How To Tell A True Septic Tank? (Solved)

  • First thing to look out for is pools of water forming around your septic tanks drain field. This is a key sign of an overflowing septic tank. It goes without saying, if it hasn’t rained recently and you’re seeing a lot of water, it’s probably your septic tank.

How do I know what type of septic tank I have?

Walk around your yard to look for a large bump in the grass on one side of the house. A sign that you have a septic system is a domed area under the grass. The size of the bump will vary depending on your house and the number of toilets you have, but it may be noticeable.

What are the 3 types of septic systems?

Types of Septic Systems

  • Septic Tank.
  • Conventional System.
  • Chamber System.
  • Drip Distribution System.
  • Aerobic Treatment Unit.
  • Mound Systems.
  • Recirculating Sand Filter System.
  • Evapotranspiration System.

How do I find out where my septic tank is located?

Follow the Main Sewer Line Look for a pipe that’s roughly four inches in diameter that leads away from your house. Remember the location of the sewer pipe and where the pipe leaves your home so you can find it outside. The sewer pipes will lead to where your septic tank is located.

Do all septic tanks have two chambers?

New tanks must have two chambers, while older tanks may have only one. The tank is often made from concrete, but other materials are also used. However, the microbes cannot break down all the material in the sludge, which is why septic tanks need to be pumped out every three to seven years.

Will metal detector find septic tank?

If it’s Concrete or Steel, Use a Metal Detector. Based on your conclusions in Step 3, if your septic tank is likely made from concrete or steel, a metal detector can make the task of locating it much easier. But not just any metal detector will do.

How often should a septic tank be pumped?

Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.

Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?

The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.

How 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.

What is a Class 5 septic system?

Class 5. A sewage system using a holding tank for the retention of on-site sewage and must be emptied by a licensed sewage hauler. A permit is required to install this type of septic system.

How deep is a septic tank usually buried?

Often, septic tank lids are at ground level. In most cases, they have buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground. If you’ve just bought the home and you don’t know where your septic tank is located, this guide will provide information on how to find your septic tank.

How do I clean my septic tank naturally?

You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!

What happens if septic tank not pumped?

What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.

Can you drive a riding mower over a leach field?

Will a ride-on lawn mower hurt my drain field? No. Ride-on mowers and other garden care equipment will not harm your leach field. You should, however, stay away from it with cars, pick-up trucks, and rubber tired heavy equipment like backhoe loaders.

How deep are septic lateral lines?

A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.

What is the purpose of the first chamber of a two chamber septic tank?

Wastewater enters the first chamber of the tank, allowing solids to settle and scum to float. The settled solids are anaerobically digested, reducing the volume of solids.

How to Locate Your Septic Tank

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

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

How To Find A Septic Tank: Step By Step

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

1. Gather Some Helpful Tools

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

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

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

2. Use a Septic Tank Map

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

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

3. Start Ruling Areas Out

The 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

Your water well, if you have one (for a variety of reasons that are quite self-explanatory); 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 unless it was 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 patio, sidewalk, or driveway unless they were added after the home was built and no one conducted Landscaping that is distinctive;

  • 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.

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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!

How Your Septic System Works

Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.

Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.

Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:

  1. All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.

Do you have a septic system?

It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system.

If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:

  • You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system

How to find your septic system

You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:

  • Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
  • Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
  • Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it

Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!

A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:

  • Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
  • It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
  • A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield

Buying a House? Make Sure You Get a Septic System Inspection!

If you are in the process of purchasing a home, you are aware that there are several phases involved in the process. You put money together for a down payment, go to open houses, chat to sellers and real estate agents, and ultimately discover a place you love to call home. The exciting part is about to begin. There are several steps involved: making an offer, getting pre-approval, scheduling a home inspection, and eventually, after heaps of paperwork, claiming ownership of the property. But hold on a minute!

  • You might be asking why you would need to get your septic system inspected.
  • Septic systems that are in poor working order can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair or replace.
  • When a roof leak occurs or a break in the foundation occurs, you would want to be aware of the situation.
  • “All OK, but I’ve already completed a house inspection and a dye test.” “Doesn’t that suffice?” While these inspections may be sufficient to meet the criteria of a lender, they are insufficient to provide a full evaluation of a septic system.

What is a septic system inspection?

Performing a septic system inspection entails a thorough examination of all of the components of a septic system. The inspector will determine the location and condition of the septic tank, distribution box, and absorption area and make recommendations. In this process, he will uncover and evaluate all of the mechanical and electrical components of the system, including septic lines, baffles and filters, pumps and floats, alarms, and so on. During the inspection, he will open the septic tank (digging up the lids, if required) in order to check the wastewater sources from the home to the septic tank and physically inspect the septic tank at its operational level, according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

If the home has been vacant for an extended period of time or if the number of people living in the home is expected to increase, the inspector will conduct a hydraulic load test to determine whether the septic system’s absorption area is capable of handling the anticipated daily wastewater volume of the home buyer’s family.

For septic systems in Pennsylvania, this implies that the inspector must have received training and certification from the Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA), which has created a set of requirements for an objective septic system assessment.

Each PSMA septic system inspection finishes with the delivery of a thorough report.

However, while this analysis does not provide a guarantee, the findings drawn from it may be able to save you thousands of dollars in septic system repairs or replacement.

If you do not have a PSMA inspection and report, you run the danger of inheriting the financial burden of substantial septic system repairs or perhaps the installation of a whole new system completely.

Septic System Inspection vs. Home Inspection

Inspections of the inside and exterior of a home are performed by professionals who are well-versed in the identification of typical faults. They will inform you if there are any evident issues with the roof, windows, electrical system, interior plumbing, foundation, or any other visible components of the house. A house inspection, on the other hand, is just a visual assessment that is non-invasive. Consequently, house inspectors only report on the components of the home that they can physically see, and nothing else.

  • This implies that the septic system is not included in the scope of a standard house inspection.
  • There is a good chance that they may flush the toilets a few times to ensure that the system is not actively backing up, and they may even remove the cover from the septic tank (if they can find it).
  • How can a home inspector tell you what condition your septic tank is in if there isn’t a pump truck available to empty it?
  • Despite the fact that home inspectors are well-versed in many aspects of the property, they are neither equipped nor prepared to conduct a thorough examination of a septic system.
  • Rely on a PSMA inspector that specializes in septic systems to provide you with the most thorough and insightful septic system inspection available.

Septic System Inspection vs. Dye Test

Dyes are used in a dye test to check that wastewater is appropriately routed into the septic tank and not elsewhere on the land. Dyes are brightly colored and non-toxic, and they are safe to use. In layman’s terms, a dye test demonstrates that water can travel from point A to point B. At the time of a dye test, a technician will flush dye tablets down the toilet and down the drain, check to verify that the right wastewater sources are entering the septic tank, and walk about the property looking for dye.

In the absence of a dye test, it is impossible to determine the size or condition of a septic tank.

Dye tests provide little information on the operation of critical septic system components such as baffles, pumps, floats, and alarms, among others.

When purchasing a property, don’t take a chance on a future filled with septic system failures and expensive repairs.

For a complete septic system inspection, rely on the PSMA-certified inspectors at Hapchuk, Inc. to conduct the work for you. Our professionals will supply you with all of the information and help you want in order to confidently acquire a house that has a septic system installed.

5 Top Myths About Septic Systems

PlazacCameraman courtesy of Getty Images The chances are good that you’ve received some incorrect information regarding how to manage your septic system. The following are the five most common septic system misconceptions debunked.

Septic Myth1: Pump-Outs Are Unnecessary

The reality is that having your aseptic tank pumped out every two or three years is the most effective and cost-effective approach to maintain your system running properly. Septic additive firms are responsible for spreading the no-pump fallacy. According to the claims, adding hidden bacteria and enzymes to the system can promote full sewage digestion, hence removing the need to have the tank pumped every few years or more often. It’s an appealing concept, but it’s also hazardous and heavily reliant on hope.

And, more importantly, is there truly an addition that can induce the complete digestion of hair, lint, fingernail clippings, fat, and all of the other indigestible elements that accumulate on the floor of a septic tank’s tank floor?

Septic Myth2: It Doesn’t Matter What You Put Down the Drain

It does make a significant difference what you put into a septic system. Septic systems can be fairly reliable and trouble-free, but flushing poisons such as drain cleaner, disinfectants, and solvents down the toilet can reduce, if not completely eradicate, the bacteria that digest sewage, increasing the likelihood of system failure. For example, one cup of household bleach will completely eliminate all beneficial microorganisms in a 1,000-gallon septic tank for an extended period of time. These microorganisms will ultimately re-establish themselves, but it will take some time before some sewage goes uneaten.

There are only two types of waste that may be securely disposed of in a septic system: wastewater and sewage waste.

Septic Myth3: Flushing a Dead Mouse Down the Toilet Helps a Septic System

Some believe that a dead mouse carries specific bacteria that boost the efficiency of a septic system. This is incorrect. You’re injecting a new infusion of helpful bacteria into the environment every time you flush the toilet for the typical reasons. While the classic mouse method appears to be clever and reassuring, a few ounces of dead animal does not provide anything important that isn’t already provided by other means. Flush dead mice down the toilet if you wish, but remember that you are doing your septic system no favors by doing so.

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(See Myth No.

Septic Myth4: You Can’t Expect a Septic System to Last More Than 20 Years

To be honest, many septic systems are still in fine operating order after more than two decades of operation. I know this because I’ve met a lot of folks who have systems that are more than 20 years old. The oldest one I’ve seen so far is 49 years old and is still in fine functioning order. I’ve also saw septic systems collapse after only five years of operation on the other end of the spectrum. The operating life of a septic system has a lot more to do with management than it does with an arbitrary life expectancy assumption.

In order to increase the likelihood of your system having a long operating life, have the tank pumped every two or three years, avoid flushing chemicals down the toilet, and maintain your leaching bed mowed and clear of anything other than grass.

Septic Myth5: Clogged Septic Systems Must Be Replaced

However, many blocked septic systems may be repaired with routine maintenance, and hence replacement is not necessarily essential in these situations. It is usually possible to resolve three of the most common causes of clogs: indigestible sewage solids entering the leaching bed, slimy biomat growths obstructing the holes in perforated leaching pipes, and physical clogging of the leaching pipes by tree roots without having to replace any parts of the system. Instead, look into a procedure known as “jetting,” which entails placing access holes on the ends of the leaching pipes so that you may flush them out with an internal pressure wash.

With the exception of having the septic tank emptied every few years, jetting is the most straightforward and cost-effective method of reviving a broken or malfunctioning system.

And while we’re on the subject of septic systems, these are the top 20 dirtiest occupations in the planet.

5 Signs You Should Have Your Septic Tank Pumped

The majority of households do not devote much effort to thinking about their septic system. After all, who can blame them?! However, if this leads in a lack of attention, it may become a serious problem. When installed and maintained properly, every septic system has the potential to efficiently handle waste for many decades. Were you able to pick out the crucial word “if” in the above sentence? If a septic system is properly maintained, it will continue to operate at peak performance for decades!

  1. There are numerous critical components to developing a successful septic system maintenance plan.
  2. The majority of specialists recommend that you pump your septic tank every 3 to 5 years.
  3. In the event that a septic system is not adequately maintained, there are several tell-tale indicators that suggest the onset of a problem.
  4. Sluggish Drains and/or Flushing are required.
  5. Your sink, tub, or shower will most likely stop draining as soon as they should, and your toilet may not flush as thoroughly as it should if your septic system is beginning to back up.
  6. Take action now before this develops into a far more serious and expensive situation.
  7. Some of these gases may begin to originate from your toilet or drains within your home at certain periods.

If you begin to detect unpleasant scents in and around your house, contact a septic service right once to get the situation resolved before it becomes much worse.

It should not be the case that the lawn above a septic drain field seems noticeably better than the rest of the yard when the system is operating correctly.

This occurs because the grass is receiving more fertilizer in the form of excessive waste fluids, which is beneficial to the grass.

Water That Isn’t Moving It is possible to detect water gathering in numerous locations across your yard when your septic tank is nearly full.

It is a solid indicator that your septic system needs to be pumped and thoroughly inspected if you notice water collecting in these spots.

Back-up of Sewage Raw sewage backing up into a home is the most obvious symptom of a problem, and it is undoubtedly something that no one wants to encounter at any time in their lives.

If this occurs to you, contact a septic service as soon as possible and avoid the affected area.

The most effective approach to prevent having to deal with any of the unpleasant indicators listed above is to keep a regular pumping and inspection routine in place.

In addition to being a full-service septic maintenance and repair company, Athens Professional SepticDrain is well prepared to manage any sort of septic emergency that may occur.

Even yet, the most effective way to prevent disasters from occurring is to enroll in our regular service plan and ensure that your septic system is in peak operating condition.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. The installation of the system, as well as any modifications made to it, would have been examined by your local health authority.
  3. Unfortunately, if the system is very old, any records related with it may be insufficient or nonexistent, depending on the situation.
  4. Look for the point at where the wastewater pipes join together if the building is on a crawlspace or has an unfinished basement.
  5. The sewer line that runs through the structure is referred to as the building sewer.
  6. To “feel” for the tank, use a piece of re-bar or a similar metal probe.
  7. 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.

  1. You should pump the tank if you aren’t sure when the last time it was pumped.
  2. It is not permissible to drive or park over the tank or drainage field.
  3. No rubbish should be disposed of in the sink or the toilet.
  4. It’s important to remember that garbage disposals enhance the requirement for regular pumping.
  5. When designing a landscape, keep the septic system in mind.
  6. It is also not recommended to consume veggies that have been cultivated above drainfield lines (see Dorn, S.
  7. Ornamental Plantings on Septic Drainfields.
See also:  How To Find My Septic Tank Portage County Ohio? (Solved)

C 1030).

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.

Don’t Forget The Septic Inspection When Buying a House

Septic system inspection is mandatory if you are planning to purchase a property that contains a septic tank. There are several things that may go wrong with septic systems, and with any sort of system, there is the potential for various problems to arise. Is it necessary to have a septic examination performed before purchasing a home? Before closing on a home, you should find out if there is an issue with the septic system that has to be addressed. The problems that might arise with a septic system can range from basic repairs to extremely sophisticated replacements that can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more.

How The Septic System Works

A septic system installed on a home property can be used in place of a municipal sewer system in some cases. In the United States, 25 percent of residences have decentralized systems, also known as septic systems, which are permanent components of our nation’s wastewater infrastructure, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It all starts with the sanitary pipe that runs from the home and delivers waste water to the septic tank at the bottom of the hill. This big container is normally composed of concrete, fiberglass or steel, although it can also be made of plastic or aluminum.

  • This tank collects wastewater from the home and allows particles to settle to the bottom of the tank, where they form a “sludge” layer that can be seen on the bottom of the tank.
  • This scum layer forms a seal, which helps to keep air out of the tank, allowing bacteria to grow in the tank below.
  • The area between the sludge and the scum is referred to as the effluent area.
  • A T-shaped outlet is located inside the tank, which allows effluent to flow into the leach field by gravity, while baffles prevent scum and particles from passing through the tank and into the leach field.
  • This box permits the effluent to flow uniformly into the proper chambers of the leach field, therefore reducing the risk of contamination.
  • The final outcome is the same regardless of the method employed: the delivery of effluent into the leach field.
  • There are a variety of various alternatives available when it comes to the sorts of chambers that may be employed.
  • Leaching’s ultimate goal is to enable effluent to trickle down into the subsoil, where microorganisms in the top layers of soil continue to break down elements from the tank.
  • Leach Field in a Residential Setting As you can see, a septic system is involved in a great deal of activity.
  • A large number of homeowners are completely unaware of the importance of providing continuous maintenance, care, and cleaning for their septic systems.
  • The results of the examination will be used to decide whether or not the tank needs to be emptied.

The cost of inspection and pumping might range between $300 and $500, depending on the location and size of the tank. The cost of maintenance is substantially less than the cost of repair or, in the worst case scenario, replacement of the equipment.

The Septic Inspection

If you’re doing the inspection as part of a house purchase, you’ll want to synchronize the scheduling of this test with the date of your regular property inspection to ensure that both tests are completed at the same time. Thus, if there are any issues with the plumbing systems of the home, these may be brought to the notice of the home inspector and documented in the inspection report. Additionally, grouping these inspections together will help you stay on schedule for any inspection contingency-related deadlines that you may be up against in the future.

At this point, you’ll be gathering documentation and obtaining answers to any queries you may have in preparation for the real inspection.

Because the system is underground, no examination can locate everything without excavating, which is unfeasible given the system’s location.

Here is a list of questions you should be prepared to answer before the inspection begins:

  • Is it possible that the system has ever been pumped? This one is significant since it is the only genuine maintenance issue that the seller would be required to have completed
  • It is also the most expensive. The seller’s knowledge of the location of the septic system is critical because if the seller does not know where the septic system is located, it is doubtful that they have performed continuous maintenance. Septic System Location Map – Regardless of whatever institution is in charge of supervising septic systems in your region, they should have a map of the septic system location given by the original home builder on hand. This is a critical piece of documentation for the septic inspection. It should not only display the position of the tank, but also the location of the leach field and the number of leaching Chambers
  • There should be any available history on the system’s upkeep -things like:
  • The frequency at which the system has been pumped
  • What type of contractor was employed
  • Obtain any maintenance records
  • Have there been any problems
  • sWere they repaired

Where have all the covers gone? -Manhole coverings should be installed over the tank’s chambers to prevent water from entering the tank. This will be the method through which the technician will get access to the tank in order to test and/or clean it. Putting together this information will serve two purposes: first, it will assist the technician who will be inspecting the system in knowing what to check for, and second, it will provide you with an understanding of how the house seller maintained the system.

The On Site Inspection

After arriving at the residence, the technician will attempt to determine whether or not the sanitary pipe used to transport liquid to the system is functional and in good working order by conducting a flow test on the pipe. As part of this test, you will need to turn on all of your water faucets in your home to add or charge your system with enough water to sustain as many people as the system was designed to support for 24 hours, which is often several hundred gallons. If there is little or no water flowing into the tank, it is likely that there is an issue with the plumbing in the residence or with the sanitary line that has to be addressed.

If this is the case, an asewer line inspection may be required for the line.

The opposite is true if the water in the tank rises rapidly, which indicates that a problem is occurring downstream.

The flow test is the most important phase of the septic system inspection because it examines so many different parts of the system and ensures that the liquids are going through the system in the proper direction as intended.

A significant percentage of those solids will convert into sludge and settle at the bottom of the tank, even though it is intended that they remain in the tank until they are pumped out.

Once this is completed, they resume pumping the tank until they reach the underlying sludge layer, at which time they take another reading.

If this is not the case, the technician will be on the lookout for larger difficulties in the leach field at a later stage.

It is critical to keep the sediments and scum out of the distribution area and leach field to avoid contamination.

The leach field will be the final place that the technician will inspect.

They will be looking for any moist locations where water may be lingering, as well as smelling for any nasty orders that may have been generated by difficulties.

if the probe holes rapidly fill with water, it is quite likely that there is a malfunction with the system The distribution box of a septic system is another location of possible failure in a septic system.

Settlement or blockage of the distribution box are the most common causes of distribution box problems.

As you can see, there is a vast range of possible issues that might arise with a private home septic system, which you should be aware of.

Over 10% of all systems back up into homes or have wastewater seeping through the ground surface, according to data from the United States Census Bureau collected in 1995.

The United States Census Bureau conducted a survey in 1995.

You want to find out if there are any possible concerns with the property before you close on it. Including the testing of the septic system in the inspection process gives you the opportunity to engage the house seller in any later repairs through the use of an inspection objection contingency.

Additional Resources

  • Bill Gassett discusses the Massachusetts Title 5 Septic System Law
  • Luke Skar discusses home inspection tips for buyers. Find out how to analyze home inspection priorities with the help of the Shelhamer Group. The Ultimate Home Buyers Timeline – Danny Margagliano
  • The Ultimate Home Buyers Timeline

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