Some homes have septic systems instead of running off a shared city sewer system. Your septic tank is yours, meaning you’re responsible for all the cleaning and maintenance associated with septic ownership, including keeping the septic tank in good working order and pumping it on a regular schedule. A septic tank alarm system can be a big help in this department.
If you have a septic system installed on your property, there’s a chance you have a septic tank alarm somewhere in your home. Here’s some information about these warning devices and what to do when your septic alarm in Prior Lake, MN goes off.
An overview of septic tank alarms
A septic tank alarm system is a device designed to monitor the water elevation inside the tank, and it alerts you when the water level in the tank is much higher or lower than it should be. An activated alarm can be an indication of a septic tank pump problem, but not always. All septic systems with pumps should have a timer installed that controls when the pump can pump waste water into the drain field. This feature prevents the drain field from becoming overloaded during periods of increased water use.
Timer systems run the pump in durations at certain times of the day. If too much water comes into the system between pumping cycles, it will have no place to go except into the pump tank. This raises the water level inside the pump tank until the controls cycle back and come on again. Because the pump is set to only come on for a certain amount of run time, it can be several pumping cycles before the water is pumped back down to the tank’s normal level.
Reasons for elevated water levels
There may be several reasons for tank water level problems. First, it could be happening due to the simple fact that too much water is being put through the septic system. Doing laundry loads back to back, running the dishwasher continuously and everyone in your household taking a lot of long showers are all causes of excessive water usage. Another reason is groundwater getting into the system. Too much rain may cause seepage. Standing water around septic tanks can seep into the tank, raising the water inside the tank to dangerous levels. Or, there may be something wrong with a septic component (pump, timer, alarm, floats).
What to do
If your septic tank alarm gets triggered, push the red button or switch on the alarm box to turn it off. The green light should be on to indicate the alarm has power; the red light means the water level is getting higher than it should be. Check to make sure the septic system has power and that there’s no standing water around the tank. It may take a couple pump cycles (10 to 15 hours) for the red light to go out. Reduce your water usage during this time.
For questions about a specific septic warning in Prior Lake, MN, call Mike’s Septic & McKinley Sewer Services. We’re here to help!