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A Quick Guide to Septic Tank Troubles

Septic Tank Underground
Septic tanks are wonderful solutions to manage household waste. However, your septic system requires routine maintenance to work as intended. If your septic system's been doing great for a few years, and now it's not working properly, you may simply need to have your septic tank pumped.
Having the tank pumped is part of routine septic-system maintenance. The septic-pumping service removes sludge from your septic tank, so waste material flows and is processed efficiently again. Here's more information about other possible septic-tank problems.
You Can See, Hear, and Smell Septic Trouble
You can see septic-tank trouble when you stand close to your leach field, which is the large area where your septic tank is buried. Treated waste from your septic tank trickles into the leach field to be dispersed into the soil.
If the area around the leach field looks far greener than the rest of your yard, you could have septic tank problems. If the soil in and around the septic tank is mushy, pooled, or muddy, avoid the area and call your plumber.
When your septic tank is sluggish, you can sometimes hear your toilet and pipes gurgling when you try to flush waste or drain a sink. The gurgling sound means there's something wrong with your drainage system. If you see wastewater pooling back in your showers, sinks, or toilets, suspect a septic-system issue.
A rotten-egg or sewer-gas smell will begin to permeate homes with slow or non-functioning septic systems. The outside area around the buried tank may begin to emit a foul odor when the tank, inlets, or outlets are damaged or clogged.
You May Have a Problem Septic Tank
Does your family take a lot of showers, do multiple loads of laundry, and run several dishwasher loads every day? Your septic tank may not be large enough for your wastewater capacity.
The Louisiana Department of Health allows 500-gallon, single-chamber septic tanks for smaller homes, but recommends installing double-chamber or consecutive single-chamber tanks when possible. If your leach field can sustain the extra tank flow, you can increase the volume of waste your septic system can manage.
Tanks can become corroded or damaged by vehicles, digging, and rust. Tanks can also be disturbed so they aren't level or operating in the correct orientation.
To treat water properly, vertical and horizontal tanks must have a percentage of volume occupied by air. The top 15 percent of the septic tank's total inner height should be full of air, while the lower liquid should not rise higher than 85 percent of the tank's inner height.
If a drain or pipe is clogged, the septic tank can become overfull. The septic system will become sluggish and will eventually back up into your inside plumbing fixtures. To repair this problem, your plumber will find the obstruction and unclog the pipe.
You Need Patience With Septic Flooding
If storm-related flooding has caused your septic tank to flood, you must wait for the water to drain before working around your leach field. A soft leach field won't protect the buried septic equipment. Pumping a flood-submerged tank can damage the pipe connections and cause the tank to pop out of the ground.
Until your septic system is back in business, cut your family's water usage and cap the septic system. It's illegal to dump your waste water in any creek, stream, or other area, so try to eat, wash clothes, and take showers at hotels or the homes of friends when possible.
Once the storm waters drain away, your plumber can clear your septic-tank inlets and drains and recommend further remedies. In many cases, cleaning away roots, clogs, and debris will restore your septic lines after flooding.
Have your septic or sewer lines cleaned out in Baton Rouge by contacting Dave-Co Plumbing today. We also clear drains for customers in Zachary and St. Francisville, Louisiana.