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5 Signs Your Septic Tank is Failing 

septic tank truck

Your septic system is a critical part of your home’s infrastructure, swiftly removing waste and water from your home during everyday tasks like taking a shower, washing the dishes, or flushing the toilet. When a septic tank is functioning properly it can be easy to forget it’s there, but when it fails, it can be costly and challenging to fix. Fortunately, there are 5 signs you can look for to know if your septic tank is failing, and if you notice any of these signs, it’s best to have them looked at right away.

Signs that Your Septic Tank may be Failing

System Backups

This is the easiest sign that there’s likely an issue with your septic system. When your septic tank isn’t draining properly, waste inside the tank will fill up quickly. When there’s no longer space for the waste, it will begin to make its way into the drain pipes and then, eventually, the drains in your sinks, bathtubs, showers, and even toilets.

Slow Drains

This is a slightly more subtle sign that usually appears before waste begins to back up into your drains. You may notice water beginning to pool during your shower, or it may take longer for your kitchen sink to drain. This sign should not be overlooked, as it could lead to bigger problems.

Gurgling Sounds

Noises are typical when you flush the toilet or run the dishwasher, but if you begin to hear unusual noises coming from appliances and drains, this could be a sign that a clog or backup is beginning to form.

Foul Odors

Consider contacting a plumber or septic technician right away if you begin to smell foul odors in your yard or coming up through your drains. This indicates that sewage and gasses have made their way into the main drain line.

Changes Above the Drain Field

Your drain field is designed to slowly dissipate wastewater into your yard over time. Any changes in that area of your yard, including pooling, spongey grass, or even taller, greener grass could be a sign that the pipes in your drain field are broken or that your septic tank is so full that it’s putting pressure on the drain field.

Why is it Important to Take Care of Septic Issues as They Arise?

Many of these signs, including foul odors, gurgling noises, and slow drains, indicate that the levels within your septic tank may be too high or that a clog is forming. Fortunately, when detected early, these problems can often be fixed easily. Septic pumping may be all that is needed to get your system back on track. Early intervention can also keep you from larger problems in the long run.

However, if you fail to notice these early signs of a problem, you’ll likely have a larger repair on your hands. A failing drain field, for example, may need to be completely replaced. Not only that, but sewage from your septic system could begin to make its way into the groundwater or surface water near your property, which can be dangerous to both animals and humans.

Tips to Avoid Issues with Your Septic Tank

Of course, if you see any one of the five signs listed above, it’s best to call a plumber or septic technician immediately. With proper maintenance, however, you may be able to avoid both smaller repairs and bigger issues with your septic system. First, schedule regular pumpings and inspections from an experienced septic technician. Your technician will help you keep your septic levels in check and can detect early signs of a problem, as well.

In between pumpings, consider adding a bacteria-based cleaner like BioOne to your routine. When bacteria are introduced to your septic tank, they immediately get to work fully digesting fats, oils, and greases inside. With these solids taken care of, your septic tank will be able to function more effectively, and the probability of a clog or backup will be drastically reduced.

Watch for Signs Your Septic System Is Failing

Scheduling and performing regular maintenance on your septic system is essential to avoiding major repairs. However, if you notice any sign that there could be a problem inside your septic tank or drain field, it’s best to get it repaired quickly. Foul odors, slow drains, and even bright green grass above your drain field could all be signs that your septic system should be inspected. In the meantime, add a bacteria-based product to your routine to fully digest fats, oils, and greases inside the tank and avoid clogs or backups in the future.

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