If your drains have slowed down, you may suspect that your septic tank has backed up and started to overflow. Besides being an inconvenience from having to wait for your sinks to drain, an overflowing septic tank also poses potential hazards to you, your household, and your neighbors.
Sewage Backs Up into Your House
When your septic tank starts to back up and overflow, one of the paths of least resistance that the sewage will follow is through your sewer lines. When the tank becomes full, the sewage will start flowing back up into your pipes and make its way into your house through the drains.
The sewage can carry along with it an enormous amount of bacteria from the waste materials inside the tank. These bacteria will then coat your sinks, toilet, and shower floor, potentially making you and your family members sick.
If you start to see dark gray or black water seeping up through your drains, the overflow problem in your septic tank should be taken care of as soon as possible by a professional.
Sewer Gases Become Highly Concentrated
When sewage water starts coming up through your drains, waste matter and bacteria are not the only things it can carry with it. Because of the increased buildup of sewage inside the tank, sewer gases can also start creeping up into your home and throughout your house.
While a minimal level of these gases is not necessarily toxic, the levels increase when your septic system cannot handle the additional load. Gases such as methane and ammonia can permeate not only your house but also the air around the tank. When the gases are in the air outside of your home, they also put your neighbors at risk for respiratory problems and sickness.
If you detect an odor that resembles the smell of rotting eggs in or around your house, this is an indication that the sewer gases have become highly concentrated. And, until you have your septic tank pumped out, they will not dissipate. In fact, they can get stronger as long as the problem persists.
When your septic tank has started overflowing, it becomes a hazard to your home and those living around you. Contact a septic service as soon as you suspect you have an overflow problem so they can clean and pump out your tank, as well as repair any issues that may have led to the problem. For more information, contact local professionals or visit sites like http://www.sosseptic.net.
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.