Where should I dig to find my septic filter?


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Old 05-06-24, 10:14 PM
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Where should I dig to find my septic filter?

About 7 years ago, I needed my "real" septic pumped and when the guy was here, he poked a couple of places and also checked my grey water septic, which did not need pumped. That time, I did not take any measurements for either tank, but the next time I needed my "real" septic pumped, I wrote down where to dig for it and set a calendar alert to remind me to clean its filter.

Now something is up with my grey water tank. I would be surprised if it needs pumped, so I'm leaning toward its filter needing to be cleaned or there being an issue between it and the house.

I started by probing and digging where I thought the fellow dug seven years ago and while there is a metal "handle" in that spot, I am yet to find any seams or door cracks and what I found is one of the edges, so I don't think the "handle" has anything to do with the door.

The following pic shows what I believe to be the edges of my tank based on probing. The stakes are marked east, west, south and the edge of the hole is the edge on the north. Any suggestions where I should dig to find the lid that will expose the filter?

The sewer lines approach the tank from the south and the drawing in the permit application makes it look like the outflow may go to the east, then takes two turns to the drainfield in front.(I've put the drawing in an inset. It is flipped to match the orientation of the photo. This is the only drawing that has the line that looks like a pipe. Everything else is just a big rectangle.)



Any suggestions where to dig next would be appreciated.

It is a 22 year-old multi-chambered, 900 gl, concrete tank with a Zoeller filter according to the permit. East to west, it is about 8.5' long and it is around 3.5' north to south.

Thanks
 

Last edited by TryAgain; 05-06-24 at 10:33 PM.
  #2  
Old 05-07-24, 05:01 AM
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If you found the handle, you found the lid.

Your tank may have two lids. Both will need to be found to pump the tank. Any filter is usually located inside the discharge chamber of the tank immediately opposite where the discharge line exits.
 
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Old 05-07-24, 10:20 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

The "handle" I found is that squiggle of brown you see in the pic that appears to be rusted metal in a loop. I haven't pushed or pulled on it too hard because though the bulk is there and I did hit it with the shovel while digging, plus I've tapped it with a hammer, it isn't a uniform thickness.

Just now, I went out and remeasured.

First of all, the tank is more like 5' across, north to south -- so my earlier measurement after dark was incorrect -- and the hole I have dug is more than 2' in diameter. and I haven't found a crack like you'd expect around a lid, which the guy seven years ago removed with no effort.

Also, the center of the metal loop is only ten inches from the edge of the tank and feeling down the side, I'm not feeling any kind of crack or lid lip. Of course, maybe I need to widen the hole and the lid is on the edge, but my gut is that this might be a handle to lift the tank with a chain.

Any filter is usually located inside the discharge chamber of the tank immediately opposite where the discharge line exits.
I see now that I should have also flipped my inset vertically in addition to horizontally, but if the tank is 8.5' east to west and if the permit drawing is actually showing the discharge out of the end to the east, nearest the driveway, should I be digging a foot or so from the east side to find the lid over the filter? (The fiberglass tank for my actual sewage, the filter is under the lid furthest from the house, closest to the drain field.)

Again, though I could be wrong, my feeling is that the tank does not need to be pumped, which is why I haven't called for a pumper truck to do the digging for me. Of course, now I kind of wish I had because I don't dig as well as I did when I was younger and in better shape, but this is Florida where everything thing is expensive (because there are a lot of out of shape older folks), but I don't want to pay $450 just to learn that the problem isn't that the tank needs pumped.

(If it does, I will, but I think it's the filter or the pipe from the house.)


Thanks
 
 

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