A septic system quietly executes the most unappealing part of modern plumbing and remains out of sight. Because of this, many Corlandt, NY, homeowners may neglect its upkeep, ignoring its existence until it needs repairs or replacement. Routine inspections of your septic system may seem like an unnecessary expense, but is the only way to prevent catastrophic damage and is far cheaper than replacing the entire septic tank. While a professional inspection is the most reliable way to determine whether your septic system needs repair, here are a few tell-tale signs.
A foul odor
The unpleasant smell of sewage, either inside or outside the home, is a valid indication that your septic system isn’t functioning properly. The smell could be coming from the damaged septic tank itself, or from within your home, indicating a backflow of sewage. Foul odors that originate from the home should be addressed as soon as possible, as sewage that re-enters the house can lead to costly cleanups and repairs.
If a single drain in your home is gurgling, or running slowly, it is most likely an indication of a local and self-contained problem. However, if all the drains in your home start draining slowly, your septic tank may be unable to accommodate the amount of water flowing into it and will need to be inspected.
An old or neglected tank
Just like every other appliance in your home, your septic tank will not last forever and will eventually need to be replaced. If your septic system has been around for more than twenty years, you should schedule its inspection and expect a need for repairs, if not replacement. It is also recommended that you have your septic system serviced every two years. If it has been neglected for a significantly longer period of time, it is at a higher risk of requiring repairs.
Your septic tank will no longer accommodate waste if it is full or damaged, and will cause sewage to flow back through your pipes and into your home. If you see a dark sludge pouring into your toilet, or seeping out of your drains, your septic system urgently requires inspection. However, having the tank cleaned regularly is an effective way to prevent this problem.
Unexplained changes in lawn health
A dramatic and unexplained shift in the health of your lawn could indicate a septic system failure. Changes in lawn health can range from having patches of grass thrive, to witnessing their sudden death. Either of these changes can occur when your septic system leaks and wastewater becomes concentrated under specific patches of grass.
The formation of puddles
When a septic system is full, or becomes clogged, wastewater will often rise to the surface of the landscape and create visible puddles. If it hasn’t rained, yet your yard is saturated with water, your septic tank may be overflowing or its associated pipes may be clogged with sewage. Both problems are major causes for concern and will require immediate inspection to determine the type of repairs needed.