How to keep your septic system working properly
- Use water efficiently.
- Repair leaky faucets and running toilets.
- Don’t treat your toilet like a trash can.
- Limit your use of heavy-duty cleaners.
- Don’t flush toxic chemicals (or pour them down the drain).
- Mind your landscaping.
- Don’t disrupt the drain field.
- In order to keep your septic system working properly, be sure to inspect to conduct regular maintenance. Septic tanks need to be pumped every three to five years, but you should try to inspect them once a year to ensure everything is going well down there.
How do you know if your septic system is working properly?
7 Warning Signs Your Septic System Is Failing
- Gurgling Pipes. They would occur when you run water in the house (e.g. when using the sink or shower) or flush the toilet.
- Bad Odours. It’s never a pleasant experience when this occurs.
- The Water Is Backing Up.
- Water At Ground Level.
- Green Grass.
- Slow Drainage.
- Blocked Pipes.
How do you keep a septic tank working properly?
Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system
- Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
- Pump your septic tank as needed.
- Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
- Be water-wise.
- Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
- Landscape with love.
- Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.
How do you know if your septic tank is not working?
8 Signs of Septic System Failure
- Septic System Backup.
- Slow Drains.
- Gurgling Sounds.
- Pool of Water or Dampness Near Drainfield.
- Nasty Odors.
- Unusual, Bright Green Grass Above Drainfield.
- Blooms of Algae in Nearby Water.
- High Levels of Coliform in Water Well.
How do I test my septic tank?
The inspector may use a dye test during this part of their inspection. In a dye test, the inspector will introduce dye into the water that is being drained to see how much of it enters the septic tank. From there, the septic tank will get pumped and the inspector will check for any backflow from the absorption area.
What is the most common cause of septic system failure?
Most septic systems fail because of inappropriate design or poor maintenance. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are installed at sites with inadequate or inappropriate soils, excessive slopes, or high ground water tables.
How often should you pump your septic tank?
Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.
How do I increase bacteria in my septic tank?
Flush a packet of brewer’s dry yeast down one toilet on the bottom floor of your house once a month. The yeast will help add “good” bacteria to your septic tank and break down waste.
What are the do’s and don’ts of a septic tank?
DON’T flush material that will not easily decompose, such as hair, diapers, cigarette butts, matches, or feminine hygiene products. DO conserve water to avoid overloading the system. They kill the bacteria needed to decompose wastes in the septic tank and drain field. DO use substitutes for household hazardous waste.
How often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?
For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.
How can you tell if your septic is clogged?
Stay vigilant for five signs your drainfield does not drain correctly anymore.
- Slowing Drainage. Homeowners first notice slower than usual drainage from all the sinks, tubs, and toilets in a home when they have a compromised drainfield.
- Rising Water.
- Increasing Plant Growth.
- Returning Flow.
- Developing Odors.
How do I check my septic tanks sludge level?
To measure the sludge layer:
- Slowly lower the tube into the septic tank until it touches the bottom of the tank.
- As the device is slowly pulled out of the water, the check valve closes capturing a liquid/solid profile of the septic tank water. The thickness of the sludge layer can be measured.
How long do septic systems last?
Septic systems can last for 15-40 years and the lifespan depends on various factors, including those mentioned above. Does your Sand Filter Septic System need servicing? Let our septic system experts help you.
Why is my septic tank full again?
There may be several reasons why you have an overfilled septic tank. An overfilled septic tank is often a signal that your drain field is malfunctioning. The water flow backs up when your drain field floods, causing the water level in your septic tank to rise. Other common issues are plumbing and excess water use.
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order. Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract.
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.
An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system.
A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
How to Keep Your Septic Tank Running Correctly
Everyone does not have access to a septic system. A large number of properties are instead linked directly to a city’s municipal sewer system. In contrast, if your water line does not have a meter and you are not paying for sewer service, it is likely that you are using a septic tank. In contrast to municipal sewer systems, you are solely responsible for the upkeep of your septic system. Taking the effort to repair your septic system is the most straightforward method of keeping it in good working order.
How does a septic tank operate is the first thing you should understand about maintaining one.
How Your Septic Tank Works
It is a sealed subterranean container that employs both technology and nature to help cleanse wastewater from a home or other establishment. It is used in combination with a drain field or a soil absorption field to provide drainage. The tank treats organic debris, removing oils, grease, and sediments from wastewater as it goes through the process. Depending on the model of septic tank, you may need to replace the filters on a regular basis. Some tanks are also equipped with alarms, which you should check on a regular basis to ensure that they are functioning properly.
Regular pumping will be required to keep the bacteria under control and the collected muck out of the system.
Septic Tank Maintenance Practices
Once a year, perform a thorough inspection of your system. Every three to five years, you’ll need to have your septic tanks pumped out. Additionally, you should get it examined by a specialist at least once a year. These inspections allow you to remain on top of the health of your system and ensure that everything is functioning properly.
Inspections like this are particularly essential because they allow us to identify minor issues before they become major issues. Preventative solutions are usually more cost-effective than reactive ones since they are proactive rather than reactive.
Get it pumped regularly.
You can detect whether or not it’s time to get your septic tank pumped in two ways. By checking the interior of the tank, you may look for indicators of these problems. You should consider flushing your toilet if the bottom of the scum layer is less than 3 inches from your toilet outlet or the top of the sludge layer is within a foot of your toilet’s outlet.
Know what you should never put into your system.
A septic tank is a container designed to hold both solid and liquid waste. Neither motor oil nor discarded diapers nor cigarettes nor coffee grinds nor eggshells nor paints nor rags are appropriate for use in these machines. A brief version of the story is that you should never flush anything other than garbage down your toilet or sink.
Practice water conservation.
A septic tank requires time to perform its separation function between solid and liquid waste. Provide it with the necessary time by implementing general water saving measures. Fix leaks as soon as you find them, invest in energy-efficient equipment, and keep an eye on your routine daily water consumption.
Hold on to your paperwork.
Not everyone is aware of the location of their septic tank. You may find out by looking through your home’s original plans or by contacting a septic service company in your area for assistance. Once you’ve located it, make a note of its location. Keep track of all of the services that have been performed on your tank throughout the years. If you ever find yourself in need of repair, you may use these documents to guide you through the process. If you want assistance with the installation, cleaning, or pumping of your home’s septic system, contact The Pink Plumber.
OUR EXPERT PLUMBERS ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU.
Common Septic Tank Problems and How to Fix Them
In the absence of professional plumbing training, it can be difficult to evaluate whether or not you are experiencing problems with your septic tank. If you live in a rural region, your septic tank may be your only means of treating and disposing of the waste generated by your household. The waste from your home is dumped into a septic tank leach field, which is also known as a septic drain field, once it has left your home. An underground facility designed to remove contaminants from the liquid that emerges after passing through the septic tank, the septic tank leach field is also known as a septic tank treatment field.
Fortunately, there are various symptoms that suggest that the leach field of an aseptic tank or the septic tank itself is malfunctioning.
- There is backup in your home’s drainage system or toilets. Backups and obstructions are most commonly caused by a septic tank that hasn’t been emptied in a long time, according to the EPA. A failed leach field in your septic tank means that the water that leaves your home will not be handled and treated at all. Your drains will become clogged as a result. The toilets in your home are taking a long time to flush — If all of the toilets in your home take a long time to flush, it might be a sign that your septic tank is overflowing. Due to the fact that this sludge is not being handled by your drain field as efficiently as it should be, it is creating delays in your toilet flushing. It takes longer for sinks and baths to drain now than it used to – A clogged septic drain field may be to fault if your sinks or bathtubs aren’t emptying as rapidly as they should be under normal circumstances. A septic drain field replacement may be necessary if you find yourself waiting an excessive amount of time for the tub to drain after a bath or for the sink to empty after cleaning dishes. It is discovered that there is standing water near your drain field or septic tank – The presence of standing water near your drain field or septic tank is the most obvious indication that your septic tank has been flooded and that your septic leach field is failing. Water remains in your septic tank after it has been cleaned and processed, and this is what causes standing water in your yard. Your septic tank and drain field begin to smell foul near your house or business — Both your septic tank and septic drain field should be free of foul odors, both outside and within your home. Carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide, all of which may be present in household garbage, are responsible for the scents you are smelling. In the vicinity of your leach field, you may notice a strong rotten egg stench, which may signal that sewage is seeping. Your health and safety, as well as the health and safety of others, are at risk as a result of this. You should contact a septic drain field replacement company as soon as possible at this point.
- What is the best way to determine when to empty a septic tank? How to Unclog a Drain Pipe (with Pictures)
Signs That Indicate you Need an Immediate Drain Field Replacement
So, how can you determine whether you require a septic drain field replacement rather than only a repair? The following are indications that you require an emergency drain field replacement:
- Septic tank failure due to a failure to clean or pump waste out of the tank on a regular basis – If you don’t follow your septic tank cleaning plan, you run the danger of having a septic drain field replacement sooner rather than later. Maintaining your septic tank and having it examined at least once every three to five years helps ensure that your drain field is functioning correctly. The number of people living in your home, whether or not you have a garbage disposal, whether or not you use water softeners, how many guests will be in your home at the same time, how often you do laundry, and whether or not you have a sewerejector pump all influence how often you need to have your septic tank pumped. This one is rather self-explanatory: you have broken pipes in your drain field. If your plumber is checking the pipes leading to and from your leach field and detects a break in the pipes, you will need to have a septic drain field replacement performed immediately. In the event of a septic pipe break that cannot be repaired, new pipes or a complete system may be required. Lack of oxygen in the septic tank as a result of a significant amount of grease – An excessive amount of grease in your septic tank system results in the formation of a “scum” layer. It is possible that your leach field is being replaced. Following an overabundance of grease being dumped into your septic tank, the drain holes and piping leading to your drain field will get clogged, necessitating the replacement of the whole system. Tree roots placing strain on your drain field piping — When tree roots begin to grow into your drain field piping, it might spell doom for your drainage infrastructure. These tree roots have the ability to develop swiftly and will seek out a source of water as soon as they can. If the pipes delivering water to your leach field are large enough, the tree roots will eventually find their way there, perhaps rupturing the piping system. Compaction of soil caused by heavy machinery or automobiles near your septic tank drain field – Drain fields that are close to air pockets in the soil surrounding them. When heavy equipment or automobiles are parked or put on top of or near the leach field, it can cause issues for the system to malfunction. A compacted soil environment encourages water to collect near your septic field.
Common Septic Tank Problems and How to Fix Them
Septic tank failure due to a failure to clean or pump waste out of the tank on a regular basis – If you don’t follow your septic tank cleaning plan, you run the chance of having a septic drain field replacement in the future. It is recommended that you get your septic tank pumped and examined every three to five years in order to ensure that your drain field is operating correctly. The number of people living in your home, whether or not you have a garbage disposal, whether or not you use water softeners, how many guests will be in your home at the same time, how often you do laundry, and whether or not you have a sewerejector pump all influence how often you need to have your septic tank pumping done.
- If your plumber is checking the pipes leading to and from your leach field and detects a break in the pipes, you will need to get a septic drain field replacement done immediately.
- Lack of oxygen in the septic tank as a result of a significant amount of grease – An excessive amount of grease in your septic tank system results in the formation of the “scum” layer.
- Putting strain on your drain field piping due to tree roots — When tree roots begin to grow into your drain field piping, it might spell disaster.
- It’s possible that the tree roots will make their way into your leach field if the pipes delivering water to it are enough; however, this is unlikely.
The dirt surrounding drain fields should have some air in it. When heavy equipment or automobiles are parked or put on top of or near the leach field, it can cause challenges for the system to operate properly. Water might pool near your septic field because of compacted soil.
Clogs in Your Septic System
In order to determine whether or not you have a septic tank problem, remember back to the last time your tank was cleaned. Septic tanks accumulate waste over time, and grey water drains through your septic tank to drain pipes that are buried underground in the earth in your yard. In the event that your tank becomes overflowing, you may begin to notice that your drains are becoming slower and that your toilet is becoming backed up. Each and every source of water in your home passes through your septic system before being used.
- If you have had your septic tank drained within the last year or two, you will most likely not need to have it pumped out again.
- If you notice that all of your drains are draining slowly, you most likely have a clog in one of the lines that drain away from your property.
- Because the diameter of these pipes ranges from 4 to 8 inches, they are likely to be thinner in certain regions than others.
- You may be experiencing some sewage backup into plumbing fixtures in your house or accumulating near your septic tank if your drains are working properly but you’re not sure what’s causing it.
- It’s possible that the problem is in your septic tank’s entrance baffle, which you should be able to see if you have access to this area of the tank.
- In certain cases, pushing the clog via the access port may be sufficient to clear it out.
Tree Roots are Infiltrating Your Pipes
Tree roots that are in the way of a septic tank’s operation can also be a source of problems. Whether sewage is beginning to back up into your drains, there are inexplicable cracks in your driveway and sidewalk, or you notice persistent puddles and damp spots in your grass even when it hasn’t rained, it is possible that roots have penetrated your plumbing system. Roots may develop fractures in your drain pipes, and if they continue to grow over time, these fissures can expand and cause significant damage.
The installation of modern, plastic pipes that are capable of withstanding root damage can help you avoid the problem of root penetration.
Root growth inhibitors are also recommended if you have trees near to where your pipes are located, since this will prevent them from growing.
You should chop down any trees whose roots are penetrating your pipes and remove the stumps in order to prevent roots from sprouting back after you’ve cleaned out your pipes if you are able to bear the thought of doing so.
Leaks in Sewage Tank or Lines
Many homeowners dream of having lush, green grass, but if your lawn is vibrantly green but the plants around it are dead, it might be an indication of a septic tank leak, according to the American Septic Tank Association. Experiencing unexplained green grass might also be an indication that your septic tank is pumping out an excessive amount of water, soaking your yard. Moreover, there may even be sewage accumulating in your yard in this situation. This is an issue that should be addressed by a plumbing specialist as soon as possible in order to minimize any potential health risks and costly damage to your property.
IncorrectSeptic Tank Installation
The proper installation of a septic system allows the system to operate smoothly. Know if the firm who built your septic system done it in an accurate and timely manner? Most likely, if you bought an older property, you have no idea who built the septic system in the first place. Furthermore, because you can’t look into your septic system, you have no idea what’s going on down there as well. Failure to bury the tank deeply enough, installing the incorrect-size tank, or utilizing the incorrect soil in the drainfield are all examples of installation problems that can result in septic tank failure.
Increased Water Use
Before it overflows, your septic tank can only contain a certain amount of water. Septic tanks can collapse if there is a high number of people who depend on them for their water. If you have a big family, expect a significant number of long-term guests, or often hold parties, you should get your tank examined to ensure that it is the proper size. If this is the case, you may need to consider upgrading to a larger tank. Your septic system is capable of withstanding a lot of abuse, and it should continue to function well for many years provided it is properly maintained.
4 SIGNS OF SEPTIC SYSTEM PROBLEMS
Moving into a property with a septic system is something that should never be done without taking the necessary measures, regardless of whether you are an experienced septic user or a complete novice. Before purchasing a home, you should engage a professional to do a complete septic system assessment to ensure that everything is in working condition and that the system has been cleaned and pumped on a regular basis. However, there are certain symptoms of problems that you may be able to discover on your own before paying for a professional evaluation.
- It’s best to move on to the next possible home if you observe some or all of these four symptoms and the seller refuses to acknowledge that there could be an issue.
- Septic problems that arise as a result of a system that has been ignored for decades can frequently cause problems with the drains.
- Because these pipes are meant to carry only water and not sludge, they are susceptible to being partially or completely blocked.
- Even though the drains appear to be functioning well, it is still recommended that you get an examination done.
- If the odors are coming from within the home (perhaps originating from the drains), they are more likely to be coming from outside, near the septic tank or leach field.
- Standing water or marshy areas should be avoided.
- Water can indicate that the system is leaking, deteriorating, or that it was not correctly built or designed, and so is not capable of adequately treating wastewater.
This additional water has the potential to overload the system and poison the surrounding communities.
Problems with Well Water If you live in an area that isn’t served by city sewage lines, there’s a good possibility that a private well is located on the same property as the septic system, which makes sense.
In the event that your septic system fails, the groundwater may become contaminated, resulting in unexpected findings when you test the well water.
If this is the case, you’ll need to investigate the septic system more as well as looking for other potential sources of contamination.
At this point, a malfunctioning septic system might be in such terrible shape that it will require complete replacement.
Whether you want further information about septic issues and inspections, or you require a regular everyday septic pumping service, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or online now.
8 Signs of Septic System Failure
Septic tanks are an important resource for both homeowners and the surrounding community. Its goal is to store domestic wastewater in an underground chamber where it may be treated at a basic level. They are generally composed of plastic, fiberglass, and concrete and serve as a sewage disposal system for the home or business owner. Sewage can leak underground and move upward in the earth if a septic unit fails, which can cause flooding. Not only may this result in serious plumbing issues, but it can also pose a health threat over time.
If that’s the case, these are the eight indicators of a failing septic system.
1. Septic System Backup
Everything that has to do with plumbing in your home is tied to your septic system. Sewage and wastewater will no longer be able to enter the tank if your septic system malfunctions or becomes overburdened. Instead, it will remain in the pipes until it begins to rise to the surface again. Sewage and wastewater back up into sinks, drains, and even into your toilet as a result of this condition. A clogged septic tank is the most obvious indicator of a failing system. You should contact a qualified plumber as soon as you discover this symptom to get it repaired.
2. Slow Drains
Slow drainage might also be caused by a clogged septic tank. For example, if a septic tank is completely filled, it will no longer actively collect wastewater from the ground. This implies that your pipes will become blocked with sewage and will be unable to drain your plumbing appliances properly. Your drains will become naturally sluggish in draining water or other liquids, as a result of this phenomenon. Even if you utilize the best gear available to unclog your drain, you will not be successful since the fundamental problem is located in the septic tank.
3. Gurgling Sounds
When using plumbing appliances, you should also be on the lookout for any unusual sounds that may occur. For example, if you flush your toilet and hear strange gurgling sounds, you should call a plumber right once to assess the situation. Toilets generally emit water-related sounds that subside once the flushing cycle is completed. If, on the other hand, you hear sounds that sound like an upset stomach, you may have a serious problem. If you are hearing gurgling noises coming from your drains, the same logic applies.
4. Pool of Water or Dampness Near Drainfield
It is no longer possible to absorb wastewater in a septic tank when it is damaged or fails. This indicates that wastewater will naturally seep out of the earth as a result of the groundwater table. It has the potential to create a significant pool of wastewater near the drain field, as well as cause dampness in the same area. These are the most obvious indications of a failing septic system, and they should not be ignored. A pool of water near the drainfield will often appear as if it has been raining on your lawn for an extended period of time.
Dampness near your drainfield, especially if it hasn’t rained in several days, should be taken seriously. If you have reason to believe that your septic tank is full or broken, make a point of actively looking for these signs.
5. Nasty Odors
One such tell-tale indicator of a failing septic system is the development of foul odors near the drainfield and plumbing equipment. If you notice strong and nasty scents when you walk outdoors and tread onto your grass, it is possible that your septic tank has failed. If the bad aromas emanating from your house are the same as those emanating from the office, you can reach a similar conclusion. It is likely that sewage has entered your home through the drainfield and into your main drain line, resulting in these foul odors.
6. Unusual, Bright Green Grass Above Drainfield
Have you ever seen people applying mulch, fertilizers, and manure to their lawns in order to encourage it to grow more quickly? It is possible that sewage has the same features as manure, namely that it contains nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and micronutrients that plants can use to thrive. When you see exceptionally green grass near your drainfield, it is likely that wastewater is leaking into your lawn from the drainfield itself. Due to the fact that grass is naturally green, identifying this symptom might be difficult.
Pay close attention to your drainfield in order to identify this problem before it becomes too serious.
7. Blooms of Algae in Nearby Water
If you live near a body of water, such as a lake or pond, keep an eye out for unexpected algal blooms that appear out of nowhere. Due to the fact that most individuals regard the appearance of algae to be a regular occurrence, diagnosing this symptom can also be difficult. Algal blooms, on the other hand, occur when a huge concentration of algae forms in a body of water. They appear to be artificial and to be the result of excessive algal contamination in the water. When wastewater is present, it might lead to the growth of algae that is aberrant.
8. High Levels of Coliform in Water Well
A neighboring water well may also be able to identify abnormal amounts of coliform bacteria as well as high quantities of nitrogen dioxide (nitrogen dioxide). However, if your septic system fails, the water in your well will get contaminated with bacteria and harsh chemicals by effluent from the surrounding area. Give Us a Call Right Now! Any problems with your septic tank now occupy your thoughts? If this is the case, please contact us at (941) 721-4645 to talk with a member of our staff. You may also learn more about our septic services by visiting this page.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do you have any other queries concerning septic systems? Please let us know. If this is the case, you may find a comprehensive list of FAQs farther down on this page.
How much do septic system repair services cost?
- A septic system repair service might cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 in labor and materials. The ultimate cost is determined by the extent of the task, the number of hours worked, and other factors.
Can a septic drainfield be repaired?
- Even though there is no quick remedy for drainfield repair, it is achievable if you employ an expert plumber or septic system specialist.
How often do septic systems need to be replaced?
- Septic systems may endure for more than 40 years if they are properly maintained. Every three years, the average septic tank should be examined and pumped out in order to avoid long-term problems and septic system failure.
Maintaining Your Septic System
Please be patient, as this may take a few moments to complete. While it is buried beneath your back yard, it is nonetheless active and continually functioning. When you’re at work, it’s actually doing something. It continues to function even when you are having supper. And even when you’re asleep, it’s still out there in the dark doing its thing. What exactly is it? Your sewage treatment system. Despite the fact that it is one of the most ignored and underappreciated utilities in your house, your septic system may provide you with years of trouble-free service if properly cared for and maintained.
In this article, we’ll show you how your septic system works, why it has to be maintained, and what you can do to avoid some of the most typical problems associated with it.
Understand that correct usage and maintenance of your septic system not only protects you, but also protects the rest of our community as well as the environment.
What’s in it for you? Plenty!
It is extremely vital to properly maintain your septic system. Here are a few of the reasons why: Protecting our local environment is important. A failed septic system can cause toxins to be released into the environment, causing harm. Extreme algae development in lakes and streams can be caused by pollutants such as nitrates and phosphates, which can be harmful to aquatic life in the environment. When chemicals are incorrectly disposed of through a septic system, they have the potential to damage nearby water sources and lead to early system failure.
Bacteria and viruses found in human waste can cause diarrhea, hepatitis, and typhoid fever, among other illnesses and diseases.
Keep your money safe by doing the following: Septic systems that fail are extremely expensive to repair or replace, and incorrect maintenance by homeowners is a typical cause of system failure at an early stage.
Consider that it normally costs $3,000 to $10,000 to repair a malfunctioning septic system, as opposed to $100 to $300 each year on average to keep one in good working order.
Inspections and Maintenance Key to a Healthy Septic System
Septic system maintenance is similar to automotive maintenance in that a small amount of work on a regular basis may save a considerable amount of money while also considerably extending the life of a system. Have your septic system examined at least once a year to verify that it is in proper operating order and to identify when the septic tank needs to be pumped. At this point, all compartments should have been drained out completely. Systems with moving parts may need more regular inspections than others.
- Even the act of peering into the tank might be hazardous.
- A competent contractor should conduct a complete examination that includes the following items: Identifying and locating the system: Even a trained specialist may have difficulty discovering the system if the entry to your tank is located deep down.
- This method is effective in most cases.
- Once the system components have been identified, create a map of the system and keep it on hand so that future service visits may be completed more quickly.
- Identifying and locating the manhole and inspection ports: It is possible that some digging will be required in the yard.
- Examining the connections: Cleaning the toilets, running water through the sinks, and running the washing machine through a cycle will all aid in determining if the domestic plumbing is all connected to the system and functioning properly.
- Pumping the tank should be performed if the sludge depth is equal to or more than one-third of the liquid depth.
- Inspection of the tank and leachfield: The inspector will examine the condition of the baffles or tees, as well as the tank’s walls for cracks, as well as the drainfield for signs of malfunction.
If the system comprises a distribution box, a drop box, or a pump, these components must also be inspected.
How your septic system works
The septic tank and the leachfield are the two most important components of a conventional septic system. Initially, household wastewater should be sent to the septic tank, where it should be allowed to sit for at least a day to allow heavy materials such as sludge and grease to sink to the bottom and light solids such as scum to float to the top. Sludge and scum should be allowed to remain in the tank so that naturally existing microorganisms may break down the waste products. However, occasionally the bacteria are unable to complete the task, and septic tanks must be drained out on a regular basis.
Bacteria found in the soil also contribute to the breakdown of trash.
As a result, solids can cause damage to leachfield pipes or chambers, as well as strain the system needlessly.
What you should do
Maintain accurate records: You should keep a complete record of all inspections, pumpings, permits, and any other maintenance you perform on your system, as well as a drawing of the area in which your septic system is located. Having this information on available when a service technician comes to your home can save you time and money. Protect the tank and leachfield by doing the following: Protecting your septic system from potential harm is very important to you. Planting anything else near your septic system, other than grass that does not require watering, is not recommended.
- Additionally, do not construct anything on top of a leachfield or allow cattle to compress the soil on top of a leachfield.
- Despite this, most engineers and sanitation specialists feel that commercial septic system additives are either ineffective or detrimental at the very least.
- The biological additions are non-toxic, but certain chemical additives have the potential to affect the soil in the leachfield and contaminate the groundwater.
- What you put into your septic system has a significant impact on its capacity to perform its function.
- As a general guideline, don’t put anything in your septic system that might just as easily be thrown away in the garbage.
- If you’re in the kitchen, refrain from flushing food scraps, coffee grounds, grease, and cooking oil down the sink.
- Dispose of any plastics, paper towels, face tissues, tampons, sanitary napkins, cigarette butts, dental floss, disposable diapers, condoms.
- The only things that should be flushed down the toilet are bodily waste and toilet paper.
- Drain cleansers, on the other hand, are an exception, and only a tiny amount of these items can kill the bacteria and cause the tank to temporarily halt its function.
- Overuse of these items might be detrimental to your health.
Paints, varnishes, paint thinners, waste oil, anti-freeze, photographic solutions, pharmaceuticals, antibacterial soaps, gasoline, oil, pesticides, and other organic chemicals, even in trace amounts, can destroy beneficial bacteria and the biological processes taking place in your system, even if the chemicals are in small quantities.
These compounds are also known to contaminate groundwater supplies. Make careful you dispose of any remaining hazardous substances at a hazardous waste collection location that has been approved.
How appliances may affect your septic system
Hot tubs and whirlpools: As a kind of treatment, hot tubs and whirlpools have grown more popular in the home environment. The relaxing, swirling waters of a spa may be beneficial to a homeowner, but the massive volumes of water that drain from a hot tub are detrimental to your septic system’s ability to function. Extruding huge amounts of water from your septic system can overburden it and cause it to overrun, stirring up the sediments in the tank and forcing them into the leachfield, eventually leading it to collapse.
- Garbage Disposals: If you have a septic system, it is recommended that you avoid using a garbage disposal.
- A bigger leachfield is actually required by Colorado law in the event of the usage of a waste grinder/disposal unit within the residence.
- This has the potential to agitate the solids and enable excess to flow into the leach field.
- Using a water softener can also rush many pounds of salt into a septic system, which can interfere with digestion in the septic tank and impair permeability in the soil distribution system, among other things.
Use water wisely all around the house
Because persistent soaking of the soil in the leachfield can adversely impair its quality and capacity to naturally remove toxics, bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants from wastewater, water conservation is critical for septic systems. The most effective strategy to conserve water around the house is to begin by reducing or eliminating water waste in the first place. Repair any leaking faucets or running toilets as soon as possible, and only use dishwashers when they are completely full.
- Another tip is to limit your laundry load size to no more than two per day; washing more clothes in a row might overwhelm your septic system with water, causing it to overflow and flush particles into the leachfield.
- Look for appliances that have the Energy Star logo on them.
- Only non-phosphate or low-phosphate washing detergents should be used.
- Bathrooms: In a normal family, the bathroom is where the majority of the water is consumed – and therefore, where the most water may be saved.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower and/or install water-saving technology in your faucets and shower heads.
- 1.6 gallons per flush is the average amount of water consumed by low-flush toilets, as opposed to 3 to 5 gallons each flush for traditional toilets.
Try to spread out activities that necessitate a lot of water consumption across a few days. Roof drains, surface water, and sump pumps should all be diverted away from the leachfield as well.
Septic System DOs and DON’Ts!
- DOtain a working knowledge of the location of your septic tank and drainfield. Ensure that your septic system is examined yearly, and that your septic tank is pumped out by a professional contractor at least every three to five years, or as frequently as is necessary for your system. Make sure that your septic tank lid is easily removable for inspection and pumping. if necessary, install risers
- DOcontact a professional whenever you have problems with your system, or if there are any signs of system failure
- DOkeep a detailed record of all repairs, pumping, inspections, permits issued, and other maintenance activities
- DOconserve water in order to avoid overloading the system It is important to fix any leaking faucets or toilets. It is also important to redirect additional sources of water away from the septic system, including roof drains, house footing drains, and sump pumps. Extra water in the drainfield prevents natural purification of wastewater by the earth
- Excess water should NOT be discharged into a septic tank. Septic tanks emit toxic gases as a result of the natural treatment processes that take place within. These fumes may kill in minutes. When checking a septic tank, even for the sake of observation, extreme caution should be exercised
- DO NOT allow anyone to drive or park over any section of the system
- DO NOT plant anything over or near the drainfield other than grass
- DO NOT allow anybody to dig in the drainfield. Avoid digging in your drainfield or building anything on top of it, and don’t cover the drainfield with a hard surface like concrete or asphalt, since roots from adjacent trees or bushes may clog and harm the drain lines. The only vegetation that should be present over the drain field is grass. The grass will not only assist to avoid erosion, but it will also aid in the removal of surplus water. DON’T perform or authorize repairs to your septic system unless you first receive a permit from the local public health agency. When professional licensed onsite contractors are required, they should be used. DON’T use septic tank additives until absolutely necessary. They are frequently ineffective and in some cases even hazardous to your system when used under regular operating settings
- DON’T use your toilet as a garbage can, and don’t pollute your septic system or groundwater by flushing toxic chemicals and cleaners down the toilet. Harsh chemicals have the potential to harm beneficial microorganisms that cleanse wastewater. DON’T utilize a trash disposal without first consulting your local regulatory body to ensure that your septic system can handle the excess waste generated
- Allowing backwash from household water softeners to enter the septic system is strictly prohibited.
Septic System Frequently Asked Questions
A septic system, sometimes known as a septic tank, is an underground system that processes the sewage that flows from your house before disposing of the treated, cleaner water. Septic systems are typically seen in residential areas. The treated water is subsequently re-introduced into the environment through filtration. This is critical because untreated sewage may harm nearby streams and water systems, as well as the soil around the perimeter of your septic system. Because your septic system is designed to cleanse and filter sewage, it is critical that it is in proper operating order.
What is a Drainfield?
The drainfield, also known as the leach field, is the area where the water from your septic system is sent after it has been cleansed and filtered. It is necessary to construct a drainfield in order to ensure that water is distributed uniformly back into the soil.
How do I find my septic system?
If you’re fortunate enough to have a contemporary septic system in your yard, it may be equipped with an access lid that is visible from the ground floor. If this is the situation at your residence, locating your septic system is as simple as taking a few steps into your backyard. It’s unfortunate that this isn’t true for older septic systems. It’s possible that you may locate an older system in your home by checking for greener, faster-growing grass or even an area with less growth than the rest of your yard if you live in an older home.
This will show you exactly where your septic system is located in your yard, if you have one.
You’ll need to look for the location where your septic system’s sanitary line exits your home and follow that line until you find your septic tank, which will take some time.
If you are unable to discover your septic system, your yard may need to be dug up by a septic system installation in order to locate your septic tank as a last option.
How long do septic systems last?
Septic systems are not designed to endure for a specific number of years, thus there is no defined time frame. In the event of adequate maintenance, you may expect your septic system to last several decades before it has to be replaced; but, if your system fails or deteriorates as a result of bad care, its lifespan will be drastically diminished. In order to obtain an accurate estimate of how much longer the life of your septic system may be extended, you must first have it checked thoroughly by an experienced septic system installation or repairer.
However, if you are confident that your tank is in good condition, the date of installation should provide you with an indication of how long it will endure.
What’s the advantage of installing a newer septic system rather than an older system?
Although it is not required to install a new system, there are advantages to having a modern septic tank rather than an older one. For starters, when you get a new septic tank, you can be confident that it will serve you for decades if it is properly maintained, and you will not have to worry about it being “too old.” Additionally, newer systems have been modified to reduce the likelihood of your system becoming clogged, and if something does go wrong with a new system or when it comes time to have your septic system pumped, a new system will likely be easier to locate because they are frequently constructed with ground-level lids.
New septic systems also provide a further treatment for your waste water, allowing it to be cleaner before it is released into the surrounding environment.
How much does a new septic system cost?
Installation of new septic systems may be a significant financial commitment, with costs typically reaching tens of thousands of dollars. Whenever you have to replace an outdated septic system, you should look into financing alternatives that will make it simpler for you to pay for a new septic system in the long run. Purchase further information from a septic system installation business on how to obtain septic systems at the most competitive prices while also taking advantage of low-interest financing options.
How big is my septic tank?
Septic tank capacity is determined by the amount of water consumed in your property as well as local codes and requirements. Check with your local health agency to find out how big your tank is before installing it.
Why should my septic system be pumped out?
Without regular pumping, the gases emitted by human waste accumulate in your septic system, increasing the risk of septic tank damage and the need for more frequent pumping. The regular pumping of your septic system will allow you to limit the rate at which your tank deteriorates and save money in the process. It’s crucial to remember, though, that degeneration is unavoidable in the long run. It is only via regular maintenance, such as pumping your tank, that your septic system will survive longer.
Does my tank need to be dug up to know if it needs to be pumped?
Risers are commonly found in newer septic systems, which allow you to access your tank from the ground level through a lid. It is straightforward for any septic system professional to determine whether or not your yard has risers placed, and whether or not it is necessary to pump it. If, on the other hand, your tank cannot be accessible from the ground level, it will need to be dug up in order to determine whether it has to be drained.
Instead of inspecting your septic system to see whether it needs to be pumped on a regular basis, set a timetable for having your system pumped every 2-3 years.
Why should I have risers and lids installed on my septic system?
As a result, when it comes time to find, pump, or repair your septic system, risers are the best choice since they provide ground-level access to your system. Having a septic system lid will allow you to mow your grass while still being able to find your system with no difficulty. Lids and risers also have the advantage of being accessible all year round, as opposed to earlier septic systems that could only be accessed by digging a trench through your yard. If your septic system has to be pumped or repaired for any reason during the winter months, getting beneath layers of frozen earth can be difficult, if not impossible, and you may be forced to wait until the spring to have access to your tank again.
How often should my septic system be pumped out?
A typical septic system contains a 1,500-gallon tank, which needs to be pumped around every 2-3 years for a household of four, according to industry standards. If you have less than four people living in your house, you will most likely be able to pump your septic system every five years rather than every three. You should speak with your local health agency to determine the exact size of your tank, and you should consult a septic system business to determine how frequently your tank should be pumped based on the size of your family and the size of your septic tank.
Do I need to have the septic tank pumped if I’m selling my house?
Consult with your local health department to learn about the restrictions that apply to your region of residence. Generally speaking, as long as your septic system has been pumped on a regular basis by a licensed septic system company and recently enough for the new homeowners to be able to live there for a year or two without having to pump the septic system, you should not be required to have it pumped again in the near future.
How do I find someone to pump my septic system?
It is important to be aware that not all septic system businesses are licensed and that not all firms properly dispose of or recycle the waste they pump from your septic system when you are looking for one to pump it. Finding a firm that complies with EPA standards should be your first concern, and then you should look at price, how pricing is split down, and which company is delivering the most honest, economical, and dependable service should be your next consideration. Investigate business evaluations, and when you select a septic system provider to pump your septic tank, be certain that they do the work properly, leaving enough water and waste to keep the sewage decomposing while leaving no visible trace more than a few inches of waste behind.
How much does it cost to have my septic system pumped?
It is recommended that you call many pumpers before making a selection, and that you ask as many questions as possible to ensure that you are receiving the best service for your money. Pumping may cost upwards of $200, so it is always wise to shop around before making a decision.
You should not consider it a waste of money to have your septic system pumped when the time comes. By correctly maintaining your septic system, you may avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars to replace your septic system long before it should have been replaced in the first place.
What happens if I don’t have my septic system pumped?
The sediments will pile up in your septic tank if you don’t pump it out regularly, ultimately overflowing into the drain field and clogging the drain field. Backups can occur, causing damage to your property and even necessitating the replacement of your drain field, which can be a very expensive error.
I just had my septic system pumped. Why is it full already?
Septic systems are designed to refill rapidly since the purpose of pumping is not to remove water but rather to remove non-biodegradable waste, and the water itself is not the aim of pumping. Once your septic system has been pumped and you begin to use the water in your house, your tank will quickly refill in order to maintain good operation of the system. If the water level rises to a point where it is above the outlet line, contact your septic system service provider for assistance immediately.
What do you look for when inspecting my septic system?
When we do an inspection, we make certain that your septic system is in good operating condition and that it satisfies the standards for receiving a Certificate of Compliance. If you’re planning to sell your home, you should have your septic system checked out by a professional who is certified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. This will allow you to sell your home faster and for more money, if you can prove that your system has been checked out by an accredited professional. The level of liquid in your septic tank will be checked, and we’ll make sure there is no surface-level discharge.
The drains in my home aren’t draining as quickly as they normally do. Does this have to do with my septic system?
Drains that are clogged and that empty slowly are not necessarily a big source of concern. Before presuming that there is an issue with your septic system, check sure that there isn’t anything obstructing your drain first. In the case of one plumbing fixture in your house that is draining slowly, it is likely due to clogging; however, if all of the drains in your home are slow or leave waste backed up, it is probable that your septic system requires inspection and may even require pumping.
What happens when my septic system fails?
Symptoms of a failing septic system may include minor issues such as drain breaks or pipes that have been stopped, which can be caused by tree roots intersecting with the system. Septic system failure, on the other hand, might indicate that your septic tank has degraded to the point that it cannot be repaired and must be replaced. A blocked drainfield will hopefully not become your problem because it is the most expensive component of your system to replace; nevertheless, if it does, you must act quickly to make the necessary repairs or else your waste will continue to back up, perhaps causing damage to your property.
A blocked drainfield is likely the reason of your sluggish draining pipes, damp yard above your tank or drainfield, sewage stench coming from your yard, or tainted well water. You’ll need to replace the drainfield as soon as possible to avoid further pollution of drinking water sources.
How do I prevent my septic system from failing? How can I properly maintain my septic system?
Your septic system should degrade at a normal rate over the course of several decades if you maintain it on a regular basis. Maintenance normally consists of getting your septic system pumped on a regular basis and making certain that you do not flush or wash anything down the drain that might block your septic system.
What shouldn’t I flush down the toilet?
As a general rule, only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed. There are several reasons why flushing medicine down the toilet is not a good idea. First, medication might kill some of the bacteria in your septic tank, which is necessary to break down solid waste. Second, drugs can pollute adjacent well water. In addition, you should avoid flushing feminine hygiene items, paper towels, tissues, hair, cat litter (even if it is flushable), diapers, wipes, condoms, cigarettes, and anything else that seems to be inorganic and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet.
What shouldn’t I pour down the drain?
Grease from the kitchen, motor oil, anti-freeze, gasoline, paint, and food should not be flushed down the toilet or drain. You should avoid flushing anything down your drain other than soap and water, and you should especially avoid flushing any form of chemical down your drain that should not be recycled back into the environment, such as fertilizer.
Is using a garbage disposal bad for my septic system?
Using a trash disposal will result in the requirement to pump your septic system more frequently than you would otherwise need to do if you avoided flushing food particles down your drains. Too much food collection in your tank might cause your drainfield to clog since the microorganisms in your tank are not capable to digesting it. When using a trash disposal, check with your septic system company to find out how frequently the disposal should be serviced.
Should I add bacteria to my septic system?
Aside from being completely useless, introducing bacteria to your septic tank is also highly discouraged. The bacteria produced by human waste is sufficient to break down the solid sewage in your tank without the need of bacteria supplements or other methods. If, on the other hand, multiple members of your home are using pharmaceuticals, they will enter your septic system through human waste and kill some of the beneficial bacteria in your tank, causing it to malfunction. Please contact the firm who installed your septic system to see whether or not you should be worried about the amount of bacteria-killing compounds entering the system.
There’s a strong sewer odor outside of my house. Could this be my septic tank?
Strong sewage stench coming from your yard might be coming from your septic system, but it could also be coming from someplace else completely. Identifying the source of the smell is important. Check for propane or gas leaks in your home before concluding that your septic system is at fault; however, if your gas or propane lines are not leaking, determine how long it has been since you had your tank pumped, and whether there is any sewage waste in your yard or other signs of septic system failure before making your final decision.
Can my septic system contaminate nearby water?
It is possible for your septic system to pollute surrounding water sources if it is not properly managed or fails completely.
In the event that you suspect that your septic system is failing, make sure that it is routinely pumped and inspected by an expert.
My gutters’ downspouts drain into my yard above my septic system. Is this a bad thing?
The drainage of your gutters into your yard above your septic system, and particularly into your drainfield, can be hazardous to your septic system. All water should be diverted away from your septic system in order to minimize flooding and damage to your septic system’s tank or drain field.