How to Identify and Address Septic System Problems

Leak detection

Most people think that their septic systems are perfectly fine, until the day there’s some kind of catastrophic failure. What they don’t realize is that these septic system problems are usually a long time coming. Any residential plumbing services worth their weight can tell you that most systems start failing years before the failure.

Backed up tanks are usually the most common cause of septic system problems. After years and years of usage, sludge buildup and floating scum reduce the tank’s effective capacity. This results in waste passing too quickly through, which eventually plugs up pipes in the drain field and will make the tank overfill.

Soakaways are also the cause of many septic system problems and they’re bound to fail. It’s inevitable. Soakaways are pits filled with rubble and rock where septic waste goes to soak away (hence its name) into the ground. There are certain symptoms of failing soakaways that you can recognize before the septic system problems worsen. If you can identify them, you’ll have time to call plumbing repair services before the septic system fails, and you’ll ultimately need an expensive replacement unit.

Some of these symptoms include: overflowing toilets, gurgling drains, foul smells, wet waste showing up on land, odorous drains, nearby stream pollution, and soil dips near the soakaway.

The easiest, most common way to avoid any of these septic system problems from ever occurring is to do a yearly septic pump out. The tank can really only handle so much, and an annual draining will help keep sludge and scum from accruing. During this annual draining, plumbing services can also check the soakaway to make sure that it’s not begun to fail yet.

Tank buildup and failing soakaways are the most common causes of septic system problems. The key to making sure the system works as it should is to do keep vigilant for the symptoms of failure, and to do an annual drain. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. Continue:

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