For most homeowners, owning a home with a septic tank is a positive experience. Silent and out of sight beneath the soil, septic systems that are sized properly and installed correctly can often handle the home's waste processing needs for several decades of use. In addition, there is no monthly sewer fee to pay, a savings that can add up to thousands of dollars over the life of the average septic system.
Occasionally, however, a serious problem can develop, such as these three, that the homeowner will need to understand and address.
Septic tanks can collapse, often due to age, deterioration, or both. Decades ago, septic tanks were often made from steel water or fuel tanks. Years of contact with soil and water allows corrosion to form on the surface of the steel tank. As the corrosion spreads, the tank can become unable to withstand the pressure from the surrounding soil, causing it to collapse.
Homeowners who suddenly find that a depression or open hole has formed over the area where their septic tank is located should call for an emergency pumping to remove as much of the waste as possible and limit the spillage. Once that has been done, the collapsed tank will need to be removed and a new tank installed.
A septic system that becomes increasingly sluggish may be showing signs of being overloaded with waste. This situation often arises when the tank has not been pumped as often as it should or when misuse has occurred, such as allowing too many non-degradable materials and substances to be flushed into the system. If not remedied quickly, an overloaded septic tank may cause raw sewage to back-flow into the home or lose the ability to process waste correctly. To avoid these unpleasant scenarios, homeowners should make sure their septic system is used and maintained properly, including instating a regular schedule of pumping to limit the amount of waste the septic tank must process.
Homeowners who find that their lawn has developed wet areas that smell like raw sewage near the area where their septic tank is located may also be dealing with an overly full tank. In this scenario, the tank may be leaking sewage from the baffles, pipe connections, or vents on the tank. Pumping the tank as quickly as possible will be necessary to relieve pressure and stop leaking from occurring.
Every household can require a different septic pumping schedule, based on their family size and usage habits. To determine the best schedule for yours, discuss your concerns with a company like Economy Septic Service.