Living with a septic system instead of being connected to the public sewer system means being a little more aware of the maintenance of the septic system. The septic system on your property is pretty resilient to most things, but keeping an eye out for signs of trouble is a good way to stay ahead of any issues.
Septic Tank Pumping
The most common thing people have to deal with when they have a septic system is pumping the tank out. The tank is designed to handle a specific amount of waste and if you are not overloading the tank, you can go 3 to 5 years before pumping it out. If the tank has a lot of paper or other items that don't break down well in it, the baffles can get clogged and require the tank to be cleaned earlier.
Drain Field Overflowing
The drain field or leach field that is part of the septic system is underground near the tank. Water pooling around the drain field can indicate that the septic tank is full and is forcing liquid out at a rate higher than the field can handle. This typically happens if the level of liquid in the tank is so high that it is overwhelming that baffle in the tank. The water pools because it cannot leach into the ground fast enough and settles on the surface. Often, it will smell bad and you will notice it right away.
Drains Backing Up
Another common indication that the septic tank needs service is when the drains in your home begin to slow and eventually back up. Sometimes, water will come out of the shower drain when water is run in a sink or a toilet is flushed in the home. The drain is not working properly because there is no room in the septic tank for the water. The drain starts to slow at first but over time, if the issue is not corrected, the drain system may stop working altogether.
The solution is to call a plumber that works with septic systems and have them come to inspect your tank and system. If the tank is the culprit, the plumber will recommend you have the tank pumped. There are septic companies that will come and remove everything from the tank for you then inspect it for damage inside with a camera that will allow them to see if there are any problems with the system or if it was just time to clean it out. .