Signs of Septic System Failure
Here, the signs od septic system failure are as follows.
- Toilets, drains, as well as sinks are leaking water and sewage into the house.
- Bathtubs, showers, as well as sinks all drain at a snail’s pace.
- The plumbing system is making gurgling noises.
- Around the septic tank or drain field, there may be standing water or moist places.
- Odors emanating from the septic tank or drain field.
- Even now in dry weather, bright green, spongy lush grass grows over the sewage tank or drain field.
- Blooms of algae in neighboring ponds or lakes.
- Water wells with high quantities of nitrates or coliform bacteria.
Septic systems, like the rest of your house, need to be maintained on a regular basis. The septic system, if properly maintained, should give years of reliable service.
Owners incur the risk of severe and costly breakdowns if the septic system isn’t maintained. Furthermore, septic systems have a limited lifespan and must be changed at some point.
A defective or malfunctioning septic system endangers human and animal health and pollutes the environment. A responsible septic owner is aware of the indicators of failure, regardless of the age of the system, and responds swiftly when any are identified.
A prompt response may save the owner money on repairs as well as prevent illness and have a negative influence on the environment.
What Happens When a Septic System Fails?
When a septic system fails, untreated sewage is released and carried to places where it should not be. This may cause sewage to rise to the surface of the earth around the tank or drain field, or to back up in building pipes.
Sewage could even make its way into groundwater, surface water, or marine water without our knowledge. The sewage contains germs and other harmful substances. People and animals can become ill as a result of exposure to certain diseases and pollutants.
They can also contaminate water supplies, making them unsuitable for drinking, swimming, shellfish harvesting, and agricultural usage.
What Are Some Common Reasons a Septic System Doesn’t Work Properly?
1. Pipe from the House to the Tank Is Clogged.
Drains drain extremely gradually (possibly slower at lower tiers of the structure) or entirely cease draining whenever this occurs. Usually, this is a simple issue to resolve.
A service provider may typically “snake the line” to clear it. Just flush human excrement including toilet paper down the sewer, and have your system inspected once a year to avoid a clogged line.
Vehicle and animal traffic might cause this pipe to be crushed or broken. The pipe is occasionally clogged by plant roots (particularly on older systems). In order to repair a crushed or root-damaged pipe, you’ll need to replace (at least) a piece of it.
2. Inlet Baffle to Tank is Blocked.
Such malfunction is analogous to a clogged input pipe from the residence to the tank. One can inspect for a blockage in your intake baffle aperture if you do have accessibility to it.
If you notice toilet paper or other material, try to use a pole to clear it. Take care not to cause significant harm to the septic system parts. For this rather simple and low-cost fix, you can also hire a service specialist.
Avoid clogging of your inlet baffle by eliminating only human waste including toilet paper and getting your system examined once a year.
3. Outlet Baffle or Effluent Filter is Clogged.
This could result in sewage backing up into the house or surfacing near the septic tank. This problem could be a symptom that the tank is receiving too much water, possibly in a short period of time.
If there is an effluent filter, it must be cleaned or changed. If there is no effluent filter, identifying and removing the clog will most likely necessitate having the tank pumped. Prevent this type of problem by cleaning your effluent filter (if you have one) and getting your system inspected annually.
4. Drain Field Has Failed.
Sewage can back it up into the house if the drain field fails or becomes saturated. One may notice wet, soggy regions above or around the drain field, as well as spongy bright green grass.
There may well be scents in the vicinity of the tank or drain field as well. A element of the septic system may be nearing the end of its life. It’s possible that the system was set up incorrectly, allowing to much though solid material to reach the drain field, leading it to break early.
Or perhaps the system has just outgrown its capacity to take garbage after many years of operation.
If the drain field has been saturated with too much water (due to high volumes of water running down the drain or flood water on the drain field), it may be feasible to dry it out and rehabilitate it. To determine the issue, contact a service specialist.
If the drain field has failed, if possible, a connection to the public sewer system should be explored. A new drain field will have to be built if this is not the case.
Also Read : Septic Tank Leaking
How Can I Prevent a Failure?
Routine maintenance and appropriate operation will ensure that your septic system lives a long and trouble-free life. If your septic system has been correctly built, sited, and installed, the rest is up to you.
Inspect your system once a year and pump as needed (usually every 3-5 years). Avoid using excessive amounts of water, and be mindful of what you dump down the drain and flush down the toilet.
If the system consists solely of a septic tank plus drain field, it must be inspected each 3 years. Each year, all the other types of systems must be inspected. A more strict inspection requirement may be imposed by your local health agency.
One may engage a septic professional to inspect your septic system or do it yourself if your local health department permits it.
Septic tanks were settlement chambers which enable sediments including scum to separate from wastewater over time, allowing clean liquid to flow safely into the drain field.
It’s critical to keep solids, also known as sludge, from accumulating around the system’s output baffles; if this happens, sediments could fill the pipe to the drain field, worse or, clog the drain field.
Pumping on a regular basis will help you avoid costly failures like a clogged drain field or sewage backing up into your property. The use of a garbage disposal increases the amount of sediments entering the septic tank, necessitating more regular pumping.
The Frequency with Which You Must Pump Your Septic Tank Is Influenced by Four Primary Factors:
- Size of the family. The more people in the house, the more frequently you’ll need to pump.
- Total amount of wastewater produced. If you flush a lot of water down the drain (due to inefficient or leaky toilets, washers, showerheads, and sink faucets), the tank won’t be able to settle entirely, and you’ll have to pump more frequently.
- Solids in wastewater volume. Garbage disposal and food waste down the drain, as well as garbage from RVs and boats poured into your system, may quickly fill the tank with sediments.
- Septic tank dimensions. The larger the tank, the more capacity it has to hold sediments and water, perhaps allowing for more time between pumpings. Older septic tanks may not be suitably designed for your home, especially if it has been rebuilt and is now larger.
- Conserve water. The more wastewater you generate, the more wastewater the soil must process and dispose of. By minimising and balancing your consumption, you may extend the life of your drain field, reduce the likelihood of system failure, and save costly repairs.
Also Read : Septic Systems and Drinking Water
To Reduce Your Water Use:
- Use water-saving equipment such as faucet aerators, high-efficiency toilets, showerheads, dishwashers, and washing machines to save water.
- Fix any broken or leaking faucets or fixtures. Hundreds of gallons of water might be wasted each day by a leaking toilet.
- Shower for less time.
- Bathe in a tub that is just half-full.
- Dishes and clothes should only be washed when they are completely full. If your washing machine provides a load size selection, make sure you choose the appropriate load size. If you’re washing a modest amount of clothing, don’t use the large-load cycle.
Also Read : Table on Septic Systems and Drinking Water
Can My Failing Septic System Contaminate the Water?
Yes, a failed septic system may pollute well water and adjacent bodies of water. Untreated wastewater is a health problem that can lead to a variety of ailments in humans.
You and your neighbors’ wells might be affected if this untreated effluent enters the groundwater. Shellfish beds and recreational swimming sites may be affected if sewage enters local streams or waterbodies.
You are responsible for the safety of the groundwater and drinking water on your property as a homeowner or company owner who uses a septic system for waste management. One method to accomplish this is to keep your septic system in good working order.
Toilets, sinks, showers, as well as household appliances generate wastewater, which drains into a live filter septic tank that is subterranean as well as watertight. Solids settle to the bottom of the container, while fats, oils, including grease float to the top.
Inside the tank, pollutants in the sewage start to break down and be eliminated. The wastewater is carried into a leach field by porous pipelines buried in soil, gravel, sometimes sand.
Upon entering the groundwater, the partly municipal wastewater passes over dirt as well as sand, wherein microbes breakdown down the material and screen out germs and other hazardous pathogens.
Any leftover impurities should be captured by flowing groundwater beneath a drain field.
Septic systems that are not adequately maintained or damaged might contaminate groundwater.
To keep your valuable drinking water free of hazardous germs, you must first understand how your septic system and water supply interact.