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4 Signs of a Failing Septic System

Failing Septic System
A septic system is used to dispose of wastewater. Properties that are not connected to a city sewer will require a septic system on the property. The system consists of the septic tank, drain field, and plumbing pipes to the property. If you have a septic system, take care of it properly or it will malfunction.

When the septic malfunctions, it can cause a lot of separate problems. Some of the issues can lead to unsanitary conditions on the property. By learning the four signs of a failing septic, you can troubleshoot the problems before they become too big and require a new system.

1. Sewage Backing Up

One of the most noticeable signs of a faulty septic system is sewage backing up from drains in the house. Not only is the sewage disgusting, but it also unsanitary. When the septic backs up, the tank isn't draining properly. It might be full or clogged.

If the issue is isolated to one drain, such as the shower, you likely have a problem related to that plumbing. When the issue is all the drains, the problem points to the entire septic system. Anytime the sewage backs up, you will require professional assistance from a septic contractor.

2. Noisy Drainage

When you drain the bathtub or sinks or flush the toilet and hear a gurgling noise, something is wrong with the septic system. Most likely, a blockage is on one of the vent pipes leading to the system. The gurgling noise occurs when the pressure inside the vent pipes on the system tries to equalize but doesn't have the right amount of air due to the blockage.

The pressure pulls the air from other areas, like the bathtub drain, and makes a strange noise. Check the vent pipes for any signs of blockage. During the winter, snow and ice tend to cover the vents. Leaves or bird nests may also be blocking the vents. Removing the obstruction should solve the problem.

3. Rotten Smell

A rotten smell seeping from the sinks or toilets is a sign of a serious problem. This smell usually happens when the septic tank is full. The tank will need to be emptied right away.

If the tank isn't full, the smell is coming from somewhere else. Check the manhole cover on the tank and make sure the cover is sitting tightly on the tank. If the cover was moved and is loose, the smell will seep out of it. Also, check the plumbing vent for signs of blockage like mentioned above. Blocked vents can be another source of a rotten smell in the property.

4. Flooded Drain Field

The drain field, or leach field, for the septic system is responsible for soaking up the liquid waste that exits the septic tank. A healthy drain field has unsaturated soil. When the septic malfunctions, the area will flood. This flooding is highly unsanitary and needs to be taken care of immediately.

The first thing you should do is hire a professional to clean out the entire system. Broken or leaking pipes near the tank will also cause the area to flood. An overloaded system also leads to soggy drain fields. Cut down the amount of water you are using so the system can catch up and properly drain into the soil. If the problem persists, you can add a second drain field and see if it helps.

If you are facing any of the four signs of a faulty septic system, hire a professional to replace or repair the system. Contact us at Allen's Septic Tank Service today. We can properly diagnose your septic system problems and solve them for you.