Home Owner Advice: Signs of a Failing Septic System

Do you suspect your septic system is failing?

If you notice standing water or damp spots near the septic tank or leach field, also known as a “drain field,” and/or bad odors emanating from the area of your septic system, these are signs of sewage leakage in your septic system. If you suspect a leak, we can come out and find it for you. We do charge a fee for finding a leak and probably will need to dig part of the area.

If you experience slow or gurgling drainage in your home or active backups, check the water level of your tank. If your tank is full, it should be pumped ASAP.

If your tank is filling more rapidly than it should
Don Chapin Septic Tank
Don Chapin Septic Tank

You should periodically check the level of water in your tank and leach field. As your tank fills up, it is designed to send water to the leach field, also called a “drain field.” The leach field will disperse water over a large area to be absorbed by the soil. If your tank is filling more quickly than it should, either your system is being used more than it was originally intended for (i.e. more people are using the property) or it simply is not draining as quickly as it was designed to do.

If you see the water is not draining in your leach lines, there are several possible causes.

  • Damaged pipes
  • Blocked pipes (typically by root intrusion).
  • Saturated lines that need to dry out

Saturated lines cannot be repaired as it is the soil surrounding the pipe that is saturated. Saturated leach lines need to dry out. That can take months to many months depending on your soil. We have done an extension on an existing field to get the septic system working again. An extension plus gates or valves to direct water from the old leach lines has the potential to allow them to dry out and be put back in use eventually.

If you are experiencing problems with your septic system, call us at (408) 693-6018 or contact us for a free estimate.

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