Preventing Plumbing Problems

Preventing Plumbing Problems

What Makes A Septic System Backup An Emergency?

by Calvin Simmmons

Plumbing problems run the gamut from minor nuisances to floods so serious they can threaten your entire home. While your septic system politely stays out of your way most of the time, it can create significant issues when something goes wrong. Backups are among the most common problems septic system owners face, and they can be messy, disruptive, and expensive.

Early warning signs of a backup can include foul odors and slow-running drains. Once you notice these warning signs, you may not have long before sewage returns through your drains. If you think you can put off addressing these disturbing indications for a few more days, here are three reasons to treat an imminent septic system backup as an emergency requiring urgent attention. 

1. You Can Avoid Extensive Damage

Septic system backups typically occur due to neglected maintenance that allows solid waste or grease to infiltrate the drain field. This waste will eventually clog the distribution box or drain tiles, preventing effluent from dispersing into the field. Since your tank should maintain a relatively constant effluent level, anything that prevents this water from escaping will cause tank levels to rise.

Unfortunately, the inlet plumbing is usually the easiest escape route for this excess water. Once your system begins running slowly, water will begin working its way back toward your home. Addressing this issue as soon as you notice a problem can prevent sewage from flowing through your drains, saving you from a costly and unpleasant clean-up job.

2. You'll Make Fixing the Problem Easier

The longer you wait, the more overfilled your tank and septic lines will become. In many cases, you can resolve a septic system backup by pumping your tank and, if necessary, hydro-jetting your septic lines to clear any obstructions. However, the more backed up the tank becomes, the more challenging this job will be for your septic services company.

Making an emergency call before your system becomes completely saturated will reduce the likelihood of an extremely difficult and expensive repair. Since the job won't be so hard, it will take less time, and you'll be able to return to using your home's plumbing much sooner.

3. You May Save Your Septic System

Solid waste and grease can do more than clog your septic system's plumbing. Your septic tank and drain field rely on helpful microfauna (bacteria and other tiny animals) to maintain waste levels. These helpful critters are aerobic, which means they require an oxygen-rich environment. Solid waste can create an anaerobic environment in your septic field, killing off the helpful bacteria that break down effluent.

The longer this situation goes on, the more damage you'll do to your septic's drain field. Given enough time, excessive solid waste can cause your drain field to fail, forcing you to spend a shockingly large amount of money on a new one. By quickly dealing with any emergency clogs in your septic system, you can potentially save yourself from a five-figure drain field replacement.

Reach out to an emergency septic system service to learn more.


About Me

Preventing Plumbing Problems

It isn't always easy to know where to start when it comes to household maintenance, but a few years ago I realized I needed a new septic system. We were having a problem with our drains draining properly, so we turned to some experts for some help. They walked us through every aspect of the plumbing process, and within a few days, we were having a brand new septic tank installed. It was great to see just how much better things ran when the septic was working, and this blog is evidence of how much something like that can help.