Help! My Septic Failed within Weeks of Moving into New Home

You have finally settled into your new home. Naturally, you are still adjusting to everything in your new environment when all of a sudden, after only a few weeks, your septic system failed. Your drains are all clogged up and you are even experiencing wastewater backing up into your bathrooms, sinks, and yard. This cannot be happening, right? Well, this can happen if you were not able to inspect the septic system before you even signed the papers for your new home. Now, you are left with a failed septic system and more expenses than expected. 

                If you have been too trusting with the house inspector that the septic system of your new house is “A” okay, then you probably didn’t double check it anymore by asking a professional septic inspector, who is usually much more capable to perform a thorough examination of the entire system. Anyway, common causes of problems in your septic system are too much gunk or sludge at the tank’s bottom, extremely full septic tank, toxic chemicals, and excessive water usage. 

                When there is too much gunk or sludge at the bottom of the tank, it is possible that the previous owners didn’t pump the tank on a regular basis. This caused the clogging of the leach field which may be why wastewater is backing up into your home. Because of the accumulated gunk, the effluent wasn’t able to go through the drain field. As a result, the liquid accumulated in the tank and is at the level above the outlet. If you or the previous owners of the house have dumped pesticides, bleach, or any other strong chemicals into the drain, then this has contributed to the killing of the bacterial population that’s responsible for the efficient digestion of the solid wastes in the septic tank. If there are no bacteria to breakdown the solid waste materials, then accumulation of the solid wastes is only to be expected, resulting to the inefficient function of the septic system. Excessive water usage is another cause of your septic system failure. If water flow comes too quickly into the septic tank, then the bacteria have no chance to work their magic. This results to the pushing of the solid wastes through the entire system and the clogging or polluting of the absorption trenches. 

                The solution to the failure of your system relies on how vigilant you are in correcting the problem. Once You should have the septic tank pumped out and de-sludged regularly. This is to make sure that the system will not fail again in the future. On your part, it will definitely cost more than expected just because you have caught all the damage that poor maintenance has done to the septic system of your new house. Remember that to maintain the efficient function of your septic system, you should pump out the tank every one or two weeks and inspected every one or two years. The absorption trenches should be de-sludged every three or five years. 

Keep in mind, if you did not purchase the home “As Is”, your closing documents may contain a form known as a “sellers disclosure”. This form is designed to assist the property seller in communicating and negatives or problems with the property they are selling. If the septic failure has been ongoing and the sellers did not disclose this on their form, you may be able to pursue the sellers legally in order to have them recoup the repair fees. Calling local septic companies to obtain a work or pump-out history on your new property might be helpful to building your case. 

                You may have received the losing end this time but with your tender loving attention and care, the septic system of your new home will surely become more efficient and smooth. Make sure that you step up to the plate and fulfill your obligations to your septic tank system. Caring for it will not only lessen your expenses but also lessen your headaches.