Most septic system emergencies are dangerous because it not only stops you from using your plumbing appliances or fixtures (those that generate wastewater), but they are also health and safety risks. Here are some of the signs that usually mean you have a septic system emergency on your hands:
The Septic Alarm Is Ringing
Newer septic systems are fitted with alarms to help sound warnings when there are dangerous conditions in the tank. Therefore, you should know that something is wrong with your system if the alarm is ringing. Here are some of the emergencies that may trigger the septic system alarm:
- The effluent filter is clogged, the effluent isn't leaving the tank, and the liquid waste in the tank is rising to dangerous levels (this means the tank will soon be overflowing if the issue isn't fixed)
- The septic drain field is flooded and cannot handle any more effluent
- The submersible pump has failed (for systems that use this design); since the pump helps to keep the waste moving, its failure also means the tank will soon be overflowing with waste
The Septic Drain Field Is Flooding
A flooded septic drain field is a recipe for disaster whether or not the system is kitted with an alarm. Here are some of the conventional signs of a flooded septic drain field:
- There are visible puddles of liquid in the septic drain field
- Your septic system is smelly
- Your sewer drains are slow or blocked
A flooded drain field means your septic system cannot handle any more waste from your house. You need to stop using the system until the issue is diagnosed and fixed. Otherwise, you will just be contaminating the environment and endangering plants and animals.
Your Drains Are Backed Up
If you use a septic system, then you should also consider calling an emergency plumber if your drains are clogged or backed up. This is particularly true if the issue is affecting all the drains in your house. In such a case, it's unlikely that conventional drain cleaning measures will help. This is because if the whole house is affected, then it means the issue is in the main drain line carrying waste out of the system. For example, it might be that the sewer line is damaged or blocked somewhere along its channel.
Don't wait to call a specialized plumber if you notice any of the above signs in your home. You need the issue diagnosed and resolved so you can go back to using your septic system as usual as soon as possible.