What Should I Do About an Overflowing Septic System?
An overflowing septic tank can really make a mess of your yard. You may notice that your yard is soggy, wet and muddy. A foul odor may also be detected. The main reasons for septic tank overflow include a tank that is too small for the household size, old age and not regularly pumping the tank. When you first notice that a septic tank is overflowing, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate the problem, however, treatment will most likely include calling a professional.
Get Your Septic Tank Pumped
A septic tank should be pumped out at least every 3 years but some septic systems need to be pumped every year. If your system hasn’t been cleaned in a while and starts to overflow, the easiest way to fix the problem is by getting the septic tank pumped. It will cost a few hundred dollars but will save your drain field and yard from becoming permanently damaged. It can cost a few thousand dollars to replace a drain field.
Check Your Toilets
After your septic tank has been pumped, check to see that your toilets are running properly. If a toilet continuously runs, it may fill the septic tank and cause it to overflow. Make sure that your toilets are working as they should. If the toilet drains slowly, you may also have a clogged septic system.
Call A Professional
Finally, if you had your septic tank pumped within the past 2-3 years and you are experiencing overflow, then you will need to call a professional. They will be able to determine why the septic tank is overflowing and how to fix it. You may need to replace the tank, the drain field or the entire system or the fix could be as simple as replacing a pipe or adjusting a valve. A professional will be able to tell you exactly how much it will cost to fix.
How to Prevent Septic Tank Overflow
1. Check Your Pipes Yearly
When the pipes in your septic system get clogged by roots or leaves, the water will have nowhere to go and will overflow into your yard or will back up into your home (yuck!). First, you want to run the water in your sinks or shower to see how fast the water drains. If the water drains slowly, then your pipes may be clogged. You can try to treat them yourselves with a septic approved drain cleaner or you can call a plumper to use a snake or pipe cleaner to clean them manually.
There are certain additives and treatments you can use to boost the amount of bacteria found in your septic tank and promote the decay of waste. This will help reduce the amount of waste in the septic tank and will help your system run smoothly.
3. Beware of the Waste
Only certain types of waste can go into the septic system. If you try to put tampons, coffee grounds, grease, paper towels and other types of trash down the drain, your septic tank will fill up faster because this type of waste will not break down with bacteria. Some of these items may actually clog the pipes in your system and cause other problems. Make sure you only put septic-approved materials down the drain.