A well-designed septic system shouldn’t need much at all in the way of maintenance except for one thing: Having the septic tank pumped out every few years.
A traditional septic system is surprisingly simple but effective. All the wastewater from your home’s sinks, tubs, showers, and toilets exit the house through the main drain pipe that empties into an underground water-tight septic tank made of concrete, polyethylene, or fiberglass. The solids in the wastewater settle to the bottom of the tank to become sludge. Any oil and grease in the wastewater forms a scum at the top of the tank and is held there by various comparts and t-shaped outlets so it doesn’t exit the tank. The liquid wastewater or effluent, now free of all solids, oil, and grease, can exit into the leach field or drain field where it percolates through the soil, which treats it by naturally removing contaminates. The solids (sludge) and oil/grease (scum) cannot be allowed to accumulate indefinitely in the tank because of its limited capacity, which is why it must periodically be cleaned out.
Here’s the thing: It’s easy to lose track of the last time your septic tank was pumped. After all, it often only needs to be done every few years. But if you let it go too long, you can experience some pretty serious negative consequences. Unless you have records filed away that tell you the last time your tank was pumped, you could be on the edge of needing emergency service. If you’ve noticed that your sinks are draining more slowly than usual, or if your toilets seem to have less flushing power, these are signs it is time to have your septic tank pumped. It’s not an emergency situation, but you wouldn’t want to wait long to have it taken care of. Below, however, are five other signs that all warrant emergency service to get your septic tank pumped out right away:
- When Bad Smells Rise Up: As your septic tank reaches its capacity, the gases it produces will begin finding new ways to escape. You might notice a bad smell in the air outside around where your tank is buried. Worse yet, these foul-smelling gases will begin seeping back through your drain pipe into your home’s plumbing system. This is when you will notice bad smells coming from sink and tub drains, as well as your toilets. You are in need of an emergency service septic tank cleaning!
- When Your Grass is Suddenly Greener: Whether you fertilize your lawn or not, if you notice that the grass above your septic tank or drain field is suddenly greener than the rest of your lawn, then it might be getting extra nutrients from a septic system under strain. You are in need of an emergency service septic tank pumping!
- When There is Standing Water: When your septic tank is too full, the solids, oil, and grease that get forced out of the tank and into your drain field can clog things up and prevent the liquids from percolating through the soil the way they normally do. Call immediately for emergency service!
- When Well Water is High in Nitrates: If you home has a water well in addition to a septic system, a well water test (which should be done annually) that comes back showing high levels of nitrates could indicate your system is under strain and leaking waste into the groundwater that supplies you well. Emergency service is in order to pump your septic tank and check for other system issues.
- When Sewage is Backing Up: This one is the worst of all – raw sewage coming up into the drains of your home! Call for emergency service to have your tank pumped out.
You may not be experiencing any of these signs right now, but if you don’t know the last time your septic tank was pumped then now is the time to make sure to have it serviced so you don’t have to worry about it.
WHEN IN DOUBT, PUMP IT OUT!
Call Max Haas Septic at 317-647-5042
Max Haas Septic has been servicing the septic systems of central Indiana since 1923! A company can’t stay in business that long unless it’s providing an essential service that meets customer needs. And we do more than just pumping out septic tanks, including the following services.
- Leach field renewal: Over time the soil of your drain field can become compacted, impeding the flow of effluent through the soil, which is how it is treated. Our Terralift system breaks up compacted soil underground leaving barely a trace on the surface so your drain field works properly.
- Sump Pump Installation: Typically installed in basements to help remove excess water that occurs during heavy rainfalls.
- Battery Backup Pump: Sump pumps rely on your home’s electrical system for power, so having a battery backup pump can be a real lifesaver when the power is out.
- Grease Trap Servicing: Commercial kitchens have grease traps to prevent oil, grease, and wax from entering the municipal waster water treatment system because of the problems it causes. Max Haas Septic empties grease traps throughout the region.
- Sewer Lift Stations: Both installations and repairs for lift stations.
If there is one thing we want you to understand about septic systems, it’s this: Not thinking about your septic system is easy to do since it doesn’t need much attention, but you also can’t ignore it completely. If you do, you could experience some very unpleasant consequences or even total system failure. Get on track now by calling Max Haas Septic at 317-647-5042. We’re here to help!