Even with proper maintenance, a septic system can fail and/or malfunction. A malfunctioning system includes a system that is causing a nuisance or is not operating in compliance with the State and Town regulations. By recognizing the signs early, potential failures, along with environmental hazards and financial woes, can be minimized. Below are some key factors in recognizing a malfunctioning system.
- Water backing up into the house or yard.
- If there is more water entering the septic system than the system can handle, water can/will back up into the easiest places, such as homes and yards.
- Foul odors can be an indicator of septic failure or malfunction. If foul odors are noted in the drain or application field, around the tanks, etc., contact your licensed maintenance provider immediately.
- Damp, wet areas, pooling, or ponding in the drain field or spongy, bright, green grass in the area of the drain field or spray heads could be a sign of a damaged or failed drain line or damaged spray heads. Many times, this can be caused by driving or mowing over the area and damaging the lines or spray application heads.
- An alarm will sound at the point of failure for certain types of systems. Alarm notifications will be triggered on the control panel. This is a definite sign that the system is in need of maintenance or repair.
- Regular, routine maintenance and inspections, including regular pumping and cleaning, help to reduce the likelihood of system failure.