How to Measure & Sketch the Location of a Septic Tank
SEPTIC TANK LOCATION SKETCH - CONTENTS: How to document the septic tank location by making measurements and a sketch to make sure that the tank and tank cleanout openings can be easily found again in the future. Where to look for the septic tanks, septic tank covers, or septic tank cleanout lids
How to DOCUMENT the SEPTIC TANK LOCATION - How to Measure and Document the Septic Tank Location
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 make a drawing of the the septic tank and drainfield location include enabling the inspecting and testing septic systems
when buying a home or for safety, to assure that the septic tank cover is in good condition.
Use of this information at other websites, in books or pamphlets for sale is reserved
to the author. Reviewers and content suggestions are welcome and are credited at "References."
This article is part of our series: Inspecting, Testing, & Maintaining Residential Septic Systems an online book on septic systems.
To remember the tank location in the future and to help future owners of the property, you should:
Mark the tank location with a flat stone or slate
Make a sketch Measure the exact location of the septic tank cleanout opening relative to the building: using "triangulation" you need to make only two
From the tank cleanout, measure the distance to a permanent site feature such as the left corner of the building.
the distance to a second permanent site feature such as the right corner of the building.
These two distances can be set off in the future, even
if the tank is hidden from view.
Where the two points meet will be the tank cover.
Recording Septic Tank Location in our
"Septic Tank Pumping Guide" includes a nice example of how to take measurements to document the exact location of
a septic system component.
When you find your septic tank, if other clues helped you do so, please forward them to me by email
so we can help others. Photos are very welcome too.
Septic Tank Condition - How to Inspect Septic Tanks and evaluate the septic tank condition, baffles, sludge levels, damage, evidence of septic failure
Drainfield Layout: septic drainfield or leaching bed shape and placement considerations
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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.
Pennsylvania State Fact Sheets relating to domestic wastewater treatment systems include
Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-161, Septic System Failure: Diagnosis and Treatment
Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-162, The Soil Media and the Percolation Test
Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-l64, Mound Systems for Wastewater Treatment
Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-165, Septic Tank-Soil Absorption Systems
Document Sources used for this web page include but are not limited to: Agricultural Fact Sheet #SW-161 "Septic Tank Pumping," by Paul D. Robillard and
Kelli S. Martin. Penn State College of Agriculture - Cooperative Extension, edited and annotated by
Dan Friedman (Thanks: to Bob Mackey for proofreading the original source material.)
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
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.
Or choose the The Home Reference eBook for PCs, Macs, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, or Android Smart Phones. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAEHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
Advanced Onsite Wastewater Systems Technologies, Anish R. Jantrania, Mark A. Gross. Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., P.E., M.B.A., is a Consulting Engineer, in Mechanicsville VA, 804-550-0389 (2006). Outstanding technical reference especially on alternative septic system design alternatives. Written for designers and engineers, this book is not at all easy going for homeowners but is a text I recommend for professionals--DF.
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.