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How Far Should Your Well Be From Your Septic Tank?

How Far Should Your Well Be From Your Septic Tank?

A private water well and a septic tank don’t make good neighbors. If you have a well on your property and are planning to install a new septic tank or if you want to purchase a home that already has both, make sure these two are located at a certain distance apart. In this post, we will take a look at this minimum separation distance requirement and also discuss the most effective ways to protect well water.

So, how far should your well be from your septic tank? Most states require that a new human-waste lagoon or septic tank must be set up at least 50 feet from a well, but this figure may vary from state to state. Also, the minimum separation distance between a well and drain field is typically more.

Continue reading to find out how far a well should be from your drain field, what happens when a well is too close to a septic system, and what can you do to protect your well water.

How Far a Well Should Be from Your Drain Field?

Department of Health in many States dictates that septic tank drain fields must be at least 100 feet from a well. Just like the minimum separation distance between a well and a septic tank, this figure too may vary depending on where you live.

Before you build a new septic tank on your property or buy a new property that has a well and a wastewater treatment system, check the exact requirements of your local health department first. These minimum separation distances are also a requirement by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). So, if the property you want to buy doesn’t meet these requirements, an FHA loan may not be granted to you.


State health regulations also require all wastewater generated by a household, including sink, shower, wash, and bath water, to drain into the septic system. Discharging your wastewater off your property is against the state health laws.

Also, it is advisable and sometimes required by the law that all private drinking water wells must be checked at the very least once a year for bacteria. Furthermore, don’t just stick to the minimum distance requirements between a well and a septic system, but rather try to keep as much as space possible between the two to minimize the risk of cross-contamination.

What Happens When a Well is Too Close to a Septic System?

When your well is too near a wastewater treatment system, a number of containments can seep into your water well. These include:

  • Bacteria, such as salmonella or E. coli
  • Viruses, such as hepatitis A or norovirus
  • Chemicals from drain cleaners, paints, WD-40, and other household cleaning products
  • Phosphates from soaps and detergents
  • Heavy metals, copper and iron

If present in high amounts, the aforementioned chemicals can cause diseases or illnesses. In case you suspect the well water has been polluted, get the water tested without a delay. In case an issue is found, consider using water treatment solutions such as reverse osmosis, chlorination, UV purification, or active charcoal filtration to make the well water safe enough for drinking.

But what if these solutions don’t completely remove the contaminants? In that case, the only option would be to repair the well or the septic system.

How Can You Protect Your Well Water?

As we have said above, the first step to protect your well water is to make sure the well is at a fair distance from the water treatment system, at least 50 feet from the septic tank and 100 feet from the drain field. In addition to it, follow these tips to keep your well water safe to drink.

  • Have Your Well Water Tested Regularly

If you want to protect yourself and your family from bad drinking water, get the water in your well tested at least once every year for nitrates and coliform bacteria. In many states, a yearly inspection of well water is mandatory, but even if that’s not the case where you live, we strongly recommend you stick to once-a-year inspection schedule.

  • Have the Septic System Pumped Regularly

Septic tanks are not trash incinerators. While a healthy septic system effectively removes your household wastewater and finally filters it through the drain field, heavier substances settle at the bottom of the tank and over time form a sludge layer. It is important you don’t let too much of sludge get accumulated and hence regular cleaning of the septic tank is recommended.

As a general rule of thumb, you should clean your septic tank once every three to five years. However, if your household generates a lot of wastewater, you should consider it cleaning it more frequently. 

  • Ensure the Top of the Well is Securely Sealed

You should secure the top of your well with a sanitary seal. This will ensure foreign objects don’t enter the well and pollute the water. Besides foreign objects, the vent should also be able to screen off insects, mice, and spiders.

If the top of your well is not properly sealed, we recommend you to get in touch with a reputable water well maintenance service. 

  • Ensure all outdoor faucets have backflow protectors

Sometimes, water can draw backwards through a hose and pass into the well. This can pose a serious problem if the hose is attached to a chemical sprayer.

If, for some reasons, you don’t want to install a backflow protection in your water supply system, at the very least consider installing a cost-effective, screw-on, brass atmospheric pressure breaker on all outdoor faucets.

  • Don’t use excess lawn fertilizers

Excess chemicals can easily seep through the soil and enter the groundwater and eventually cause nitrate levels to climb up. For this reason, apply garden fertilizers only sparingly. Further, don’t mix or store fertilizers and pesticides where spills can seep into the soil and pass into the groundwater.

  • Protect animal waste from rain

Compost piles can be a source of nitrates and bacteria, which, in turn can pollute the drinking water. Therefore, take the necessary steps to obviate runoffs.

  • Dispose of gasoline, cleaning fluids, and other chemicals carefully

You should always dispose of gasoline, motor oil, cleaning fluids, paint thinners, furniture polish, and other chemicals as recommended. You should never pour these harmful chemicals down the drain, nor should you ever dump them onto the ground. This is an environmental hazard, can results in contamination, and invite heavy fines.

Related Questions To How Far Should Your Well Be From Your Septic Tank

How far should your garden be from septic tank?

As per the University of California Small Farm Program, you should plant vegetables and fruits at least 10 feet from your wastewater treatment system or leach field to prevent bacterial contamination.

How close can you build a house addition next to a septic tank?

A full foundation needs to be a minimum 10 feet away from your septic system and about 20 feet away from your leeching area.

How close a water line be to a septic system?

The answer is 25 feet. There should be a gap of at least 25 feet between potable water lines and pollution sources.

In case you have additional septic system questions, check out our Septic Wiki page that covers a wide range of common questions regarding septic systems.



Can You Drive Over a Septic Tank?

Can You Drive Over A Septic Tank?

Driving over a septic tank is never a wise idea. If you are aware that there is a septic tank in any location, it is best to drive away from it to ensure it isn’t damaged. In case you are not aware of your septic’s location, you may not be able to avoid it, and you might drive over it and potentially damage it in the process. In this article, we will briefly discuss why driving over a septic tank is risky, how the tank gets damaged, and how negatively it can affect the functionality of the septic tank.

So, can you drive over a septic tank?, The answer is No – you should not drive over your septic tank or leach field if possible. It is never recommended to drive over a septic tank, as it may damage the tank and increase the risk of costly repairs. Any heavy vehicle movement above the septic tank can damage the distribution lines and can impact its effectiveness unless special protective measures of sewer piping are undertaken.

Keep reading to know what happens if a septic tank is right below a driveway or the kind of damage any vehicle movement can do to a septic tank and a lot more about the safety of septic tanks.

Risks of Driving Over a Septic Tank

Many people are not aware of where the septic tank is in their property. As a result, they drive over it or even park over it unknowingly. This leads to numerous problems in plumbing, such as leakages that result in a strong stench or other structural damages.

Here are some of the many risks of driving over a septic tank.

  • Can Lead to a Collapse – If there is an excessive weight on your septic tank, it will lead to serious damage and collapse. This is one of the reasons why septic tanks are never in the driveway. These should be ideally in any soft area right below the ground where there is little traffic.
  • Wet Ground is Unsafe – If the ground is wet after a rain, it tends to soak moisture. In such a situation, if there is a lot of weight on the surface, it can cause its shift. This will damage your septic tank. It can even lead to a rupture due to poor distribution.
  • Light Vehicles Damage Risk – A septic tank can be damaged even with the movement of a light vehicle. Light vehicles will cause undress pressure and stress on the system. It might crack, break, or damage, causing the need for extensive repairs.

What Happens if There is Septic Drainfield Below a Driveway

Ideally, a septic drainfield should never be located below any driveway. If this happens, it will can lead to long-term damage and may cause disruption in the drainfield operation. This usually happens due to soil compaction.

Besides that, there could be a loss in proper moisture evaporation from the surface, which might cause broken and crushed piping. In simple words, driving above any septic tank is bad for its health, unless it is a child’s bike.

Any type of heavy vehicle movement over septic lines compresses the soil. The continuous vehicular movement will destroy the pipes or the entire system, which eventually causes its failure. Thus, if there is any parking or driveway over a septic tank, it will get destroyed in a short time.

Which Parts of the Septic Tank Gets Damaged if You Drive Through It?

Driving on the system can lead to damages of different kinds, depending on the location of the tank and the vehicle which moved over it. This damage can happen on a one-time movement or repeated movements over the septic tank.

It can cause physical damages and even compression damage. There are majorly four areas of the septic system which are impacted if any vehicle is driven over it.

  • Damage to Leach Field – This area gets damaged due to compression as air present in soil operates wrongly. If a vehicle drives over a leach field, the damage may not be seen immediately. But with time, its damage will show signs and eventually lead to the collapse of the system.
  • Damage to the Main Drain Line – There are many homes even today which have main sewer lines made from a clay pipe. Clay pipes crack due to the weight of the car or other vehicle. If this main drain line cracks it damages the entire septic system. Compression will cause damage to other parts of the system as well.
  • Septic Tank – Vehicles can damage your septic tank immensely. It can develop cracks. If there is a crack, it will spill untreated sewage in the ground. It will also take some additional water when it is raining. If this happens, the drains will slow down and can back up as well.
  • Septic Tank Riser – This is one vulnerable spot of the septic tank. Modern lids and risers are usually made from heavy-duty plastic and not concrete. Thus, if any vehicle drives over this concrete it cracks up quickly.

Related Questions Regarding Septic Tank Safety

  • How Can You Prevent Driving Over Your Septic Tank?

If you feel there is a risk that someone may drive past over your septic tank, you can take a few steps. Mark the area with a pole or a sign informing the driver about the existence of the septic tank. If the driver can see the sign, he will drive away from it.

  • Is There Any Way To Ensure Additional Protection To The Safety Tank?

There are a few septic tank covers available that can help the tank to withstand heavy loads. These are specially designed covers which have a fixed load-bearing

  • How Much Weight Can My Septic Tank Hold?

Do not think of putting any weight on the septic tank unless you have ensured it safe. It should be built to carry additional weight as per guidelines. There are special covers available that are ‘vehicle traffic rated’. You can purchase them. Read more about how much weight a septic tank can hold.

How to Ensure the Safety of Your Septic Tank?

If you have a septic tank on your premises, you must ensure its safety. This is not just from vehicles that might drive over it but also from other dangers that can endanger its existence and disrupt its working.

There are a few things that can be done. These include –

  • Mark its Location – Always mark the location of your septic tank. Thus, this will alert everyone around about its existence. When you mark it, drivers will be able to see the mark and they will move away.
  • Check the Lid – You must use a strong lid for your septic tank. When the tank has a strong lid, it will not damage due to light pressure. This will also ensure that if anyone walks over it, it does not crack or break. Besides, it should not be easy to remove, or else it will be quite risky.
  • Keep the surrounding area free – Ensure that there are no debris or tall grasses around the septic tank. If these are around, people might accidentally stand on such a surface without knowing about the septic tank and damaging it in the process.
  • Do not build any structure around it – Never build any heavy structure above the septic tank. Take all precautions and ensure that nothing heavy is in and around the area where the tank is buried.

To conclude we can say if you want to ensure the durability and effectiveness of your septic tank, ensure that no vehicle drives over the tank. Also ensuring regular maintenance of your septic tank for its optimum performance is necessary.


Related Article


Is WD-40 Safe for Septic Tank?

Is WD-40 Safe For Your Septic Tank?

WD-40 is among the most common household degreasers, and you probably hadn’t ever thought about whether you should be using it or not until you had a home with a septic tank. In this post, we will discuss how WD-40 affects your tank, besides checking out other information that helps you maintain a healthy septic system.  

So, is WD-40 safe for septic tank? The short answer is No, WD-40 is not safe for your septic system, as it harms the bacteria in the tank. 

Continue reading to find out why WD-40 is harmful for a septic system, how to pick a safe toilet cleaner, what other chemicals you should never send down the drain and how to maintain a healthy septic tank.

septic tank photo

Why WD-40 Is Not Safe For Your Septic Tank?

Above we mentioned that WD-40 is bad for a septic system. To understand the WHY behind it, you must first understand how septic tank works.

Your septic system contains a whole ecosystem of living organisms that enables it to function the way it is meant to. Large colonies of bacteria and enzyme present in the septic tank prevent it from backing up by taking care of scum and sludge. While bacteria decompose the sludge, enzymes work on the scum.


These microbes breakdowns the waste and convert it into liquid and gasses. This process, in turn, allows a septic system to effectively push the wastewater into the drainfield.

However, some chemicals spell doom for healthy bacteria residing in your septic tank. One such chemical is petroleum oil, and unfortunately, WD-40 is made from it.

If WD-40 goes down the drain, it will kill bacteria, but that’s only half of it. Petroleum oil is non-degradable and toxic. So, it’s only a matter of time before traces of WD-40 find their way into someone’s drinking water supply.

To cut a long story short, don’t use WD-40 if you use a septic system. It is bad for your septic tank and the environment.

How to Pick a Safe Toilet Cleaner?

WD-40 is a big no-no if you use a septic system, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with a dirty toilet. There are many toilet cleaners that take good care of your toilet bowl and seat without harming your tank. With help of these tips, you will have no trouble picking such a type of toilet cleaner.

  1. Say no to Cleaners with Harsh Chemicals

Don’t fall clever marketing tactics and flashy words that toilet cleaners’ manufacturers use to lure customers. Instead, read the label carefully and avoid any cleaner with harsh chemicals.

That begs the questions: Which chemicals are labeled “harsh” for a septic tank?

The two biggest culprits are hydrochloric acid and bleach. That said, you can use them in moderation. For instance, according to Clorox website, three-fourths of cup of bleach per wash is safe to use.

However, in high amounts, these chemicals can wreak on your septic system. According to a report published by University of Arkansas, just 1.85 gallons of chlorine bleach can kill almost all of the bacteria in a 1000-gallon septic tank in a short period.

In case you do decide to use a cleaner with harsh-chemicals, ensure you wear gloves, eye protection, and appropriate clothing while cleaning. That’s because some products can cause skin irritation or damage to your eyes.

  • Natural Toilet Cleaners Are a Good Option

The safest way to clean toilets is using natural cleaners such as baking soda, lemon juice, or white vinegar. If you want, you can always create a natural toilet cleaner yourself. Some recipes include citric acid, dried up spices, or alcohol.

Natural cleaners are not only non-toxic and eco-friendly but also very affordable. Plus, they are just as effective as chemical-based products in maintaining a spotless toilet bowl and seat.   

  • Go for Green Toilet Cleaners

At the middle of the spectrum are mild toilet cleaners, which are also a good option since they are environmentally-friendly and provide efficient cleaning.

Look for products labeled biodegradable, non-toxic, and eco-friendly. These products will ensure you don’t harm your septic system, pollute underground water or unnecessarily expose your family to harsh chemicals.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), green cleaners that don’t have petroleum-based solvents are the safest to use. Their website also offers you the option to check whether the product you have shortlisted is eco-friendly or not.

What are Other Toxins You Should Never Flush Into Your Septic System?

In addition to WD-40, there are many other household cleaning products that can foul up your septic system. Listed ahead are half-a-dirty-dozen products you must not send down the drain if you are serious about keeping your tank in prime condition.

  1. Quaternary Ammonia

Quaternary ammonia compounds like alkyl benzyl ammonium chloride are extremely difficult to break and can be toxic to the ecosystem of a septic system. For this reason, give quat compounds the cold shoulder and use natural cleaners instead. Names of natural cleaners that are a good option include borax, vinegar, baking soda,.

  • Antibacterial Soaps

Did you know the use of antibacterial or disinfectant products harms both good and bad bacteria in the septic system? Therefore, try to avoid them as much as you can. Opt for natural cleaners since they help maintain a healthy ecosystem in your septic tank.

  • Drain Cleaners

These cleaners work by dissolving the clog with harsh chemicals. However, the downside is they also kill the bacteria and good enzyme in your septic system that break down waste.

In case the plug is in the elbow below the sink, you may well be able to fix the issue by taking apart the plumbing and thoroughly cleaning it. If that doesn’t work, try a plunger.

  • Powdered Laundry Detergent

You must keep away from powdered detergents because they contain substances that dam up the drainfield, such as clay, sodium, and other extenders. As an alternative, use a liquid laundry detergent, but make sure it has no phosphates and low levels of surfactants. Find a list of safe laundry detergent here.

  • Liquid Fabric Softener

Always read the label before buying a liquid fabric softener. Most liquid fabric softener brands are petroleum based and release oil into your septic system. Many also contain quaternary ammonium compounds, which, as said earlier, are extremely bad for microbes of a septic system.

On the other hand, plant-based fabric softeners are eco-friendly and hence are a great option. Alternatively, you can use vinegar, which is not only an excellent fabric softener but also keeps your washer smelling fresh and clean. Simply add one-fourth cup of white vinegar to a fabric softener ball or the fabric softener dispenser.

  • Pain and remodeling products

You should not flush paints (including paint thinners and latex), varnishes, and stain cleaners into the drain because they kill good bacteria and pollute the groundwater.

How to Maintain a Healthy Septic Tank?

Avoiding WD-40 and other products listed above, while necessary, is not enough to maintain a healthy septic system. You must also clean your tank once every three to five years. If yours is a big household or if your tank is smaller than normal, you should pump it out more frequently.

Regulating the volume of household wastewater that flows out daily into your septic system goes a long way in prolonging its life. If you consistently send more water into tank than it can handle, things may soon take a bad turn. You may start experiencing all sorts of issues, like wastewater backing up or bad odor inside the home.

Here are some tips that help you effectively keep a tab on the quantity of wastewater you generate:

  • Install high-efficiency toilets – Newer toilets are gentler on your septic tank, as they use 1.6 gallons of water per flush. In comparison, older toilets can use up to 5 gallons per flush. Here are a list of septic friendly toilets.
  • Maximize washing machine loads – Running large load cycles only makes things harder for your septic system. A far better option is to either run full loads or adjust the water level according to the size of the load. Find out how many loads of laundry you should run.
  • Spread your laundry over the whole week – Doing seven loads of laundry on Saturday is not the same as spreading the load over the whole week.

Related Questions to Is WD-40 Safe for Septic Tank?

Is Vinegar Safe for Septic Systems?

Yes, it is. Vinegar is an all-natural ingredient that doesn’t have any negative effect on your septic tank’s bacteria and enzymes, which are responsible for breaking down the waste and ensuring the system works they way it is meant to.

Is Bleach Bad for Your Septic Tank?

Chlorine bleach when used in moderation is not harmful for your septic tank. However, too much of it going down the drain can spell doom for your tank’s ecosystem and prevent your system from working efficiently.

What Cleaning Products are Safe for Septic Systems?

Baking soda, OxiClean, Borax, Vinegar (white vinegar and apple cedar vinegar) are some of the products that are very good cleaning agents and septic-system safe.  Septic Friendly Products List.



How Long Does it Take to Pump Out a Septic Tank?

How Long Does It Take To Pump Out A Septic Tank?

A septic tank is like the car you drive. Take good care of your tank, and it will last many years; ignore it, and it will break down frequently. Cleaning a septic tank—just like performing preventive maintenance on a car—is not time-consuming, so there’s no excuse for not doing it. In this post, we will take a look at all you need to know to keep your tank in good working condition.

So, how long does it take to pump out a septic tank? On average, it takes approximately 20 to 35 minutes to clean a 1000 gallon septic tank. However, this is just the average. It may take longer if your septic tank is bigger than normal or has not been cleaned for a while.

Continue reading to find out how often you should pump out a septic tank and factors that affect the frequency of septic pumping. We will also discuss just exactly why you must regularly clean your septic tank, tell-tale signs that show your septic tank needs cleaning, and tips to keep your septic system healthy for many long years.

Call For Pumping: 18559250760

septic tank pumping

How Often Should You Clean Your Septic Tank?

The general rule of thumb is to empty out a septic tank once every three to five years. Again, this is just the average. How frequently you must pump out the sledge depends on the following three factors:

  • Size of the household – Generally speaking, the more people living in your home, the more amount of wastewater will get pumped into your septic tank, speeding up the need for a routine tank cleanup.
  • Quantity of wastewater produced – In most cases, the amount of wastewater created largely depends on the number of people living in the house. That said, no two households are the same. If, for some reason, your home produces more wastewater than usual, you will need to empty out the tank sooner than others.
  • Septic tank capacity – The frequency of a routine septic pump is directly proportional to the size of the tank. The smaller the tank, the more often you must clean it and vice-versa.

Why You Must Clean Your Septic Tank on a Regular Basis?

You may be wondering:”Why must I clean my septic tank regularly, even when there are no tell-tale signs of a septic emergency?”


After all, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is as good a philosophy as any to live by.

That may be so, but it doesn’t really go along with septic systems. That’s because the first real problem with a tank may well mark the beginning of the end.

A Septic system is not a trash incinerator. A properly-functioning septic system removes all the wastewater that you send its way and filters it through a drain field. However, the hard waste (such as cigarettes butts, baby wipes, tissue, feminine products, etc.) accumulates at its bottom over time.

This hard waste, also known as sludge, is the main reason why you must regularly clean the septic tank. If too much of it gets collected at the bottom of the tank, you are going to have all sorts of problems, such as liquid surfacing in the soil over the septic tank or slow draining plumbing fixtures.

Eventually, sludge will seep into the tank inlet and cause wastewater to back up into your home’s plumbing—and there’s no going back from that. You’ll then have to replace your septic tank.

Cleaning the tank on a regular basis helps relieve you of many headaches that could come with ignoring your septic system. It also helps you prolong the life of your tank.

Although some people think septic tanks last forever, that’s not the case. The average life span of septic tanks is anywhere between 15 and 40 years. Regular maintenance can be the difference between your system lasting just one-and-a-half decade or four decades.

Call For Service: 18559250760

What are the Tell-Tale Signs that Show Your Septic System Needs a Pumping?

If you have not cleaned your septic system for a while and are seeing any of these signs, you must do so immediately.

  • Sluggish Flushing or Draining

In case you have recently noticed slow draining tubs, washing machines, or showers or toilets are not flushing water as energetically as before, it’s probably an indication that your septic system needs a thorough cleaning.

  • Odor

As the septic system fills up, odor-causing gasses can end up seeping through the drains or toilets. If there’s a persistent odor inside the home and you have checked other plausible causes and found nothing amiss, have your septic system checked without a delay.

  • Increasing Plant Growth

Dying grass or lack of weed growth atop the drainfield isn’t necessarily a bad thing since the soil there is not as deep as it is over the rest of the yard. However, it is definitely a bad sign when the grass over the septic drainfield starts thriving faster and better than elsewhere in the lawn.

A surprisingly lush green growth over the drainfield could mean it is leaking much faster than usual or has decomposing waste that should have stayed inside the septic tank. Excess waste liquid basically provides the soil with extra fertilizer and facilitates plant growth.

  • Standing Water

One sure-shot sign of your septic tank being full is standing water around the drainfield and the tank itself. If you see water pooling, have your septic system pumped immediately.

  • Sewage Backup

Sewage backup is a possibility that you may have to face if you have chosen to ignore all other signs listed above. Get expert help straightaway if you have let things drift so far.

  • High Nitrate Level in Your Well Water

This sign applies only to those homeowners who rely on well water. However, for them, it is a really important one. Experts recommend testing of well water at least once in 12 months, and if the nitrate content is higher than normal, it could be a sign that wastewater is overflowing the septic tank and entering into the drinking water.

Call For Service: 18559250760

How to Keep Your Septic System Healthy?

Apart from sticking to a regular pumping schedule, there are many other small yet effective steps that you can take to keep your septic system healthy and active for a long time.

  • Use Water Efficiently

The average daily indoor water usage for a typical single-family home is approximately 70 gallons per individual. In other words, one running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water every day.

All of your household wastewater leaves through a pipe into your septic tank. So, the more the water you waste, the harder your septic system has to work. If you want your septic system to work efficiently for many years, try to save as much water as you can.

Here are some tips that will keep you in good stead:

Use high-efficiency toilets – With toilets accounting for nearly 25% of household water use, it makes sense to use high-efficiency toilets. Compared to older toilets that use anywhere between 3.5 and 5 gallons of water per flush, the newer toilets use 1.6 gallons of water or even less per flush.

Maximize washing machine loads – Washing machines can also waste a lot of water, particularly if you frequently run on large load cycles. You can address this issue by either running full loads or adjusting the water level as per the size of a given load.

Spread out your laundry washing over the week – Doing all household laundry in a single day may seem like a good idea, but it can make things harder your septic system by not allowing it enough time to treat the wastewater.

Also, go easy on bleach. When used in moderation, bleach doesn’t pose a danger to your septic system. But if you overuse it, the decomposing process in the tank can get slowed down.

Dispose waste properly – Whether you flush something down the toilet or pour something down the sink, bath, or shower, everything that enters your drains ends up in the septic tank. Therefore, be mindful of what you flush down the toilet or pour into the sink, bath, or shower.  

The only thing you should flush is human waste and toilet paper. You should never flush:

  • Cigarette butts
  • Dental floss
  • Cat litter
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Baby wipes

Likewise, avoid pouring toxins down the kitchen sink, shower, or bath that can harm the bacteria in the tank. Never pour:

  • Grease or cooking oil
  • Oil-based solvents or paints
  • Chemical drain openers

Related Questions to How Long Does It Take To Pump Out A Septic Tank

How Long Should I Wait to Pump My Septic Tank?

You should clean your septic tank once every three to five years. However, if your septic tank is smaller than normal or if your household generates more wastewater than usual, consider pumping your septic tank every two years.

Is it Illegal to Pump Your Septic Tank Yourselves?

In some states, like Florida, it is indeed illegal to do septic pump-outs yourself. In other states, while the act of pumping the septic tank yourself may be legal, you can get slapped with heavy fines if you don’t dispose the waste properly.

Call For Septic Pumping: 18559250760



Does My House Have a Septic Tank?

How To Know If Your House Has A Septic Tank?

How do you know if the property you are currently living in or the one you are about to buy has a septic tank? In this article, we will discuss how to know if your property is served by a public sewer or septic system, how to locate a septic tank, and how to find one if it is an old property, and a lot more.

So, to answer the question does my house have a septic tank?– Your home will either be serviced by a public sewer system or property-specific waste management system, like a septic system. If your home doesn’t pay public sewer fees and taxes, this is the best indicator your home is most likely serviced by a septic system.

That’s not all, there are many ways to find a septic tank in a property. So, if you want to know if your house has a septic tank or it is connected to a sewer, keep reading

How Do You Know If Your House Has a Septic System?

There are several ways of telling if your house has a septic system. Check your sewer bill. When there is a septic system that manages wastewater, you will find $0 charges as a sewer or water bill from your utility company.

The location of your home also helps in knowing if your property has a septic system or there is a public sewer. People in a highly rural area will very likely have a septic system. In case you are not sure, you can also ask your neighbors what they have. If they have septic, your property will most likely also have one.


You can also search for visual signs in and around your property, which indicate the location of the septic tank. If you find a small hill or a mound that doesn’t seem natural, it may be a sign of the presence of a septic system. Such mounds are formed when the installation of the septic tank takes place.

One of the best ways to check is to see the property records, especially when you are buying a new property. The blueprints of your house, or the building permit or the property records will have the information related to the presence or absence of a septic tank.

Call you local city public works and zoning and they can tell you what you house is zoned for.

Ways to Find if My House Currently Has a Septic System or sewer?

There are 4 easy steps to find if your current house is connected to a sewer or there is a septic system. Check these steps:

Step 1 – Check your premises for any kind of unnatural mound of earth or hill. This can be cylindrical in shape or rectangular. This mound acts as a cover of the drain field. If you can see this mound, it may be the septic system.

Step 2 – Where are you located? Sewer systems are expensive and to have them there should be enough homes. This assures maintenance of the system. If you stay in a busy neighborhood or a subdivision, you will most likely have a public sewer system. If you are in an area where there are just a handful of properties, there will most likely be a septic system.

Step 3 – Have a look at the water or sewer bills. Are you being charged for community sewer systems or fees? If yes, then there is no septic system and your home is connected to sewer lines.

Step 4 – Find the property records of your home. You can also check the building permits. You will get all the details of the system there.

How to Find a Septic Tank in Any Old Property

Finding a septic tank in an old property can be challenging, especially when the existing owner or even the prior owner, does not have an idea about the location of the tank. At times the owner is confused or cannot recall the location of the tank.

In such situations, a probe or excavation can help in finding the location of the tank. A metal detector helps in locating any buried drain or different components of the septic system. If the owner can provide an idea about where the tanks can be located, excavation is carried out.

If there are similar old properties in the neighborhood, then it is easy to spot because the tank will probably be in the same area as your neighbor’s. If any neighbor has found the location, it can help as well as the septic tank can be in the same spot in this property as well.

Are Septic Tanks Located Under a House or Inside a House Safe?

If a septic tank is well constructed and is sealed, there is no danger or any threat related to contamination. Many homes have them in or under their homes. This is especially when the space is limited.

Finding the Lid of a Septic Tank in a Property

What happens if you cannot find the tank lid on the ground level? You know your septic tank is full and you have to empty it. You do not have any idea about the location of the septic tank, so how do you manage to get the lid?

Check some ways to find the lid of the septic tank:

  • Check the Map – Counties have permit records related to the installation of septic tanks. Such a record has a diagram that depicts the septic tank location. You can get the location there.
  • Home Inspection Papers – Check your home inspection paper. Whenever a property is bought or sold, there is a home inspection. A diagram of the septic system & its location is included in home inspection records.
  • Look for Signs – Check for probable signs on the surface. Are there any high or low spots in the yard? Does the grass color look different or growing fast in any area? You can check such spots.
  • Search for Marks – If professionals have buried the lid, they will mark this spot for future reference. Look for any marks in the form of a colored brick or a stone which seems to be unusual. It might just mark the lid.
  • Find the lid – These septic tanks are usually rectangular in shape. They are 5 feet by 8 feet. You can probe around the tank and find its edges. You will again mark its perimeter. Any two-compartment tank that is installed after 1975, will have two lids.

These lids can be made from polyethylene or fiberglass.  If you excavate this area a bit, you will definitely be able to find one.

These were some of the DIY ways to find the septic tank of your home. If needed, you can use tools like a magnetic locator to find the septic tank components. It will make your work easier.

What Are Some of The Places Where You Will Not Find The Septic Tank?

When you are looking for clues that will help you to find a septic tank, there are a few areas, where you should not spend time searching. This is because the septic tank is usually not found in these places.

What are the areas where the septic tank will not be located?

  • It will not be right next to a well, in case there is a well on your premises.
  • The septic tank will never be very close to your home
  • It will not be close to the boundary walls or the swimming pool.
  • It will not be near the trees.
  • It will not be in any area where there are heavy plantings.
  • It will not be right under the drive.
  • You will not find it below any paved surface.
  • It will not be under any deck or patio
  • You will not find it under any paved structure.

To conclude, we can say that you can easily find if your property has a septic tank, by following any of the above steps. In case you still need help, you can get in touch with professionals who can also assist you in finding the septic tank in your home.



Should Bath/Shower Water Go Into The Septic Tank?

Should Bath Or Shower Water Drain Into Your Septic Tank?

When we take a bath or shower, we do not think if this bath/shower water should go into the septic tank. Have you ever thought about what happens in the septic tank after all this water gets into it? In this article, we will find out what happens to the bath/shower water as it goes into the septic tank, how much water the tank can handle, and how to ensure that the septic tank or system does not collapse.

So, should bath/shower water go into the septic tank? The answer is Yes! As all drains in a home converge to one pipe & this pipe goes to the septic tank. However, a septic tank has a limited capacity. If there is overload with excess water, it can lead to septic failure.

So, the question is how much water is too much? Keep reading to know about what causes septic tank overload, the signs of overload, what should not go into the septic tank, problems a septic tank can have, and a lot more.

What Happens To Bath/Shower Water After It Goes Into The Septic System?

Drains in our home lead to one pipe. These drains include all the drains which are connected to the dishwater, sinks, toilet, washing machine, and shower drain. Now in this single pipe, the wastewater comes together. This water goes to the septic system.

In the septic system, the good bacteria in the tank break down all organic materials. So, yes in most homes the shower/bathwater gets into the septic tank. But it does not get into the tank in totality. 


Wastewater and shower water get together from various sources and then they flow to the system.

The septic tank is designed to treat only domestic sewage & wastewater. In the septic tank, bacteria break down contents, so it is necessary to ensure that nothing enters the tank which hampers the process.

What Should Not Enter The Septic Tank
Detergents – There are a few detergents that contain phosphates. Phosphates do not break down in the tank. It can cause problems in the tank. List of septic safe laundry and dishwashing detergents.
Products That Don’t Breakdown – If the shower water carries waste, like toilet paper, sanitary waste or even cotton buds, they won’t breakdown in the septic tank. The tank can malfunction. List of items you shouldn’t throw in your septic tank.
Too Much Water – If the septic tank gets too much water, much beyond its capacity and all at once, it can cause overflowing. Overloading can be harmful to the septic tank. Best Toilets, garbage disposals, and Dishwasher machines for Septic use.

What Will Happen If The Septic Tanks is Overloaded with Shower/Bath Water?

If there is excessive water usage in a home, it all drains into the septic tank. Suppose there is a large party at home and everyone is taking a shower in the bathrooms, there is an enormous drain of water in a short time.

When can there be an overload of septic tank?

  • More people are using the bath in a short span of time. The septic tank does not get enough time to empty itself.
  • The toilet is running continuously, maybe due to a malfunction. It can mean an extra addition of water like never before.
  • Flushing products like diapers, paper towels, or napkins can take up space in the septic tank. It does not have additional space for waste.

If too much bath/shower water goes into the septic tank and in a short time, it can cause problems like slow draining. This slowly leads to septic system failure. 

Problems can arise in the form of:

  • Dirty water moving up
  • Extremely strong odor that does not go away
  • Continuous gurgling sound of water
  • Slow draining of water

So, the question arises –

How Much Bath/Shower Water in Septic Tank Causes Overloading?

In any household, an individual uses approximately 60-70 gallons of water in a day. The domestic tanks are designed assuming that there will be two people in every bedroom.

Thus, any septic tank can handle around 1200 gallons/bedroom every day. The size of the septic tank depends on the nature of the house or building. It also depends on the number of people who live, number of bedrooms and more. Any reliable septic system provider can help with this.

Thus, if the daily volume of water that enters the tank exceeds this volume, there is a chance of overloading. This overloading of bath/shower water can cause immense harm to the septic system and cause its failure.

How Can You Prevent Septic Tank Overload Due to Bath/Shower Water?

Homeowners should ideally adopt some practices which will help in reducing the water wastage and reduce the chances of damage of the septic system.

  • Control Your Laundry – Control your clothes cleaning so that water wastage is prevented. Clean clothes regularly so that there is no overload during the weekend.
  • Reduce Shower Water Wastage – Any individual is known to use around 16 gallons of water daily during shower. To reduce pressure on the septic tank, shorter shower times are suggested.
  • Reduce the Water You Flush – Toilets use the maximum water daily. To reduce this, use the toilet several times and then flush, which will reduce wastage. Do not dispose tissues in the toilet so that you do not have to continuously flush the toilet.
  • Reduce the Bath Time – If you spend a lot of time in shower, reduce it. The lesser time you spend, the lesser will be the burden on the septic tank.

How Can You Prevent Damage to Septic System Due to Shower/Bath Water?

  • Do not allow excess water into the septic system all at once.
  • Ensure that your toilet is efficient and there is no leakage or running toilet
  • The toilet should not be a garbage disposal unit
  • Do not flush down excessive soapy water
  • Do not flush greasy or oily substances
  • Do not wash all clothes at once
  • Try and reduce your time under the shower

Related Questions to Bath/Shower Water Going to Septic Tank

Does the bath/shower water go into the septic tank always in all homes?

Yes, only when you have a septic system and there is no gray water line. Those who live in a city, have all the sink water, water from washing machine & toilet water go into the sewer system.

Those who reside in a small town and have a septic system, will have all the bath/shower water go in the septic tank.

Why do I hear a gurgling sound when the shower water goes down the drain?

If you hear a gurgling sound when the shower/bath water goes, it means there is clogging in the drain. It is also an indication that the septic system has a problem.

Why does my Bath/Shower water back up?

If there is a problem in the septic system, your bath/shower water will back up. If the drain is clogged, the water does not drain well. It gets back to the bathroom.

Why is excess bath/shower water going to the septic tank bad for it?

Septic tanks have a capacity beyond which they cannot hold. There is a need to pump them so that they empty. If it exceeds the capacity, there will be malfunctioning of the system.

How often should the septic tank be emptied?

Ideally, the septic tank should be emptied once every two to three years. However, this is again dependent on the number of people using it, the age of the system, and more. Read our article on signs your septic system needs to be pumped.

To summarize everything said above, we can say that bath/shower water should not go into the septic system. Only the solid waste should go to the system or else the water will fill the tank completely and cause its collapse.



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