Septic Solutions: How Often Do Septic Systems Need To Be Replaced?

Septic systems

You may not like to think about needing to replace a septic system. Chances are you like the idea of sewage in your yard even less. Indoor plumbing is a miraculous gift we all treasure, but it comes with certain responsibilities.

One of the responsibilities of owning septic systems is repairing and replacing them. Septic systems work hard for us and eventually, they struggle to function properly.

To avoid waking up to a sodden, sulfurous yard that makes you rue the day you were born, familiarize yourself with these signs you are in need of septic system replacement.

You Notice Slow Drains

If you notice it is taking a long time for your sinks and other fixtures to drain, you could have an issue with your septic system. Don’t worry too much, though, as slow drains are a minor issue.

Most likely, you’re dealing with a clogged pipe.

On the other hand, clogged or slow-draining sinks in multiple rooms can signal a much larger problem. It is possible the drains are clogged because of sludge buildup at the bottom of your septic tank.

When sludge builds up in your tank, it causes the water in the tank to move slowly. This can mean the system is breaking down or failing.

If the system fails, raw sewage will build up in your toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and on your property near the septic tank. If you are noticing signs of clogging often, you may be in need of septic tank repair.

There’s Standing Water on Your Property

If you notice puddles of standing water pooling in your yard and it hasn’t rained recently, it is a sign you need to replace your septic system. Check for pooling water near the drain field and where the tank is buried.

When septic systems fail to dispose of wastewater properly, it causes the water to start pooling. This usually means the septic system is not able to function the way it is supposed to a needs replacement.

It is possible the septic tank may just need repair. You may have an issue with your drain field rather than your septic system.

The drain field is where septic tank liquid drains into your yard or property. Usually, the drain field is covered in grass. This is because septic tanks use organisms to break down waste.

Fixing an issue with your drain field is not as complicated as repairing or replacing a septic system. It usually requires removing the blockage by adding chemicals or other additives to the tank.

Another option is to aerate the tank mechanically. If neither of these options works, you will need to replace your septic system.

Whatever you do, do not ignore standing water. Failing to address the situation will turn a repair into a replacement and a minor issue into a major one.

Your Grass Is Getting Greener

Notice the grass over your drain field starting to turn shockingly green? This is a sign you may need septic system replacement or repair.

Moisture levels in the soil rise when a septic drain field begins to fail. This causes the grass in the area over the drain field to become much greener than the other grass on your property.

On top of the added moisture levels, the sewage that backs up in the drain field acts as a fertilizer for the grass. You might notice the plant life around your septic system flourishing. Unfortunately, that’s a sign of septic failure.

There’s Nearby Groundwater Contamination

Another responsibility that comes with owning a septic system is keeping an eye on the health of the groundwater in your area. When septic systems leak they spread nitrate, nitrite, and coliform bacteria to nearby water sources.

These pollutants are very dangerous to communities because they endanger drinking water. If you hear about pollution in water sources near your home it is important to get your septic system inspected immediately.

Contaminated water sources are an indication that your septic system may not be filtering and disposing of waste the way it is meant to. If your septic tank is leaking pollutants you will need to replace your septic system.

You’re Having Issues With Your Septic Tank

Any type of issue with the septic tank specifically indicates the need to replace a septic system. Two very common signs your septic tank is breaking down include frequent overflowing and high levels of solids.

Overflow can mean the tank is no longer filtering the wastewater properly. High levels of solids likely mean the tank isn’t able to break them down successfully.

If either of these things is happening to your tank it is time to replace your septic system.

The Number of People Using Your Septic System Has Increased

If your family has grown or you’ve begun renting part of your home, the number of people using your septic system has increased. That might mean you need to replace your septic system with a larger one.

Your water consumption may also increase when you expand the size of your home. Bigger and more populated homes need larger septic systems.

Septic systems are built to accommodate certain numbers of people. Therefore, during the installation of a septic system, the number of people living in the home is taken into account.

When that number grows, you need to make sure your septic system has the capacity to handle it. 

Your Septic System Is Old

Septic systems tend to last 40 years or a bit longer. If you build your own home or move into a new build, you may never need to replace your septic tank.

If you live in an older home, it’s a good idea to know what year the septic system installation occurred. If it has been over 40 years and you’re starting to notice issues, it may be time to consider a replacement.

When Should You Get a Septic System Inspection?

Experts recommend getting your septic system inspected every three years by a septic service professional. The Environmental Protection Agency also recommends getting your septic tank pumped every three to five years.

What To Know About Replacing Septic Systems

All septic systems break down eventually. Signs you need septic system replacement include slow drains, pooling water, bright green grass, and groundwater contamination.

Septic system replacements should also take place if a system is old or too small for the capacity of your home. For all of your septic system replacement and repair needs, contact Klein Excavating and Septic.

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