If you have a septic system in your yard, as long as it is properly maintained, it should last up to 30 years. If you are unsure that your septic system is working well, there are some telltale signs to look for. Call a professional if you notice any of the following:
Toilets or sinks start to back up
One of the first signs of a problem with your septic system is the backing up of toilets or sinks. It could mean there is a clog in the pipes, which will need to be cleaned out, especially if there is a small child in the house. Children are fascinated with throwing toys, socks, and underwear in the toilet. Or perhaps you have thrown out those not-so-flushable wipes or tampons in your toilet.
If you notice smelly black liquid gurgling up in your toilet or sink drains, it could mean your septic tank needs to be pumped, or it could also mean the drain field is full or receiving large amounts of water at one time. This can occur if there has been excessive rain or perhaps you are using more water than usual. Watch your water usage by installing low-water toilets or flow restrictors in your shower heads. You can also use the washing machine over the course of a couple of days instead of doing all your laundry in one day. Also, watch the amount of food you put in your garbage disposal. Even though it gets ground up, it can clog your drain field pipes.
You have trees or shrubs planted close to your system
Everyone wants to have beautiful landscaping and gardens surrounding their homes. But remember that tree and shrub roots love water and grow toward the water source. If you have any trees or shrubs planted close to your septic system, remove them. In their quest for nourishment, the roots will grow around and into the pipes of the system and clog or break them. Call a professional if you can't remove a tree and suspect roots are causing your problems. They will send a camera down into your pipes to inspect the problem.
If you want to plant a tree, you must do some homework. You will need to find out how tall the tree will be once it hits maturity, then plant it away from the septic system that many feet from the septic tank, pipes, and drain field.
Wet, spongy grass over the drain field or around the septic tank
Exceptionally green grass, although it looks good, could be a red flag that something is leaking especially if it's greener and lusher than anywhere else on your property. If liquid wastewater leaks from your septic tank, it acts as a fertilizer. By getting your septic system inspected each year and pumped every two to five years, you will be able to catch damaged pipes and cracks in the tank sooner than later.
Water pooling in your yard, but you don't own a pool
If you notice pools of water near the septic system, it could mean a problem. Heavy rainfall can cause pooling. If that's the problem, try to give your septic system a day off. Don't do laundry for a day or two; take shorter showers, and don't flush unnecessarily. If you notice the water has not gone away, it is best to call a professional. Longhill Contractors' expert technicians will help find the pooling water issue and recommend the best grading for your property.
Are your drains slow?
If your drains are slow to empty, it could mean a blockage in the pipes leading to the septic tank. Do not be tempted to use Drano or any other harsh drain cleaner. Your septic system works with good enzymes and bacteria in your tank that break down waste. If you use harsh cleansers that can harm good bacteria, you will have problems. It is best to use natural products containing bacteria and enzymes, which will eat away at the gunk accumulated in your pipes. Make sure that your drain cleaners are septic-safe.
No matter what your issue is with your septic system, it is best to call a professional. Longhill Contractors LLC has over 30 years of experience to offer you the best solutions. Longhill Contractors LLC will give you honest and trustworthy advice, from excavation issues to good landscaping ideas.