With proper maintenance, a steel septic tank will last between 15 and 20 years, while a concrete tank can have a life span exceeding 40 years. If you’re not sure how old your tank is, or you know it’s nearing the end of its life expectancy, you need to have it replaced before you have an expensive, dangerous mess on your property. Our excavation company is sharing the six signs it’s time to replace your septic tank so you know what to look for and can call for service before disaster strikes!
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Greener Grass and Growth Around the Septic Tank
If your septic system is failing, whether the tank has a crack, there’s a leak, or the drain field is failing, one of the first signs you may see is a change in your yard. Specifically, you may notice the grass around your septic tank is a darker green and grows faster than the rest of the grass. The sewage that’s seeping out of the system is acting as a fertilizer for your grass and is aided by the added moisture from a failed drain field. The two work together to make the grass healthier and greener, though continued exposure to sewage and waste water will end up being toxic for the land.
Foul Odors Around Your Septic System
One of the first things you may notice when it’s time to replace your septic system is the odor. If the system isn’t properly treating wastewater before it flows into the drain field or it’s backing up with solid material, you’ll most likely notice a strong, foul odor near the tank or the drain field.
Contaminated Well Water
As the system fails and sewage is seeping into your yard, while it may be fertilizing the grass and plant life, it’s also seeping into the ground water, where your well water is drawn from. Your well water may end up contaminated with nitrates, nitrite, and bacteria, including the highly dangerous e. Coli bacteria. If you’re concerned about your well water, you should have that tested immediately, but also have your septic system tested in conjunction to determine the source of contamination.
Puddles and Standing Water in Your Yard
Unless it’s been raining heavily, standing water in your yard is a large red flag. The septic tank treats waste water before it flows to the drain field, but if drain field is overflowing or not functioning correctly, you will see drainage issues in your home and in your yard. In extreme cases, there may even be waste and sewage in the standing water.
Drains Are Slow Moving
If it’s just one drain, you may simply have a clog that is easy to fix. However, if all your sinks and bathtubs are draining slowly, it could be a sign that there is buildup in your septic tank and the water is moving slowly. You may just need to have the tank pumped, but if you’re having to do this frequently, such as more than once a year, it may be too old and is wearing out.
Drains Are Backing Up
While a slow drain is a concern, if you see or smell waste water or sewage backing up into your sinks, bathtub, or toilet, you need to call for a septic tank inspection immediately. Even if waste isn’t visibly backing up into your drains, if you hear a gurgling sound, you should still call for an inspection as that is a sign your pipes are blocked by sewage. This may simply be a clog further down in your pipe that is easily fixed, but consistent clogging and frequent backups are also be a sign that your septic system should be replaced.
Your Household Has Outgrown the Septic System
Septic systems are rated to a specific capacity, typically related to the number of bedrooms or the square footage of a house. However, if you’ve gotten a larger home, your family has grown, or you’ve experienced a significant increase in water usage due to livestock and other factors, your tank may be too small. If you have a tank that’s just too small for your family, it will require more frequent maintenance, additional pumping, and you may still have issues with it backing up. Instead, upgrade to a system that suits your life better.
Call us today for septic system inspections and replacement
If you’re concerned about your septic system or are seeing signs it’s failing, contact us today! Schedule a time for an experienced member of our team to come out and inspect your septic system, and we can help you determine if you need a replacement or simply routine repairs or maintenance work.