steel tank/system components ?

   / steel tank/system components ? #1  


Silver Member
Apr 11, 2006
Central New York
Farmtrac 270DTC
“Driving over septic” thread in “owning/operating” forum above got me to thinking I should post my predicament here and see if any of you kind folk can offer me your perspective.

The owner of a home we bought last December had a new tank installed as the previous "tank" was simply (from what I can tell) the first of a series of 55 gallon drums, each connected to the next by (my guess) 10' of pipe. Holes were punched in the terminal drum, allowing it to fill approximately 75% before discharging effluent into surrounding soil. I have only actually seen the terminal drum, the top of which is covered by about 12” of soil. The only reason I knew it was there was because our horse put her hoof right through the rusted old top. Fortunately she was uninjured.

I know the septic tank is new, because the previous “tank” failed inspection and had to be replaced by the previous owner prior to sale.

Two questions:

1. To save money, the previous owner had a 1000-gallon steel tank installed. I have never heard of a steel septic tank. Are they common? How long do they typically last?

2. Since I saw the invoice for the steel septic tank and evidence of its installation, I am comfortable in knowing what the immediate end of the system looks like. I am also intimately aware (see BTW, below) of what the terminal end looks like (55 gallon drum), since I dug all around it and fashioned pressure treated 4x4s into a lid to replace the collapsed steel drum lid. The terminal end is approximately 100’ from the septic tank. One end, new steel tank, other end old rusty 55 gallon tank being fed by an inlet pipe. Although I surmised above that additional drums are found between the septic tank and the terminal drum, I don’t know that for certain. Is this a reasonable conclusion? If not drums, then what other “components” might be found between tank and terminal drum? I would like not to have to dig up half of my lawn to find out.

By the way, this Upstate New York home is very old, originally dating back to 1787 (yes, 1787). The woman that we bought it from lived in the home for 60 years. She is 87 years old and has no clue what the system looks like, except for the steel tank she paid to have installed.


BTW, I learned from this experience to keep my mouth shut when digging out an open drum that is 75% filled with effluent.