Things to Know Before Abandoning a Septic Tank

November 10, 2020 11:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Do you have an old septic tank on your property, or need to install a new one? If you’re not going to use your old tank anymore, it has to be properly abandoned. This is because septic tanks can have environmental and public health impacts, and it’s important to be as safe as possible when discarding the previous one. This goes double if you have children or livestock living on your property.

Here’s what to know before abandoning a septic tank in Jeffersonville, IN:

  • Know your local codes: Depending on where you live, your local city or county may have codes governing septic tank abandonment. If they have specific codes in place, follow those exactly. Otherwise, you can follow this guide.
  • Find out if you need permits: Your municipality may require permits or inspections before you can move forward. If so, call the necessary authorities and follow your local processes to meet all requirements.
  • Empty the tank completely: Your next step is to call your local septic pumping contractor and have them completely empty the tank. Any and all waste product should go, including sewage, solids and fats, oils and grease. Make sure that this process is performed by a licensed professional—if something goes wrong, you don’t want to be held solely responsible for its failure.
  • Remove or fill the tank: Depending on your local codes and type of tank, you may need to either remove the tank or fill it with a non-reactive substance like gravel. In some cases, you can have a contractor break open the bottom and crush the top and sides—this is best for steel tanks. After crushing, bury your steel tank. Concrete tanks are usually broken open, so they can no longer hold water or mud. Then they’re filled with sand, gravel or other types of rubble. If you use a plastic septic tank, that will probably need to be removed and the hole filled in. It’s important to ensure that the hole is completely filled in so you don’t run the risk of it caving in.
  • Remove contaminated soil and treatment systems: Generally, the treatment system soil is left in place, but some people choose to remove it. If you do this, those contaminated materials need to be removed by a professional so there’s no possibility of human contact or contamination. You may need to use a special landfill or disposal service to take care of these steps.
  • Document locations: Finally, once you’ve finished the removal or filling process, make sure to document where your abandoned septic tank lies. This is important whether you keep your home or decide to sell it in the future—everyone needs to know where it is for construction and safety purposes.

Following the septic tank abandonment process is easy when you follow these steps—and work with a great excavation and demolition contractor. If you have questions about our septic tank abandonment guide in Jeffersonville, IN, call Estes Excavating Inc. today. We’ve been working with septic systems for over 45, and would be glad to help you out!

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