How to Locate Your Drainfield

How to Locate Your Drainfield

December 2, 2020

Forgot exactly where your drainfield is? Have you purchased new property and aren’t sure where the septic system is located? It’s important to figure out exactly where your drainfield is located. Since you’ll need to keep up with septic system maintenance in El Centro, CA, it’s worth knowing where on the property your drainfield is and how far it spans. You don’t want to plant a garden right above your drainfield, accidentally drive across it or build anything on top of it!

Here’s how to locate your drainfield. If, after following these tips, you still have trouble finding it, a septic contractor can help.

  • Look around your property. The easiest way to look for a drainfield is to walk around your yard and see if it’s obvious. Sometimes there are clear lines of green and dead grass that demarcate where the drainfield is. Other times, the drainfield may appear to be sunken in. 
  • Keep an eye out for markings. Occasionally, property owners will mark off their drainfield. That’s always a good idea, since you cannot drive over it, plant trees and bushes nearby or build structures atop it. If that’s not the case, look for your septic tank’s manhole cover. Look for a downward-sloping path and follow it. Is there an empty, sloped part of your yard nearby? That could be your drainfield. 
  • Poke around for gravel. Many drainfields use gravel for drainage, covered by a layer of soil. If you think you’ve located your drainfield, you can probe it to see if there’s gravel underneath. If so, you may have found the drainfield—but keep in mind that if your soil is particularly hard or rocky, this may not be the best indicator. 
  • Ask previous owners or your neighbors. Another way to find out where the drainfield is—ask the experts. You can talk to your neighbors, who may have seen the septic system installed or maintained. Alternatively, contact the previous owners or review any notes they’ve left for you. Sometimes homeowners leave behind owners’ manuals for appliances and septic systems. 
  • Check the county records. Next, you can always check your county records. There may be directions at your county recorder’s office, in the deed, on property assessments or even with the septic company who originally installed the system.
  • Call a septic contractor. Finally, when all else fails, call a septic contractor to come out and find the field for you. You’ll need to locate it to keep up with your septic tank maintenance in El Centro, CA anyway, so this is the perfect time to have them come out and perform an inspection. 

Your drainfield is a key part of your septic system, so keeping an eye on it—and how it’s performing—is now part of your regular homeownership tasks. Be sure to schedule maintenance regularly, and your septic system will reward you with easy wastewater treatment for decades to come. 

When you need septic system maintenance, call Sharps Sanitation. We’re the experts when it comes to locating tanks and drainfields, and ensuring they’re serviced accordingly.

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