When someone wants to have a septic tank diagram they mean one of two things. Either a map of where your septic tank is located on your property or technical diagram describing and showing the parts of a septic system.
Let’s talk a little more about the first one: the map.
Why do we even want a map to our septic tank? If you’re like most people, you know what a septic tank smells like and you would rather it stay buried in the ground so you can’t see it or smell it. Well, here are some reasons why you may want to keep a septic tank diagram in a safe place.
- During a septic tank inspection the inspector will need to locate the septic tank. If you have a map, it’s easy. However, if you do not have a map then the inspector has to find the tank and that will cost you extra.
- If you want to save yourself a few dollars you could do your own septic tank maintenance, but only if you know where the septic tank is.
- You want to extend your driveway, so you unknowingly pave right on over your septic tank and septic drainfield. Big mistake, since that eliminates access and encourages septic tank failure because those components are not designed withstand such weight.
I could go on, but I think you catch my drift: you need a septic tank diagram showing you where the tank and the drain field are located!
Below is an example of a map showing the where the septic components are located.
Now let’s talk about the second kind of septic tank diagram: the technical drawing.
The picture below is a example of a septic tank drawing. Most septic tanks are buried in the ground, they are made of either plastic, fiberglass or, most commonly, concrete and they are water tight.
Water enters the septic tank from the house plumbing through the Inlet Tee. The solids that enter with the water sink to the bottom forming the "sludge" and the grease and oil floats to the surface forming the "scum". The remaining wastewater, also called greywater, exits from the Outlet Tee and makes it way to the septic drainfield.
The purpose of the technical septic tank diagram is to help the homeowner understand how their septic system works. If it is a diagram that the contractor who installed the tank gave you then it will probably tell you the volume of the septic tank, how far the drainfield is from the tank, what the tank is made of, etc.
If you are buying a house then you should request to have a copy of the septic tank diagram. The realtor or the previous owner of the house should have one on hand. If not, then a septic tank diagram can be drawn up for a fee.