Here’s a situation we hope you never experience. First, the bad news. If you are one of the many septic tank owners in Rowan and surrounding counties, go stand outside your house.
- Is “the grass always greener” over your septic tank or its drainage field?
- Is that grass spongy?
- Or worse, do to smell an unpleasant odor?
- Are you finding water or damp spots near the tank, even in dry weather?
If any of these things are happening, you are probably in “septic tank trouble.”
While inside there are a few things that you should check:
- Has water or worse — sewage, from toilets ever backed up inside your home?
- When you shower, does the water drain very slowly?
- When you finish your bath, is the water also draining very slowly?
When you brush your teeth or wash dishes, are you noticing that the sinks are also draining very slowly?
- Have you heard a gurgling sound in the plumbing system?
Other signs that may not be as obvious to you but will be to our Myers Septic Service technicians:
- If there is a pond or lake near your home, are there algal blooms?
- If you have a private or community well, you will need to know if there are high levels of nitrates or coliform bacteria in the water.
Our Myers Septic Service staff are your best friends if you find yourself in any of the above situations. You won’t believe how relieved you will be when our service truck arrives.
Now that you have waded through all of the “worse” stuff, here’s the best part: Before any of the above happens, you can practice some routine maintenance right now that will keep your septic system functioning well. Just don’t keep flushing away and never think about maintenance. That will get you into trouble.
First, we will assume that your septic system has been designed well, is in the best place for sewage on your property, and that it has been installed correctly.
Things to consider when dealing with your septic tank.
- Inspect your septic system each year. Put it on your calendar. Don’t fall into that “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.
- If you find any of the symptoms, contact Myers Septic Service. It’s best to handle a little problem, instead of waiting until it grows. Your septic system may need to be pumped. For routine maintenance, it’s a good idea to have the septic system pumped every three to five years, depending on use.
- You can also avoid excess water. Do you really need to fill the tub with water to bathe? Do you really need a 30-minute shower?
- Wash only full loads of dishes or laundry.
- Check your toilets. A leaky toilet wastes hundreds of gallons of water.
- Consider replacing appliances with high-efficiency models: Showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, washing machines.
- And most of all, watch what you put down the drain.
Say “no” to this kind of flushing:
- Baby wipes
- Prescription medicines
- Dental floss
- Paper towels
- Feminine hygiene products
- Rags or newspaper
- Cigarette butts
- Adhesive bandages
- Cotton balls
But, there’s also a catch in your kitchen, with your much-loved garbage disposal. A plumber once told me that garbage disposals are his best friend. You won’t believe how often they need replacing, he told me. A real money-maker for him. And food clogs the drain that leads to your septic tank.
Be smart and at least avoid dumping the following, for the sake of your garbage disposal and your septic tank, where that waste will end up:
- Coffee grounds
- Grease and cooking oil
Why Does It Matter?
A failing or already failed, septic tank is much more than an inconvenience and expense to you. It’s a risk to human and animal health and the environment.
Untreated wastewater (surface or groundwater) contains pathogens and other dangerous contaminants. It puts people and animals at risk of illness, including (for people) Gastroenteritis (cramping stomach pains, diarrhea, and vomiting), caused by E. coli and other bacteria, protozoans such as Giardia and Cryptosporidia, and some viruses.
Once the untreated water enters the groundwater, it can contaminate wells in your area. If it reaches creeks, ponds, or lakes, it can contaminate shellfish beds or recreational swimming areas. It is also unsafe for agriculture. That’s our food base.
Where Is the Problem?
Myers Septic Service technicians are quick and efficient. Our work is not easy, but we find your problem(s). It could be:
- The pipe from your house to the tank itself is clogged, sometimes caused by tree roots.
- The inlet baffle to the tank is blocked.
- The outlet baffle or effluent filter is clogged. One of the worst: Sewage may back up in your home.
- The drain field has failed. Another worst. Sewage may back up in your home.
All of this, while possibly uncomfortable for you to absorb (sorry, again), is important. Remember, you are not alone. There are 21 million septic tank systems in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In North Carolina, these septic systems are regulated by the On-Site Water Protection Branch of N.C. Division of Public Health.
And remember, your best friend is Myers Septic Service. We know all the rules; we know all the solutions. We are your experts in Rowan and surrounding counties.
FAQ From Our Customers
A. What are the best plants for use over a septic tank drain field?
Q. Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs, and ornamental grasses are generally the best choices for use on a septic drain field. Ornamental grasses also offer the advantages of having a fibrous root system that holds soil in place and provides year-round cover.