Signs your Septic System has FAILED

septic tanks - drainlayer whangarei

Septic Systems are not designed to last forever. They have a lifespan of around 20 years. Here are 4 signs that your septic fields may need replacing or repair.

When your septic tanks stops working, life can get messy quickly. Leaking sewage, blocked toilets, bad smells are just a few of the signs that your onsite septic system is no longer working. The sooner you can recognize that your system is failing, the easier (and cheaper) it will be to fix. Here are the 3 most common signs that your Septic System is not working as it should ….

A failing septic system can be a nightmare. It’s easy to take your wastewater system for granted until it stops working. Here are 3 common signs that your sewerage system is no longer doing its job.

Regular maintenance and care of your system will keep your onsite septic working effectively for years to come.

1. Bad Smells

If you are getting bad smells from fixtures in your home or odors wafting off your effluent fields, then this means something is wrong.

A septic system is a really effective means of breaking down septic and disposing of the treated wastewater safely into the soil. The smell may mean that this is not happening correctly and that wastewater (and yup, sewage) is making it’s way through the system without treatment.

Reasons this could be happening:

  1. Your septic tank is full and needs emptying
  2. The Bio-organisms in the tank are no longer living or are underpopulated. This can happen for a number of reasons including over use of the system or chemicals being flushed though the system.
  3. Your Septic Tank is too small for the size of your family or household use
  4. Your Septic system is not adequate for the type of soil on your property
  5. In the case of a Secondary treatment system, the aeration system might not be working.
  6. Broken or blocked drain fields.

2. Boggy Effluent Soakage Fields

If you start to notice that the ground around the effluent field is getting boggy, then it’s possible that your soakage fields are not operating correctly. This can either be due to:

  1. Blocked drain fields
  2. Too much wastewater being distributed in the soakage area
  3. Broken or compacted drainage pipes
  4. Inefficient Planting out of the effluent disposal area

3. Slow Draining Toilets and Showers

This is most often the first sign of a failing Septic that Homeowners notice. If your toilet is blocked, then double check the other fixtures in the house to see if they are all draining slower than before. If the blockage is only at the one fixture or toilet, then chances are it is the toilet that needs unblocking and not a failing system. If however, more household fixtures appear to be draining slower than before, then your Septic system may need some TLC.

Related Post: How to Avoid Septic Tank Problems

What to Do when your Septic System isn’t working

More often than not, the situation WILL NOT get better if you ignore it.

Call your local Drainlayer (That would be us 🙂 and explain what’s happening. Our drainlayer will ask a few questions and may be able to diagnose the problem over the phone and either put you on to the right people (septic tank cleaner or service agent) or arrange a site visit to remedy any soakage related issues.

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Wayne Jecentho
Wayne Jecentho
2024-02-09
Highly recommend the team at Woods Plumbing and Drainage. We had a new septic system designed by Carey and installed by Zane’s team. The whole process was well communicated and executed. A pleasure to deal with and very professional. Cheers guys.
Nicki Burgess
Nicki Burgess
2023-12-18
We are so happy with the job Zane and his team did connecting our property to town sewage. Fast, very efficient and tidy. 100% recommend Woods Plumbing. Andrew Youngs & Nicki Burgess
Eileen Hales
Eileen Hales
2023-09-11
Very happy to recommend and place a favourable review for Woods Plumbing & Drainage. Zane and his team sorted our drainage problems quickly and efficiently. He liaised with council and other contractors. Very happy with result and thanks Zane
paua1958
paua1958
2023-08-10
Zane and his team shifted a sewer line across our build site and set up installation for our build. They were great to deal with, and worked in well with the other contractors. Zane went the extra mile to make sure that everything worked seamlessly with the Council. We can't recommend Woods Plumbing and Drainage highly enough!
Iain Robertson
Iain Robertson
2022-03-05
Zane and his team did a fantastic job of installing all the drainage on our extension project. They were polite, efficient, pleasant to work with, communicated with me very well to adjust things as we went along and finally left the site veery tidy. I also thought the price was very reasonable for a top notch job. Would highly recommend them for your drainage needs.
Betsy Duncan
Betsy Duncan
2021-05-20
We enjoyed our recent dealings with Zane to convert our septic to main sewer. Zane took charge of all the dealings with Council for us, the job ran efficiently and smoothly. Zane and his team were very polite, accommodating and a pleasure to work with. We would definitely use their services again in the future.
Judy Harrison
Judy Harrison
2021-05-12
Very happy with the drainage job Zane and his team did for us - the site was left neat and tidy on completion - thank you
Aaron Kennedy
Aaron Kennedy
2020-08-18
Great company to work with.
Glen McKenzie
Glen McKenzie
2020-01-28
Excellent. Same day service.