What to Do When Your Septic Tank is Backed Up

If your home sewage and wastewater elimination system is hooked to a septic tank, or localized septic system, backups can be expected. A backup happens when the outdoor tank and its drain field area become saturated with water. Many households experience septic system backups if members of the household do things like take incredibly long showers. Curious children who like to experiment with flushing strange objects can also cause septic problems.

There are important steps to take if you suspect that your septic system has problems. Some of these are inconvenient, but this is to be expected if your home does not have the advantage of being part of a large municipal sewage system.

Minimize Wastewater

This means limiting shower times, kitchen sink use, and the frequency of toilet flushes. Septic systems that are backed up usually still seep water, but very slowly. If the septic backup is causing a back flow into the home, turn off all water sources and call a flood mitigation service.

Yard Inspection

When a septic backup happens, it is important to inspect the area of the property where the main septic tank is located. Standing water, a pungent smell, and a large sinking area of dirt indicates a true saturation of wastewater. The next step is to call an excavation company with expertise in septic system repair and replacement. This work could include dredging of a tank, which means digging in the yard. It could also mean the revitalization of a drain field, or the replacement of home fixtures with more efficient models. In some cases, septic problems are caused by the failure of a tank. Professionals can recommend the best course of action.

Rethinking Home Behaviors

If your home operates on a septic system, it has a limited capacity to flush away wastewater. This is especially true for homes that have growing families, and those that expand their hookups. Since septic capacity doesn’t change, certain human behaviors must. After any emergency septic system repair, it is likely that household behaviors will have to be modified. Water use timing must be monitored, and careful attention must be paid to items that are flushed, washed down the sink, or put through a washing machine. Yearly septic tank treatments will also be needed.

Septic system backups are no fun for any household, but they are not the end of the world. Causes of problems can range from excess water usage and flushing, to tree root systems on the property growing into pipes. Whatever the problem, when a septic backup happens, a professional septic crew can identify and remove it. There are many advantages to operating a home on an independent septic system, but maintaining one can require some work. Well-maintained septic tanks and systems can last for generations, and taking care of problems early is key.