What to Do When Your Septic System Fails: The Ultimate Guide

Introduction to Septic Systems:

Septic systems are a type of on-site wastewater treatment system that is commonly used in rural areas or places where public sewerage systems are not available. A septic system consists of two main components, the tank and the drain field. The tank collects all the wastewater from your home and separates it into three layers – scum (fats and oils), liquid (wastewater) and sludge (solids). The liquid layer then flows out of the tank through pipes and drains into the drain field where it gets filtered by soil particles before entering the groundwater.

Choosing the Right Septic System for Your Property:

When choosing a septic system for your property, there are several factors you need to consider such as the size of your household, the amount of water usage, the soil conditions, and the slope of your land. You can choose between conventional gravity systems, pressure distribution systems, mound systems, and alternative systems like aerobic treatment units. It’s essential to consult with an expert who will help you determine which system suits your needs best.

Maintaining a Healthy Septic System:

Regular maintenance is crucial when it comes to keeping your septic system healthy. Some tips include using only biodegradable products, avoiding excessive water use, pumping the tank every 3-5 years, inspecting the system annually, and planting grass over the drain field to prevent erosion. Failure to maintain your septic system could lead to costly repairs or even replacement.

Signs of a Failing Septic System and What to Do:

If your septic system fails, you may notice some signs such as slow-draining sinks, foul odors around the house, wet spots in the yard, or backups in the plumbing system. If you suspect that your septic system has failed, do not use any water until you have contacted a professional for assistance. They will assess the situation and recommend appropriate action, which might involve repairing or replacing the system entirely.


In conclusion, having a functional septic system is critical for ensuring proper sanitation and protecting the environment. By understanding how they work, selecting the right one for your property, maintaining them correctly, and addressing issues promptly, you can prolong their lifespan and save yourself money in the long run.

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