If you own a home, it’s probably a good idea to locate your septic system before operating on your backyard in any capacity. A few drain pipes are running underneath your home and yard, and you’re better off knowing where they are before you choose to make renovations or other changes to your property. It usually isn’t that difficult to find out the location of your septic system — it isn’t meant to be like finding buried treasure — but it might present a bit of a challenge for certain homes.
How to Locate Your Septic Drain Field
A septic system usually has two or more main components; a septic tank and a drain field. Drain field lines carry the liquid waste until it spreads throughout the soil, where it is absorbed. A well-maintained septic system will be able to absorb the effluent, and problems usually occur when the system is not maintained properly.
Finding out where your septic tank and drain fields are located isn’t tricky, and there are a few ways you can discover where yours are:
- Consult a septic diagram or map from county records or the local health department.
- Follow outlet pipes that run from your home.
- Find your distribution box.
- Search around your yard.
- Ask someone!
Why Do I Need To Find My Septic Drain Field?
You may be thinking, “why on earth would it be important to know where my septic drain field is? Isn’t it just a ton of waste and fumes that I probably shouldn’t want to be around anyway?” While it may not seem important, your septic system carries a lot of value, and even though it’s not something you worry too much about when things are going well, you want to be knowledgeable in case of any emergencies.
The most important thing you want to avoid is damaging your drain field and tank. Not only is it a public health risk, but you put your family and home in danger as well. Identifying your septic drain field can help you avoid driving cars or operating heavy machinery over them and keep the harmful fumes far away.
Discover Problems With Your System
It’s common for homeowners not to know when their system needs maintenance or if there is anything wrong until it’s far too late. No one likes being in a rush to call a professional, so it’s good to locate your system and figure out if you see any significant issues.
If you notice a pool of water near your septic tank, it’s a sign that you might have a tank overflowing and needing drainage. Also, the pungent smell of sewage or other fumes near your tank could indicate that your septic system needs maintenance, replacement, or repair.
Know Where to Avoid When Renovating
If you’re doing work to your driveway, backyard, or other parts around your home, it’s a good idea to identify the location of your septic drain field. You want to avoid excess moisture surrounding your drain field, so if you’re renovating your driveway, you want to make sure that rainwater has a place to drain that’s far away from your system. If you’re installing a sprinkler system, ensuring that it’s at least 10 to 20 feet away from your drain lines is also important.
Landscaping Above Your Drain Field
Some homeowners find it essential to identify their septic drain field to ensure that the soil above their drain field stays solid and in place. In some modern homes, sewer systems are located towards the front of the house, and a beautiful field of plants or grass can improve your home’s curb appeal. Just be aware of the plants you decide to grow, as some roots can go deep into the ground and interfere with your system. You don’t want to be eating plants with roots from your septic tank, so be mindful of the vegetation you choose.
Need Help Finding Your Septic Drain Field?
Sometimes your home can be complicated, and you might not know where to look. Or maybe you would rather play it safe. Either way, your septic drain field isn’t something to mess around with, even for the most ambitious DIY enthusiasts. When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to call on professionals who know a thing or two about septic drain fields.
At Delaware Valley Septic, Sewer, & Storm, we have a ton of experience dealing with all things septic and sewers, including installation, inspection, maintenance, drain cleaning, and repairs. If you want to locate your drain field or have other work done on your property, reach out to us today.