When looking at homes to purchase, one of the things that might not be at the top of your mind is if the home uses a septic tank. With 25% of homes in the US having a septic tank instead, there is a high chance that your home could have one as opposed to using a city sewer system. A septic tank is not a bad thing, but if you've never owned one before, here are 3 things you should know about leaks forming in the tank.
Septic Tanks May Leak
Septic tanks do run the risk of leaking over time. A metal septic tank can form rust that forms a hole in the steel, allowing sewage to spill into your soil. A septic tank made out of concrete can start to crumble if it was made with poor materials, or the concrete can deteriorate due to acidic soil. Large trees that surround the tank can cause puncture holes with roots, which will cause a sewage leak.
Signs Of A Leak
You will not see a leak since the tank is underground, but there are signs you should look for.
Pay attention to the soil that surrounds the tank. Septic tank waste can be rich with nutrients and actually acts as a fertilizer for the soil. It can cause the grass growing above the tank to be a vibrant green color when compared to other sections of your lawn. The grass surrounding the tank may be growing at a faster rate than the other parts of your lawn, causing you to cut it more often.
Leaks will also cause odor issues due to the sewage, but this can be confused with other problems, such as a full tank. Both situations will cause sewage to seep into the ground, which is why a professional inspection may be best to determine what the issue is.
Repairing A Leak
The extent of the damage will ultimately determine if the tank needs repair or replacement. A tree root that punctured a hole is one of the easier problems to repair in metal tanks. You will need to have the root removed and the puncture hole patched, and everything should be okay.
Rust is a problem that gradually weakens the metal by eating through it, and even though you may not have multiple rust holes, others may be ready to form. This situation is best fixed with replacement.
Concert tanks are a bit different, since a combination of a large tree root and weak concrete can cause the walls of a tank to crumble. It's best to have a professional look at the damage to determine if repair or replacement is the best solution.
Have more questions about leaks? Contact a local septic tank service company that can help.