Septic tanks are a critical component of your sewage treatment system. They separate solid waste from sewage to protect the drain field and prevent clogs.
Regular maintenance and monitoring of your septic tank will help it last longer. Keeping inspection reports and maintenance records will also help when you want to sell your home.
Overflowing Septic Tank Repair
Since septic systems are underground, they can be out of sight and out of mind until something goes wrong. If your septic tank overflows, you will have to take some precautions and reduce water use until the problem gets resolved.
Overflows could be a sign that you are not getting the regular pumping needed to keep sludge levels low. A leaking septic tank could also be the result of a cracked or broken line.
Another possible cause of a septic tank overflow is the use of cleaning products that contain chemicals that kill bacteria that help break down waste and allow it to pass through your drainage field without clogging. It is important to avoid these products at all costs because they will make your septic system less efficient over time. Regular tank inspections and pumping every three to five years can prevent overflows from happening. If they do occur, you should call a septic inspector right away to have the issue diagnosed and fixed.
Sewage Backing Up into Your Home
Sewage backups flood flooring surfaces with toxic black water that’s loaded with biological and chemical contaminants. They’re a major health hazard for residents and pets and they also cause damage to household appliances and property. Whether your wastewater drains to the city sewer system or your on-property septic tank, any sign of sewage backing up into your home or basement should prompt immediate action.
Septic tanks are buried, water-tight containers that hold the solid waste from household drains until they’re ready to pass through the home. The solids settle in the bottom as sludge, while the liquid wastewater (effluent) flows out of the top into a drainfield for absorption.
A septic tank needs to be properly maintained for it to function effectively. A professional can help with maintenance by ensuring the proper size septic tank is installed and recommending regular pumping intervals. He can also advise you on how to reduce your septic tank’s maintenance requirements by keeping trees, shrubs, and grass away from the tank and drainfield.
Septic Tank Smells
Septic tank odors are normal for well-functioning tanks, as anaerobic microorganisms digest organic waste. This process releases hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide gases, which smell rotten. However, these odors can be concentrated in specific locations due to various factors, including clogged plumbing vent pipes and dislodged septic tank lids.
Odd odors in your home can indicate that the septic system is overflowing, especially when these odors are accompanied by sewage backups. A plumber can clear the clogs and restore the proper flow of wastewater to prevent these issues from occurring.
Septic tank odors in the yard can also indicate a problem with your septic system. If your home is located in a valley or forest, the wind currents that normally carry these odors away from your home might be carrying them down into your yard instead. A plumber can install a new vent pipe to resolve this issue. You can also try pouring water down the septic tank vent pipe to dislodge any clogs.
Septic Tank Leaks
When a septic tank is leaking it’s usually because the inlet baffle is clogged. When this happens you will notice that toilets are not flushing or sinks drain slower than usual. A plumber’s snake can be run down the inlet pipe to dislodge whatever is lodged and causing the blockage.
Leaks can also occur in the septic tank itself or at the outlet. The latter is most often a sign that the septic system is overloaded and needs to be emptied.
A septic tank works by allowing solid waste to settle and natural bacteria break it down into liquid effluent that is filtered by the soil. Perforated pipes then send this sewage to the drain field where it is slowly absorbed by the ground. This prevents wastewater from entering the surface of the earth where it could cause environmental and health issues.