Private septic systems are a common method for disposing of domestic wastewater in rural areas and some suburban homes. These systems are designed to treat and dispose of wastewater on-site, instead of connecting to a public sewer system. However, like any other mechanical system, septic systems can develop defects that can lead to significant problems if not addressed promptly.
In this blog, we will discuss some common defects associated with private septic systems, their causes, and how to prevent them.
1. Inadequate Tank Size:
Septic tanks come in different sizes depending on the number of bedrooms in a house or the number of people using the system. Inadequate tank size can lead to frequent tank pump outs, increased risk of backups, and overloading the soil treatment area. This problem can be prevented by correctly sizing the tank based on the house's size and the number of occupants.
2. Clogging and Blockages:
Over time, solids can accumulate in the septic tank, causing clogs and blockages in the pipes leading to and from the tank. This can cause backups in the house and prevent the wastewater from properly flowing into the soil treatment area. Regular maintenance, such as pumping the tank every three to five years, can help prevent this problem.
3. Leaking Tanks:
Septic tanks can leak over time, leading to groundwater contamination, unpleasant odors, and potential health hazards. Corrosion, physical damage, or poor installation can cause tank leaks. Regular inspections of the tank and immediate repairs of any leaks can prevent this problem.
4. Drainfield Failure:
The drainfield is where the wastewater from the septic tank is treated and dispersed into the soil. Poor soil conditions, overuse, and inadequate maintenance can lead to drainfield failure. Signs of drainfield failure include wet areas in the yard, unpleasant odors, and slow draining fixtures. Regular maintenance, such as avoiding compacting the soil over the drainfield and not planting trees near the area, can help prevent this problem.
5. Improper System Design:
An improperly designed septic system can lead to inadequate treatment and disposal of wastewater, causing environmental and health hazards. A professional septic system designer should be consulted to ensure the system is appropriately designed and meets the local codes and regulations.
6. Lack of Maintenance:
Proper maintenance is critical for the longevity and functionality of the septic system. Neglecting regular pump-outs, inspections, and repairs can lead to expensive and extensive system repairs or replacements.
7. Improper Slope:
The septic system needs to be installed on a slope to promote the flow of wastewater from the home to the tank and then to the absorption field. If the system is installed on level ground, it can cause wastewater to stagnate and prevent proper drainage.
Save Your Septic System
In conclusion, private septic systems are an efficient and cost-effective way to dispose of domestic wastewater. However, regular maintenance, proper installation, and sizing, and avoiding practices that can harm the system are critical to preventing the common defects associated with these systems. It is always advisable to have a professional inspect and maintain the septic system regularly to prevent any potential problems. If you are buying or selling a home, schedule a septic system inspection before signing on the dotted line. Contact Bryan & Bryan today at (866) 484-8318 for a free quote. We also perform many other inspection services including mold inspections, pest control treatments, stucco services, and commercial inspections.