How Close Can Inground Pool Be To Septic Leach Field?

pool in backyard with sprawling patio

When searching for a place to install your pool, you first need to determine where the utilities are. This means you should call 811 and have the utilities located. This service will locate the public utilities on your property between the utility easement and your home. If, for example, there is an electrical line from your main electrical panel to a shed, they will not locate this as a part of the service. They also will not locate the water line from your well to your house, or the septic tank and piping to the leach field.  Once you know where the septic system is you may ask, how close can inground pool be to septic leach field?

Septic Systems Architecture

The septic system is made up of a few different parts.  Generally you have a septic tank and the leach field.  Sometimes you’ll have additional pump chambers or other system components. It’s important to get your hands on the plans for the septic system.  This is usually something your local, county, or state health department has available.

Diagram Showing How Close Can Inground Pool Be To Septic Leach Field In Backyard

The plan will tell you the ‘as built’ information for the septic system and where the components are located.  Next, you need to contact your building department to find out what the setbacks are from each component. Usually, the leach field will have the largest setback with a few caveats.  

How Close Can Inground Pool Be To Septic Leach Field?

If, for example, you are building a pool, but the pool is located at a higher elevation than the septic system, sometimes the setbacks will be different than if your pool were at the same elevation as the septic system or below. Generally speaking though, a 25 foot or 30 foot setback from the leach field is common, but don’t use that as a rule since each location around the country has their own restrictions.  

Pro Tips For Pool Excavation

Once you are permitted and ready to start excavation of your new gunite pool, you’ll want to pay close attention to the material excavated to be sure you aren’t digging up the septic system. Even the best plans and specifications can be incorrect. If you start to see crushed stone, sand, and landscape fabric you should pause work, and determine what it is you are excavating. 

If you dig to the septic system, you’ll have to relocate your pool project a safe distance away. The building department will usually be understanding and helpful with issues like this. Septic systems turn up in the wrong place more often than you might expect. We’ve seen this occur even in places like Massachusetts. This state is typically where there are excellent septic record keeping rules.  

How Close Can Inground Pool Be To Septic Leach Field Summary

How close can inground pool be to septic leach field? Ultimately, you don’t want your pool to be too close to your leach field for obvious reasons. The location in the yard that best suits the pool sometimes was also the best place for the septic system to be installed. It is possible to build a new septic system in a different location. Sometimes, that is truly the best solution.  However, that’s another huge expense to add to your pool budget. Therefore, in the majority of cases, you’ll have to work around the septic location. That leaves you to build your pool in the remaining space.