How to find old well and septic system?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Qvrfullmidwife, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. Qvrfullmidwife

    Qvrfullmidwife Well-Known Member

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    We moved on to our ten acres three months ago. After we moved in we were told of another homesite on the property where a mobile home had been located probably 15 or so years ago. Supposedly there is was a seperate well and septic system functioning there. We have found the homesite (kind of hard to miss the driveway and electric pole :haha: ) but have no idea of how to find/identify the well and septic system and figure that we at least ought to know where they are before we put another home on the site as we are planning to.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. indypartridge

    indypartridge Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You might want to try some phone calls to the County Board of Health, Recorders/Assesors offices, etc. Depending on the regulations where you live, there may have been building permits or inspections. These often have drawings showing where on the property the septic/well is placed.
     

  3. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    When we bought our property, it was kinda the same thing. I knew where the well was (dug well with a well house, but we had to replumb and repair, etc.). It had been at least ten years since the mobile home was moved. I kinda knew where it was due to a phoneline box and water line coming out of the ground. But the septic, which was completely buried without even a cap or lid showing anywhere was a little tricker. But even after ten years, and a completely empty septic tank, I had an idea where it was. Just look for green grass or weeds. The previous owner had planted a lawn of sorts, and even with no care for 10 years it was lush and green. Just look kinda uphill (f there is even a slight slope) to where the green part stops. That's how I found mine, along with a 2 ft. piece of rebar sharpened to a point, to use as a probe. I've heard that septic tank pumpers can find them easily somehow if that won't work.
     
  4. Qvrfullmidwife

    Qvrfullmidwife Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm...the entire site is wooded over. No telling how long it would have taken us to see the electric pole if we hadnt been looking for it as it would have blended in with the trees/brush. May do some prodding around. Guess getting it cleaned up first might be of help...
     
  5. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Had a similar problem when we bought this place. It was a wreck, and we figured the septic hadn't been pumped out forever. The neighbor to the south told us he was certain it was clear back by the chickenhouse--a good three to four hundered feet! My mother suggested starting at the point we knew the pipes exited from the bathroom, and dig down to them, then follow them to the septic. Found it about 11 feet out from the building. Since you don't have the luxury of following the pipes, you might look to see if there are any extending up from the ground, then follow them outward. Lots of digging, but no other way to find it, if the county board of health doesn't have a listing of it, and ours didn't. The water board DID have the local wells all plotted, but we knew where ours was. Good luck, and let us know how it goes! Jan in Co
     
  6. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Unless your religon forbids it, you could witch them.
     
  7. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

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    If it was installed within the last 23yrs it will be recorded in the County health dept inspection dept.
    There should be an as-built drawing and a location of where the well was dug.

    That is if the system was put in legally.
     
  8. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A couple of clues. If the site slopes, the septic should be downslope from the house, and the well upslope. If it is flat, they should still be on opposite sides of the homesite.
     
  9. motivated

    motivated Well-Known Member

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    Well maam
    Could'nt ya just put yer fetoscope to the ground and listen for the gurgle?
    :haha:
    Im no help at all. Good luck though
    Jodi
     
  10. Sandhills

    Sandhills Well-Known Member

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    A well needs a power source to run the pump so I would look near the power pole for the well or close to where the home was located. The power company should be able to tell you where the power lines are or were.
    Also after a septic tank is set the dirt will some times settle and there will be a slight depression in the ground. We had ours set 5 years ago and the depression is still very visible.
     
  11. Qvrfullmidwife

    Qvrfullmidwife Well-Known Member

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    "Could'nt ya just put yer fetoscope to the ground and listen for the gurgle?"

    :haha: now why didn't *I* think of that?!

    hmmm...fetoscope or doppler? fetoscope might be better..no need for gel...