Have Questions about Septic Systems?
Here are answers to some of the most common questions we here about Septic Systems. If you don't find the answer to your personal questions here, please contact us and we will happy to help.
What is the Life Expectancy of a Septic System?
The lifespan of a septic system varies widely — from 15 to 40 years. This is because there are many factors that affect a septic tank's life expectancy, including its materials and whether it has experienced damage from vehicle traffic, flooding by groundwater or clogging by roots.
Can Damaged Septic Tanks Be Repaired or Must it Be Replaced?
Damaged septic tanks can be repaired, although the costs vary widely depending on which part of the system needs to be fixed. The tank lid, for example, is one of the least expensive parts to replace, while the drain/leach field is often one of the most expensive parts to replace. It depends especially on the size of the tank and where it's located.
Can Excessive Rain Effect My Septic System?
Yes rain can impact your septic system! It is not uncommon to have septic issues when it rains. Significant precipitation can flood the soil surrounding your drain field and saturate it, making water unable to flow out of your septic tank. Because the water has nowhere to go, eventually it will flow backward through the system and up through the drains and toilets of your home. A flooded drain field can lead to other problems, such as untreated sewage seeping into the groundwater and nearby streams, which can cause severe contamination.
Will Bleach Harm My Septic System?
Yes it is possible. The potential problem is that bleach kills bacteria — and bacteria in the septic system are responsible for breaking down and treating the waste inside. If bleach kills a septic tank's bacteria, this can cause a buildup of waste in the tank, and it will have nowhere to go. As a result, solids such as grease and oils can be pushed from the tank and into the drain field, which could lead to blockages and a complete failure of the drain field system — which in turn may cause waste to back up to your house.
Can My Septic Tank Freeze in the Winter?
Various components of your septic tank do have the potential to freeze, with the most vulnerable parts being the pipes traveling from your home to the tank. Some other components that may also freeze include your tank, the drain field and the pipes leading into it. The more often your septic system is used, the less likely you are to encounter freezing issues.
What happens when a septic system fails? How can I tell?
Usually when a septic system fails, the drainfield is not functioning properly. When a
septic tank overflows, the effluent can pass to the drainfield, clogging up the pipes.
This causes sinks and toilets to back up in the house. Other signs include: slow
draining toilets and drains, an odor of sewage, wet area on or near the drainfield, or
contaminated well water.