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Environmental Health

Septic Components: Cleanout 

Image of Cleanout diagram"Cleanouts" are pipes running from a septic system up to ground surface, to facilitate "snaking," jet cleaning and other maintenance and trouble-shooting tasks. Usually this above-ground access pipe is found at the beginning of a septic system - in between the house and the septic tank.

Cleanouts are usually located near the house, and can give you a general idea on which side of the house your septic tank is located if you do not have that information.


Sewage is backing up out of the cleanout.


This usually indicates a blockage somewhere between the house plumbing fixtures and the tank. The tank inlet sanitary "T" could also be blocked with solids, not allowing sewage to flow into the tank.                           

Image of Cleanout cap