Why do septic systems fail? The majority of them fail as a result of poor maintenance or incorrect design. There are even some soil-based systems installed in locations that don’t have adequate soil or with excessive slopes. Such conditions can result in hydraulic failures and even contamination of water sources nearby.
It is your duty to perform regular maintenance, including pumping the septic tank at least every three to five years. Failure to do so can cause solids in the tank to migrate into the drain field, causing a system clog.
What To Do if Your Septic Tank Fails
There are also various signs that you should watch out for that will indicate a failed septic tank, including:
- Sinks, bathtubs, and showers draining slowly
- Sewage and water from toilets, drains, and sinks begin to back up into your home
- Standing water near the septic tank
- Gurgling noises in the plumbing system
- Unpleasant odors near the septic tank
- Algal blooms near ponds or lakes
- High levels of nitrates in water wells
A malfunctioning septic tank can put your health and the health of your family and pets in danger. It can also pollute the environment. This is why you should be alert to the signs of failure, no matter how old or new the system is. When you discover issues, you should immediately respond to save you money on repairs and prevent illness.
If your septic tank fails, sewage from your plumbing fixtures will back up into your home. It is important that you avoid contact with the sewage as much as possible since harmful pathogens may be present.
If you are asking, “When should I get my septic tank repaired or replaced?”, you should contact a professional as soon as possible if your system backs up into your house. You can also contact your local health department for assistance. Cleanup personnel should be equipped with protective clothing that includes face splash shields and rubber gloves and shoe coverings.
Once cleanup is complete, you will need to make sure that you wash all tools, equipment, and clothing thoroughly. You should also make sure that you clean up the areas that have been contaminated with water. Be sure to disinfect all equipment or any areas exposed to contaminated water using a mixture of 10 percent bleach and 90 percent water. The area should also be thoroughly dried and not touched for at least 24 hours.
The best way to prevent septic tank failure is by providing regular maintenance and ensuring proper operation. This will help your septic system have a trouble-free and long life. If your septic system has been installed correctly and properly designed, the rest is your responsibility. Aside from inspecting your system tank annually, you should also avoid excess water use and be mindful of what you put down the drain and toilets.