Your septic system is one of the most important and most overlooked elements of your home. For homes with septic systems, it is important to inspect and maintain them on a regular basis.
Problems with septic systems are often a result of an issue in the septic tank, the underground chamber that holds wastewater from your home. Well-functioning septic tanks have optimal conditions for breaking down organic waste, but imbalances, clogs, or other issues can impact the effectiveness of your septic tank.
These problems can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including:
- Lack of regular maintenance. While it is tempting to ignore them until there is a problem, septic tanks need to be inspected and pumped on a regular basis. The frequency depends on the size of the tank, how many people live in the home, and how much wastewater is produced, but it is recommended for homeowners to have a septic tank inspection at least every three years.
- Natural elements near the septic tank. Tree roots are naturally attracted to water, so they are one of the main causes of external damage to septic tanks. While a tree may have seemed far from the tank when it was planted, some trees grow extensive root systems that can put pressure on the septic tank.
- Improper household habits. Putting anything down the drain that does not belong can cause clogging or can impede the effectiveness of the bacteria that break down waste in the tank. The list of items to avoid putting down your drain includes paper products, wipes, oil/grease, chemicals, paint, and medications. You should also avoid using too much antibacterial soap and strong cleaners.
But even with proper care and maintenance, parts of a septic system can break or wear out over time. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position, there are several decisions that must be made.
Do I Need Septic Tank Repair or Septic Tank Replacement?
When you need septic repair services or septic replacement, it is important to work with an experienced septic installer. Septic systems are not a do it yourself project for most homeowners, because they do not have the equipment or the experience to be able to replace a septic system or even repair a septic system. Given the importance of having a septic system and drainfield that is functioning properly, repairs and replacement are definitely a job for septic professionals.
If there are problems with your septic system, a qualified septic professional can do an inspection to determine what needs to be done to get your septic system back to proper working order. One of the first decisions that will need to be made is whether the septic tank needs repairs or if it needs to be completely replaced. This depends on the type and severity of the damage that has occurred.
A septic system inspector will also assess whether you need septic drain field repair, since this is another common issue. In some cases, relatively minor drainfield repairs will be need to correct the problem. In more serious cases, however, a complete drain field replacement may be necessary to get the entire system back on line and working well.
Septic systems are designed to last for decades, with some concrete septic tanks lasting as long as forty years. However, as with any system in your home, the fact of the matter is that things can (and probably will) go wrong sooner or later.
When there are problems with a septic system, the homeowner might notice signs like strong odors, slow drains, gurgling toilets, sewage backing up, or puddles in the yard.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency notes that foul odors are not the only sign of a potential problem with a home’s septic system. They advise that homeowners should call a septic professional if they notice any of the following:
- Wastewater backing up into household drains.
- Bright green, spongy grass on the drainfield, especially during dry weather.
- Pooling water or muddy soil around your septic system or in your basement.
- A strong odor around the septic tank and drainfield.
Avoiding Septic Tank Repair or Replacement
Every homeowner wants to avoid the expense and stress of having septic tank repairs or a septic system replacement. While those things are not always completely unavoidable, there are several actions that you can take to minimize the likelihood that you will need more than routine septic tank inspection and septic tank pumping.
Keep the bacteria in your septic tank healthy by not flushing or putting down the drain anything that could disrupt their ability to function properly. This includes things like chemicals, paint, oils, and even medications. While household cleaners may be used in moderation, too much bleach or other strong cleaners should be avoided.
Reduce water usage to keep the system from getting overwhelmed. High-efficiency, lower water usage faucets and showers can help limit the amount of water getting into the septic system. Laundry can be spread throughout the week rather than consolidated into one day to control the water flow.
Avoid flushing anything other than toilet paper and water. This includes not only heavier items like paper towels and tampons, but also baby wipes and so-called “flushable” wipes. All of these can cause clogs, and they will not break down in the tank.
Septic and Drainfield Services in and Near Lakeland
If you are in need of septic services in Central Florida, Septic and Drainfield Depot can help. Our team of professionals has a reputation as one of the best septic companies in all of Florida. We have been providing septic services for years, and we are committed to always finding and resolving your septic issues quickly and effectively. We value honesty and integrity above all else, and we hold ourselves to the highest standards.
Contact us today for a free estimate and all your septic and drainfield needs!