When your septic tank system is not operating correctly, you will be able to see telltale signs if you know where to look.
1. Pipe Gurgling Sounds
Does it sound like Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter is haunting your bathroom? If you flush the toilet or run the water and hear gurgling coming from the pipes it may be an indication the tank is full, needs pumping or has other problems.
2. Toilet Flushing Issues
When the toilet is slow to flush or won’t flush, and a plunger doesn’t fix the issue it could be something wrong with the septic system. It could be the tank is full, something that’s easily solved with a pump-out. It may also be an indication of a clog in the pipes.
3. Slow Drains
If the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, shower or bathtub are draining slowly, it could point to a problem with the pipes in your home (a plumbing company issue) or the septic system (a septic company service).
4. Water Backup
If water is backing up when you run the washing machine or worse yet sewage has backed up into the house, it’s time to call for help. Sewage backups are one of the worse symptoms of a failing septic system.
5. Bad Odors
All you need to tell that something is wrong with the septic tank is a good sense of smell. Keep getting a whiff of rotten eggs in summer? Unless they are leftover from the last Easter Egg hunt, you are likely smelling toxic sulfur. If you walk outside near where the septic tank is buried and the smell increases it’s possible raw sewage has escaped the tank.
6. Greener Grass
The grass getting greener in one area of the yard is not a result of rain hitting that one location. One of the first signs the septic drain field is failing is the grass is growing faster or greener than the rest of the property. The lawn is enjoying the extra fertilizer at the roots, and this means the septic could have been experiencing issues for quite some time.
7. Patches of Standing Water
When you walk in the yard and see puddles or patches of standing water near the drain field it is a sign something is very wrong with the septic system. The system is failing, so smelly water is accumulating at the drain field, something that can pose a health hazard and must be addressed immediately. At the first sign of puddles near the septic tank, call in the experts.
Causes of Septic Tank Problems
Many septic tank problems are caused by things that should not be entering into the tank by way of the toilet, kitchen sink, or garbage disposal.
To keep it simple, the only item that should be flushed down the toilet (in addition to human waste) is septic safe toilet paper. The kitchen sink should be gray water only avoiding solids and heavy use of the garbage disposal.