Spring Septic Tank Maintenance to keep your system Smelling Sweet
If it’s spring here in Essex, thanks to the Essex Foundation, you can take in the sweet smell of daffodils blooming around just about every corner. If you don’t want to experience a different odor in your own yard, it’s a good time to consider whether your septic system is ready for summer.
Weather and ground conditions change moving from winter to spring, which can oftentimes be the cause of septic problems. For example, spring is a wet time of year so the ground may be saturated causing the water table level to rise. This can lead to your septic system flooding and other septic issues.
To make your transition from winter to spring as easy as finding daffodils in Essex, we pulled together a list of signs indicating you may have a system problem that requires septic tank maintenance. Also, we have a few septic system maintenance tips you can act on to help prevent issues, as well as some things a septic professional can do if you are having problems.
Signs you may have septic tank problems
- Do you have puddles near your septic tank and around your drain field? This flooding is an indicator that something may be wrong with your septic tank.
- Do you notice a funky smell near your septic tank and the surrounding area? If your answer is yes, it’s most likely a sign your septic system is overflowing. Therefore, it is critical to contact a septic system expert to fix the septic problem, so it doesn’t become a bigger more expensive issue.
- Check for standing water over your septic tank cover. This could indicate you have a significant clog in your system, which also requires immediate attention.
Each of the above issues could be an indication of a septic system clog. Should you experience any of these symptoms, our immediate advice is to avoid the temptation to use harsh chemicals. While they may rid you of a clog, they could just as easily kill the good bacteria you want to remain in your system. There are some things, as a homeowner, you can do if you think you may require septic tank maintenance.
Homeowner tactics for proper Septic System operation
- Be careful what you flush. Never flush inert objects that can harm your septic tank, which include but are not limited to hair, cigarette butts, household chemicals, and harsh cleaners, feminine products, and dental floss. In fact, aside from toilet tissue, if it doesn’t come out of your body, you should not flush it. If you have young children, you should monitor their bathroom behavior to make sure they adhere to this – or out-of-town guests not familiar with septic tanks.
- Avoid rinsing grease, food particles, and other kitchen debris down the drains. We install special grease traps in restaurants to deal with these issues. In your residential systems, not only can these items clog your septic lines, but also wreak havoc with the microorganisms necessary to break down solid waste within the system.
- Use water sparingly. Too much water can undermine the microorganism ecosystem within the septic system. Install faucet aerators, spread laundry chores throughout the week, and verify that all household toilets are in good working order—not running—to limit the amount of water entering the septic system.
- Check that your gutter downspouts direct water away from your septic tank or leaching field. Spring is a rainy season; if your downspouts are directing water toward your septic tank, it is going to increase the risk of flooding.
All that said, if you suspect you have a clog or other obstruction, it is best to contact a professional septic system service to deal with this issue. We can inspect using special video equipment to then determine the best route to free the clog in a way that is safe for your tank and better for the environment.
Septic Professionals steps to improve existing septic system operation
- Schedule an inspection – a professional can catch small issues that have sprung up due to a harsh winter and temperature changes before they become big problems. With the right equipment, such as our Wohler 250 Inspection Camera, this can be done with minimal invasiveness. In addition to evaluating the tanks and piping in your system, we check for signs of disrepair like a cracked lid or broken cap.
- Change your filters – oftentimes, your filter can become clogged with debris generated during or left over from winter weather and spring storms. If your filter is clogged with sediment, it can prevent your septic system from working properly, which can lead to inefficiency and, in some cases, system damage. Unless you have previous experience in changing or cleaning filters, it’s best to contact a professional company that specializes in septic tank maintenance.
- Pump your septic system – late spring is the best time of year to pump your system after temperatures rise, especially if that tank is near capacity so as to avoid flooding from heavy spring rain showers. What’s more, it’s a good idea to pump your tank in the warmer months in preparation for high usage and to make maintenance easier for your technician.
By looking out for issues and following these tips, you are off to a great start with your spring septic system maintenance. If you keep up with septic system maintenance, your system will most likely last longer and avoid costly damage brought on by flooding or blockage.
If you notice any areas for concern or believe you are due for septic system maintenance, spring is the perfect time for scheduling an inspection. We here at Engineered Septic & Sewer can quickly recognize any issues with septic systems (or sewer connections) and provide safe, reliable, and effective methods to address any issues your drains, pipes, or septic tank might present.
Wouldn’t you rather be thinking about where you might plant daffodils next year as opposed to worrying about your septic tank? Contact us today.