Thirty-six percent of Idaho’s homes have a septic system. If you are in one of these homes, it is imperative that you are able to run your system properly. Not doing so will create problems in your home and will lead to plenty of headaches down the road. The best way to stay on top of your system is to be aware of the signs that something is wrong. In these cases, the best course of action is to reach out to a septic plumbing service to address the problem.
Keep reading to discover 9 signs you need to start looking for these services.
1. Unusually Green Grass
One of the first and most visually noticeable signs that there is a problem with the septic system is a change in the grass. Typically, the grass above and around the septic tank will suddenly become very lush and green. This is a sign something is wrong.
In order to look out for this sign, make sure you know where in your lawn your septic tank is located. This will give you an idea of where to keep a watch out. It will also let you know where to look for several of the other signs on this list.
Once you know where your tank is, compare the area above and around it to other parts of your lawn. If the area near the septic tank is noticeably greener or seems lusher than other areas, then there is a decent chance that something is wrong.
2. Bad Odors Outside
Another very noticeable sign that something is wrong with your septic system is a bad smell. Often, this will smell like rotten eggs or will simply have the general odor of sewage. Typically, this will be worse in the area surrounding the septic system itself.
This comes from a rather obvious source. Your septic system deals with all of your home’s sewage and puts it in a single place. If something goes wrong, the smell from this sewage will be very noticeable.
While the odor created by this problem is extremely unpleasant, the fact that it is so noticeable makes detection easy. This means that you will be able to address the problem immediately.
3. Bad Odors From Drains
The outdoor area around the septic system isn’t the only place where bad odors make an appearance. If something goes wrong with the system, smells will often be noticeable from the drains within the house.
Once again, this happens for a rather obvious reason. In this case, odors from the septic system are making their way from the septic tank and into the pipes connected to the tank. These pipes lead right to all of the drains within your house.
The odors coming from the drains will usually be similar to those coming from outside. This means that the drains may smell like rotten eggs or sewage.
4. Unusual Sounds
We’ve already gone over ways to see and smell problems with your septic system. However, it is also possible to detect problems by hearing them.
If there is a problem, you may hear unusual sounds from in or around the drains. Typically, these noises will be more noticeable when your drains are being used. For example, when you flush the toilet, you may hear the usual sounds as the water leaves the bowl.
In most cases, these noises will present as a gurgling sound. However, keep an ear in tune with the sounds your home typically makes. Any drainage sounds that appear to be different from normal should be noted.
5. Water Pooling Outside
Often, problems with a septic system involve water or waste leaving the system and entering the surrounding area. When this happens, an obvious way in which it presents itself is through pooling water.
To check for this, look at the area around your septic system. If the grass there looks flooded, the water may be coming from the tank itself. Make sure to check on a day when it hasn’t just rained in order to get a true indication of what the area looks like.
However, pooling water isn’t always noticeable. Sometimes, it may be light enough that the grass hides the water that is there. This will make it hard to detect visually.
Because of this, you should walk through the area around the septic tank. If the grass is spongy and wet, then water is pooling there. Even if it isn’t pooling visually, the fact that excess water is there is a bad sign.
6. Drains Running Slow
Another sign that something is wrong with the septic system comes from the efficiency of the drains. Nearly every drain in the house relies on the septic system. This system is where the water goes once it has made its way through the drain.
However, if the septic tank is full or there is something preventing water from making its way to the tank, the drains are impacted. They may end up running slower than usual.
One big culprit here is the toilet. If the toilet requires more than one flush in order to fully drain, it may be an early indicator that there is a problem. This is often easier to notice than other drains in the house.
However, there are several different reasons drains will run slow. These range from a simple clog in the drain grate to tree roots infiltrating the pipes. In some of these cases, drain cleaning may be all that is necessary.
This is why contacting a professional Boise plumbing service is important. Doing so will allow them to access the situation and determine exactly what the problem is. Then, they can start fixing it.
7. Drains Backing Up
Slow drains aren’t the only drainage problem that may result from septic problems. It is entirely possible that the drains will stop working altogether and will start backing up. This means that, instead of draining water, water will actually rise up from the drains themselves.
This isn’t because of clogged pipes or drain clogging; it is because the septic system is too full or something is preventing water from flowing into the system. It simply cannot effectively take any more water and, because of this, the water is unable to make its way down the drains.
This is a very serious issue. If your drains aren’t working then, you will quickly find yourself in danger of water damage and other problems. This is not a situation anyone wants to find themselves in.
8. Bad Water Quality
If you use well water, you want to keep this water in pristine condition. However, problems with the septic tank may create problems with your well water.
This is because, when a problem occurs within the septic system, the material within the system has the potential to leak. This will allow the water and waste within to escape into the water table itself. Since a well takes in water from the water table, a problem like this directly impacts the water within the home.
Typically, this is seen through increased levels of coliform bacteria and nitrates. These aren’t immediately harmful when present in small amounts. However, in rare cases, coliform bacteria cause serious illness.
Testing your well water will determine if these levels are off. If they are, then consulting with a plumbing service should be the next step.
9. Algae in Nearby Water
When material from the septic system enters the water table, it doesn’t just impact well water. It also seeps into nearby ponds and lakes.
This is a problem because it throws off the natural nutrient levels in these areas. By doing so, it causes harm to the plant and animal life in and around these bodies of water.
Luckily, there is a noticeable sign that often accompanies this problem. The change in nutrient level will create what is called an “algal bloom”. This will be visible as a large number of algae that suddenly starts appearing in and around the body of water.
If you spot an algal bloom, it may be a sign that your septic system is leaking into the water table. In this case, you need to reach out to a septic plumbing service.
Addressing Your Septic Plumbing
Looking out for problem signs with your septic plumbing is important. It prevents an issue in your septic system from becoming an even bigger issue. Just make sure you know the signs and you will be ready to spot an issue before it gets too bad.
If you are in need of septic plumbers in Boise, make sure to reach out to Master Plumbing for all your plumbing needs.