Proper preventative maintenance and an understanding of how to use a septic system can go a long way toward preventing failure, but it is important for property owners to understand what happens when a septic system fails so they know what they are trying to prevent. In addition to all of the costs associated with cleaning up, repairing and possibly replacing a failed system, there are other hazards to consider that, as property owner, you could be held responsible for if things get out of hand.
Some septic systems fail due to age, poor design or other issues not directly related to the abuse or neglect of the home or business owner, however in most cases failure is a direct result of abuse or neglect.
Neglect comes in not properly maintaining, cleaning and repairing the septic system, not upgrading it as it ages or as technology improves or just simply ignoring it and hoping that you won’t have a problem. Abuse comes in the form of putting chemicals and other waste into the system, flooding it regularly with excess water, not protecting the drainfield and a host of other user-related issues.

What Happens When the Septic System Fails?

When your septic system fails it can actually become a serious health threat that can affect not just you and your family, but your neighbors and the people who live all around you. Failed septic systems can also work to negatively impact the local environment, polluting groundwater, streams, lakes, ponds – anything within the general area. In fact, studies show that a single failed residential septic system could literally put thousands of water supply users at-risk, particularly if the home is in a public water supply watershed. Neglect and abuse does more than affect you and your wallet, it can actually spread disease, pollution and damage throughout your whole town.
Financial obligations associated with a failed system include the expenses and materials associated with repairing or upgrading the system. But what a lot of property owners don’t realize is that a failed system can also drastically reduce their property value. In the State of Massachusetts, property owners need to pass a Title V Inspection before they can sell or make structural changes to their home or buildings. If your system is failed – you won’t pass. You need to get on top of this right away or you will be subject to additional fines and penalties as stated in Massachusetts State Law.

Signs of a Failing System

For the sake of this article, let’s say that you are one of those neglectful or abusive septic system owners. You don’t get your system cleaned, pumped, inspected or evaluated on a regular basis and you really put a lot of heavy use on your system. The fact that your system hasn’t failed yet, filling your backyard with hazardous waste is nothing short of a miracle, but what are the signs that it might be getting ready to fail? Can you head off this disaster before it hits?
Basic signs that your septic system is failing or is about to fail:

  • occasional sewage odors
  • toilets that drain slow
  • sink or shower drains that drain slow
  • unusually quick growth over your drainfield or leach field area

Obvious signs that your septic system has failed:

  • sewage odors that won’t go away
  • sewage back-ups inside the house
  • sewage surfacing in the drainfield

Get Ahead of the Problem

The good news is that it’s never too late to make it all right and get on track with your septic system. The first thing you should do is call a professional septic service company that is licensed and certified in the State of Massachusetts to take care of all your problems. If you don’t need a Title V Inspection to sell or make changes to your home, you can request a Confidential Voluntary Assessment of your property to ensure that everything is in working order.
All-Clear Septic & Wastewater is licensed and certified to take care of all your septic system needs. They can provide an inspection or assessment as a part of a professional consultation to help you get your septic system on track. Cleaning, pumping, repairs, rejuvenation – All-Clear will do whatever it takes to get your system functioning properly.
All-Clear also educates customers about the proper usage and maintenance of septic systems to prevent problems in the future. A Preventative Maintenance Program is also available to take the worry out of septic system ownership – All-Clear will take care of it all for you with regular cleaning and maintenance schedules for optimum efficiency. Give All-Clear a call today at 508-763-4431 and get your septic system on the road to recovery!