A septic tank has a fairly long lifespan. However, that doesn’t mean that something might not go wrong sooner than you expect. The septic system is prone to emergencies. Of course, there are ways to predict and prevent them. These include hiring a licensed inspector to assess the state of the septic tank before you buy a new home and performing regular septic tank maintenance. A tank inspection can help you save a lot of time and money in costly, tedious repairs.
But if a septic tank accident does occur, it’s very important to learn how to recognize it early and know how to properly deal with it. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about recognizing and handling septic tank emergencies.
How to Recognize a Septic Tank Emergency
According to the EPA, you should pump out your septic tank at least once every 3-5 years. If you can’t remember when the last time you had a septic service, you should be wary of some sure signs of a coming emergency.
These are the usual signs of a septic tank emergency:
- Sewage backup
- Septic system alarm
- High nitrate count in the water
- Pooling near the drain field
The warning sign you are most likely to recognize is the foul stench and sewage coming from the toilet, pipes, showers, and faucets. The sewage is usually black and bears an extreme stench. This means that your septic tank is in an immediate need of repair, although bad stench in the drain or bubbles forming in your toilet usually precede it.
Septic system alarm
If the septic system alarm sounds off, it could mean that there is a leak in the tank or that your household may be using more water than the system can process. In case you hear the alarm, stop using water immediately and call an expert to inspect the system before you experience a backup.
High nitrate count in the water
If you use water from a well, you should have it tested regularly. If the tests indicate a high concentration of nitrate, which could mean the system is full or leaking.
Pooling near the drain field
If you find pooled water near your drains, the most likely cause is a full septic tank. If there is a clog in the drain field, the water tends to collect and form a pool in your garden.
What to do in Case of a Septic Tank Emergency?
Since a septic emergency can get very messy and very stressful, knowing how to react to one is crucial.
Here are the first steps you should take in case of a septic tank emergency:
- Call a licensed septic company
- Clean up the damage
- Inspect your drain field
Call a licensed septic company
The first thing you should do is find a reputable septic company and call them immediately. A lot of these companies offer 24/7 emergency services, so it doesn’t matter if the accident happens at noon or in the middle of the night.
Clean up the damage
Due to the waste being highly contagious, you need to clean up the water damage and waste after the emergency as soon as possible. This will reduce the risks to your health a septic emergency poses. Disinfect any affected area and clean up any mess outside your home. The sewage could seep into nearby waters, contaminating them as well. That is why it’s important to have it removed as soon as possible.
Inspect your drain field
If the septic system backs up, it could affect your soil absorption field. Look for signs of erosion in the area. If you find them, you should renew them to protect the septic system after the emergency has been dealt with.
To schedule a septic tank inspection to contact The Inspectors Company at 811 Cerro Gordo Ave, San Diego, CA, US; 619-501-8282 or visit https://theinspectorscompany.com/