cracking, however, in locations where temperature variations are strong and frequent. Concrete tanks are frequently required by municipalities that have strict requirements on septic system construction.
- Steel septic tanks begin to corrode within 20 to 25 years of installation in most regions.
- If a human or animal walks across the weakened tank, it may collapse under the weight of the person or animal.
- They will not break or corrode, however, in contrast to concrete or steel tanks.
- PlasticSeptic tanks made of polyethylene have been in use since the 1980s.
They are not susceptible to rusting and are less prone to break when compared to concrete. They are, however, not quite as long-lasting. Because of the weight of the earth above them, or because a vehicle passes over the area where they are buried, plastic tanks are susceptible to collapse.
How Old is Your House?
Next, let’s determine the approximate age of your home. In some cases, all you need to do is take a glance at the house’s façade to get an idea of how old it really is. However, you may examine the tax assessor’s records in your county to get a more precise assessment. Similarly to searching for septic records, your mileage may vary depending on which county’s digitized documents you are searching for. Let’s go over an example search utilizing Boulder County’s Property Search tool so that you can have a better sense of what you should be looking for.
- Look up your home address on the internet. When searching for a home, some programs provide separate areas for your address and street name, while others (such as Boulder County) merge the two into a single search box. Look for information on Deeds and/or Sales Records in the public domain. You’ll find a list of transactions here, with dates showing when the property was purchased and sold. Find the transaction that occurred on the earliest possible date. This is most likely the year in which your home was constructed.
This information allows you to make an informed guess regarding the sort of material that your septic tank is built of.
4A. If it’s Concrete or Steel, Use a Metal Detector
After coming to the conclusion that the tank is most likely built of concrete or steel in Step 3, a metal detector may be used to make the work of locating it much simpler. But not just any metal detector will do. It must be the right one. Standard metal detectors have a depth range of 6 – 8″ (15 – 20 cm) below the surface of the ground. As previously stated, the majority of septic tanks are placed 1′ to 3′ (0.3 m to 1 m) underground, putting them outside of the acceptable range. An advanced sort of metal detector known as a Magnetic Locator, which can detect objects as deep as 16′ (4.8 m), is available for purchase.
How to Use a Metal Detector to Search for a Septic Tank
If you have a septic permit record, you may refer to it to figure out how far you need to go to install a septic tank. Start at the point where the drain line meets the home and work your way out to where the septic tank is shown on the diagram. Keep in mind that this graphic depicts the proposed installation area and may not accurately depict the actual ground conditions on the site. We’ll have a look at the illustration below. One inch (2.5 centimeters) is equivalent to fifty feet (50 meters).
By using a ruler to measure the design, we’ve determined that the septic tank should be roughly 13′ (3.96 m) away from the home.
- If you have a septic permit record, you may refer to it to figure out how far you need to go to construct a septic tank. Start at the point where the drain line meets the home and work your way out to where the septic tank should be. Keep in mind that this graphic represents the proposed installation area and may not accurately depict the actual ground conditions. Examine the figure below to see what I mean. One inch (2.5 centimeters) is equivalent to fifty feet (50 meters), as seen in the lower left corner (15 m). We’ve determined that the septic tank should be roughly 13′ (3.96 m) away from the home by using a ruler to measure the diagram. We should broaden our search area to include anything from 10′ (3.05 m) to 20′ (3.05 m) because the sewage drain pipe was going to be put at an angle (6.1 m).
4B. If it’s Plastic or Fiberglass, Probe Gently
Septic tanks made of plastic or fiberglass are typically buried one to two feet (0.3 to 0.91 m) below ground level. They feature circular covers made of green or black plastic that are roughly two feet (0.91 m) wide and have a diameter of around two feet (0.91 m). Due to the fact that these tanks are totally made of plastic, a metal detector will not be of use in locating them. In this situation, a soil probe is really useful. An inexpensive soil sampling instrument, soil probes are comprised of a 4′ (1.2 m) metal rod with a pointed tip on one end and are used for soil sample.
Gently poke the earth with a soil probe every 2 to 3 feet, using a light touch (0.61 to 0.91 m).
Make a note of any areas where you encounter resistance and continue exploring around in your search area. The use of a soft touch is essential here, since the metal tip of the probe can cause damage to plastic septic tanks (and sewage lines) if too much force is used.
5. Time to Dig
Following the placement of an amagnetic locator (or the probing of the ground) to record the places with the highest signal strength, you are ready to begin digging. Septic tank lids can be located anywhere from 4″ (10 cm) to 4′ (1.2 m) below the surface of the ground.
6. Mark the Location for Future Maintenance
Having discovered your septic tank, you’ll want to ensure that it can be readily detected and accessed in the event that it has to be repaired or replaced. You may accomplish this by installing a septic tank riser. Sewage Tank Risers are devices that provide for easy access to the septic tank from the ground. They are shafts made of plastic or concrete that link the top of the tank to the surface of the ground below the tank. The tank lid will no longer require you to dig to access it whenever maintenance is required.
Steel Underground Septic Tanks
Greer is a manufacturer of underground septic tanks made of strong steel. Our steel septic tanks have two compartments and may be buriable to a depth of ten feet in the ground. Septic tanks made of steel may be purchased from us in a variety of sizes that vary from 500-gallon to 12,000-gallon, with the majority of residential tanks falling between the 1,000-gallon and the 2,500-gallon range. Click on the link below to see the complete variety of sizes available, or call 1-800-725-8108 to speak with a representative about your needs.
Steel Underground Septic Tanks Product Details
- Steel is used to construct underground septic tanks by Greer, which is known for its durability. We provide twin compartment steel septic tanks that are buriable to a depth of 10 feet. Septic tanks made of steel may be purchased from us in a variety of sizes that vary from 500-gallon to 12,000-gallon, with the majority of residential tanks falling between the 1,000-gallon and the 2,500-gallon range in size. If you require assistance, please contact 1-800-725-8108 or click on the link below to view the whole range of sizes accessible to you.
Steel Septic Tanks:
How to Locate Your Septic Tank
Greer is a manufacturer of underground septic tanks made of robust steel. Our steel septic tanks include two compartments and may be buriable to a depth of ten feet or more in depth. Our steel septic tanks are available in a variety of sizes ranging from 500-gallon to 12,000-gallon, with the majority of residential tanks falling between 1,000-gallon and 2,500-gallon. Click on the link below to see the complete variety of sizes available, or call 1-800-725-8108 to speak with a representative about your specific needs.
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 location of a septic tank cannot be constructed in specific areas due to the risk of causing major damage to your property or tank, as specified by local rules. Your septic tank will not be affected by the following:
- Immediately adjacent to your well
- Beneath your home
- Directly against your home
- For example, underneath your driveway
- Under trees
- And other locations. Structures like a patio or deck are good examples of this.
4. Inspect Your Property
If you take a hard look around your land, there’s a high possibility you’ll be able to locate your septic tank without having to do any probing whatsoever. In many circumstances, a septic tank may be identified by a slight dip or slope on your land that cannot be explained by any other means. Due to the fact that the hole that your contractors excavated for your septic tank may not have been exactly the proper size, they proceeded to install the tank anyhow. This is a rather regular occurrence.
When there is a minor divot or depression, it indicates that the hole was too large and that your contractors simply did not fill the depression to level the hole.
The likelihood of your septic tank being discovered in a few specific locations is quite high.
- 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!
A Beginner’s Guide to Septic Systems
- Septic systems are used to dispose of waste from homes and buildings. Identifying the location of the septic tank and drainfield
- What a Septic System Is and How It Works Keeping a Septic System in Good Condition
- Signs that a septic system is failing include:
Septic systems, also known as on-site wastewater management systems, are installed in a large number of buildings and houses. It is easy to lose sight of septic systems, which operate quietly, gracefully, and efficiently to protect human and environmental health due to their burying location. Septic systems are the norm in rural regions, but they may also be found in a lot of metropolitan places, especially in older buildings. It is critical to understand whether or not your building is on a septic system.
Is Your Home or Building on a Septic System?
It is possible that the solution to this question will not be evident. If a structure looks to be connected to a sewage system, it may instead be connected to a septic system. It is fairly unusual for tenants to be unaware of the final destination of the wastewater generated by their residence. Some of the hints or signs listed below will assist in determining whether the facility is served by a septic system or whether it is supplied by a sewer system:
- Sewer service will be provided at a cost by the city or municipality. Pay close attention to the water bill to see whether there is a cost labeled “sewer” or “sewer charge” on it. If there is a fee for this service, it is most likely because the facility is connected to a sewage system. Look up and down the street for sewage access ports or manholes, which can be found in any location. If a sewage system runs in front of a property, it is probable that the house is connected to it in some way. Inquire with your neighbors to see if they are connected to a sewer or septic system. The likelihood that your home is on a sewer system is increased if the properties on each side of you are on one as well. Keep in mind, however, that even if a sewage line runs in front of the structure and the nearby residences are connected to a sewer system, your home or building may not be connected to one. If the structure is older than the sewer system, it is possible that it is still on the original septic system. Consult with your local health agency for further information. This agency conducts final inspections of septic systems to ensure that they comply with applicable laws and regulations. There is a possibility that they have an archived record and/or a map of the system and will supply this information upon request
All property owners should be aware of whether or not their property is equipped with an on-site wastewater treatment system. Georgia law mandates that the property owner is responsible for the correct operation of a septic system, as well as any necessary maintenance and repairs.
Locating the Septic Tank and Drainfield
Finding a septic system may be a difficult process. They can be buried anywhere in the yard, including the front, back, and side yards. After a few years, the soil may begin to resemble the surrounding soil, making it impossible to distinguish the system from the surrounding soil. It is possible that in dry weather, the grass will be dryer in the shallow soil over the tank and greener over the drainfield, where the cleansed water will be released, but this is not always the case, especially in hot weather.
- The contractor who built the house should have presented the initial owner with a map showing the tank and drainfield locations, according to the building code.
- The installation of the system, as well as any modifications made to it, would have been examined by your local health authority.
- Unfortunately, if the system is very old, any records related with it may be insufficient or nonexistent, depending on the situation.
- Look for the point at where the wastewater pipes join together if the building is on a crawlspace or has an unfinished basement.
- The sewer line that runs through the structure is referred to as the building sewer.
- To “feel” for the tank, use a piece of re-bar or a similar metal probe.
- If you use this free service, you may avoid accidentally putting a rod through your gas or water line.
Try to locate the tank after a rainstorm, when the metal probe will be more easily maneuvered through moist dirt.
This should be done with care; extreme caution should be exercised to avoid puncturing the building sewer.
A tank is normally 5 by 8 feet in size, however the dimensions might vary.
Be aware that there may be rocks, pipes, and other debris in the area that “feels” like the tank but is not in fact part of the tank.
However, it is possible to have the lid or access port positioned on a riser in addition to being on the same level as the top of the tank in some cases.
Once the tank has been identified, make a rough drawing of its placement in relation to the house so that it will not be misplaced again!
It may be easier to discover the drainage lines now that the tank has been identified, particularly if the area has been subjected to prolonged periods of drought.
How a Septic System Works
Typical sewage treatment system (figure 1). It is composed of three components (Figure 1): the tank, the drain lines or discharge lines, and the soil treatment area (also known as the soil treatment area) (sometimes called a drainfield or leach field). The size of the tank varies according to the size of the structure. The normal home (three bedrooms, two bathrooms) will often include a 1,000-gallon water storage tank on the premises. Older tanks may only have one chamber, however newer tanks must have two chambers.
- The tank functions by settling waste and allowing it to be digested by microbes.
- These layers include the bottom sludge layer, the top scum layer, and a “clear” zone in the center.
- A typical septic tank is seen in Figure 2.
- It is fortunate that many of the bacteria involved are found in high concentrations in the human gastrointestinal tract.
- Although the bacteria may break down some of the stuff in the sludge, they are unable to break down all of it, which is why septic tanks must be cleaned out every three to seven years.
- In addition, when new water is introduced into the septic tank, an equal volume of water is pushed out the discharge lines and onto the drainfield.
- The water trickles out of the perforated drain pipes, down through a layer of gravel, and into the soil below the surface (Figure 3).
- A typical drainfield may be found here.
- Plants, bacteria, fungus, protozoa, and other microorganisms, as well as bigger critters such as mites, earthworms, and insects, flourish in soil.
- Mineralogical and metallic elements attach to soil particles, allowing them to be removed from the waste water.
Maintaining a Septic System
The most typical reason for a septic system to fail is a lack of proper maintenance. Septic systems that are failing are expensive to repair or replace, and the expense of repairs rests on the shoulders of the property owner (Figure 4). Fortunately, keeping your septic system in good working order and avoiding costly repairs is rather simple. Figure 4. Septic system failure is frequently caused by a lack of proper maintenance. It is in your best interests to be aware of the location of the system, how it operates, and how to maintain it.
- You should pump the tank if you aren’t sure when the last time it was pumped.
- It is not permissible to drive or park over the tank or drainage field.
- No rubbish should be disposed of in the sink or the toilet.
- It’s important to remember that garbage disposals enhance the requirement for regular pumping.
- When designing a landscape, keep the septic system in mind.
- It is also not recommended to consume veggies that have been cultivated above drainfield lines (see Dorn, S.
- Ornamental Plantings on Septic Drainfields.
Any water that enters your home through a drain or toilet eventually ends up in your septic system.
Don’t put too much strain on the system by consuming a large amount of water in a short period of time.
Additives should not be used.
Various types of additives are available for purchase as treatment options, cleansers, restorers, rejuvenator and boosters, among other things.
To break up oil and grease and unclog drains, chemical additives are available for purchase.
Pumping out the septic tank is not eliminated or reduced by using one of these systems.
They remain floating in the water and travel into the drainfield, where they may block the pipes. Acids have the potential to damage concrete storage tanks and distribution boxes.
Signs a Septic System is Failing
A failed system manifests itself in the following ways:
- Sinks and toilets drain at a snail’s pace
- Plumbing that is backed up
- The sound of gurgling emanating from the plumbing system House or yard aromas that smell like sewage
- In the yard, there is wet or squishy dirt
- Water that is gray in hue that has accumulated
- An region of the yard where the grass is growing more quickly and is becoming greener
- Water contaminated by bacteria from a well
If you notice any of these indicators, you should notify your local health department immediately. An environmentalist from the health department can assist in identifying possible hazards. There are also listings of state-certified contractors available from the local health department, who may do repairs. Repairs or alterations to the system must be approved by the health department and examined by an inspector. Keep an eye out for any meetings that may take place between a health department inspector and a contractor to discuss repairs to your system.
- Household garbage that has not been properly handled is released into the environment when systems fail.
- It has the potential to pollute surrounding wells, groundwater, streams, and other sources of potable water, among other things.
- The foul odor emanating from a malfunctioning system can cause property values to plummet.
- Briefly stated, broken systems can have an impact on your family, neighbors, community, and the environment.
- Septic systems are an effective, attractive, and reasonably priced method of treating and disposing of wastewater.
Figures 2 and 3 reprinted with permission from: CIDWT. 2009. Installation of Wastewater Treatment Systems. Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment. Iowa State University, Midwest Plan Service. Ames, IA.
History of the current status and revisions Published on the 15th of August, 2013. Published on March 28th, 2017 with a full review.