A septic system is normally situated in one of two ways: the entire system is below ground, or there is a riser to position the lid at ground level. For obvious reasons, the riser type is pretty easy to locate when it comes time for DIY septic drain field repair.
With a below ground system, however, there could be anywhere from a few inches to a foot or more of dirt on top of the lid. Here are a few ways in which it can be located:
Locating Your System
- Get a diagram. If you know the business that installed the septic system, they may still have copies of those plans. The county itself may also have a copy. This diagram will tell you the location of the septic tanks, as well as where the lid is.
- Look for a sign. A previous homeowner may have marked the location of your septic tank in some way. This may be a small flag or perhaps some type of lawn ornament. You might also be able to locate it, because it may be a bit lower than surrounding areas.
- Locate the tank first. If you know where the sewer pipe exits the home, you can usually follow it to the septic tank. It will always be at least five feet away from the house. Once in the general area, you can use a piece of metal rebar. Probe the ground with it until it strikes the hard surface of the tank. Depending on when the system was installed, it will have either one lid in the center, or two lids at opposite ends.
- Call a professional. They are also quite skilled at locating the tank and lid, should you have trouble figuring out where it is.
Once it is found, and after your DIY septic drain field repair or maintenance, you can mark it with a lawn ornament or a septic marker.