Signs of a Failing Septic System: What You Need to Know

Introduction to Septic Systems:

Septic systems are used by many homeowners who live in areas without access to public sewerage. A septic system is a self-contained, underground wastewater treatment and disposal system that uses natural processes to treat the wastewater generated from homes or businesses. The septic tank is typically made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene and consists of two chambers – one for solids settling and another for liquid discharge.

Choosing the Right Septic System for Your Property:

When choosing a septic system, there are several factors you need to consider such as soil type, water table depth, and the amount of wastewater generated daily. You should also determine if your property requires a standard gravity system or an alternative system like pressure distribution or mound systems. It’s essential to consult with a professional installer or engineer before making any decisions.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Septic System:

Proper maintenance of your septic system can help prevent costly repairs and extend its lifespan. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy septic system:

1. Regularly inspect and pump out the septic tank every three years (or more frequently depending on usage).

2. Use only biodegradable cleaning products and avoid flushing non-biodegradables down the drain.

3. Limit the use of high-water consuming appliances like washing machines and dishwashers.

4. Plant trees and shrubs away from the septic area to avoid root damage.

Signs of a Failing Septic System and What to Do:

A failing septic system can cause significant environmental problems and pose potential health risks. Some signs of a failing septic system include slow draining sinks and toilets, foul odors around the septic area, and lush vegetation over the drain field. If you suspect your septic system is failing, here’s what you need to do:

1. Stop using the system immediately until it has been inspected and evaluated by a licensed professional.

2. Have the septic tank pumped out and thoroughly inspected for cracks, leaks, or other damages.

3. Consider having the drain field replaced or rehabilitated if necessary.

Conclusion: Common Questions About Septic Systems Answered:

Here are answers to some common questions about septic systems:

Q: How often should I have my septic tank pumped?

A: The frequency at which you should have your septic tank pumped depends on various factors including the size of your family, the volume of wastewater produced, and the age of the septic system. Generally, it’s recommended to have your septic tank pumped every three to five years.

Q: Can I plant trees near my septic system?

A: Yes, but you should plant them far enough away from the septic area to avoid root damage. Roots can penetrate the pipes and clog the system, leading to failure. Consult with a professional installer or engineer to determine the appropriate distance between the septic system and tree roots.

Q: Is it okay to flush cat litter down the toilet?

A: No, cat litter is not biodegradable and can accumulate in the septic tank, causing it to fill up faster than usual. To dispose of cat litter, place it in a plastic bag and throw it in the trash.

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