How Do I Know if My Home Has a Septic Tank?

You just moved into a new home and are wondering if you should start budgeting for septic tank pumping.

How can you tell if your home has a septic tank? This might seem like a simple question, but it’s not so obvious if you live in a rented house.

Septic tanks are not connected to the main sewer line that leads to the municipal sewage treatment plant.

Instead, they are self-contained systems that collect and treat wastewater from your home.

If your home is not connected to the main sewer line, there is a good chance that you have a septic tank.

How to locate a septic tank in your home

How to locate a septic tank or sewer in your home

The simplest and most common way to find a septic tank is to look for clues on your property, such as vents or pipes in the ground near your foundation.

Septic tanks are usually installed underground, and the soil above them is often disturbed during installation.

This can leave telltale signs that septic tanks are present.

You may also see other clues, such as green grass over the top of your septic tank or a bubbling area on the surface.

In some cases, it may not be immediately obvious that you have a septic tank on your property.

If you are unsure about whether your home has one, there are tools that you can use to locate it.

For example, if your home was built recently and no signs of a septic tank are visible, you can call your local utility company to request records of recent sewer work done in the area.

Ways to determine if your home has a septic tank

A septic tank is not the first thing you will notice when you walk into a new house.

In fact, the best septic tanks are usually out of sight, but they do an awesome job treating waste in your house.

Finding the septic tank in your house may not be simple but knowing the right places to check can help. 

So, how do you know if your house has a septic tank or if the waste in your house goes to the municipal sewage plant?

Here are a couple of ways to help you find out if your home has a septic tank.

Check your home’s building permit records

Many municipalities require a permit for the installation of septic tanks. If your home was built after the septic tank was installed, the permit should be on file with the municipality.

Checking your home’s building permit records is a simple way to know if your house has a septic tank. If it does, you will easily find the permit records.

Ask your neighbors if they have septic tanks

If your neighbors have septic tanks, it’s likely that you do as well.

Most estates will either have access to the municipalities’ sewage treatment plant or septic tanks individually installed in each house.

You can also tell from the distance between your homes, as septic tanks are typically installed between 100 and 200 feet from the house.

Check your bills

Homes with septic tanks typically have higher water bills than those on municipal sewer lines. This is because septic tanks need to be pumped out periodically, and this can be costly.

If you have been having unusually high water bills then it is likely that you have a septic tank.

Look for signs of a leach field

A leach field is a system of trenches or beds that are used to dispose of wastewater from a septic tank.

Leach fields are usually located near the septic tank. If you see a series of pipes or trenches in the ground, it is likely that they are part of a leach field.

Have your property inspected by a qualified professional

How to locate a septic tank or sewer in the house

If you’re still not sure if your home has a septic tank, you can have it inspected by a qualified professional.

A certified septic tank installer or pump technician will be able to tell you for sure if your home has a septic tank and, if so, where it is located.

A qualified professional will also be able to tell you if the tank is in good working condition and make recommendations for any necessary repairs or maintenance.

Whether you’re buying a new home or just curious about your property, it’s important to know if you have a septic tank so that you can make informed decisions about your home and property.

These tips should help you determine if your home has a septic tank.

However, if you have any doubts, it’s always best to consult with a qualified professional for accurate and reliable information.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a septic tank work?

A septic tank is a watertight chamber that is typically made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic.

It is used to treat wastewater from your home by using bacteria to break down the waste.

Septic tanks are usually installed underground, and they are connected to a leach field, also known as a drain field.

How often does a septic tank need to be pumped out?

This depends on a number of factors, including the size of your septic tank and the amount of wastewater it needs to treat.

Typically, septic tanks should be pumped out every 2-5 years, though this can vary depending on how heavily they are used. 

How can I check if my septic tank is full?

One way is to check the level of the water in the tank. If the water level is high, then it is most likely that the tank is full.

Another way to check is to see if there are any solid materials floating in the water. If there are, this is a good indication that the tank is full. 

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

The cost of septic tank pumping varies depending on the size of your tank and the company you use.

Typically, it costs between $200 and $400 to have a septic tank pumped.