Septic tank inspection doesn't have to be done only by a professional. There are a couple fo things that you can inspect at any time if you're concerned about the health of your septic system.
Looking for Damage
You may want to look for physical damage to the septic tank and the cover. When you're checking the cover, be sure to check the ground around the cover to make sure that it is solid and hasn't degraded. When you're doing a visual inspection of the tank, it's important to stick to the exterior of the tank for safety reasons. By looking into a full septic tank, you risk being overwhelmed by the toxic gases in the tank and potentially falling overboard. Leave internal inspection for your septic service.
Look for Leaks
Leaks are fairly easy to spot around the septic tank's drainfield. If you have grass in the area, it may have turned a different color from the unusual nutrients or bacteria in the sewage. You may see a ring spreading outward from the tank if material has been leaking outwards. If the area is concrete, this can be even easier to spot; aside from an obvious pool of waste in the area, you may also notice that the concrete is beginning to buckle in the area or that there is a slippery substance under the concrete's edges.
Check the Structural Foundation
The ground under your septic tank can be a vulnerable area. Depending on the type of soil you have, it may not be strong enough to continually support the tank. This is especially true if your soil is clay or another material that is prone to compound under weight. If you notice that the ground under your tank is depressed and beginning to sink, this can be a septic tank emergency because it could indicate that the tank's foundation is about to collapse, so call a septic service immediately.
Sludge levels can be a problem, both when they are too high and too low. A technician, such as from AAA Cesspool & Rooter Service, can get a really good look at the sludge levels by using a specialized camera that goes down into the tank. But you may also inspect the sludge levels and consistency using a long rod attached to a probing tool. If you notice that the levels of material are higher than normal, this is something to monitor in case the tank overflows. But low sludge levels may also be cause for concern, since they point to a possible leak.
When we first purchased our home in the mountains, I had no idea what I was up against. Whenever we would visit, I was surprised to see and smell the way that the property had changed. I realized that the vacation home always smelled like sewage, and it was really worrisome. I knew that I needed to do something to make things right, so I started looking into the plumbing system. I discovered that we had a septic tank, and that it needed to be pumped. This blog is all about troubleshooting septic system problems so that you can keep your place clean and sanitary.