Septic

Signs Your Septic Leach Field is Failing

Without the knowledge that comes with a plumbing license (and years of training), it’s likely difficult for the average homeowner to establish whether or not the septic tank is failing. Your septic tank is used to treat and dispose of waste from your household. That waste leaves your home and enters a leach field, or septic drain field, which is an underground facility used to remove impurities from liquids that emerge after moving through the septic tank. Sounds pretty complicated, doesn’t it?

Luckily, there are a few signs you can keep an eye out for which will indicate a failure in the septic tank, and if you spot them early enough, you could save yourself some very costly repairs by calling in the professionals as soon as possible.

Here are a few signs that your septic leach field isn’t functioning properly:

  • Your toilets and drains in your house are backing up – Of course, this can happen simply because your septic tank needs to be emptied, but it could also signify a failure in your leach field.
  • Your toilets are slow to flush – If the toilets in your home are flushing slower than usual, it could mean that your septic tank is filling with sludge. When your leach field isn’t working, the waste leaving your home cannot be processed causing a build-up of sludge and resulting in slow-flushing toilets.
  • Sinks and bathtubs are also draining slowly – Ordinarily, a slow draining sink or bathtub might indicate a blockage somewhere in the pipe, which is a fairly easy fix for a professional. But paired with other warning signs, slow draining sinks, and bathtubs could be a symptom of a larger problem within your septic system.
  • There’s standing water building up near your drain field – If water is pooling around your septic tank or drain field, it’s the biggest indicator that your septic tank is flooded which may be the result of a failing leach field. Standing water is caused when the water in your septic tank has nowhere to go after being treated and processed. Even if you don’t have water collecting around your septic system, keep an eye out for grass that is darker and greener than anywhere else in your yard. While we usually think of green grass as a good thing, if it’s only concentrated around your septic tank, you’re likely looking at the start of a backed-up system and should call a professional as soon as you notice it.
  • You notice a smell of sewage near your septic tank – Aside from the obvious visuals of a flooded septic as mentioned above, the smell that is associated with a backed-up septic tank is probably the most noticeable sign that something is wrong. Your septic tank and your leach field should be completely odor-free – both inside and outside of your home. When you smell odors surrounding your septic tank, they are caused by carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide, which are all found in household waste. The smell is usually compared to that of rotten eggs and is very unpleasant and an obvious sign that something isn’t functioning properly. And it’s not just unpleasant to smell, backed up sewage is a threat to the health and safety of you, your family, and anyone in the vicinity. For that reason, it’s important to call the professionals for an emergency assessment and potential septic leach field replacement.

There are several reasons that your leach field could fail, some of which could be less expensive to repair than others. For instance, if your leach field has simply become saturated by too much water going down the drain or through the floodwater on the drain field (yes, there is such a thing as flooding your septic with too much water – try to conserve where you can), it may be possible for the drain field to be dried out and rehabilitated. But more often than not, the causes of a failed leach field are likely related to an overload of solid materials entering the system (such as when your septic system is too small for the size of your household) or it could just be that this particular component of the septic system has simply reached its capacity. In either situation, it’s likely that you’ll need to have a replacement leach field installed by a professional. This can be a costly repair which is why it’s so important to catch the signs of a failing septic system as early as possible so the professionals, like the friendly and knowledgeable experts at Lion Home Service, can resolve the problem quickly, efficiently, and in a way that is most cost-effective for you. Want to get ahead of the curve and have your septic system evaluated before you start to notice any warning signs? Give us a call to book a septic evaluation appointment today! (970) 829-8222

Septic

Most Common Myths About Your Septic

Your septic system may be a bit of a mystery to you – out of sight, out of mind, right? It’s likely you don’t pay the system much mind until there’s a noticeable problem. But understanding how your septic system works and busting the myths you may have been told can help you extend the life of your septic system and prevent the need for costly repairs.

Here are a few of the common myths about septic systems that could actually turn into very costly mistakes if not corrected.

Septic Tanks Take Care of Themselves

Because your septic system is buried underground and not something you look at regularly, it’s easy to think that it just sort of takes care of itself.

Especially if you’ve never experienced any problems with it. But the truth is that your septic tank is a very complex system that keeps your family safe and healthy by filtering the waste from your household. More common in rural areas where there is no access to centralized sewer systems, your septic uses a combination of nature and proven technology to treat wastewater from household plumbing produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry. Because it is managing the output from so many parts of your house and filtering whatever comes down the drain, if you want

to avoid a rather unpleasant and costly emergency, regular maintenance is absolutely necessary. Regular services you may want to consider for your septic include:

  • Pumping – At the very least your tank needs to be pumped so it doesn’t overflow
  • Solid Waste Removal – This is separate from pumping and is required when there is a build-up of sludge inside the tank that needs to be removed by your service expert.
  • Inspection – Proactive maintenance is always the best option for your septic tank. Scheduling inspections on a regular basis will ensure that you never encounter a costly malfunction

You Can Put Anything Down the Drain

Do you think about where things go when you put them down the drain? Not likely! Many people believe that there are no limitations on what you can put down your drain

because it’s all getting washed away. It’s easy to assume that once it disappears down the drain, it’s truly gone but it’s not. Everything you put down your drain has to go through a complicated process of filtering in order to remove harmful toxins and keep your pipes clear. A few things you should never put down your drain include, but are not limited to:

  • “Flushable” Kitty Litter – We know it says “flushable” but it can actually cause major clogs and create problems for your septic.
  • Coffee Grounds – These are some of the most likely sources of clogged drains in your kitchen pipes as many people think they’re small enough to go down the drains.
  • Eggshells – While they may seem harmless, eggshells can get stuck in grease, fats and oils to create a thick mess in your pipes
  • Grease, Fats, Oils – These items act as a binder for all sorts of materials and can coat your pipes until nothing can pass through them. The best rule of thumb is to drain fats and oils into a jar to cool and then dispose of them in the trash.
  • Household Chemicals – These can actually do a lot of damage not only to your pipes but to the helpful bacteria contained in your septic system. It’s best to avoid harsh chemicals if possible.

Pump-Outs Are Unnecessary

The question about pumping out your septic tank shouldn’t really be IF you should but rather how OFTEN you should because, yes, you absolutely should have your septic tank pumped if you want to prevent malfunctions and emergency servicing. The frequency of your septic pumps depends on several factors about your home and your tank. Most experts recommend pumping the septic tank every 2 to 3 years. But the best way to know how often you should have the tank pumped is to speak with a professional who can assess your system and situation to suggest a schedule to follow.

A Clogged System Cannot Be Repaired

You may think a clogged system is unfixable and can only be solved by replacing the system entirely. But, thankfully, that is not the case. The three most common causes of clogs in your septic system are solids entering the leach field, growths blocking the holes in your leaching pipes and tree roots physically clogging the pipes. A licensed professional will be able to evaluate the clog in your system and decide if it can be removed easily or solved by a process called “jetting” which involves installing access ports on the ends of the leaching pipes so they can be given an internal pressure wash to clear them out. There should be no reason that your septic system can’t be repaired if the leaching pipes and bed are jetted internally with high-pressure water on occasion.

Your Septic System Can’t Last More Than 20 Years

It’s commonly thought that your septic system can’t possibly survive longer than two decades, but this is simply not true! The life of your septic system has much more to do with maintenance than it does with an arbitrary estimate or expectation. To increase the life of your septic system and ensure that it will function optimally well over 20 years, have the tank pumped regularly (based on a specific schedule recommended by a professional), avoid putting toxins down the drain and keep your leach field cleared of anything other than grass.

These are just a few of the more common misconceptions about septic tanks but they are also the most important because they can have a major impact on the functionality and longevity of your septic system. Of course, it’s always best to get an expert opinion from the professionals when making decisions for your septic, so be sure to give us a call with any questions or if you are in need of an inspection! (970) 829-8222

Septic

Preparing Your Septic System for a Northern Colorado Springtime

Although it might not feel like it right now, spring is just around the corner! Along with the flowers and warmer weather that spring brings, it also brings a lot of rain. A large volume of rain can often lead to a flooded or overworked septic system. For this reason, it’s important to prepare your septic system for this surge of precipitation. Here are some tips to help you prepare your system for the spring.

Check your Gutters

To prepare for the excess rainfall and potential flooding of our Colorado springtime. It’s important to make sure that all gutters are facing away from the drain field and any other septic system components. Gutters that point toward your septic system will carry water to the system and lead to possible flooding of the drain field.

Check for Water Pooling

After it rains, you should watch for water pooling in your yard. There are a few different reasons for standing water in your yard, but one of the most common for septic system owners is a flooded drain field. Watch for standing water pooling in areas over your drain field in order to catch the problem before it becomes severe. If your drain field floods, it can lead to permanent damage to your system and an expensive replacement.

Check Your Tank Filter

Your tank filter is an important part of the overall functionality of your septic system. After the winter, your filter can become clogged with scum, debris, and other items left over from winter storms or spring rains. If your tank filter does become clogged, it can disrupt the overall workings of your system. For this reason, you should check your tank filter to make sure it is clear of debris to ensure that it is functioning properly.

Reduce Water Usage

If possible, reducing the water usage in your home can help reduce the stress on your septic system during the springtime. Especially after a big storm, water conservation can help prevent your system from flooding. There’s no need to take drastic steps, but small things such as running dishwashers and washing machines only at capacity and turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth or shaving can help. Reducing water usage is not necessary, but it can help lower the risk of a flooded septic system after a storm.

Clean Your Drain

When your drains or pipes in your home are clogged, it will make your septic system work harder to pump water. When your system is overworked, it can often flood. For this reason, it’s especially important in the spring to make sure that your drains are completely clear. Consider getting a professional drain cleaning or Hydro-jetting to completely blast away any scum or debris that might be clogging your pipes.

Pump Your Tank

During the wintertime, it can be often be difficult to reach your septic tank because of the frozen ground or accumulated snow pack. If your tank hasn’t been pumped in a while, you should consider pumping it early in the spring. A mostly full tank will have to work hard to perform well. When your septic system is dealing with excessive rainfall, a mostly full tank could push the system over the edge, leading to flooding, backups, and even leaking sewage in your yard. To avoid these issues, you should pump your tank early on in the springtime.

If you need help with Septic Pumping, need Septic Inspection, Septic Repair or Septic Installation. We serve Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Windsor, Wellington, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with an expert you can trust. 970-399-9940

Septic

Why Your Sink or Water Smells Bad

When a sink or water supply starts to smell bad, it’s crucial to determine the source of the problem, especially if it’s related to your septic system. Below are possible reasons why your sink or water has a foul odor and what you can do to prevent these issues from arising. If you suspect a septic system problem, we recommend scheduling an inspection immediately.

Bacteria

Bacterial activity in the sink pipes can be the cause of the stench. Sinks have high moisture levels which create optimal growing conditions for bacteria. Common types of harmful bacteria found in sinks include salmonella, e. Coli, and staph.

Disinfect Regularly

Reduce infection risks by regularly disinfecting your sinks as well as other moist areas like drains and spigots with a disinfectant on a cloth or paper towel. Also, make sure to wipe down the area to reduce moisture levels which will inhibit bacteria growth. Avoid rinsing disinfectants down into the drains, which could kill off the friendly bacteria that are essential to maintaining a healthy septic system.

A lack of friendly bacteria colonies in your septic often leads to a bad smell coming thought drains, plumbing fixtures, or the tank itself. This problem can be easily fixed by getting on a good bacteria program to help keep the tank functioning better and eliminating the odor. Different systems require different treatments. Call our office and we would be happy to send out an expert to discuss what bacteria treatment would

be best for your system.

Clogs

Over time, clogs can form due to hair, soap, food, and other matter that accumulate in sink drains and pipes, causing a rotten egg smell. Keep an eye out for slow drainage as it can be due to an issue with the house’s plumbing or the septic system.

Keep Pipes Clear

The best way to keep sink pipes clear of clogs is not to pour anything down that you shouldn’t. Sinks are not a trash can so never let these items go down the drain: food, tissues, paper towels, dental floss, hair, medications, and sanitary products.

Water Heater

Lastly, plumbing systems or water heaters can be the source of the foul odor. When organic matter is trapped in the plumbing, it interacts with the chlorine in the water, creating a sulfuric-like odor.

Flush the System

Water heaters that haven’t been used in a while can make water smell bad. When a home has a water heater that has been in disuse for a period of time, it’s important to flush the system to prevent an unpleasant odor.

Protect Your Septic System

When a sink or water supply starts to smell bad, there may be an issue with the septic system which requires immediate attention to protect your health and wallet. With over 20 years of experience, Lion Home Service is a licensed and insured septic company in Northern Colorado area. We’re locally-owned and operated business that offers a variety of services such as inspections, septic system repairs, and septic tank pumping to keep your home or business running smoothly.

Call 970- 399-9940 to schedule a septic service appointment today!

Septic

Why You Should Investigate Sewage Odors

Part of septic maintenance is always being on the lookout for potential problems, which is why you should investigate sewage odors as soon as they arise. The stench isn’t just unpleasant, it can indicate a bigger problem that may result in dangerous water contamination. Discovering the causes behind sewage odors in homes with septic systems and using these easy maintenance tips will help prevent a costly and hazardous emergency.

Causes of Sewage Odors

Just because you have a septic system doesn’t mean that sewage odors are to be expected. In fact, a properly functioning system shouldn’t make your sink or water smell bad at all. If you start smelling a sewage odor, there are three possible scenarios of why that’s happening.

Full Tank

When a septic tank gets too full, it can push the wastewater to the drain field and clog it up. This inhibits the drain field from filtering properly, thereby allowing contaminants to pass through. It’s why you may smell a strong sewage odor whenever you’re close to the drain field.

Clogs

Clogs can occur due to hair, soap, food, and other matter that accumulate in sink drains and pipes. This can cause an unpleasant smell similar to rotten eggs. Slow drainage is a sign of a clog either due to a plumbing or septic system issue.

Blocked Vents

Sewage gas builds up if the septic system’s vent is covered or malfunctions, creating a toxic and flammable environment. Avoid using a septic tank odor neutralizer as it’ll only mask the issue and won’t fix the root of the problem.

Fortunately, these issues can be prevented by learning how to take care of your septic system and working with an experienced septic company like Lion Home Service.

Water Contamination Dangers

An overloaded septic tank not only causes sewage odors, but it can also contaminate well water and nearby ponds or lakes. Wastewater contains all sorts of bacteria and viruses, as well as nitrogen and phosphorous which can seriously harm the environment.

If sewage escapes from the septic tank and reaches local water bodies, toxic algal blooms can occur. Adhering to a septic tank pumping schedule significantly reduces this threat, however, you should still regularly test well water to ensure it’s safe.

Easy Septic Maintenance Tips

Prevention is essential when it comes to maintaining your septic system. Here are four things your household should do to ensure a properly functioning system:

  • Inspect and pump regularly
  • Use water efficiently
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Maintain your drain field

By following these easy maintenance tips, you’ll be better able to prevent unpleasant sewage odors and hazardous situations like water contamination.

Prevent Issues with Septic Services

Foul smells can be a sign of a more serious issue that can become a costly and dangerous emergency if ignored. That’s why investigating sewage odors as soon as they occur is essential for septic maintenance, both for your wallet and health. Lion Home Service is a locally-owned business that helps clients prevent septic issues with pumping and inspection services in the Northern Colorado area.

Call 970- 399-9940 to schedule a septic service appointment today!