A septic tank can be a good choice for a rural home that is not serviced by city water supplies. Everything that is put down a drain or a toilet is collected in the tank, which then gets emptied and cleaned on a regular basis. A quality septic tank can usually last for years without any problems, but they do need servicing and repairs over time. Note a few telltale signs that your home's septic tank or the pipes leading to the tank need some attention from a professional.
1. Nitrates in well water
If your home has a septic tank, it probably has a well on the property. A buildup of nitrates in well water is a good sign that there is a leak in the septic tank, as nitrates and bacteria are often found in nearby soil and water supplies when they leak out of the tank. It's good to have your well water tested regularly for any contaminants, and if you notice high levels of nitrates, you might check your septic system and tank. They are likely reasons for this contamination.
2. Slow drains
When the drains in your home get slow, you might open up the trap to look for hair, grease, soap scum, and the like. However, if there are no outward and obvious reasons for drains to empty slowly, your septic tank may need cleaning and servicing. The tank may be full or there may a problem in the lines so that your drains cannot empty as they should. In some cases a good cleaning can address this issue, but if a pipe or line is bent or otherwise broken, this may have allowed dirt or tree roots to get through the lines and, in turn, clog your home's drains.
3. Pooling water and bad smells
Pooling water on your property and bad smells are the most obvious signs of a septic system backup or leak, but note that if the septic tank is overflowing, you should expect bad smells and pooling water in the same area. Your property may not be graded properly so that water tends to pool on your yard, so not every puddle means that your septic system is in need of repair. When you notice both pooling water and bad odors, especially in areas around drain lines and the tank itself, then chances are it's the tank or pipes that are the culprit.
When you notice any of these signs, contact a professional septic tank pump out company.