How Do I Find My Underground Septic Tank?

Your septic tank is buried, which can make finding it difficult. How do you find your underground septic tank? The best option is to rely on ground-penetrating radar. GPR services offered by GPR Arkansas let you “see” underground so you know exactly where your septic tank is located.

Septic tanks are key components in the wastewater and sewage treatment process for homes and properties not connected to a municipal sewage system.buried septic tank

According to the EPA, “septic tank-soil absorption systems are the most widely-used method of on-site domestic waste disposal. Almost one-third of the United States population depends on such systems.”

The EPA says, “Although the percentage of newly constructed homes utilizing septic tanks is decreasing, the total number continues to increase. Properly designed, constructed, and operated septic tank systems have demonstrated an efficient and economical alternative to public sewer systems, particularly in rural and sparsely developed suburban areas.”

For the most part, they do their work quietly and unnoticed. However, it’s always important to know exactly where your septic tank is located.

If your septic system has problems, you’ll want to be able to locate the tank quickly. Likewise, if you’ve recently purchased a property, knowing the septic tank’s location is as important as knowing your new property boundaries.

And, for property owners who plan to dig, being able to mark exactly where your underground tank is will ensure you don’t accidentally damage or breach the system.

How do you find where your underground septic system is located? 

There are a few clues that can point you in the right direction. Look in your basement for your sewer pipe. It can point you in the right direction for your septic system.

However, a typical septic tank can be located anywhere from 5 to 25 feet from the home. That’s a lot of ground to cover to try and find an exact location.

Because the tanks are often made of concrete, fiberglass or plastic, a traditional metal detector can have a hard time finding the septic tank.

Likewise, using a long stick to probe the ground until you find the tank lid can be a game of guesswork. Even if you think you’ve discovered the tank, you may have only found a rock or other underground obstacle. 

The best way to find a buried septic tank is to use GPR

GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) machineGround-penetrating radar is a state-of-the-art way to “look” underground. It’s been used by homeowners, businesses, and municipalities all over the country as a proven way to find buried utilities, storage tanks, pipes, brickwork, and other hidden objects.

GPR relies on high-frequency polarized radio waves. A GPR cart (which looks a bit like a high-tech push lawnmower) is rolled over the area in question.

Radio waves are transmitted into the ground. When the radio waves encounter an object or a boundary between materials, it may be reflected, refracted, or scattered back to the surface.

Using a receiving antenna, variations can then be recorded. The result is a map of what’s beneath the surface.

The GPR map created will reveal the exact location of your underground septic tank. 

For more information about how GPR can be used, contact GPR Arkansas & Geotechnical Services LLC.

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