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Maintain Your Septic System

Signs to Watch Out For

The implications of a poorly performing or damaged system are significant:

  • Pollution to the environment, particularly water
  • Impacts to health of people and animals
  • Costs of repairs, and in some cases fines•

Signs of Problems

  • Water draining away slowly from sinks, bathtubs and showers
  • Gurgling pipes when water is draining.
  • Foul odours coming from the area of the system
  • Water pooling or discolouration to grass around the disposal area
  • Grass is unusually green above the septic system outlet

Common Causes

  • Too much sludge or foreign objects blocking the disposal line
  • More wastewater coming in than the septic tank is designed for, washing solids into the disposal line
  • Low numbers of the bacteria required to treat the wastewater
  • Toxic chemicals (like bleach or commercial cleaners) entering the system, killing the bacteria
  • The mechanical parts (pumps and sensors) of secondary treatment systems breaking down
  • Roots invading the septic systems, causing leaks or blockages

How to respond

Contact a licensed plumber to have the cause of any problems identified. It is not recommended to get a pump out immediately as this may not be necessary and only mask the problem temporarily.