Having your own septic system may be the only option if your home is far outside the nearest urban center. And the main benefit you gain is not having to pay for sewage services, although you will naturally have to pay for maintenance, repairs, and eventually replacement of your septic tank. That said, you and your family should have few problems using a dedicated septic tank so long as you use it appropriately, which is to say, you monitor your water usage and you avoid flushing or rinsing down drains any items that could upset the balance of your septic system, such as grease or products not meant to be flushed (feminine hygiene products, etc.). Even so, at some point your septic system could experience issues, and the best way to avoid costly occurrences is to stop them before they start. Here are a few common warning signs that something is out of whack.
Odors are often the first sign that your septic system is malfunctioning. You may start to notice a sewage odor coming from drains in your home. Or your yard might harbor a strange smell, especially in and around the drain field where excess water from your septic tank drains. Not only are you likely to notice such odors immediately, but you’ll also be motivated to correct them rather quickly as they can be undesirable to live with for long.
Another common warning of trouble in your septic tank is when you experience drainage issues. If the water in your sinks, showers, and tubs seems to be taking longer to drain, there’s a good chance your tank is reaching liquid capacity. And if water starts to back up in drains in your home, you could be looking at a serious problem. The same goes for water in your yard, or even spongy turf in your drain field. In most cases, your tank simply needs to be pumped out, something you’ll probably have to do every couple of years anyway. While you can try to ignore this problem for a while to see if it will go away, eventually you’ll have to concede that there’s an issue with your septic system and call someone out to look at it.
Finally, if you have a modern septic tank, there’s a good chance that it came with some kind of alarm system installed. Whether your tank is full, there is some kind of damage, or there’s another reason the alarm is going off, you’ll know when you need to call in a technician to check it out. If you’re dealing with an older tank, you might not have this feature, so you’ll have to go about figuring out when there are problems the traditional way (paying attention to drainage and odors). But considering septic tanks and drain fields generally last only 20-30 years (with regular maintenance), you might want to consider upgrading to a new system from national tank outlet if yours is fairly outdated. This way you won’t have to worry so much about total system failure and the resulting mess, hassle, and expense.
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