In some ways, having a septic tank is preferable to being connected to a public sewer. Since the equipment belongs to you, it's easy for you to keep an eye on it and address any issues. You also don't have to pay an annual or monthly fee to the sewer company. However, you do need to keep an eye out for any issues with your septic system and solve them, as needed. Here are the key problems to watch out for.

A Full Septic Tank

A full septic tank is not necessarily a problem or an indication that anything is wrong. Every septic tank will eventually become full with solid waste if you don't pump it. That being said, you do need to take action and have your tank pumped if you suspect it is full or close to full. Signs your septic tank is full include:

  • Slow drains
  • Gurgling drains
  • Toilets not flushing completely
  • Odors and water in your backyard

Septic tank pumping costs a few hundred dollars and only takes a couple of hours. If you preemptively have your tank pumped every few years, it should never reach a point of total fullness, so you should not experience the issues listed above.

Leaky Tanks

A septic tank can spring a leak. This can happen when a metal tank gets old and rusty. Concrete tanks may crack under pressure and begin leaking. The key sign of a leaky septic tank is smelly water in your backyard. However, since smelly water can also just mean your tank is full, you need to have a septic company come take a look inside the tank to see whether the tank really has a hole or crack. If there is a crack or hole, the septic company may be able to patch it, but usually replacing the tank yields better long-term success.

Blocked Lines

There are effluent lines that run from your septic tank out to the leech field. If one of these lines gets clogged, you may see sewage backing up into your drains. You may also see some excess sewage water in your yard. A septic company can generally send a snake down into the line to remove the clog. If the line has collapsed, the septic company may recommend replacing it.

Septic tank problems do need to be addressed ASAP, or else you may end up with sewage in your home. Contact a septic company like Chamberlain Septic and Sewer at the first sign of a problem.