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Discussion Starter #1
Any one have a simple way to figure out exactly where the lines in the septic field are?
Without digging I mean!
My tank and dist. box are under the concrete driveway...concrete pavers over for access. From there the field lines run across our front yard...4 parallel lines in total.
I'd like to build a screen/pergola but I'd need to install footings.
Hitting a line is not part of the game plan. :no:
 

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depends on where you're located and your codes,but where I live when you submit building permits and the new buildings you have to show plans and they are kept on file for your septic system layout
you may also be able to get a plumbing company to come out and map them for you I see you're in Canada so I don't know what your rules are up there
 

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Check your tax bylaws too. Here if you put in footings it's considered a permanent taxable structure. Put it on patio stones and it's portable, whole different ball game. Used to be the same with mobile homes if the hitch was left on. Don't know if that is still the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Heh...Rules? We don't have no stinkin' rules! :)

A couple of years ago I recounted the anecdote about the Bldg. Inspector coming by to do the foundation pre-pour inspection for our sunroom (plans and permit done).
He stood for a few moments looking at the greenhouse (no plans, no permit) at the back of the garden. Definitely over the 10 Sq m. I'm allowed without them...
Then he started asking me questions about it...I'm sweating bullets by now. Then he started asking me gardening questions. :)

Back to my problem: ftgs. probably 8" sonotube about 24" - 30" deep. One for each post. Maybe a ft. wide by 25' long(?). Gently curved to follow the existing driveway edge.
Stick's link is I think what I'm looking for. Do I need to feed something down the lines or does it work more like ground scanning sonar?
Keeping in mind these are sewage lines, the idea of feeding cables into them isn't really appealing.
The California lilac hedge in the picture died and I'm replacing it with a 7' high screen/pergola ...Support for a Clematis armandii
 

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Discussion Starter #7
See No Evil

Check your tax bylaws too. Here if you put in footings it's considered a permanent taxable structure. Put it on patio stones and it's portable, whole different ball game. Used to be the same with mobile homes if the hitch was left on. Don't know if that is still the case.
Charles; they're just happy if we pay taxes here. lol
Nope. If it isn't living space they don't seem to care...certainly not landscaping stuff. Never said Boo about my 9x15 greenhouse, 14x16 woodshed, new 14x14hot tub enclosure, or new 8x14 tool shed. 0:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bob; I need to stay back from the driveway edge with the frame...the Clematis will certainly expand outwards on both sides.
but you may have a point. I could basically place a concrete 'grade beam'* at a pretty shallow depth...one for each post location.
Maybe a maximum depth of a foot. 2' would be into the lawn area.

*grade beam: see picture...wouldn't really need much in the way of conc. columns with your idea.
 

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out here they build very substantial walls from poured concrete and rebar.
Think L shaped from the side view. The horizontal half of the "L" is barely 2 ft down, but as long as the base is wide enough, it will support huge sideways forces.

Seeing as how this is just for a hedge, reverse every other L shape so that you have wind resistance capabilities from both directions.
 

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Our volunteer fire department has a thermal imaging camera with enough sensitivity that it would probably show the temperature differential of the lines. Especially in the spring with cool soil--run hot water for a few minutes and they should glow. We can throttle ours to see a light oil sheen on moving water and fresh footprints on concrete.
earl
 

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Bob; I need to stay back from the driveway edge with the frame...the Clematis will certainly expand outwards on both sides.
but you may have a point. I could basically place a concrete 'grade beam'* at a pretty shallow depth...one for each post location.
Maybe a maximum depth of a foot. 2' would be into the lawn area.

*grade beam: see picture...wouldn't really need much in the way of conc. columns with your idea.
The problem is not that the grade beam wouldn't be structurally OK, but that if the bearing location isn't below frost line, you can experience slight heaving when the ground freezes and then it lowers back down when it thaws. If you can live with that, go for it...
 

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Septic lines are likely deep enough that you could dig by hand till you get to the piping...when you git to the line a little gravel and then sonotube, etc...

If you dont hit, gravy...go for it..
 

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how about a ground spike...
in array and the verticals tied together they work very well..

.
 

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Use 2 pieces of electrical wire about 12" long (#10 or #12) bend into a L shape. Hold the wire like a pistol. Walk across where the sewer lines are located. When you walk over the lines the wires will cross and form a X. That is where the lines are located.

PS
Don't laugh until you try it.
 

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Why get fancy...try old school...it does work!
Dare ya to try one of those here...
guess it would work to find the perimeter of the buried slab sortta.....
 

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I'd be a bit cautious about building/planting anything over a leach field. Anything planted should be a shallow root plant or you will eventually have roots in the piping and they get clogged up. Leach fields are designed/sized according to percolation test which are done on the undisturbed soil. The pipes are spaced apart and their length determined based on these tests. To place elements between the pipes or on them directly affects the percolation rate of the soil. You also must keep in mind the the size of the field is also dependent on the evaporation rate in that area that is also affected by placing a structure over it.
 

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Wow this thread is already long.

Dan, what's the expected dim and heavy of the arbor/pergola to be?

In Mass, (particularly the Cape) legally, by permit, you'd never be allowed to apply any permanent/semi structure over any part of the system, like a driveway, too many opportunities to damage the pipe or tanks from vehicle weight. If it wasn't mentioned above by others, if you have an old system, (old bee hive prior to "Title 5" inception and "As Built" rules since 1992 in Mass) odds may be slim at the local build dept. if the house is prior to mid 60s especially if the town hall moved but courthouse "deeds" should have an old/original legit copy if done at property construction, that's what many surveying cos do if they can't find it from their own or other cos files. I've read PPs from as far back as the 40s which should have rough +/- distances to help shrink the hunt area down.

A couple times in the past I've had to go looking for a customers pipe, in my area pipe is below average frost line, 3+ ft. The septic tank and pit are closer to grade in systems prior to early 80s, (2' or less). I bought 1/2" rebar and broke it into a few 5' sections; I have a bunch of 1' sections I use for setting boundary and footing markers with batter boards. I then found the pipe exit from the foundation then began tapping the 5' rod till I made contact with the pipe then set a 1' in the correct spot. It takes a while but it's cheaper and less invasive.

If you have a more recent legit, (permit) leaching field, for sure, the contractor, town hall and deeds and maybe even bank and or insurance co will have copies. I've seen simple, (inline) and elaborate, (multiple branching) leaching field systems, I'd hate to go looking for the latter.
 
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