If you are on a private septic system, it is vital that you have it serviced and pumped regularly. Failure to do so can lead to devastating consequences.
1. Your Home
The greatest concern is likely to your home. When sludge builds up in the septic tank, one of the first side effects is that the raw sewage begins to back up the lines and into your home. It may start as slow drains that take a long time to empty. Then, you may pick up the odor of raw sewage around the drains every once in awhile. If the problem persists, a full-on sewage backup may occur.
Sewage backups are a problem on many fronts. The biggest threat is to you and your family's health, since raw sewage contains many dangerous pathogens. There is also the issue with damage to the fixtures and drains in your home, since they are not meant to be exposed to raw sewage. Drains in the house may burst and fixtures may suffer irreparable damage. Finally, water damage will also occur, which can lead to the need to replace carpeting and flooring, cabinets, and wall boards.
2. Septic Tank and Lines
Septic sludge that begins to back up into the lines can cause major damage to those lines. The most common type of damage is leaks along joints in the line, which can cause sludge to flow into your yard. You may even need to have a line repaired or replaced if the leak is severe.
Valves along the lines and at the line inlet and outlet can also become clogged with sludge. Sometimes these can be cleaned, but there is also the possibility of major damage that can lead to the need to replace the valve. The sludge can also affect the inside of the tank itself, including the valves between the two chambers and the inlet and outlet baffles.
3. Drain Field
Sludge won't just backflow into your home; some of it will follow the correct route and flow out and into your drain field. Unfortunately, this sludge won't be processed properly in the overfull tank. Instead of the processed effluent flowing into the drain field, there will be unprocessed sludge in it as well.
Sludge clogs up a drain field so it doesn't work properly. It can lead to standing raw sewage on the surface of the field. In severe cases, the field may be clogged and irreparably damaged. This will require either a full replacement of the field or rebuilding of the current field.
Contact a septic tank pumping service before your tank is overly filled with sludge and causing problems throughout the entire system.