How to Measure the Distance from House to Septic Tank - Find the Septic Tank Location
DISTANCE TO SEPTIC TANK - CONTENTS: How To Measure The Possible Distance From the House to the Septic Tank. How to locate the septic tank at a property, as step by step procedure to find any septic tank
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Measurements used to find the septic tank:This article tells us how use measurements to locate a septic tank when it's placement is not already known or when the location of the septic tank is not visually obvious.. This document provides procedures for using measurements to find the septic tank.
When the septic tank needs to be pumped, a regular
maintenance task, the cost of that service will be less if the property owner found the septic tank location and perhaps even uncovered the
septic tank pumping access cover. Other reasons to find the septic tank include inspecting and testing septic systems
when buying a home or for safety, to assure that the septic tank cover is in good condition.
Find the distance between the septic tank and the building: in our sketch at left we marked the location of waste lines leaving the building and then made measurements accurate to one inch, locating the septic tank center and the onsite seepage pits, by measuring from the center of each of these to prominent site features. Making these measurements at the time of installation of the septic tank and seepage pits made life easier for the next owner.
The steps below address measuring the septic tank location after it has already been installed.
Measuring septic tank distance step 1:
If there is a main waste line cleanout access opening and IF you are unable to find any clues of tank location by looking outside,
open the cleanout (your plumber should be doing this) and run a plumbing snake (plumbing line cleaning tool, not the slithering animal) into the line.
A plumbing snake is nothing more than a flexible steel or fiberglass rod which is pushed into the main drain line to break through drain line clogs.
But as you'll read below, clever use of this tool can find the exact septic tank location.
Measuring the septic tank distance step 2:
Push the snake into the waste line until it stops.
It will stop either when it hits the inside of the septic tank (often it hits the inlet baffle) or if (bad luck)
it hits an obstruction such as a collapsed line between house and tank.
(If the tank baffles have been totally lost the line may just run out and coil inside the septic tank until all
of the available snake length has been inserted. Bad luck.)
Measuring the septic tank distance step 3:
By observing how far the plumbing snake goes into the waste line before it stops you have measured the
maximum distance the tank is likely to be from the building. The tank may be closer since the line may bend or run at an angle -
it may not run away from the house at a straight 90 degrees from the house wall.
House to Septic Tank Drain Line Obstructions: If you've hit an obstruction instead of the tank, you needed to find, excavate, and repair that problem regardless of tank location.
Here is the exact septic tank location:
By Distance: The septic tank will be located outside the building
on an arc formed with its radius distance from the building equal to the length of snake fed into the house drain until it
was stopped by an obstruction. Often the septic tank is about ten feet from the building.
By Electronic Sensor: The septic tank can be located exactly electronically: Some plumbing contractors can at this point
find the exact septic tank location by using a special plumbing snake fed into the main house drain line. An electronic
signal is fed into the metal plumbing snake. From outside, a receiver can sense the signal from the plumbing snake. By passing
the receiver, a sort of electronic metal detector, over the property surface, the exact path of the snake in the buried
drain line can be followed right to the tank.
In cases where this special electronic plumbing snake equipment is not available, we rely on visual clues indoors, at the site,
and outdoors in probable septic tank locations, combined with some judicious digging. No we don't need to dig up the entire
property. The visual and excavation approach to finding the septic tank continue below.
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Drainfield Layout: septic drainfield or leaching bed shape and placement considerations
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
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Builder's Guide to Wells and Septic Systems, Woodson, R. Dodge: $ 24.95; MCGRAW HILL B; TP;
Quoting from Amazon's description: For the homebuilder, one mistake in estimating or installing wells and septic systems can cost thousands of dollars. This comprehensive guide filled with case studies can prevent that. Master plumber R. Dodge Woodson packs this reader-friendly guide with guidance and information, including details on new techniques and materials that can economize and expedite jobs and advice on how to avoid mistakes in both estimating and construction. Chapters cover virtually every aspect of wells and septic systems, including on-site evaluations; site limitations; bidding; soil studies, septic designs, and code-related issues; drilled and dug wells, gravel and pipe, chamber-type, and gravity septic systems; pump stations; common problems with well installation; and remedies for poor septic situations. Woodson also discusses ways to increase profits by avoiding cost overruns.
Country Plumbing: Living with a Septic System, Hartigan, Gerry: $ 9.95; ALAN C HOOD & TP;
Quoting an Amazon reviewer's comment, with which we agree--DF:This book is informative as far as it goes and might be most useful for someone with an older system. But it was written in the early 1980s. A lot has changed since then. In particular, the book doesn't cover any of the newer systems that are used more and more nowadays in some parts of the country -- sand mounds, aeration systems, lagoons, etc.
Design Manuals for Septic Systems
US EPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual [online copy, free] Top Reference: US EPA's Design Manual for Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal, 1980, available from the US EPA, the US GPO Superintendent of Documents (Pueblo CO), and from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse. Original source http://www.epa.gov/ORD/NRMRL/Pubs/625R00008/625R00008.htm Onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems,
Richard J Otis, published by the US EPA. Although it's more than 20 years old, this book remains a useful reference for septic system designers.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water Program Operations; Office of Research and Development, Municipal Environmental Research Laboratory; (1980)
"International Private Sewage Disposal Code," 1995, BOCA-708-799-2300, ICBO-310-699-0541, SBCCI 205-591-1853, available from those code associations.
"Manual of Policy, Procedures, and Guidelines for Onsite Sewage Systems," Ontario Reg. 374/81, Part VII of the Environmental
Protection Act (Canada), ISBN 0-7743-7303-2, Ministry of the Environment,135 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto Ontario M4V 1P5 Canada $24. CDN.
Manual of Septic Tank Practice, US Public Health Service's 1959.
Onsite Wastewater Disposal Books
Onsite Wastewater Disposal, R. J. Perkins;
Quoting from Amazon: This practical book, co-published with the National Environmental Health Association,
describes the step-by-step procedures needed to avoid common pitfalls in septic system technology.
Valuable in matching the septic system to the site-specific conditions, this useful book will help you install a reliable system in
both suitable and difficult environments. Septic tank installers, planners, state and local regulators, civil and sanitary engineers,
consulting engineers, architects, homeowners, academics, and land developers will find this publication valuable.
Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, Bennette D. Burks, Mary Margaret Minnis, Hogarth House 1994 - one of the best septic system books around, suffering a bit from small fonts and a weak index. (DF volunteers to serve as indexer if Burks/Minnis re-publish this very useful volume.)
While it contains some material more technical than needed by homeowners, Burks/Minnis book on onsite wastewater treatment systems a very useful reference
for both property owners and septic system designers. We refer to it often.
While Minnis says the best place to buy this book is at Amazon (our link at left), you can also see this book at Minnis' website at http://web page .pace.edu/MMinnisbook
Septic Tank/Soil-Absorption Systems: How to Operate & Maintain [ copy on file as /septic/Septic_Operation_USDA.pdf ] - , Equipment Tips, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 8271 1302, 7100 Engineering, 2300 Recreation, September 1982, web search 08/28/2010, original source: http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/pdfimage/82711302.pdf
Septic System Owner's Manual, Lloyd Kahn, Blair Allen, Julie Jones, Shelter Publications, 2000 $14.95 U.S. - easy to understand, well illustrated, one of the best practical references around on septic design basics including some advanced systems; a little short on safety and maintenance. Both new and used (low priced copies are available, and we think the authors are working on an updated edition--DF.
Quoting from one of several Amazon reviews: The basics of septic systems, from underground systems and failures to what the owner can do to promote and maintain a healthy system, is revealed in an excellent guide essential for any who reside on a septic system. Rural residents receive a primer on not only the basics; but how to conduct period inspections and what to do when things go wrong. History also figures into the fine coverage.
Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank, Bombeck, Erma: $ 5.99; FAWCETT; MM;
This septic system classic whose title helps avoid intimidating readers new to septic systems, is available new or used at very low prices.
It's more entertainment than a serious "how to" book on septic systems design, maintenance, or repair. Not recommended -- DF.
US EPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual Top Reference: US EPA's Design Manual for Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal, 1980, available from the US EPA, the US GPO Superintendent of Documents (Pueblo CO), and from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse. Original source http://www.epa.gov/ORD/NRMRL/Pubs/625R00008/625R00008.htm
Water Wells and Septic Systems Handbook, R. Dodge Woodson. This book is in the upper price range, but is worth the cost for serious septic installers and designers.
Quoting Amazon: Each year, thousands upon thousands of Americans install water wells and septic systems on their properties. But with a maze of codes governing their use along with a host of design requirements that ensure their functionality where can someone turn for comprehensive, one-stop guidance? Enter the Water Wells and Septic Systems Handbook from McGraw-Hill.
Written in language any property owner can understand yet detailed enough for professionals and technical students this easy-to-use volume delivers the latest techniques and code requirements for designing, building, rehabilitating, and maintaining private water wells and septic systems. Bolstered by a wealth of informative charts, tables, and illustrations, this book delivers:
* Current construction, maintenance, and repair methods
* New International Private Sewage Disposal Code
* Up-to-date standards from the American Water Works Association
Wells and Septic Systems, Alth, Max and Charlet, Rev. by S. Blackwell Duncan, $ 18.95; Tab Books 1992. We have found this text very useful for conventional well and septic systems design and maintenance --DF.
Quoting an Amazon description:Here's all the information you need to build a well or septic system yourself - and save a lot of time, money, and frustration. S. Blackwell Duncan has thoroughly revised and updated this second edition of Wells and Septic Systems to conform to current codes and requirements. He also has expanded this national bestseller to include new material on well and septic installation, water storage and distribution, water treatment, ecological considerations, and septic systems for problem building sites.