How to troubleshoot your septic system
Septic systems consist of an underground holding tank and a drainage field. Sewage from the house is directed through the DWV system and into the septic tank. Once problems arise within a septic system, there isnít much a homeowner can do, but being able to identify signs of trouble may prolong the life of your system and will probably save you some money.
If your drain are working slowly, or not draining at all, there may be a clog in the main house drain, or the septic system may be backed up. Check for clogs first. Use a motorized auger to clear the main drain. Never use chemical drain cleaners. If the house drain isnít clogged, the problem may be a clogged drain field, an absence of bacteria in the system, or a full septic tank.
In addition to slow drainage, common signs of trouble include the presence of dark-colored water on the surface of the drain field and a sewage odor in or around the house. Any of these symptoms may indicate a serious problem. Human sewage is considered a hazardous waste, and there are strict regulations governing its removal. Servicing a septic system isnít something you should try to do yourself.
Have your tank inspected and emptied regularly. Most septic tanks need to be pumped out every one to three years, depending on tank capacity and the number of people who live in the home. Septic tanks produce explosive methane gas and may contain deadly viruses. Contact a licensed sewer service to have your septic system inspected and serviced.