How To Tell If Your Septic System Is Failing

Septic System Explanation

Watch for the Warning Signs

Septic system owners should be alert to the following warning signs of a failing system:

  • Slowly draining sinks and toilets
  • Gurgling sounds in the plumbing
  • Plumbing backups
  • Sewage odors in the house or yard
  • Ground wet or mushy underfoot
  • Grass growing faster and greener in one particular area of the yard
  • Tests showing the presence of bacteria in well water

None of these warning signs can be considered a sure indication that a system has failed, but the appearance of one or more of them should prompt homeowners to have their systems inspected. Septic system failures also can occur without any of these warning signals.

Pump Your System Regularly

Pumping your septic tank is probably the single most important thing you can do to protect your system. If the buildup of solids in the tank becomes too high and solids move to the drainfield, this could clog and strain the system to the point where a new drainfield will be needed.

Have Your System Inspected

Inspecting your septic system annually is a good way to monitor your system’s health. Inspections can reveal problems before they become serious, and by checking the levels of sludge and scum in your tank, you can get a more accurate idea of how often it should be pumped. If you think your septic system is failing, the only way to know for sure is to hire a professional inspector.

Please Note: Down to Earth Excavation does not offer septic system inspections or pumping. If you think your system is failing, we are happy to move the earth to help you with your septic issues.

Having a similar issue? Visit the Premier Excavating & Demolition Company in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Having trouble affording a septic system replacement?

Do you need help paying for a failed septic system? The Wisconsin Onsite Water Recycling (WOWRA) provides valuable resources, including the Wisconsin Fund is a program that provides grants to homeowners and small commercial businesses to help offset some of the cost for the repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of existing failing septic systems. Eligibility is is based on several criteria, including household income and age of the system. Only 66 of Wisconsin’s counties, the City of Franklin, and the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin participate in the program. 

Visit their website to learn more about eligibility requirements.

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