How Deep Should a Septic System Be?

Septic tanks help keep the chamber pot away.
Septic tanks help keep the chamber pot away. (Image: toilet image by kuhar from

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Any Depth Works

According to, no single answer exists for the question of septic tank depth. Just about any depth is acceptable. Even a partially exposed septic tank is unlikely to freeze in winter because of two factors: ground temperature and "heat generated by the bacterial action going on in the septic tank."

You May Have a Preference

Do you want your septic tank to be above-ground, exposed for all to see? Probably not, especially in more urban settings where space is a major concern. Since, according to, a septic tank's functionality is dependent on gravity, the tank should be lower than the lowest sewer line to which it's connected.

Bottom Line

No exact answer exists as to how deep a septic tank should be. Because of its dependence on gravity, however, the tank should be buried with the sewer lines in mind. The further a tank is from the building it serves, the deeper it must be buried for the sewer lines to move waste to the tank.


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