Septic systems have a bad reputation for causing problems for homeowners. Fortunately, this doesn't have to be the case for your septic system. If you know what to look for to determine if the septic system is failing, you'll be able to make adjustments and repairs before the damage is too extensive.
Here, you'll learn the signs that your septic system is failing so you can better be prepared to prevent the disaster from striking.
Signs that the Septic System is Failing
The signs can start out subtle, but without an intervention, the problem can escalate to a very messy situation quickly.
- Watch your drains! If the drains are slowing, there could be too much liquid being held in the tank.
- Check your lawn! If the grassy areas around the septic tanks, sand mound, or leach bed are wet when it hasn't rained, there's a problem that should be investigated.
- Follow your nose! If you smell septic odors in your home or while you're in your yard, there's an issue that needs to be addressed. These odors can expose your family to harmful gasses that can make you all sick.
Check the Septic Tank
Now, this isn't exactly anyone's favorite job, but it needs to be done.
- Lift the cover off of the septic tank.
- Tie an old towel to the end of a long stick – the stick must be long enough to reach the bottom of the septic tank.
- Insert the stick into the tank until you hit the bottom.
- Slowly withdraw the stick and lay it down.
What do you see on the stick? Ideally, you should see three substances on the stick.
- Darkest shade on the bottom – the solid waste should be resting at the bottom of the tank leaving a dark color on the stick.
- Medium shades in the middle – the middle of the tank should be liquids.
- The top is an odd greasy shade of brown – this is typically the floating greases that you wash down your drains.
If the results don't match up with what's listed above, there is a problem, and you will need to contact your local septic tank inspection and repair technician for assistance in determining the root of the problem and resolving it before it backs up into the home. Your actions will determine how this all works out, so don't put off getting the work done that your septic system needs.
For more information, contact a company like Rob's Septic Tanks Inc.