If you’re a homeowner of a home with a septic tank, you have the added responsibility of monitoring your own sewage treatment system. In North America, about 25% of the population uses septic tanks in small suburbs, towns, and in rural areas. The chances are you or someone you know utilizes a septic system at home. It’s not something we really think about, considering they only need maintenance once every year or two. Some homeowners go much longer without evaluating their septic system, making them prone to eventual high-cost repairs. When you’re not sure when to have a professional come take a look at your tank, think about whether you’ve noticed any of the following signs.
Long Time Since Last Pump
Even if your tank seems to be working fine, if it has been more than two years since you last pumped or inspected your tank, there could be several problems with it that you won’t notice on the surface. You won’t be able to tell if there are any leaks or back-ups or other general problems unless you hire a professional. So if it’s been 2+ years since your last pump, now’s the time to call in a septic tank expert.
Wet Leach Fields
The leach field (or drainage field) is where the effluent, or wastewater from your home, is treated as it leaves the septic tank. Your septic tank has two chambers, one for solids and one for liquid. As the solids chamber fills up, liquids that have been treated from the second chamber are forced out and flow into the leach field– a series of trenches filled with gravel or rocks where the water is treated even further. When the field becomes wet it means it could be clogged with partially decomposed organic waste (biomat) or roots.
Slow or Clogged Toilets
Toilets that constantly refuse to flush or overflow are a huge red flag that your septic system needs attention right away. You won’t know whether your leach field isn’t working right, the drains are clogged, or the tank is overflowing, but a professional will.
If you smell foul odors inside and outside of your home, or just one or the other, it is a tell-tale sign your septic tank isn’t working right. Any rotten smell anywhere around the house means you should call for an inspection pronto.
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