How To Locate Septic Tank Field Lines Quickly & Easily

Identifying and understanding the location of the septic tank is critical for any homeowner and for properly caring about your septic system. It is also important that all homeowners are aware of the location of their field lines in case you have to excavate for some of your projects in the future. Let's take a look at how to do this yourself. If you need any help, reaching out to the team at Hamptons Septic Services can get the job done!

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How to Locate Septic Tank Field Lines

The best way to look for and locate the septic tank field lines is to look for humps in the earth where the dirt settles and that way you can discover the septic tank field lines. There is also a septic tank locator that can help to locate the septic drainpipes. This is a tool our team will use in order to quickly locate the lines if you need it.

Before you start looking, you need to have a basic understanding of how the septic system works in the first place. This way you are looking in the right places. The solid waste is stored in a tank in your septic system and your liquid waste is pumped into the leach field and then drained. On top of that, the septic tank contains a baffle that help separate both two forms of waste. Then the liquids are then pumped into the earth via a sewer line that links to pipes in a gravel bed, where it is absorbed. Let's take a look at some of the common ways you can locate the septic tank field lines.

Locating the Field Lines of Your Septic Tank

You do not want to build concrete over your field lines or grow trees near them, because that can make it more difficult to locate in the future when you need to know. So knowing where they run is important to help avoid doing that. Sometimes you can obtain a schematic to have on record for your home. This will show you where the drain field is, so you can avoid digging or planting in that area of your yard. However, not everyone is able to get a diagram, which leads to other methods of trying to locate these field lines.

Follow the Drain Lines

The quickest and most accurate method of locating the septic tank is to begin at the drain lines that lead from your home. This is the quickest, because your plumbing drainpipes are linked to your septic tank. So sometimes copper pipe is joined with PVC. When it is, you can follow them to find your way around and can anticipate that the tank will be placed approximately twenty feet away from the exterior of your house.

Continuing this from the alternative side of the tank, the drainpipes will then lead into your drain field. Take a close look at the gradient of your property in order to determine the location of your leach field. While doing so, make sure that you are not digging blindly or using heavy gear to seek for the pipes. That could result in the drain lines being damaged.

If you are unable to find these drain lines, then you might be able to use a septic tank tester in order to locate the source of the problem. How it works is that you insert the narrow metal probe into the dirt until it comes into contact with your tank. Following the tank, you may come across the edges, which will finally take you to the pipelines.

Look for Natural Indicators

Here are the natural indicators you can look out for.

  • Look for a marshy or moist spot that never appears to clear out, because that could be a sign that the septic drain lines are in the wrong spot or blocked. If your drain line is blocked, then the water will accumulate on your drain field. Then you’ll have to clean grown mold, which is less than ideal.
  • Another natural indicator is that your lines are directly below something already on your yard, such as a plant or if the grass is a little greener than the surrounding grass. Both are indicators that your lines are directly below it.
  • One other natural element you may look for is the absence of cold or snow in a certain region of the yard during the winter.
  • Lastly, another natural indicator to look for are parallel shallow depressions. This small depression is most frequently found in drain fields. However, if your septic system is more complex, then you may not notice these parallel depressions.

Examine Your System’s Diagrams

Many septic systems are built with a permit, which means you can call your local health agency to get the blueprints of the system. The horizontal lines diagram will include all of the specifics of the drain field, as well as the structure, components, and placement of the drain field.

If you are unable to get the blueprints, then you can potentially ask for a database search for your home. This is a form that can be completed and returned to your local health department.

Check the Distribution Container

There is a possibility that some septic tanks have an additional distribution box downstream, which is just a few feet from the tank. Due to this storage container, water will flow more easily into the excavations through the pipelines and the ports. If you have two distribution boxes, then the lid will notify you which way the ports are connected. The ports are oriented in the direction of the drain field lines. There is also the ability to use a probe to locate the distribution box. When using a tool, it is important to note that you should not press it too forcefully into the panel to avoid damaging it.

Septic System Mapping

It is a smart idea to chart your septic system once you have located everything you require. This way you do not have to go through this process again. Here are the steps for effective septic system mapping.

  • Find the Location of Your Septic System: Identify your septic tank with a probe. Once you locate the tank, then you can follow it to the house’s nearest edge.
  • Calculate Distance to Your House: Once you have located the edge, then you can calculate how far the reservoir is from your house and make a notation of it.
  • Trace the Borders of Septic Tank: Trace the tank’s perimeter with the probe and stake the corners and then measure the tank from corner to corner.
  • Locate the Drains: The drain lines connect to the septic tank on the opposite side of the home. Locate and count the drainpipes in the drain field for the best accuracy.