Has your septic system been showing signs of failure? Are you concerned because your toilets have been flushing slowly or emitting foul odors, or because you've noticed wet spots in portions of your yard that are normally dry? With the cost of a new septic system installation ranging from $2,000 to upwards of $12,000, it's likely you're very concerned if you notice these signs. But before you start gathering quotes to have a new septic system installed, try these 3 things that may improve the functioning of your current system.
Get Your Tank Pumped
This tip seems obvious, but even if you've had your septic tank pumped in the recent past, it may be time to do it again. Think about whether or not there have been any changes in your household since the last time your tank was pumped. Have you installed a garbage disposal? Have you had several guests at your house? Has the task of dinner dish duty switched from the mother or father in your household to a teen or young adult who might not know the consequences of dumping pan grease or food bits down the sink drain?
Having more people in your household can and will fill your tank up more rapidly than normal, and food particles, grease, fat, and oil won't decompose properly in your tank. If any of the above changes have occurred in your household, your tank may have filled up with sludge more rapidly than you expected, and you may just need to have it pumped to get your system back on track.
Check For A Filter, And Clean It If You Have One
Some (but not all) septic tanks are equipped with filters. If yours has one, it will be located at the outlet tee near the top of the inside of your tank. The purpose of the filter is to catch large bits of waste that won't easily be decomposed by the microorganisms in your tank before the waste has a chance to make it to your drain field lines and clog them. If your tank has a filter and it isn't cleaned regularly, though, the rate at which water leaves your septic tank and enters your leach field will be slowed. When the flow gets too slow, you'll experience wastewater backup.
If your tank has a filter, you can hire a septic tank service company to clean it, or you can do it yourself. All you have to do is put on a mask and some gloves, slide the filter out, hose it down to remove the gunk, then put it back in place.
Seek Soil Fracturing
Over time, the soil in your leach field can become compressed and less porous. When this happens, the rate at which wastewater percolates through it slows. As a result, the wastewater backs up and accumulates on the surface of your yard, creating big wet spots and health risks for you and your neighbors.
Soil fracturing is the process of using special equipment to shoot high-powered streams of air deep into the soil in your leach field. The air blasts create thousands of fissures in the soil, thus allowing new pathways for wastewater to percolate through and improving the porosity and drainage of your leach field.
If your septic system is showing signs of failure and you're worried that you'll have to have it replaced, don't panic just yet. Instead, try the above 3 fixes to restore the life of your existing system. To have a professional perform these services or to get more advice on what you can do for a failing septic system, contact a septic tank specialist in your area, such as those at Rob's Septic Tanks Inc.
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