Let’s face it: most homeowners would likely agree that if any of their property’s functions should be hands-off, it’s the septic system.
Beyond the industry’s advances in engineering and environmental safeguards, the tangible value of a well-operating septic system to the consumer is the security of knowing that waste management is handled unseen and out of the way of their daily life.
We acknowledge and tend to it only if necessary, and even then, we rely on the expert handling by professionals to safeguard us from the task. Just take care of it and send me the bill!
However, when ‘out of sight, out of mind’ becomes a lazy mantra, the chances of homeowners (and their neighbors!) suffering a messy and expensive accident becomes less a matter of if than when.
Thankfully, a little education and due diligence can save you from the many troubles that bubble up when your forgotten-about septic system finally stops doing its job.
Create A Septic System Pumping Schedule With Your Service Team
Like your car, the surest way to maximize the lifetime of your septic system is by keeping a strict schedule of maintenance.
Depending on factors like tank size and household occupancy, septic system pumpings should be performed no more than three to five years apart. Neglecting this can lead to a buildup of solid particles inside the tank, obstructing the arterial flow of liquid waste and forcing it to bleed out into the drain field.
Your service provider will help you develop the appropriate schedule to perform regular septic system pumping and inspection.
Of course, your septic systems won’t always take 3-5 years to show symptoms of irregularity or fail altogether.
Signs A Septic System Pumping Is Needed
A septic system pumping schedule should be reinforced by watching for any early signs of trouble. If you can recognize the common ones, there will be no question when it’s time to call the professionals in for an emergency septic system pumping.
Here are some tell-tales that your system might be in distress:
Sewage Is Backed Up
There’s no missing this one. The pipes burping that recognizably foul odor throughout the house, along with the viscous, black substance percolating up from your tubs, toilets, and sinks, means your system is already mission-critical.
Don’t wait to call the professionals for an immediate septic system pumping, and avoid flushing the toilets or running the water until they give you the green light.
Alarm Is Triggered In The System
Modern septic systems are equipped with a device to monitor its water level and trigger an alarm to the control box should it fall or rise out of the normal range. Whether it’s from a leak causing a groundwater exchange or due to the tank itself not properly processing waste, don’t ignore your alarm if it tells you there’s a problem.
Take the time to learn the interface of your alarm, or contact your local professionals to guide you through it.
Your Water Shows High Concentrations Of Nitrate
To prevent unsafe levels from leaching into the surrounding groundwater, homeowners should frequently be testing the nitrate levels in their well water.
High levels are a signal that the water level in the tank might be overcapacity and are seeping raw material into the area around the tank. In addition to the environmental impact, high nitrate levels in drinking levels are a health concern.
Home nitrate tests and details on the process are available online, or your preferred professionals will help you.
Here are some additional prompts to call in your septic system professionals for an inspection or pumping:
- water is draining slowly from sinks, toilets, or showers
- unexplained water is pooling around your lawn or drain field
- an unusual sewage odor is registered inside or outside your home
- your property has a lift station with grease visibly collecting on its walls or floats
- anytime a property sells (a requirement in most counties)
Pro tip: if you notice a sewage smell or water pooling away from your property or septic system, be a good neighbor and alert the homeowner nearest to ground-zero!
Who Is Performing Your Septic System Pumping?
If you’re not already friends with, or you don’t know who is safeguarding the health of your septic system and property, it’s time to make that call and protect yourself from the expense and disaster of a surprise.
All Septic & Sewer is a veteran-owned company serving homeowners in King, Thurston, and Pierce counties, with expertise installing, maintaining, and pumping septic systems throughout the Puget Sound region’s uniquely weather-challenged terrain.