When it comes to the septic system, failure is not something anyone wants to deal with. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. So what do you do if your septic tank is failing? Do you know the signs to watch for?
If a septic tank is nearing the end of its life, it's going to give off signals. Some of the signs will be internal, arising within the home. Other signs will be external or issues with the tank, leach-field, or surrounding environment. There are 10 telltale signs to look for:
- Sewage will begin to back up in your toilets and drains in the form of black liquid accompanied by an unpleasant odor.
- Toilets won't flush as easily or as efficiently as they used to.
- Shower and sink drains will not drain as quickly.
- A pungent odor will begin to permeate the house, and it won't be from just the bathroom.
- The septic tank will overflow or have a near overflow.
- An increased amount of solids will accumulate inside the septic tank.
- You will notice water or wet patches accumulating in the leach field.
- The area above and near the leach field will produce lush green grass throughout the year while the surrounding area's lushness will remain dramatically different.
- A sudden or growing presence of contamination in your well water can indicate a failing septic system.
- If any body of water (stream, pond, etc.) adjacent to the septic system is accumulating algae or aquatic weeds, your system could be under performing or failing.
What to Do If Your Septic System Is Failing
Ideally, you will catch the signs of a failing septic system before it's too late. If you do, you will have two courses of action:
- Call a Plumber: It's possible all the system needs is to be pumped out. You can contact a local plumber for this service. It's also recommended to plan on pumping out the septic system once every two to three years to prevent spontaneous septic tank failure.
- Purchase a Treatment Unit: You can attempt to improve your septic system's performance and increase its lifespan by purchasing a treatment unit or installing an internal septic tank filter.
In the event of a total septic system failure, you will need to hire a plumber to remove and replace the entire system. However, by diligently watching for and recognizing the signs of imminent septic tank failure, you may be able to prolong the life of your system.