PHOTO of how to record measurements to locate the septic tank cleanout cover. How to Record the Septic Tank Location
Make measurements & a sketch to make finding the septic tank & cleanouts easy

  • RECORD SEPTIC TANK LOCATION - CONTENTS: Septic system inspection, diagnosis, repair & maintenance: septic tanks. Example of how to measure and document where the septic tank cover & cleanouts are located. How to record the septic tank location, advice for homeowners
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to measure off and document the exact location of the septic tank and its cleanouts or access covers

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How to record the location of the septic tank so that it can be located again in the future for pumping, inspection, or maintenance.

This article explains how to measure-off and write down the exact septic tank location (or the location of other buried septic system components.

Writing down the septic tank location can save trouble and cost when septic system components need to be serviced or repaired in the future.

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How to Measure, Sketch, & Record the Location of a Septic Tank (so that it can be found again)

This septic tank pumpout article series provides a step by step, photo-illustrated guide to opening, pumping, and inspecting septic tanks, how a conventional septic tank is located, opened, pumped out, cleaned, and inspected.

PHOTO of how to record measurements to locate the septic tank cleanout cover.

When the septic tank has been located and its cleanout port found, if one does not already exist, make a drawing showing just where the tank is located to assist the owner/septic service company in the future.

The photo above shows how we measured from a nearby garage wall to the septic tank cleanout cover.

We measured at a right angle to the garage wall the distance from the wall to the center of the cleanout cover.

We recorded that distance (in this case, 78 inches).

More details about how we measured and documented the septic tank location and the precise spot of the septic tank cleanout openings are just below.

PHOTO of how to record measurements to locate the septic tank cleanout cover. PHOTO of how to record measurements to locate the septic tank cleanout cover.

Then we measured from the garage rear corner to the point along the wall from which we measured out from wall to tank (in this case, 90 inches.) Since the garage is a fixed site feature, we can easily locate the septic tank cleanout cover again with just these two numbers.

PHOTO of how to record measurements to locate the septic tank cleanout cover.

We also buried a square of yellow plastic right at the tank cover so that when excavating it in the future we'll readily see that we've found the right location.

Finally, having recorded the septic tank cleanout cover location, we covered the septic tank cleanout access port with several inches of top soil and re-seeded with grass seed.

"Septic Tank Location - How to Find the Septic Tank" provides additional explanation and illustration of recording the location of septic system components.

Advising Owners About Septic Tank Conditions and Safety Hazards

PHOTO of septic service operator recording septic cleaning
results and noting any unsafe conditions in writing before speaking with the owner. Tank and Field Conditions: Inform the owner of the condition of the septic tank and of any indications of leach field failure such as back flow into the tank during pump-down or damaged baffles.

Inform the owner of the approximate level of sludge and scum found in the tank. This information assists in determining the actual tank pumping frequency needed for the property.

Inform the owner if obvious clearance violations were observed between the tank and other site features such as a nearby well - health hazards may be present.

The photo shows the septic service operator recording the results of the septic cleanout on the client's bill.

In addition to telling the client orally of any unsafe or other important conditions observed, the operator must provide exactly the same information in writing. Writing this data clearly on the invoice is often sufficient.


Watch out: Safety: If immediately dangerous conditions exist, such as a missing or unsafe septic tank cover or a collapsing or risk-of-collapsing septic tank, seepage pit, drywell, or cesspool are observed, the operator should close off and prevent access to the area and notify the appropriate people including property occupants, owners, and authorities.

Provide the results of what was learned during septic tank pumpout and issue any appropriate Safety Warnings to Owners

This guideline is intended for septic pumping tank truck operators and as general information for homeowners or septic service companies concerned with septic system care. Citation of this article by reference to this website and brief quotation for the sole purpose of review are permitted. Use of this information at other websites, in books or pamphlets for sale is reserved to the author. Technical reviewers are welcome and are listed at REFERENCES.

Below at in the form of individual detailed articles are the Steps in Septic Tank Cleaning Procedure in the order that they should be performed

Septic Pumping Procedure & Pumper Truck Operation Articles


Continue reading at SEPTIC PUMPING CONCLUSIONS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

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