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SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS
SEPTIC D-BOX INSPECTION
SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SEPTIC DYE TEST PROCEDURE
SEPTIC FAILURE SIGNS
SEPTIC INSPECTION & TEST GUIDE
SEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY
SEPTIC SUPPLIES & PARTS
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN ALTERNATIVES
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS
SEPTIC SYSTEMS, HOME BUYERS GUIDE to
SEPTIC SYSTEM SAFETY WARNINGS
SEPTIC TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS
SEWAGE & SEPTIC CONTAMINANTS
SEWAGE BACKUP, WHAT TO DO
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE CONTAMINATION in buildings
SEWAGE CONTAMINANTS in FRUIT / VEGETABLES
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWAGE LEVELS in SEPTIC TANKS
SEWAGE NITROGEN CONTAMINANTS
SEWAGE PATHOGENS in SEPTIC SLUDGE
SEWER BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
SOAKAWAY BED FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TOILETS, DON'T FLUSH LIST
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS, SEPTIC
VIDEO GUIDES: Septic Videos
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
How to find the soakaway bed, leaching bed, drainfield or drywell for a septic system or seepage pit - method 5: ruling out certain locations. If you can't find the septic tank or drainfield this article helps direct your search by describing visual inspection of the site that will show areas where you can pretty much rule out expecting to find a buried septic tank or drainfield.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
What areas are least likely to contain the drain field, or if they contain a drainfield, are likely to be a problem?
This article series and our accompanying septic system location videos explains how to find the leach field or drainfield portion of a septic system. We include sketches and photos that help you learn what to look for, and we describe several methods useful for finding buried drainfield components. (
Septic drain fields are also called soil absorption systems or seepage beds.) Also see How to Find the Septic Tank.
The septic system video#4 at right describes walking a homesite by a lake in order to reason that the drainfield, which must be not only uphill from the lake but in this case uphill from the septic tank too, cannot be located in the front yard, even though that looks attractive for a drainfield. In the center of the yard we spot the well casing - end of story.
The septic field should not be located here.
A septic pumping system will be needed and the drainfield will have to be located elsewhere on the site, and at a good distance from the well. More videos on septic system location & maintenance are at SEPTIC VIDEOS.
Site areas too close to a drinking water well cannot be used for septic drainfields. See Table of Required Septic Tank, Drainfield, & Well Clearances if you need to reference typical septic component clearance distance guidelines. Our video at the top of this page demonstrates how we discover where the well is located and why that should preclude finding the septic fields in an area that otherwise looked pretty attractive.
Uphill areas, areas that are higher than the elevation of the septic tank are not a first choice to contain the drainfield or leaching beds. Unless a septic pump or effluent pump system are installed (you'd find wiring, and perhaps alarms) the drain field is going to be at or below the elevation of the septic tank. In other words, down hill from the septic tank since effluent has to enter a conventional drainfield by gravity..
Naturally nothing prevented the installer from burying the leach lines very deeply in an area which is, on the surface "uphill" from the tank, but this would be an extra costly installation (more excavation) and also it would violate good design (leach trenches too deep).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about how we can rule out certain areas as plausible locations for a septic tank, drainfield, drywell, cesspool, or soakaway bed by examining terrain features and location of a nearby well, stream or pond..
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.