Septic systems are one of the essential safety measures in a home or business. A septic system keeps harmful chemicals, pathogens, and waste buried deep underground where they can’t contaminate groundwater or enter the environment. The machines in your septic tank remove solids from the liquid waste and form a sludge put into your ground to decompose safely through natural processes.
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Inspecting Your Septic System
Inspecting your septic tank every one to three years depends on where you live and how much traffic your system has to deal with. The inspection process helps your home or business avoid expensive septic repair bills and keeps dangerous bacteria out of the ground and water supply. Your local health department is a good source of information about how often you should inspect your system.
If there is a problem with the system, it’s usually best to find out sooner rather than later. If you wait too long, the problem could become more severe, your system will be even more challenging to repair, and your local health department may have to shut off the water until it can be repaired.
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Three different owners may be responsible for maintaining the septic tank if you have a complex system (such as a house with an attached business or an apartment building). It’s your responsibility to inspect it periodically. Please make sure you check with everyone who shares the system and find out what they have done in the past to inspect or repair it. For more information, please visit adbseptic.com.
Signs of an Aging Septic System
Cracks in the Pipe
one of the first signs that your system is past its prime is the appearance of small cracks in the pipe. If you have a single septic tank, it should be replaced after about 25 years. It’s probably advisable to replace your system entirely because you will be getting a new tank and piping for a discount.
Water Coming Out of the Tank
If you have a box-like toilet and it’s not rinsing correctly, your system’s filtering media may be failing. If this happens, it could mean that the bacteria in your tank are escaping and contaminating groundwater. If you see water coming out of the toilet or sink when it isn’t raining, you can stop the leaking by removing some of the media from around it and seeing what happens to the water.
A “gurgling” sound results from gas escaping from the tank. This is a sign that it’s time to replace your system. The only way to prevent gurgling is to change your system and replace the pipes.
Improperly Functioning Pump or Filter
If you have an older septic system, it may not be operating correctly. The liquid from the tank is processed through a series of filters. If the filter is past its expiration date or the pump fails, you may have a problem with odor or bacteria contamination. In some cases, your neighbor may be able to smell your system even though your toilets are functioning fine. If this happens, it’s time for an inspection.
It’s common for septic systems to produce an earthy or musty smell around their lids when they’re working correctly. However, a rotten egg or sewer smell indicates that your system needs repairs or replacement. If you notice an odor in your home, do not flush the toilet or sink until you’ve had a professional inspect your system. This can cause severe problems if left untreated.