The easiest way to determine the condition of your septic tank is to hire a professional experienced with septic systems. However, should you decide to inspect it yourself, follow these steps:
- Remove the manhole cover at the inlet end of the tank.
- Inspect the scum layer at the top of the liquid in the tank.
- Be careful not to fall into the tank!
- Do Not light a match near the open tank!
- Do Not breath in significant amounts of noxious gases from the tank!
- Tanks typically have a six foot liquid depth.
- Use a shovel to push the scum layer away from the side of the tank to estimate its thickness.
- If the scum layer is more than 1 foot thick, have your tank pumped immediately.
- Replace the manhole cover and thoroughly wash and sanitize your hands and shovel.
If your leach field has inspection pipes at the end of each leach line, they can be visually inspected for pooling liquid. Accumulation of water in the leach lines is an early indication of problems. Sewage contains disease causing microorganisms! It is important to always exercise caution and good personal hygiene after any contact.