Septic system failure rarely occurs out of the blue. In most cases, the final failure only occurs after the early warning signs have been ignored for some time. That means you can avoid septic system failure if you can detect these early warning signs and intervene. Below are some of these signs.
1. Slow Drains
You should suspect that something is wrong with your septic system if the drainage system is slow or blocked. In some cases, wastewater might even start to back up into your house. Such a problem may arise if the drainage or sewer pipes are blocked, and the waste cannot flow into the tank.
It can also arise if the tank is full and cannot handle any more waste coming out of the house. Maybe the tank has not been pumped in a long time, or the septic pump, which should pump wastes out of the tank into the septic drain field, has malfunctioned.
2. Waste Water in the Yard
A septic system handles its wastes in a closed system that doesn't allow untreated waste to spill out any point in their journey to the drain field. Therefore, finding wastewater in your yard is a cause of concern for the septic system.
There are two main reasons why that might happen. First, damaged sewer pipes, such as that might occur due to tree root intrusion, can allow waste to leak onto the yard. Secondly, a backed-up septic system may be overwhelmed by the pressure of the effluent and leak some of its contents into the yard. In some cases, you may not see actual water in the yard, but rather patches of extremely green grass, which result from yard grass being overfed with nutrients and water from leaking sewer pipes.
3. Water in the Drain Field
The septic drain field is the part of the septic system where the wastes are actually disposed, into the soil. The septic drain field is designed to handle wastes out of the septic tank without letting the effluent to pool above the ground. Therefore, your septic drain field has a problem if it looks flooded with water. Maybe the drain field soil is compacted, the ground is flooded with water, or you are forcing too much waste into the drain field than it can handle.
Hopefully, your septic system won't give you problems any time soon. However, you should request septic system repairs as soon as possible if you detect any of the above signs.