Is Your Septic System Making You Sick?

If you have a septic system in your yard, you’re not alone. One-third of the U.S. population uses septic systems, which dispose of more than one trillion gallons of waste.

When a septic is in good working condition and has been properly maintained, it will efficiently remove harmful bacteria. But when a system doesn’t work properly, it can cause serious health issues.

Septic Systems Can Contaminate Well Water

Many homes that have septic systems also rely on a well for their home’s water supply. When septic systems don’t work properly, they can potentially contaminate well water.

Older septic systems pose a bigger risk to your health than newer systems. Older septic systems typically don’t have thick layers of gravel and sand like newer systems do. Gravel and sand filter waste water before it has a chance to reach the ground.

A thin filtering bed may allow contaminated waste water to reach the ground, which may wind up in the well water your family uses.

Backed Up Systems Can Spread Bacteria

When a septic isn’t working properly, it can back up into your home. That means everything that has been flushed down the toilets or drains comes back up into the house.

The smell – as you can imagine – is horrendous. Aside from a foul odor, backed up septic systems can also spread bacteria.

Clean-up can be a nightmare and will require you to wear proper protection to protect against the fumes and bacteria. The fumes alone can cause nausea, breathing problems, skin irritation and other uncomfortable symptoms.

If your septic isn’t working properly and is backing up into your home, it’s time to call in a professional septic tank repair company.

Sewer Gas

Broken or damaged septic pipes can cause sewer gas to seep into your home. Along with stomach problems, sewer gas can also cause respiratory issues and fatigue.

These smelly fumes may spew out of:

  • Heaters and ACs
  • Leaks in pipe joints
  • Toilet seal leaks
  • Holes in sewer piping
  • Leaks in septic pipes
  • Leaks in electrical conduits
  • Drains

Sewer gas can be very harmful to your health, so it’s important to make repairs ASAP.

Signs that Your Septic System Needs Repairing

How can you tell if your septic system needs to be repaired? Tell-tale signs of a failing septic include:

  • Slow flushing. If your toilets won’t flush, it may be a sign that your septic tank is full. Call a professional right away to avoid having a back-up of sewage in your home.
  • Standing water. If you see pools of standing water in the yard, your septic may not be working properly. The water usually has an unpleasant smell.
  • Pipe gurgling. If your pipes make a gurgling sound when you flush the toilet or run the water, it may be a sign that your septic system is failing.
  • Grass growth. If the grass is growing more quickly and luxuriously around your septic tank, it may be an indication that there’s an increase in moisture from the system.
  • Foul smell. An unpleasant smell is usually the first sign people notice when their septic systems fail.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to call in a professional and have your septic repaired.

Photo by Chad McDonald