The majority of septic systems out there fail as a result of either unsuitable design or poor or inadequate maintenance. In the case of unsuitable design, it is often the case that soil-based systems with either a leach or a drain field are installed at a site with poor soil conditions, considerable slopes, or high ground water tables, conditions which can produce hydraulic failures and can also cause water pollution. In the case of inadequate maintenance, the main culprit is typically a failure to pump the tank sufficiently, causing clogs in the system. No matter the cause of the failure, however, a septic tank failure can spell catastrophe for homeowners. If your septic system fails, here is what you should know.
Don’t wait to call for help.
If your septic system is failing, one of the first things you need to do is get in touch with either your local health department or a regulatory agency, especially if wastewater is leaking into your soil or into your home. If you let the problem go, it could become a health concern. You will also need to get a plumber in as soon as possible to identify the problem and fix it.
Conserve water in your home.
While the problem is ongoing, you need to conserve water in your home. This will help to lighten the load on the tank and can help to mitigate the problem in the short-term – at least until the system is repaired or replaced.
Avoid contact with the sewage.
When your septic tank fails, sewage is likely to end up outside of the tank. In some cases, it may pool on your lawn or flood your basement. Whatever you do, you should avoid contact with this sewage, as it will contain potentially harmful pathogens. You should get professional cleanup personnel onsite with appropriate protective clothing to clean up the mess. Following cleanup, the area should be completely dried up and should not be used until it has been dry for 24 hours.