Common Septic System Problems

Septic systems are relatively simple sewage treatment systems, but they are can and do have problems. Common septic system problems include clogs, built-up sludge and a failed drain field. The first two are easy to fix but the latter may involve replacing your system or expanding your drain field.

Clogs are the most common septic system problems encountered. A clog is a mass of hair and other particles blocking a pipe. Water backing up into the toilet, bathtub or sink is often the first sign of a problem. Clogs can be easily found and eliminated with a simple plumber’s snake.

If it turns out there isn’t a clog you need to hope to find built-up sludge on the inside of your tank. Septic systems work by holding household effluent inside the tank until the solids have settled to the bottom. The liquid eventually makes its way out of the tank and into the drain field. The solids build up inside the tank and have to be pumped out periodically. This problem can be dealt with by calling a pumping truck.

The most serious septic system problem you can have is a failed drain field. Symptoms of a failed field include back-ups in the house and puddles of raw sewage on the ground above the field. Every drain field fails eventually. Proper septic system maintenance can prolong the life of a field but will not keep it from failing. Anaerobic septic systems are most prone to failing in this way.

When a drain field fails it must be either expanded or the septic system must be replaced. Which one is the best option is dependent upon the condition of the overall system. New septic systems are quite expensive; the cost for a new septic system can range from $2,000 to $30,000, depending on the location and type of system. Homeowners can avoid costly repairs to septic systems with proper preventative maintenance with products such as the Septic System Saver® aerobic restoration system. Call the experts!

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