Where Can I Get Diagram Of Leach Field And Septic Tank? (Solution)

  • If not, you can ask for a copy of the diagram from the local authority. If the installed system contained some electrical components, the diagram could be in the regional building department offices. This diagram can help you to pinpoint the exact location of both the septic tank and the drain field.

Where can I get a diagram of my septic system?

The contractor who designed and installed the septic tank on your property should have filed an as-built diagram at the local health authority. If you have the contact information of the contractor, you can request them for the diagram and then you can use it to locate your septic tank.

Are septic tank locations public record?

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

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.

Can you walk on a leach field?

Your family can walk on a well-maintained drain field without fear of encountering puddles of affluent and dangerous bacteria. Bicycles and tricycles are also acceptable because they are not heavy enough to compress or disturb the soil.

How many lids are on a septic tank?

A septic tank installed before 1975 will have a single 24-inch concrete lid in the center of the rectangle. A two-compartment tank installed after 1975 will have two lids of either fiberglass or polyethylene, centered at opposite ends of the rectangle.

Can I use a metal detector to find my 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 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.

How far down is a leach field?

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

How do I know if my house has a septic tank?

One way to determine whether or not your home has a septic system or is served by the public sewer system is to look at your water bill. If you are using a septic system for wastewater management, then you’re likely to see a charge of $0 for wastewater or sewer services from the utility company.

How do I find out if my septic tank is registered?

Check if your septic tank is already registered You can check if your tank has already been registered by contacting your environmental regulator. If you are unsure then it is best to check and avoid making an unnecessary payment. The NIEA and SEPA have records of all registered septic tanks.

How do you find a septic tank in an old house?

Look for the 4-inch sewer that exits the crawl space or basement, and locate the same spot outside the home. Septic tanks are usually located between ten to 25 feet away from the home. Insert a thin metal probe into the ground every few feet, until you strike polyethylene, fiberglass or flat concrete.

How to locate your septic tank and your drainfield

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

Steps to follow to locate your septic tank and drain field

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

If you are unable to locate the tank using this diagram, you will need to do more research on the land in order to determine its position.

  1. This pipe is commonly found in the basement of a home, and it is a 4″ black pipe with a cleanout at the bottom.
  2. Simply look for possible access coverings or a structure that might be concealing it.
  3. These pumps are used to remove waste from the building.
  4. It is supposed to be connected to the sewage output pipe.
  5. As soon as you’ve discovered the sewer outlet in your basement, you may use it to figure out where the sewer line departs your home through an outside wall.
  6. As a result, it is probable that the tank will be positioned around the corner from the building.

Tips for locating your septic tank

Septic tank lids should be visible from the outside. An underground riser may have been added, which will make it simple to find your septic tank in some instances.

However, it is conceivable that the septic tank cover is buried underground, which is especially true for older homes. Following are some pointers to assist you in locating the septic tank in this and other similar situations.

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

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

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

Inspecting the tank

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

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


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

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

Find Septic soakaway / drainfield location using documents

  • You can identify your septic tank without assistance from a professional, but it is a good idea to have someone who is properly educated in septic tank maintenance examine and maintain your septic tank on an ongoing basis for you. If your tank is equipped with an effluent filter, it should be rinsed into the open septic tank rather than on the ground in your yard. In addition, it may be beneficial to make a note of the position of the septic tank after it has been discovered. The information provided here will be useful to anybody else who may require access to the septic tank in the future. Additionally, septic tanks are not allowed to be beneath any structures, thus if it is discovered that a structure has been built over a septic tank, the tank must be moved as soon as possible to avoid further damage. The presence of septic tanks in the open is required due to the release of combustible and hazardous gases.

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. Using records to locate a septic drainfield or soakbed is described as follows: How to get records and revew papers in order to locate a septic tank, drainfield, or soakaway bed in a home or business. How to request paperwork that can document the septic system design “as approved” as well as that which was “as built” is explained in detail.

We also have anARTICLE INDEX for this topic, and you can use the SEARCH BOXes at the top and bottom of the page to obtain the information you need quickly and easily.

How to Use Septic System Records to Find the Drainfield – Whom to Ask – How to Find the Septic Leach Fields – Part 3

When it comes to septic systems, understanding where the drainfield is may be difficult because they are often underground systems. Finding the drainfield can be difficult because they are usually hidden. Because haphazard excavation by hand is extremely time-consuming and because haphazard excavation by backhoe can cause unnecessarily extensive damage to both a septic system and a homesite, drawing a sketch of the location of a septic tank, distribution box, and drainfield trenches or pits is a valuable document to prepare and keep with a home.

  1. Ask the owner if they have any sketches to leave with you; if they don’t have any sketches but know where the septic components are, walk the property with them and produce your own sketch of the septic components.
  2. Because anybody seeking for the system in the future is likely to start by locating the point where the sewage line exits the building, a former service worker or contractor understood it was a dependable location to leave a sketch.
  3. In certain cases, even though septic system and drainfield layout drawings have been submitted, it is possible that the “as built” drain field will not be identical to the plan filed since blockages might be identified during the drain field installation process.
  4. The septic tank’s center may be located using the simple but accurate measurement triangle depicted in the diagram below.
  5. It is not need to be visually appealing, to scale, or costly.
  6. Never rely on the local health agency or the building department to have drawings that show where the fields are located precisely.
  7. During our investigation, we discovered that one municipality had purposefully destroyed 50 years’ worth of septic and other construction plan records because they were tired of being pestered by residents who wanted that information and then complained when it turned out to be incorrect.
  8. Speak with contractors who are listed under the categories of Excavation, Plumbing, and Septic System Service since the excavator who has installed or worked on the property of your concern may be classified under one of those categories but not all of them.
  9. This article series, as well as our accompanyingSEPTIC LOCATION VIDEO, demonstrates how to locate the leach field or drainfield section of a septic system by going around a site with a camera.

(Septic drain fields are sometimes referred to as soil absorption systems or seepage beds in some circles.)

Reader CommentsQ A

@Joseph Coburn, please display the records regarding your septic system. Yes, Joseph, I’d be delighted to assist you in locating the leach bed on your property: Simply follow the “how to identify the drainfield” techniques and procedures outlined in the articles listed above under “Recommended Articles” labeled “How to Find the Drainfield.” LOCATION OF THE SEPTIC DRAINFIELD – BEGIN HERE PRECISE DRAINFIELD PIPE LOCATION – follow these procedures if you need to be precise with your drainage pipe location.

  1. More drainfield choices and approaches are available, including: It is necessary to excavate in order to locate drainage fields.
  3. also have a look at the comments on your identical post at The location of my drain field has been discovered, and I need to figure out where the rest of it is before I can proceed to complete the task on time.
  4. As well as this, see THE LOCATION OF THE SEPTIC TANK AND THE LOCATION OF THE SEPTIC D-BOX Attempting to locate a septic system Septic drain field is located at 13368 East 49th Drive in Yuma.
  5. I’m looking to discover if there is any public information on a septic tank located at 5391 Hollis Goodwin rd.
  6. Continue reading at an SURPRISING DRAINFIELD LOCATIONALITY Select a topic from the closely-related articles listed below, or browse the entireARTICLE INDEX for more information.
See also:  What Chemical Gets Rid Of Sludge In Septic Tank? (Solution)

Septic Drainfield Location Articles

  • At Joseph Coburn, please display the information for the septic system. We’ll be happy to assist you in locating the leach bed on your property, Joseph. Simply follow the “how to identify the drainfield” suggestions and processes outlined in the articles listed above under “Recommended Articles” under “How to Find the Drainfield” to complete the process. Start with the SEPTIC DRAINFIELD LOCATION. EXACTLY WHERE THE DRAINFIELD PIPE IS – Follow these instructions if you need to be precise with your drainage pipe placement. More drainfield choices and methods are available, including the following. It is necessary to excavate in order to locate drainage fields. There are several reasons to locate drainage fields, as well as records that can be used to pinpoint where drainage fields can be located. REMARKING DRAINFIELD LOCATIONS OUT OF THE BOUNDS OF THE POSSIBLY UNLIKELY. CLUES FROM THE VISUAL THE DRAINFIELDVISUAL GUIDELINES THE DRAINFIELDTHE SEPTIC TANKTHE LEACH BEDTHE DRAINFIELD @Dan Dyer, thank you for your time and consideration. Also check with your local building department to see if there is an approved septic system plan on file (keep in mind that “as filed” is not usually the same as “as built” for septic systems), and check with your local utility company to see if there is a plan on file for your well. In addition, please review my remarks on your duplicate post at The location of my drain field is being investigated, and I need to find out where the remainder of it is before I can proceed with the project. Greg In this section, we’ll talk about how to locate your septic drainfield or leachfield. Moreover, please refer to HOW TO DISCOVER THE LOCATION OF THE SEPTIC TANK A septic system was being sought. Septic drain field is located at 13368 E49th Dr in Yuma. Have you tried contacting your local building or health agency for more information? If there is a septic tank at 5391 Hollis Goodwin Rd., Alabama, I’d like to know whether or not it is on public record. CONTINUE READING AT A SURPRISE DRAINFIELD LOCATION So, choose a topic from the articles that are closely relevant to your interest, or browse the entireARTICLE INDEX. Alternatively, have a look at
  • Recordings to LOCATE the DRAINFIELD
  • SEPTIC TANK, HOW TO FINDfor information on locating the septic tank, chamber, drywell, or seepage pit
  • SEPTIC TAN SEPTIC VIDEOSon the location of the septic system

Suggested citation for this web page

It is necessary to keep records in order to locate the drainfieldDatInspect A pedia.com- online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair and guidance on issue avoidance. Alternatively, have a look at this.


Alternatives include asking a question or searching InspectApedia using the SEARCH BOXfound below.

Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia

We encourage you to use the search box just below, or if you prefer, you may make a question or remark in theCommentsbox below and we will get back to you as soon as possible. InspectApedia is a website that allows you to search for things.

Please keep in mind that the publication of your remark below may be delayed if it contains an image, a web link, or text that seems to the program to be a web link. Your submission will appear when it has been reviewed by a moderator. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Technical ReviewersReferences

Citations can be shown or hidden by selecting Show or Hide Citations. InspectApedia.com is a publisher that provides references. Daniel Friedman is an American journalist and author.

Types of Septic Systems

Septic system design and size can differ significantly from one neighborhood to the next, as well as throughout the country, due to a variety of variables. Household size, soil type, slope of the site, lot size, closeness to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, and even municipal ordinances are all considerations to take into consideration. The following are 10 of the most often encountered septic system configurations. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list; there are several additional types of septic systems.

  • Septic Tank, Conventional System, Chamber System, Drip Distribution System, Aerobic Treatment Unit, Mound Systems, Recirculating Sand Filter System, Evapotranspiration System, Constructed Wetland System, Cluster / Community System, etc.

Septic Tank

Septic Tank; Conventional System; Chamber System; Drip Distribution System; Aerobic Treatment Unit; Mound Systems; Recirculating Sand Filter System; Evapotranspiration System; Constructed Wetland System; Cluster / Community System; Septic Tank.

Conventional System

Septic tanks and trench or bed subsurface wastewater infiltration systems are two types of decentralized wastewater treatment systems (drainfield). When it comes to single-family homes and small businesses, a traditional septic system is the most common type of system. For decades, people have used a gravel/stone drainfield as a method of water drainage. The term is derived from the process of constructing the drainfield. A short underground trench made of stone or gravel collects wastewater from the septic tank in this configuration, which is commonly used.

Effluent filters through the stone and is further cleaned by microorganisms once it reaches the soil below the gravel/stone trench, which is located below the trench.

Chamber System

Gravelless drainfields have been regularly utilized in various states for more than 30 years and have evolved into a standard technology that has mostly replaced gravel systems. Various configurations are possible, including open-bottom chambers, pipe that has been clothed, and synthetic materials such as expanded polystyrene media. Gravelless systems can be constructed entirely of recycled materials, resulting in considerable reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during their lifetime. The chamber system is a type of gravelless system that can be used as an example.

The key advantage of the chamber system is the enhanced simplicity with which it can be delivered and built.

This sort of system is made up of a number of chambers that are connected to one another.

Wastewater is transported from the septic tank to the chambers through pipes. The wastewater comes into touch with the earth when it is contained within the chambers. The wastewater is treated by microbes that live on or near the soil.

Drip Distribution System

An effluent dispersal system such as the drip distribution system may be employed in a variety of drainfield configurations and is very versatile. In comparison to other distribution systems, the drip distribution system does not require a vast mound of dirt because the drip laterals are only placed into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. In addition to requiring a big dosage tank after the sewage treatment plant to handle scheduled dose delivery of wastewater to drip absorption areas, the drip distribution system has one major disadvantage: it is more expensive.

Aerobic Treatment Unit

Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are small-scale wastewater treatment facilities that employ many of the same procedures as a municipal sewage plant. An aerobic system adds oxygen to the treatment tank using a pump. When there is an increase in oxygen in the system, there is an increase in natural bacterial activity, which then offers extra treatment for nutrients in the effluent. It is possible that certain aerobic systems may additionally include a pretreatment tank as well as a final treatment tank that will include disinfection in order to further lower pathogen levels.

ATUs should be maintained on a regular basis during their service life.

Mound Systems

Using mound systems in regions with short soil depth, high groundwater levels, or shallow bedrock might be a good alternative. A drainfield trench has been dug through the sand mound that was erected. The effluent from the septic tank runs into a pump chamber, where it is pumped to the mound in the amounts recommended. During its release to the trench, the effluent filters through the sand and is dispersed into the native soil, where it continues to be treated. However, while mound systems can be an effective solution for some soil conditions, they demand a significant amount of land and require regular care.

Recirculating Sand Filter System

Sand filter systems can be built either above or below ground, depending on the use. The effluent is discharged from the septic tank into a pump compartment. Afterwards, it is pushed into the sand filter. The sand filter is often made of PVC or a concrete box that is filled with a sand-like substance. The effluent is pushed through the pipes at the top of the filter under low pressure to the drain. As the effluent exits the pipelines, it is treated as it passes through the sand filtering system.

However, sand filters are more costly than a standard septic system because they provide a higher level of nutrient treatment and are thus better suited for areas with high water tables or that are adjacent to bodies of water.

Evapotranspiration System

Evaporative cooling systems feature drainfields that are one-of-a-kind. It is necessary to line the drainfield at the base of the evapotranspiration system with a waterproof material. Following the entry of the effluent into the drainfield, it evaporates into the atmosphere. At the same time, the sewage never filters into the soil and never enters groundwater, unlike other septic system designs. It is only in particular climatic circumstances that evapotranspiration systems are effective. The environment must be desert, with plenty of heat and sunshine, and no precipitation.

Constructed Wetland System

Construction of a manufactured wetland is intended to simulate the treatment processes that occur in natural wetland areas. Wastewater goes from the septic tank and into the wetland cell, where it is treated. Afterwards, the wastewater goes into the media, where it is cleaned by microorganisms, plants, and other media that eliminate pathogens and nutrients. Typically, a wetland cell is constructed with an impermeable liner, gravel and sand fill, and the necessary wetland plants, all of which must be capable of withstanding the constant saturation of the surrounding environment.

As wastewater travels through the wetland, it may escape the wetland and flow onto a drainfield, where it will undergo more wastewater treatment before being absorbed into the soil by bacteria.

Cluster / Community System

Construction of a manmade wetland is designed to imitate the treatment processes that occur naturally in wetland areas. Wastewater is discharged from the septic tank into the wetland cell. Afterwards, the wastewater goes into the media, where it is cleaned by microorganisms, plants, and other media, which remove pathogens and nutrients. The wetland cell is normally comprised of an impermeable liner, gravel and sand fill, and the required wetland plants, all of which must be able to thrive in a constantly flooded environment in order to function properly.

In other cases, wastewater may depart the wetland and flow onto a drainfield, where it will be treated further before being absorbed into the soil.

Septic System Diagrams – English Sewage Disposal Inc.

It takes time and effort to learn how to properly care for your house and property, and this process begins with an awareness of your septic system’s operation and how it may be maintained.

  1. Main sewer line, also known as the waste line, is a pipeline that runs from a house’s interior plumbing system to a septic tank outside the house. The septic tank is typically buried around 10 feet or so from the house’s foundation. Here, all types of garbage (both solid and liquid) are moved and stored until they are no longer needed. While the particles fall to the bottom of the tank and create sludge, a layer of floating scum and grease will build on the surface of the tank’s water surface. Baffles, which are solids and floating scum traps, keep solids and floating scum from exiting the tank. Once the clarified liquid has been released from the tank into a soil absorption system, the effluent distribution pipe guides the flow of liquid waste away from the tank and onto a leaching system that is located farther out in the yard. Distribution boxes are frequently seen in systems to assist in the distribution of the flow uniformly throughout the system. Leaching systems (also known as soil absorption systems) are sometimes referred to as drain fields or leach fields in some instances. Perforated pipes are interconnected to form a network that extends into a specified section of the yard. Most of the time, these pipelines are buried in gravel pits, and the effluent that comes out of them dissipates into the natural soils around them.
See also:  How Much Should I Pay To Have 1250 Septic Tank Pumped? (Perfect answer)

How to Find My Septic Tank Lines

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

In This Article

  • Image courtesy of Peter Gar/E+/Getty Images.

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

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

When pipes get clogged or when drain fields become too saturated with fluids, problems arise. Other issues might arise as a result of incorrect placement, design defects, or bad installation.

Locating a Septic Tank on Your Property

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

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

Perform Regular Inspection

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

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

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

Check the Distribution Box

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

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

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

Homeowner Manual Septic Tanks

Septic Tanks and Leach Fields for the Homeowner’s Reference THE FOLLOWING IS INCLUDED: The purpose of this manual is to guide you through the process. What is Wastewater and why is it important? What is the operation of a septic tank? Soil Absorption as a Means of Wastewater Removal What Causes Septic Systems to Fail? How to Restore a Failing System: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options Septic System Upkeep and Repair Myths regarding Septic Systems That You Should Know THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS MANUAL IS TO This wastewater management system was invented in 1881, and now, more than 50 million people in the United States rely on it for their wastewater disposal.

  1. As more individuals relocate from metropolitan regions to rural residential communities that are not serviced by sewers, the likelihood of septic system failure grows.
  2. Additional considerations include a discussion of probable causes of septic system failures, as well as recommendations for various treatments.
  3. Parcel-by-parcel completion of the design of septic tanks and leach fields, as well as the examination of septic system failures is required.
  4. It is also necessary to consult with the El Dorado County Environmental Health Division prior to the building of a new septic system or the replacement of an existing septic system in order to avoid fines.
  5. Wastewater, often known as sewage, is produced by the use of toilets, bathroom sinks, showers, and bathtubs, kitchen sinks, garbage disposals, dishwashers, and washing machines, among other appliances.
  6. The wastewater comprises dissolved organic and inorganic components, suspended and settleable particles, as well as microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses, among other things.
  7. In order to safeguard the environment, the vast majority of un-sewered homes employ septic tanks to remove solids and greases, and leach fields or other forms of soil absorption systems to dispose of wastewater.

Historically, wastewater treatment and disposal systems for households with indoor plumbing consisted of underground bottomless containers, often known as cesspools, that collected and treated wastewater.

As a result, septic tanks were erected between the houses and the soil absorption systems in order to protect the soils and prevent public health threats.

Septic tanks are incapable of removing significant amounts of bacteria and viruses from the environment.

It is necessary to install baffles within the tank to promote solids settling and to prevent the scum layer of lightweight solids (e.g.

Biochemical digestion of the settling solids is carried out by bacteria that can survive in an environment with little or no oxygen (anaerobic bacteria).

It is through the plumbing vents in your home that gases are released from your septic tank.

Organic materials and non-biodegradable materials can be digested by the microorganisms present in the septic tank, but do not accumulate in the sludge or scum layers.

If you use appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and garbage disposals, the quantity of sludge in your septic tank will rise, and you will have to clean it more frequently.

In the soil, wastewater effluent is absorbed by soil particles and flows through the soil pores in both the horizontal and vertical directions.

Because of the changes in temperature and chemical features of wastewater as it flows through the soil, most bacteria and viruses find themselves in an unfavorable environment.

Wastewater percolates downhill through the soil and finally reaches a groundwater aquifer in the majority of instances.

A leach field is made up of a network of four-inch diameter perforated distribution tubes that are laid out in trenches that are two to three feet wide.

The gravel aids in drainage and prevents root development in the vicinity of the pipeline.

The use of construction paper or straw has little effect on reducing evapotranspiration of wastewater.


The failure of the leach field is more common than the failure of the septic tank, which may have been the cause of the failure.

As part of the soil treatment process, minimum separation lengths have been defined between leach fields and fractured bedrock; between groundwater; between streams; between cut banks; between wells; between water supply pipes; and between dwellings or between property boundaries.

In order to avoid such failures, particular design standards for septic systems in places with bedrock and/or steep slopes should be followed.

Lower soil percolation rates are the most common source of sewage pooling on the ground or obstruction of domestic plumbing systems, and this is the most preventable of these problems.

It is necessary to know the percolation rate in order to calculate the amount of sewage that may be applied per square foot of leaching surface.

Some areas within the county that may require bigger leach fields owing to the presence of clay soils are Pollock Pines, Sly Park, the acreage south of Placerville, Diamond Springs, and Shingle Springs, among others.

The mat is used as part of the wastewater treatment process; however, it also has the additional effect of slowing down the percolation rate.

Additionally, solids that flow from septic tanks that have not been pumped and flooding caused by high groundwater or sewage flowing from neighboring leach fields can reduce percolation rates. INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO REPAIR FAILING SYSTEMS: SYMPTOMS, CAUSES, AND MEDICATION

  1. Water will not drain from showers and toilets, and wastewater will pool on the surface of leach fields. Solids or scum obstructing the inflow and exit of a septic tank: Pump the septic tank on a regular basis. If there is an effluent filter, it should be kept clean. Pipelines are being obstructed by roots: Obtain the services of a commercial root remover. Many substances have the potential to affect the septic system. The hydraulic system has been overloaded: Water conservation might help you save money on your water bill. Reduce the amount of landscape irrigation applied to soils near the leach field. Increase the design capacity of the leach field in order to accommodate the actual use of the septic system. Groundwater levels are high: Upstream of the leach field, surface and subsurface drainage diversion facilities should be constructed. Build a new leach field in a region where there is no excessive groundwater. Gravel that has been jammed with fine soil: During wet weather, soils become smeared owing to obstruction: Heavy vehicles or items have caused the following damage: Leach field should be replaced. Creating a downslope surface: Excessive Slopes Bedrock that has been fractured The system was built too near to the bank, causing it to fail. Activity by gophers or rodents Leach field should be replaced. Repair of the suspicious region, including the possibility of replacing the leach field
  2. Typical odors emanating from the home vent or leach field include: It’s not a problem During the early morning and late afternoon hours, atmospheric conditions may impede the dispersal of scents. Increase the height of the home vent to allow for greater dispersion of the air

When using the shower or toilet, water will not drain properly. Ponding of wastewater in leach fields. Solids or scum obstructing the inflow and exit of a septic tank include the following. Periodically pump out the septic tank. In the event that an effluent filter is present, it should be kept clean Pipelines are being obstructed by weeds. Use the services of a professional root remover. Numerous substances have been shown to be harmful to the septic system, including chlorine. Hydraulic overload in the system: a.

  1. Reduce watering of soils in the vicinity of leach fields in the landscaping.
  2. Groundwater levels are really high.
  3. In a region with little groundwater, construct a new leach field.
  4. Smeared soils as a result of obstructions in rainy weather Heavy vehicles or objects have caused the following damages: Replace the leach field with something else.
  5. Excessive Slopes Bedrock that has been fracturized.
  6. Activity involving gophers or rodents Leach field has been replaced.
  7. Typical odors emanating from the home vent or leach field include the following.
  8. During the early morning and late afternoon, atmospheric conditions may impede the dispersal of scents.
See also:  Why Do I Need To Pump My Septic Tank? (Correct answer)
Volume of Septic Tank 3 ft. 4 ft. 5 ft.
800 gallon 6 in. 10 in. 13 in.
1150 gallon 4 in. 6 in. 8 in.
1500 gallon 4 in. 4 in. 6 in.

In addition, users of a septic system must adhere to the following fundamental guidelines in order to guarantee that the system operates properly: DO.

  • Every three years, inspect and pump the septic tank
  • Restrict the quantity of water used during the winter and spring months when groundwater levels are high
  • And reduce or eliminate the usage of trash grinders. Percolation testing should be performed during the rainy weather season before a new system is installed since this device introduces more particles and water to the septic system.
  • Semi- or non-biodegradable goods, such as paper towels, newspapers, writing paper, rags, disposable diapers, or cat litter, should be flushed into the septic tank. When the septic tank is pumped, it is also important to wipe down the edges of the tank. The residual slime includes bacteria that will be required to digest the wastewater
  • Flush huge volumes of chlorine bleach or lye products into the septic tank to prevent the slime from growing. In contrast, regular home practices such as pouring spent motor oil into the septic tank and discharging salt water waste from self-regenerating water softeners into the septic tank will have no negative impact on microorganisms. Because of the high salt concentrations in the soil, it is necessary to connect roof drains and yard drains to septic tanks. Adding sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide to the septic tank will prevent the tank and leach field from becoming flooded. Due to the impact of these chemicals on solids settling, sludge will flow into the leach field if the leach field is not constructed next to another leach field. Plant small or medium-sized trees within ten feet of leach fields, and large-sized trees within twenty feet of leach fields to avoid soil saturation and failure of both systems
  • Construct leach fields in impervious soils, near fractured bedrock, on steep slopes, or on flood plains
  • And construct leach fields in impervious soils, near fractured bedrock, on steep slopes, or on flood plains. In addition, planting plants that demands large quantities of water on top of the leach field, driving cars over septic tanks, and placing heavy things, such as portable swimming pools, on top of leach fields, are all bad ideas. Additionally, plant pegs and supports for children’s swings should not be put over septic tanks or leach fields, and washing machines should not discharge water straight to the ground surface or leach fields. It is likely that the wash water would contain chemicals and germs that will contaminate surface waterways and pose a threat to human health. Fine particles and soapscums are present in the wastewater, and they will clog the soil pores as a result. if the present septic system is unable to handle the water from the washing machine, a new septic tank and leach field will need to be erected

Myths regarding septic systems include the following:1. Septic systems are indestructible and never need to be replaced. Response:Septic systems require routine maintenance, which includes pumping the septic tank once every three to five years and replacing the leach field on a regular basis. A well planned, constructed, and maintained leach field will only need to be replaced once every 15 to 30 years if it is properly cared for. A leach field, on the other hand, that is not properly built and constructed, or that is not well maintained, may need to be replaced before it reaches the age of 15 years.

  • In addition, if a house is being enlarged to include more bedrooms, the leach field will need to be increased as well.
  • 2.
  • In response, it has long been standard practice to flush extra organic waste into septic tanks that service vacation houses or other properties that are only sometimes occupied by residents.
  • This organic substance has no effect on the operation of a septic system that is utilized on a consistent basis.
  • Therefore, periodic pumping of the septic system is required in order to prevent sediments from blocking the leach field.
  • A washing machine is available.
  • Response: The water from the washing machine includes microorganisms that have been cleaned from the garments and will pollute surface streams and groundwater.

Water from the washing machine is considered wastewater and should be cleaned and disposed of in the same manner as water from the sinks and showers, among other things.

Response: Accumulated particles in the septic tank or plugged soil pores are the primary causes of septic system failures.

It is possible to prolong the saturation of soils by flushing water into a blocked leach field, and to avoid oxidation of organic material in the soil pores by doing so.

Using commercially available lye chemicals on a weekly basis will “clean up” the pipes and septic tank.

Response: As a result, the septic tank will need to be pumped multiple times each year in order to prevent sediments from spilling into the leach field.

My septic system is in good condition since the grass above the leach pipes has a vibrant green color.

A brilliant green leach field region on the surface of the soil might indicate that the effluent is not percolating into the soil, according to the answer. In the event of a failure, look for obvious symptoms such as standing effluent above the leach lines or marshy regions.

The Drainfield

The drainfield is a network of perforated pipes (or “laterals”) laid in gravel-filled trenches or beds. After solids settle in the septic tank, the liquidwastewater (oreffluent) is discharged, either by gravity or pressure,to an absorption field, also known as a drainfield or leachfield (seediagram of septic system/drainfield layout).NOTE:In most gravity systems the wastewater first flows into a distribution box (d-box) or tee, which then disbursesthe effluent equally among the trenches in the drainfield, which is where the final treatment takes place.Effluent trickles out of the pipes, through the gravel layer, and into the soil where further treatment occurs.

Thesoil filters the wastewater as it passes (or “percolates) through the pore spaces and the soil microbes treat itbefore it eventually enters the groundwater.

The size and type of drainfield depends on the estimated daily wastewater flow and local soil conditions.

The Soil

The soil under the drainfield is responsible for the ultimate treatment and disposal of the septic tank effluent once it has been treated. Upon entering the soil, organisms in the soil purify and decontaminate the effluent before it percolates downhill and outward, eventually entering groundwater or surface water. This is because different types of soil have different capacities for treating wastewater. For example, clay soils may be too tight to allow much wastewater to pass through, whereas gravelly soils may be too coarse to give much treatment.

Replacement (Reserve) Area

Every new residence or business that will be served by a septic system must have a specified replacement or reserve space set aside for it. This is a specified area appropriate for the installation of a new drainfield, and it must be handled in the same manner as your current drainfield. A reserve area should have been declared as part of the permission procedure for any sewage system that was constructed after 1980. By the time your septic system has failed, it is too late to correct the situation by pumping your tank.

This is why it is critical to understand where the replacement area is located and how to preserve it (for more information on replacement area care, see “Drainfield Do’s and Don’ts”).

Do These Things

  • Find out where your drainfield and replacement area are before you start. It is much easier to safeguard anything when you know where it is located. Locate Your Drainfield. Heavy machinery should be kept away from your drainfield. There should be no parking or driving over the drainfield by cars or heavy equipment
  • This might cause cracks in the pipes. If the area is accessible to automobiles, cattle, or heavy equipment, put up a barrier. Reduce your water consumption to a bare minimum. Drainfields are not capable of carrying an endless amount of water. It is impossible for the system to drain and filter effluent when there is more water than it can absorb. This results in the effluent reaching groundwater. Water should be diverted away from the drainfield. Roof runoff and drainage ditches can saturate the soil, causing it to become waterlogged. It is most effective for drainfields to operate when the soil underneath the drainfield is not waterlogged. Maintain a minimum distance of 30 feet between trees and bushes and the drainfield. Please keep in mind that some soil conditions may dictate that plants be placed at an even greater distance from the drainfield.) Drainfields are a common habitat for trees and plants because their large root systems are attracted to and develop in moist places. Drain pipes might get blocked and damaged as a result of this. Landscape Your Drainfield. Over the drainfield, only grass or shallow-rooted plants should be planted. This will prevent soil erosion from occurring. Protect the area where your replacement will be installed. It is possible that this is the only spot with appropriate soil conditions in the event that you need to rebuild, repair, or expand the drainfield. All of the solutions made above are applicable to the replacement area as well

Don’t Do These Things

  • Don’t construct anything on top of your drainfield. Patios, carports, and other constructions are included in this category. It is possible that you will cause harm to the drainfield. Do not construct a road over the drainfield. Drainfields require air in order to operate correctly. Biological breakdown and treatment of sewage need the use of oxygen. Make sure you don’t dig up your drainfield. It is possible that the pipes will be damaged
  • Large animals and livestock should be kept away from the drainfield. Soil compaction hinders oxygen from getting into the soil and water from moving away from the drainfield
  • It also causes erosion. It is not permissible to apply landscaping plastic over the drainfield. Air is required for the drainfield to work properly
  • Otherwise, it would fail. Planting a food garden over a drainfield is not recommended. As a result, there is the chance of food contamination. Installing an irrigation system in the drainfield is not recommended. Additionally, the irrigation system should not drain toward the drainfield.

Building on top of a drainfield is not recommended. There are a variety of constructions that fall within this category. The drainfield may be harmed as a result of this. Keep the drainfield free of paving. The correct operation of drainfields necessitates the use of air. Biological breakdown and treatment of sewage necessitate the use of oxygen by bacteria. You should refrain from digging in your drainfield. It is possible to cause damage to the pipes. Large animals and livestock should be kept away from the drainfield.field.

Do not cover the drainfield with landscaping plastic.

Planting a vegetable garden on top of a drainfield is not a wise decision.

In the drainfield, you should not build an irrigation system.

The irrigation system should not be directed toward the drainfield.

  • Odors, surface sewage, or damp areas in the drainfield region are all signs of a problem. Backups from the plumbing or septic tank (which are often a dark liquid with a foul odor)
  • Fixtures that take a long time to drain
  • The plumbing system is making gurgling sounds. Your drainfield may be failing if you have a well and tests reveal the presence of coliform (bacteria) or nitrates in the water from it. Even in dry weather, there will be a pool of liquid over the drainfield. This might imply that an excessive amount of wastewater is being transported upward via the soil rather than downward.
  • Landscape Drainfield Planting Suggestions and other landscaping information are welcome. Identifying and Locating Your Drainfield How to determine the location of your drainfield
  • Drainfield Frequently Asked Questions Drainfields are frequently asked questions, so here are some answers. Request for Drawing Permit Information for Record Drawings

Social Media that has directed you to this web page, hasbeen funded wholly or in part by the United StatesEnvironmental Protection Agency underassistanceagreement PC-01J18001 to the Washington State Departmentof Health. The contents of this document do notnecessarily reflect the views and policies of theEnvironmental Protection Agency, nor does mention oftrade names or commercial products constituteendorsement or recommendation for use.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *