Signs of a Failing Septic System

Signs of a Failing Septic System

Do you utilize an individual home sewage treatment system (septic system) at your home or business?

Spring can sometimes cause havoc on septic systems when the snow begins to melt. Individual home sewage treatment systems can become waterlogged or temporarily flooded.

Why does this happen?

Throughout the winter, normal use of water in a house keeps the soil in and around the drainfield and septic tank from freezing. So when the snow starts melting, the water may infiltrate into the drainfield area instead of running off. This can cause a temporary high water table which can leak into the septic tank or saturate the drainfield. When this happens, the waste water coming from the house cannot move through the septic system easily.  

Learn more about Septic Systems and Snow Runoff in our blog.

Here are some signs to watch for when it comes to your septic system:

  • Slow draining sinks in kitchen and bathroom
  • Slow draining bathtub or shower
  • Foul odours around the septic tank
  • Gurgling sounds in the plumbing system
  • Water and sewage backing up into your home
  • Exceptionally green grass around the septic tank
  • High levels of coliform bacteria in the water wells
  • Damp spots near the drainfield area

If you notice any of these signs, be sure to investigate and contact an expert if necessary.

We offer a Natural Septic Tank Additive (ESTT) designed to help protect your septic system and to keep it operating smoothly. 

ESTT is formulated to increase microbial populations and accelerate the natural (biological) process within your septic system and drain field. ESTT tank treatment reduces frequent septic tank pumping, extends drain field life, improves drain field percolation, prevents sewer line blockage and keeps septic systems operating at optimum performance. 

Here are some tips to help your septic system before and during the spring thaw:

  • The first thing to do is make sure there are no leaking fixtures in the house. A drop of water every 15 seconds can add up to a lot of additional water added to the septic system. 
  • Reduce water use.
  • Check faucets, shower heads, toilets, sinks & any other water using device for leaks & repair them as soon as possible.
  • Don't put the water from a basement sump pump into the septic system. 
  • Don't let water from roof gutters or from the sump pump discharge into the drainfield area.
  • Reduce the number of times you flush the toilet, wash clothes at a laundromat, reduce the number of showers &/or baths each day & only run the dishwasher when it is full.

For more information on septic systems, click here to open and download the SepticSmart book (PDF) - "Understanding Your Home's Septic System" compliments of the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario.