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Dude, where's the septic field?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by bigjeeping, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    Big job, small job, whatever.. say you have to drive on the homeowner's lawn for one reason or another to make the job EASIER for you.. But you don't want to drive across the septic field because it can potentially damage it, correct?

    1) They're home, and you ask them where the septic field is.. but they don't know. Is there someplace you can tell them to check, where it might be posted?

    2) They're not home, is there any way to locate the septic field?

    Thanks guys
  2. bishoplandscape

    bishoplandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    Thats not good that they don't know where it is because they should have it pumped every couple years to properly maintain it. I've never have a problem driving small equipment over the field. But i wouldnt drive my dump truck over it. Its the tank you want to watck out for depending on the type of system and the age of it will determine how far or close it is to the house. iIf you can get in the basement and see where the pipes lead out of the house will usually lead you in the right direction sometimes ther will be a clean out cap outside near the house. If you have a direction use a quarter inch round bar and probe the ground. Common tanks are 6x8 foot.
  3. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    So its the tank, not the field, that you should be careful of?
  4. haybaler

    haybaler LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Posts: 511

    right just the tanks. it does surprise me how many homeowners have no clue where there tank is.
  5. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    Isn't the tank concrete? How can it be damaged?
    I thought the field was piping.. which could be smashed, bent, etc.
  6. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    more and more tanks are being made of pvc or other plastics. the 4" pipe is usually so deep that driving over it with a pickup wouldn't mater. the tank however is closer to the top..
    Now locating it is easy if you pay attention to the house. there is usually a clean out on the house or close to the house. find which side it is on and it is usually straight away.
    Another way pending the perk is that mound you are always mowing is the septic field.
  7. bishoplandscape

    bishoplandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    In michigan theres not always a clean out outside the house because its only required for longer lengths or piping. Nor are the systems always mounded. The concrete top of the tank is about 4 inchs or concrete and commen sizes are 4x8 and 6x8 and the concrete has air under it so its only supported by the walls and if in the wrong spot with a heavy enough load and it will go. i have a picture i will post tomorrow of what it will look like when a cave in happens.
  8. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Guessing if it is concrete it has rebar and therefore a metal detector will work? just a thought. I only have a few that have septic so don't worry too much.
  9. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    I would be carfull of the pipes too. Around here some have mounds some have field tiles (thats what we call'em any way, you know where the pipe goes across the yard in different directions from the holding tank). I don't think there is really any way to locate the field tiles without digging the yard up. as for the mounds you know where they are. I have seen people park cars on top of the mounds, but I wouldn't do it too much risk when you consider the replacement cost. If you drove a tri axle pete and had a delevry w a black top driveway you thought may or may not crack when you drove across it would you try it? I sure wouldn't, its kndof the same thing here why try it? Why take that risk for a couple hundred buck when there is a chance of haveing to rep[lace 5-10 k worth of stuff that you damaged. You guys that say it is alright to drive across them go ahead, but post pics and recepts of the damage when you break it, we all need a good laugh.
  10. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 802

    Follow the dark green stripes in the grass:)

    Look for a 4'X8' spot of dry or thin turf.

    Poke around with a piece of rebar until it clunks.

    I've never worried about driving over the drain field.

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