Whether you have a septic tank that is decades old or are a facing a major septic tank problem such as sewage backup, if you’re a septic tank owner, you’ve probably often found yourself wondering just how long your septic system will last. Do you need to replace equipment? Or do you need a whole new septic system altogether? But considering a new septic rank system can cost thousands of dollars, and it is important to understand when you should replace your septic tank—and when you shouldn’t.
When to Repair Your Septic System
In some cases, even serious septic system problems can be resolved with intelligent repairs. This can save you quite a bit of money, as replacing an entire septic tank system can often cost upwards of $5,000.
Replace the drain field or increase its size. A drain field that is aging and not working properly, or one that is too small, will cause leakage, as it will likely struggle to absorb all of the waste. Replacing or expanding the drain field can help to mitigate the problem.
If saturated soil is a problem, try installing perimeter drains. If soil saturated with wastewater is continually a problem, and your septic tank is otherwise functioning fine, your best bet is to try installing perimeter drains to see if that alleviates the problem.
If your septic system is aging, adopt water conservation strategies. No matter what you do, your septic tank isn’t going to last forever. If your septic tank is starting to age, try adopting water conservation strategies to help prolong its lifespan. You will also want to be more diligent about routine maintenance.
When to Replace Your Septic System: What You Need to Know about Septic Failure
If your septic system is failing you will need to consider replacing it. The bottom line is that even with proper maintenance, all septic systems will eventually fail. No matter how well you maintain your septic system, you can’t expect its lifespan to be infinite. A septic system is said to be “failing” when it can no longer effectively treat and distribute wastewater. Symptoms of septic tank failure include:
- Sinks, bathtubs, and toilets that drain slowly
- Standing wastewater on the ground above or in close proximity to your drain field
- The presence of nitrate, nitrite, or coliform bacteria in your well water or in water sources near your home
When a septic tank system fails it is a major concern, as it means the system is no longer capable of preventing the contamination of nearby water sources, such as lakes, streams, or wells. Furthermore, the spread of untreated wastewater makes the area around your home a prime breeding ground for mosquitos and flies, which can spread disease. Replacing your septic system is certainly an expensive endeavor, but if your system is failing, it is a necessary one. For more information about what to do in the case of septic tank failure, your best bet is to contact an expert.