Five Tips For Finding Your Septic Tank

In order to have your septic tank pumped and serviced, you need to know where it is located. This may be more challenging than you'd like if you aren't the first owner of the home, unless the previous owner clearly marked the tank location before selling. The following tips can help you track down the tank location.

1. Check Municipal Records

Often, the location of your tank just requires a visit to your local municipal offices. Septic systems typically require a permit for installation, which means the permit information, along with a property map that shows the location of the tank, may be readily available in the records office. Sometimes the tank isn't placed exactly where the map indicates, but it should give you a rough guideline that allows you to narrow your search.

2. Look for the Drain Field

The drain field for your home may be easy to spot. Most drain fields are relatively flat expanses covered only in grass — there should be no trees, shrubs, outbuildings, or roads across the drain field. If you can spot the drain field, then finding the tank may be as simple as walking along the edge closest to your home. The tank access is generally placed somewhere along the edge or slightly into the field.

3. Follow the Sewer Line

If you can locate where the main sewer line leaves your home, you might be able to walk right to your septic tank. Most septic tanks are located close to the home, and most septic lines run straight to the tank with few twists or turns. Simply walk from your home towards what appears to be a drain field, and you may find your tank access.

4. Try a Soil Probe

A soil probe is a long metal rod with a T-handle on the top. It's used to probe the soil for obstructions, such as a metal septic tank lid. It's best to use a soil probe in conjunction with one of the above methods, such as searching for a buried lid where the municipal records indicate or for probing along the edge of a drain field. You can also use the probe to locate and follow the sewer pipe out to the tank access.

5. Call Around

Chances are the previous owners had the septic tank serviced by a local company. Call around to these septic services to see if they have records on your home. If so, they may provide you with the tank location for free or for a small fee.

For more help, contact a septic tank service in your area.