where's my septic tank?

Old 05-09-02, 01:55 PM
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where's my septic tank?

here's the story.... i have 2 septic tanks on my property. one of the tanks receives water from the laundry & sinks - no toilets. this tank seems to be full but i can't find it and neither can the septic tank guys. they find the drain field but have searched all between my house and the field and can't find the tank. is it possible that there is no tank and only a distribution box & drain field? i'm not sure of the age of this tank, nor do i have any specs about where/what it is.

there's more to the story - a couple of years ago when i moved in i mowed over the 3" PVC access pipe to this tank (couldn't see it). i thought it was actually a drainage pipe from my front driveway that flowed rainwater to the river behind me so i didn't really worry about it. over time who knows how many grass clippings and leaves got down in there until i got a clue. my thinking is that it has somehow clogged the tank or drainfield or something. i have run a 15 ft snake down there and it didn't do much. i'm going to try a 30 ft but am not too confident it will help much. after that i'll be doing a lot of digging...

any ideas?

Old 05-09-02, 02:39 PM
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go to town hall, most places require permits for septic tanks when they are put in, they should have a site map of the property showing the location, I am surprised this was not on the survey of the house that you did when you purchased it.
Old 05-09-02, 04:23 PM
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The "gray water" (non-toilet) septic system should also have a tank (at least a smaller one) in addition to the d-box and drainfield.
However, it could have been an unauthorized homeowner job, or put in back when one might not have been required for gray water, so who knows.
As diemeto said, check with your Health Department (or your local permitting agency) to see if they have a record and map of it. Maybe you'll get lucky and find something.
A tank and d-box should be just under the surface and easy to find by poking a metal rod down.
Good Luck!
Old 05-10-02, 08:50 AM
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I agree with old guy - there might not be a tank. Years ago, especially in the country, gray water was not always run to septic systems. Sometimes, it went down the back hill or a pit filled with rocks - whatever.

I would caution you about asking any questions at "town hall" unless you are prepared to go the route. New systems need permits and must be constructed to certain standards. Around here, if it fails, you can't fix it - you got to bring it up to the current standards. That starts with a perk test and the system is designed from there. I'm not saying you should ignor the problem or not fix it - I'm just warning you that the old expression "Hi, I'm from the government and I'm here to help you" is often a contradiction. If you ask too many questions, you may get into more trouble (expense) than you are prepared to handle.
Old 05-13-02, 10:45 AM
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thanks for all the input.
i'm hesitant to contact the city/county for the reasons you mentioned. i'm going to just start digging and find where the pipe goes - i think it's just to a d-box and it's clogged so i'll rule that out first.

thanks again to all who replied.
Old 05-21-02, 06:44 AM
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found it

well i finally just started digging and what i found is that there is no septic tank. there's a 55 gallon drum with a pump in it. ugh. the pump feeds a drain field. the outflow pipe is coming out of the top of the drop - as is a stink pipe that vents about 10 feet away next to the house. (this is only grey water - no solids)

i can't figure out why they would use a pump to connect to the drainfield except that maybe the drainfield was already there and they didn't want to dig a new one. i'm going to open the drum and repair or replace the pump.

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