How To Find Your Septic Tank When It's Ready To Be Pumped

There are many home improvement chores you can do yourself, but pumping out the septic tank isn't one of them. You need a permit to dispose of the waste, and besides that, working around a septic tank is dangerous. Instead, you'll need to call out a contractor with a pump truck every few years to do the job for you. Your only responsibility is showing the contractor where the tank is located. If you don't know, the contractor can locate it for you, but that might cost more. Here are some tips for finding the tank yourself.

Look On Property Records

You can probably look up your property records online on your county's website. These usually have a basic map of your property. If you're lucky, the septic tank may be included on the map. This gives you a general direction of the tank and the distance from the house where you can start looking. Septic tanks are not always included on property maps though, or the tank may have been moved in the years since the map was made, so you may need to try another method for locating the tank.

Follow The Sewer Drain

You should be able to see the main sewer drain as it exits your house. Try using a long metal rod to follow the drain until it reaches the tank. Do that by pushing the rod into the soil until it hits against the pipe. Push it in every few feet until you feel a larger flat surface that is the septic tank lid. If you can't follow the pipe, try pushing the rod into the soil in various places around your yard until you find the lid. You shouldn't need to push the rod in very far since the tank lid is usually just under the surface of the soil.

Look For Markers

If you've noticed a marker in your yard and always wondered what it's for, it could indicate the location of the tank. The previous owners of your home may have marked the location of the tank in some manner. There could be a metal stake pushed in the ground or a riser above the tank. You can also look for a natural marker such as a depression in your yard or a patch of grass that is more lush than the rest of the yard or a patch that is bald and unhealthy because it is growing in a thin layer of soil over a tank.

If you have a small yard, your tank should be easy to find. If your backyard is large, or if it is on a slope, the tank might be pretty far from your house. If you can't locate the tank yourself, the pumping contractor will locate it for you. Once it's found, be sure to mark its location in a permanent way so you can find it again in a few years and pass on its location to the new owners if you ever sell your home. For more information, contact companies like Mathena Septic Tank Service.