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In the last post, we looked at septic system safety. Today, we’ll show you how to find a septic tank. It sounds silly, but many homeowners don’t know exactly where their septic tank and drain field are. If you’ve never had a problem with your septic tank, or the septic tank was in place when you bought your property, you might never have had a reason to find a septic tank.

Clues can help you find a septic tank

If you’re trying to find a septic tank, and have no idea where to start, follow the drain that’s attached to a toilet. Toilets must connect to a septic tank. Note where the toilet drain exits the house/building. You may have to carefully hand-dig the connection site on the exterior side of the wall, but it will quickly tell you which direction to go.

Snow cover can help you find a septic tank. Septic tanks are not buried deeply, and the biological action in the tank generates heat. Heat melts snow, so the septic field is often the first area to melt following a snowfall.

A previous owner may have marked the location of the septic tank and/or access port. Look for markers, flags, stones or other “monuments” near your house. Usually a septic tank is buried within 25 feet of the building, so limit the size of your initial search.

Sometimes, a vent pipe will help you find a septic tank. Plumbing vent pipes are usually about 4″-6″ in diameter. (Not easy to miss!) They might be painted to help avoid mowing accidents.

The soil around a septic tank may have sunken or washed away, so the surface looks “depressed.” You might also see a depression with a defined shape (square or rectangle). You may find a smaller depression in the soil, which could signal a previous excavation area. Overgrowth above a septic tank may look different because plant roots can’t penetrate the soil very deeply. The septic field may puddle or have a specific, septic odor, especially if it’s failing.

If you simply cannot find your septic tank (or you have no desire to look for it!), we can help. We can locate your septic tank and drain field, and create documentation for you for future reference.

To schedule service or drain cleaning, please contact us at Clear Drain Cleaning at (330) 343-7146 for all of your drain cleaning and drain maintenance needs.