3 Common Problems with Septic Tanks
Septic tanks are responsible for collecting all of the water and waste that your home uses. To avoid larger problems, it is important to know warning signs that may lead to them. Not only do regular septic maintenance keep overall costs down if a major failure occurs, it reduces the health and environmental impact of a failing septic system. If you have a septic tank problem, there may be several factors causing the problem. Here is a guide to identifying and avoiding septic tank failure:
How Do I Know if My Septic Tank is Clogged?
A key factor to avoiding clogs in your septic tank is to get regular tank pumps. Depending on how large your family is, the amount you use plumbing, will contribute to the frequency that septic tanks need to be pumped. Most contracted plumbers will recommend getting your septic tank pumped every 3 to 5 years. However, if the septic tanks fills without being pumped it may begin to surface in your home as backed up toilets, slow draining sinks or general clogs in other fixtures in the home. If your drains starts to make gurgling noises, it may also mean there is a clog in the septic tank system . Sometimes the clogs are just in the pipes in your home, but either way it is an issue worth consulting with a plumber.
Can Tree Roots Damage My Septic Tank?
If you live in Georgia, chances are you have a tree or two in your yard. Tree roots are notorious for cracking foundations and driveways; they basically wreak havoc on anything in their way, including septic tanks. If a tree root comes in contact with any part of a septic tank in search of water it is liable to cause cracking. This can lead to drainage in your yard, which may have environmental impacts. The sewage water may leak into groundwater supplies, contaminating water sources. Or it may move into wildlife, negatively affecting animal health in your area. Because Atlanta rarely experiences droughts it is important to monitor tree growth surrounding your septic system.
Is My Septic Tank Leaking?
Abnormally green and spongy grass is also a sign that your septic system is draining into your yard. This is generally a sign that wastewater has seeped into your lawn. Besides water, sewage waste may also pool as a result of a leaking tank or line. A leak can occur in any material if not regularly maintained. Cement can crack in cold weather, plastic breaks with old age, and metal rusts, it is always best to monitor these materials before they create a problem.
Tips to Maintain My Septic Tank Between Services
Monitor your water use. If you are excessively doing laundry or dishes, you may fill up your tank quicker than normal. This can cause the tank to overfill. Not only does this save you money on repairs, it will save you money on your water bill!
Do NOT put non-biodegradable material down your drains or toilets. This includes paper towels, diapers, sanitary products/wipes, floss, coffee grounds and more.
Avoid harsh chemicals and too much detergent. Laundry detergent often uses an ingredient called surfactant that is not compatible with groundwater and many septic systems. Other chemicals like drain cleaners and household cleaners can dissolve piping and damage septic systems.