Homes that don’t have access to critical municipal sewer services usually opt for options such as septic drain tanks or field lines to help drain away the waste in their toilets. Thankfully, constructing septic tanks near your bathroom is not a complex undertaking! But what is the maximum distance from toilet to septic tank?

Depending on the building codes in your area and other specific health issues, you should construct your septic tank about 100 feet from your toilet. This is to ensure that the waste drains effectively without causing any plumbing problems on your property.

Note that the maximum distance from a toilet to a septic tank can vary based on several factors, including local regulations, slope and diameter of sewage pipes, septic tank size, soil type, topography, and the need for effluent pumping.

Always check your local building codes and plumbing regulations to determine the specific requirements for your area.

To ensure compliance and efficiency, it’s advisable to seek the expertise of licensed professionals in plumbing or septic system design to assess your unique circumstances and provide a tailored solution.

The goal is to create a septic system that adheres to local regulations, effectively transports wastewater, and facilitates proper treatment and disposal, all while taking into account the specific characteristics of your property and its surrounding environment.

new septic system plumbing the tank picture

Factors Affecting The Maximum Distance From Toilet to Septic Tank

Here are the key factors that influence the maximum distance between your toilet and the septic tank:

1. Local Laws or Building Codes

There are many state laws regulating how to install a septic tank. Many states require installing or constructing it at a minimum of 100 feet from any water source or other structure. Some places may need even more space, so check with your local authorities to find out what regulations they enforce in your area.

2. Expert Recommendations

Engineers who build your septic tank will be able to give suggestions as to the maximum distance between your house and the septic tank.

Most contractors or plumbing professionals advise putting your toilet within 10 feet of a septic system because this allows plenty of space for installation and maintenance, and it also prevents code violations.

3. Size Of Your Property

The distance between your toilet and the septic tank will depend on how much space you have on your property and the type of septic tank you intend to install. This will guide you in establishing how far away you want your toilet to be from the tank.

If you have a septic tank that is too close to your home, it can cause problems because disgusting wastewater smells from your septic system can enter your home through your living room window.

4. Installation Needs 

If you need a septic tank that is far enough from your toilet or house, you’ll need to take a few critical steps when you install it, such as:

  • Install cleanouts: Cleanouts are necessary if the distance between your house and the septic tank is longer than 100 feet. They allow you to access your septic system easily without digging through the sewer line. Moreover, cleanouts allow you to access your septic system and do maintenance or repairs to it without having to replace or modify the entire system.
  • Invest in a leach field: if the tank is far away from your house, you should have ample space for a leaching field. Leach fields are generally located where a perforating drain pipe runs under a long area of dirt, like in a garden bed. It is thought that after going through the septic tank, wastewater passes through the perforations and filters down into the ground.
septic tank diagram

How To Locate And Measure The Distance

If you intend to buy a home, then it’s a good idea to determine the distance of the septic tank from the house because the measurements may not be readily available. Here are easy steps to help you out:

Step One:

Normally, septic tanks are designed to drain into your house from a main access point on the property, so if you cannot find a sign that shows where the septic tank is, simply open the primary access point to the house and run a plumber’s snake into the line to access it.

A plumbing snake is a steel pipe or fiberglass rod that is pushed through the main sewer to break up a blockage. By using this ferrous rod wisely, you can locate a septic tank.

Step Two:

The rod will stop at a point where it hits the tank’s inlet baffle. You’ll be surprised that the rod or pipe doesn’t go that far after all.

Step Three:

By determining how many meters the “snake” of fiberglass has traveled through the drainpipes before it stops, you can find out how far the septic tank is from the house.

You may think the septic tank is farther away than you think due to the fact that the pipe curves or bends and isn’t connected to the house.


Can A Septic Tank Be Close To The House?

Septic systems are built underground to trap and store wastewater and slowly release the water into the environment. For these reasons, they must be at a distance that is not too far or too close to the house.

It’s best to place your septic tank below level ground to avoid flooding and wastewater seepage. If you can place your septic tank on high ground that doesn’t flood, that’s even better.

However, you should not put your septic tank near any structures, utility lines, or plumbing. Another very significant factor to consider is the quality of the soil.

How Far Can A Toilet Be From The Septic Tank?

A septic tank constructed to collect septic waste should not be placed farther than 200 feet from the house or toilet. If the septic is close to the house, however, wastewater can back up into the house.

Furthermore, if the tank is located near a well or any other water source, the water table could rise above the tank’s capacity, damaging your property.

You may need to locate any obstacles along the path when running the rod and remove them to ensure the measurements you get from the process are accurate.

Can I build a deck over my septic tank?

Putting a deck over a septic field is not a good idea as it might block the drains and cause the effluent to remain stagnant.

This could cause serious damage to your septic system and even cause the air around your deck to smell foul. Furthermore, it can damage the underneath of your deck because the water in the system causes rot to the wood.


If your bathroom is being renovated, you must be sure there is enough distance between the different accessories and components.

For safety and certain health-related concerns, you should check that the distance between the house and the septic tank is within the distance that is allowed in the plumbing code. 

If the distance is shorter or longer than the plumbing codes require, contact a licensed plumber to take the appropriate steps.

This is a critical consideration not only for potential home buyers, but also new home owners interested in executing bathroom remodeling projects.

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