Septic tank failure is one of the last things property owners want to deal with. For the most part, septic tanks are designed to be as trouble-free as possible; in fact, some systems require minimal maintenance every decade or so, but this is not always guaranteed. Here are five signs your septic discharge system may be in need of maintenance, evaluation, or repair.
If you see green and lush grass growing near the drain field in the middle of a hot and dry summer, this could mean that the system has surpassed its capacity. It is generally better to not water the lawn over the drain field so that you can spot this issue.
The only time you should hear water rushing or bubbling in the plumbing system is when toilets are flushed and the tank is being replenished. Bubbling sounds, particularly in the middle of the night when no one is using the toilet, may indicate that the inlet pipe going to the tank is getting clogged.
This issue is mostly seen in homes where toilets are located in the lower and upper levels. The guest restroom at the ground level drains much slower than the toilets on the second floor, and this may require a second flush in order to completely clean the bowl. Similar to the gurgling sounds mentioned above, this may be a sign of partial clogging, which can be solved with a call to a local septic tank service provider. Oftentimes, the solution involves snaking the line in order to clear the obstruction.
This sign of a septic tank system malfunction can be observed if you have ponds near your property and close to the drain field, and it is more likely to happen in regions with higher seismic activity. What this means is that the tank may have reached its capacity, or the drain field has shifted, and sewage is seeping towards the pond.
This is the most concerning sign of either a critical blockage or a system failure. If the water is backing up at the same time the ground over the drain field is soggy to the point of sinking, the system needs to be serviced immediately.
If you notice any of the issues listed above, the best course of action would be to have the septic tank checked out as soon as possible. Many people think that plumbing and tank repairs are expensive and difficult to deal with, but this is not always the case unless the entire system needs to be replaced.