People often don’t realize that they have septic problems. It’s one of those things that’s easy to forget about – until it’s too late for a quick fix. Many people don’t think to schedule their tank to be pumped, but not pumping a tank is one of the main causes of septic tank system problems.
Just think about it, everything that goes down one of the drains in your house ends up in your septic tank. We’re not just talking toilets here, anything that you shove in your garbage disposal, your showers, sinks, and even your washing machine. For those of you that hit the beach in the summer and don’t shake your kids clothes out, there’s a lot of extra sand that can clog up along the way from your washer to your septic tank. Many of the things you flush will end up being part of the wastewater that flows out of your tank to the drainfield – what’s left is the scum and the sludge that forms a layer at the bottom of your tank.
After several years of use, the build up of sludge and scum will reduce the capacity of the tank. This means that the wastewater ends up passing through the tank too fast and that the solids can eventually plug up the pipes in your drain field. Overfilling your tank can occur many times – something as small as laundry day or when you have extra guests that stay for awhile. With a tank that is already filled with too much sludge, the waters will fill your drainfield – which is not a happy surprise, especially with visiting guests! By the time your problem comes above ground (or right back up your sewage pipes) you’ve got a serious problem. One that will cost you much more than having regular septic maintenance.
Wondering if you have septic problems? The early signs usually go unnoticed. By the time it’s easily visible the problem has probably moved to your drainfield. If you suspect there is a problem with your drainfield, check the field for odors or persistent wet spots. If your plumbing is becoming sluggish you might have a problem that your local plumber can help you with.