How do I find the septic tank in my yard?

Q: How do I find the septic tank in my yard?

A: The best clue is to find where the main drain line (4-in. pipe) exits your home, which indicates the tank might be located right outside from that location. Follow the pipe across the yard by probing every 2 feet with a metal probe. Septic tanks are required to be at least 5 feet from the house, although most are between 10 and 25 feet away. They are typically rectangular in shape and measure approximately 5 feet by 8 feet.

In most cases, the septic tank is buried between 4 inches and 4 feet underground. You can use a metal probe to locate its edges and mark the perimeter. You can also check county records for building permits, which often include the installation of septic systems and may contain a diagram with dimensions that can help you locate the tank on your property. A diagram of your septic system might also have been included as part of your home inspection when you purchased the property.

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