Section 5 Potential Problems

Signs Of Septic System Failure

Septic system failure may occur for a variety of reasons. Two of the most common reasons for septic system failure include blockages or clogging from undissolved solids and broken pipelines in the leach field. Blockages and clogging generally occur when solids in the wastewater do not settle completely in the septic tank and are flushed into the leach field. This condition can occur when high volumes of wastewater force sludge out of the septic tank or when the septic tank is not pumped at the recommended frequency and sludge builds up inside the tank.

Broken pipes can occur for a number of reasons, the most common being damage from tree roots or physical damage caused by vehicles, landscape installations, or construction.

Signs of septic system failure include:

  • A strong odor from the gases that are released during anaerobic decomposition.
  • Slow draining pipes or pipes that back up into the home.
  • Patches of unusually vibrant vegetation above the leach field.
  • Pooling of effluent around the leach field or septic tank.

septic system failureEffluent rising to the surface above a septic tank or leach field is one sign of septic system failure.

Failed_Septic_FieldUnusally green vegetation over the leach field is another sign of a septic system that has failed or is about to fail.