When you have a septic system in your yard, you can't afford to leave it unattended. Your septic system requires constant supervision, especially where maintenance is concerned. Pumping is one maintenance need that is often overlooked. Many people forget to mark recommended septic service dates on their calendar. Unfortunately, that can result in an emergency situation. If you've forgotten to document when the next service date for your septic cleaning should be, start watching for warning signs. If you're not sure what to look for, read the information provided below. Here are four signs you need to have your septic system pumped immediately.
Elevated Nitrate Levels
If you get your residential water from a well, watch the nitrate levels. You should be having your well water tested at least once a year. Those test results can help you track the condition of your septic system. An overfilled septic tank will begin flushing nitrates into the soil. In turn, the nitrates will filter into your drinking water. As soon as you notice the nitrate levels going up in your drinking water, have your septic system pumped.
System Alarm has Sounded
If your septic system is equipped with an alarm system, pay attention to it. The alarm is connected to the inner workings of your septic system. It can provide up-to-the-minute readings of the sewage levels inside the tanks. Once the tanks fill to maximum capacity, the alarm will sound. That's your cue that your tanks need to be pumped. If you disconnect the alarm, you'll have no way of tracking the sewage levels, which puts you at risk for septic emergencies.
Soggy Patches in the Yard
If you've discovered a soggy patch in your yard, assess the situation. First, check to see if the soggy patch is directly over your septic tanks. If it is, walk the area to see how big the patch is. If the soggy patch extends over the entire septic field, you need to call for emergency septic services right away. The extended soggy patch is a sign that your entire septic system has overflowed into the soil.
System-Wide Sewage Burps
If you've got a couple smelly drains in the house, it's time for a deep cleaning. Drain cleaning should take care of the odors. But, if you've got system-wide odors, meaning all of your drains smell foul, you need to take a closer look. Flush your toilets. If your drains burp after each flush, you need to have your septic system pumped. This is especially important if the burps smell like raw sewage. Those odors are sewage backing up through the drains.
To learn more, contact a resource that offers emergency pumping services.