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Where Can I Find A Map Of My Septic System? (First Places to Look For It)

If you’re planning any home improvements or landscaping, you’ll want to avoid damaging the septic system. So, having a map of your septic system can prevent costly accidents.

Now, you might ponder, “Where can I find a map of my septic system?” Well, you can begin your search in your home’s documentation, property survey maps, and the local health department or the building department. But there is more to it.

Here I will share some on-point information on finding the septic system map. I’ll also explore what to do if you can’t locate one. So, let’s dive in!

Where to Find a Map of Your Septic System?

Let’s get straight to the point! 5 places where you should look first for a map of your septic system:

1. In Your Home’s Documentation

If you have the original house plan, building permit, or plan of design, they may contain a diagram or sketch of your septic system’s location and dimensions. These documents are typically stored in your home office, basement, attic, or garage.

However, if you can’t find them in your home, you will be able to obtain them from the previous owner, the builder, the architect, or the real estate agent.

When examining your house plan, look for any signs or symbols that might indicate a septic system. This could include a round shape for the septic tank and straight lines for the drain field.

2. Reviewing the Property Survey Map

The property survey maps show the boundaries of your property and the location of your house. They often include the location of major utilities and systems, like your septic system.

You might have received a copy of the property survey map when you bought your house. If not, you might be able to get one from your local land records office or a local surveyor.

Look for any signs that might indicate a septic system, like a round shape for the tank and straight lines for the drain field.

3. Local Health or Building Department

Another place to look for a map of your septic system is in your local health or building department. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these agencies are in charge of issuing and inspecting septic system permits and keeping records of septic system installations.

So, you can contact these departments and request a copy or a spare edition of your property’s septic system drawing (the “as-built” design) and copies of the permit(s).

They are usually able to provide you with a copy of the septic system map. Or, they will at least give you some guidance on where the system might be located on your property.

For this, you may need to provide some information about your property, such as the address, parcel number, owner name, or date of installation. You may also need to pay a fee for obtaining these records.

4. Septic System Inspectors or Installers

A third place to look for a map of your septic system is in the hands of local septic system inspectors or installers. These professionals may have access to existing maps of your septic system or be able to create one for you based on their knowledge and experience.

You can find and contact these professionals in your area by asking for referrals from your neighbors, friends, or family members who have septic systems.

5. Online Resources

A fourth place to look for a map of your septic system is online. You can also use online databases or websites that provide information about septic systems in different states.

Here are 7 reliable online resources in the US:

  • SepticSmart | US EPA
  • Department of Health, New York
  • Texas Commission Of Environmental Quality
  • Department of Health, Washington State
  • Department Of Environmental Quality
  • Public Health Department, Los Angeles
  • Department of Health, Ohio

What To Do If You Can’t Find A Septic Map?

It’s not always guaranteed that you will be able to find a map of your septic system. If that’s the case, here’s what you have to do in order to locate the septic system in your house:

Using a Soil Probe to Locate the Septic Tank Lid

A soil probe is a long, thin metal rod that can pierce through the soil and detect any buried objects. It is a highly useful tool for finding the septic tank lid.

Here are the steps to use a soil probe to locate the septic tank lid:

  • Step 1:

Start from the point where the sewer pipe leaves your house and follow it in a straight line. The distance between the septic tank and the house should be between 15 and 25 feet, parallel to the sewer pipe.

  • Step 2:

Insert the soil probe every two feet along the line until you feel some resistance or hear a metallic sound. This indicates that you have hit the septic tank.

  • Step 3:

Mark the spot where you hit the septic tank and continue probing around it to find its edges and perimeter. The septic tank may be rectangular or oval in shape and measure about 10 by 15 feet on average.

  • Step 4:

Once you have marked the perimeter of the septic tank, look for the lid within it. The lid may have one or two openings, depending on whether the septic tank has one or two compartments. The lid may also have a metal handle or fastener that can be detected by a metal detector.

  • Step 5:

If you do not find the lid by probing, you will have to dig with a shovel along the perimeter of the septic tank until you expose the lid. Be careful not to damage the lid or the tank while digging.

Note: You can consider watching this video guide to visually better understand the process.

How to Avoid Common Areas Where Septic Tanks Are Not Installed?

When searching for your septic wastewater tank, you can save time and effort by ruling out some places where septic tanks are not likely to be installed.

These places are either prohibited by regulations or impractical for septic system functioning.

Here are some examples of common areas where septic tanks are not installed:

1. Under or near a well water system

According to the EPA, Septic tanks should be at least 50 feet away from any well water system to prevent contamination of the drinking water source.

2. Underneath your home or against your home

Septic tanks should be at least 10 feet away from your home’s foundation to avoid structural damage and allow access for maintenance.

3. Below a paved area like your patio, driveway, or sidewalk

Septic tanks should not be buried under any hard surface that would make it difficult to locate, inspect, or pump them.

Paved surfaces also increase the runoff and reduce the infiltration of rainwater into the soil. This can affect the drainage of the septic system.

4. Near trees or other major landscaping features

Septic tanks should not be installed near trees or other plants. It’s because these usually have deep roots that can penetrate and damage the tank or the pipes.

Trees also compete with the septic system for water and nutrients in the soil, which can reduce its efficiency.

5. Under structures such as a deck, pool, shed, or fence

Septic tanks should not be installed under any structure that would interfere with their operation or maintenance.

Structures also add weight and pressure to the soil, which can cause the tank to shift or crack.


Check out some common queries that you might have in mind.

Q: How can I locate my septic tank without a map or diagram?

Without a map at hand, you can try to locate your wastewater tank by inspecting your yard. Look for signs of a large buried object, such as a divot, a hill, patchy grass, or damp soil. 

Another option is to follow the outlet pipe that runs through your residence to the septic tank and onto the drain field.

Q: What should be included on a septic system map?

A comprehensive septic system map typically includes the location of the septic tank and drain field. It will also have other important components like distribution boxes or access points. It should also indicate the distances and directions relative to significant landmarks on your property.

Q: Can I create my own map of the septic system?

If you’re familiar with the layout of your septic system and have accurate measurements, you can certainly create your own map. Use graph paper or online mapping tools to sketch out the relevant details by using the info we have provided.

Final Words

In conclusion, you can begin your septic map search in your home’s documentation, property survey maps, and local health or building departments. You can also take help from online resources for finding your septic system.

If you can’t locate a map, there are steps you can take to find the septic system yourself, such as using a soil probe. Lastly, if you have sufficient knowledge of your septic system layout, you could create your own map too. Whichever route you choose, Best wishes for you!