Common Septic Tank Problems Caused by Rain

Maintaining a healthy septic system can prevent the risk of septic back up and curb foul smells. Often when you smell a foul odor coming from your septic tank it is one of the first signs of a septic system problem. Worse, when there is heavy rain it can cause some components to your system to fail, which allows the smell to be more potent.

If your septic system is emitting a less-than-fresh odor simply because of a change in weather, specifically when there has been heavy rain, contact a professional septic system company to inspect and perform maintenance on your septic tank or leach field.

Why do septic tanks smell when it rains?

When it rains, the air becomes heavy and doesn’t allow for proper release of methane gases through your vent. As a result, the gases stay low to the ground with the atmospheric pressure, which results in a foul smell. If you have a loose toilet gas ring somewhere in your home, the added pressure from the rain can push these gases through into the house resulting in a bad smell. Even the tiniest hole can allow methane gases to leak.

Can a septic drain field flood from too much rain?

When you experience heavy rains the ground becomes saturated, which, in turn, impacts your drain field. A saturated drain field can create a number of problems for your septic system. Heavy rains result in a rise of the liquid level in your septic tank, which increases backpressure on gases in the tank. These gases have nowhere to go but into the drain, vent, and waste system in your home. The result is a foul smell caused by a flooded drain field.

heavy rain creates puddles and saturates the ground causing septic problems

How do I get rid of septic tank smells?

Septic odors often are caused by gases in the system. You can do a number of things to prevent or eliminate a bad smell coming from your septic tank.

  1. Run water through your drains frequently. Typically, houses with more than one bathroom suffer from septic smells more often when it rains because one of the bathrooms is used less often. By running water in all your sinks, showers, toilets, and drains every couple of months, you can prevent this kind of issue.
  2. Septic System Pumping & Tank Clean Out 
  3. Contact a professional to perform a soil and percolation test in the leach field.

Septic Medic is located in Dingmans Ferry, PA serving Delaware Township and all areas of Pike County. Dealing with a foul smelling septic tank or drain field early is key to preventing costly damages.

Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

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Emergency Septic Pumping in the Winter

Septic Emergencies in the Winter

If you live in an area that experiences frigid winters and you have a septic system, there are problems that can arise during those colder months. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to avoid issues like emergency septic pumping due to a backup during the winter. Following a preparation plan in the fall can help you curb any potential problems, but being proactive even when the temperature has dropped can make a difference, too.

Ways to Avoid Winter Septic Issues

You might’ve not had the chance to do any prep during the fall, but when next year rolls around, here are some steps you can take to get ready for winter:

  • Add new mulch near systems that do not have adequate grass cover. This will keep snow melt from saturating the ground and causing flooding resulting in the need for emergency septic pumping. Mulch will also add insulation to your system so that underground pipes won’t freeze.
  • Before the temps drop, make sure your system is thoroughly inspected, and if needed, repaired. Leaks can prove particularly damaging when winter hits. Also, make sure all pieces are insulated properly.
  • Natural Insulation. Never use anti-freeze or chemicals in your septic system to avoid a freeze. If you insulate your system properly, either with grass cover, mulch, or even wild flowers, you won’t need to use anything else that could become potentially hazardous or damaging. Chemicals can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your system and make a small problem much bigger.

Help for Septic Systems During the Winter

If you didn’t get a chance to prep, you can still take steps to avoid disasters during the winter. The main thing is to make sure parts of your system don’t freeze and cause a back up resulting in the need for emergency septic pumping.

  • Know where your septic tank and drain field are and make sure to keep snow plows off them. Plows could damage the ground which, in turn, can damage your septic system.
  • Hot Water. When the temperatures drop below freezing for an extended period, be sure to frequently flush your system with hot water. You can do this by planning your laundry, dishwasher cycles, and hot showers so that your system gets a dose of warm water frequently throughout the day and evening.
  • Don’t Drip. Keeping faucets dripping may help you avoid frozen pipes in the house, but doing this for your septic system will cause more harm than good. A gradual stream of water can overload a septic system which will actually cause pipes near the exit to your home to freeze.

If you do find yourself in need of emergency septic pumping, or any septic service, call us right away at 570-828-7444 or contact us online! We’re here to help and get you back to normal. Septic Medic is serves Pike County, PA, Delaware Township and surrounding townships.

Can Rain Affect My Septic Tank?

Heavy rains can cause many catastrophic issues and your septic system is not spared from this act of nature. Heavy rains saturate the ground and the soil around your septic tank which can cause the the drain field to become clogged. If your drain filed clogs then your septic tank will continue to fill and eventually can cause your septic tank to flood.

Even if you’ve been diligent in your preparation and receive regular septic system maintenance service rain can still cause problems for your septic system. If your area is expected to get heavy rains, there are some steps you can take to avoid septic system issues:

  1. Limit water use during the rain
  2. Only flush safe materials
  3. Don’t work on the system during flooding conditions
  4. Don’t park or drive over your tank
  5. Use biodegradable cleaners
  6. Be mindful of root damage
  7. Regularly inspect and pump your septic tank

There are a number of things that can cause issues with your septic system. The key to getting ahead of any issue is to look for signs of septic problems. You can mitigate septic tank issues caused by heavy rainwater if you act quickly.

Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

Septic Medic provides professional septic system services to homeowners in Pike County, PA and the suburbs of Northeast Pennsylvania. Contact Septic Medic to schedule a time for a septic system inspection today.

What Are the Signs of Septic Issues Caused by Heavy Rain?

When your area experiences heavy rains make sure you know how to recognize a flooded drain field or septic tank overflow. A flooded septic tank will look a lot like a standard clogged pipe or a tank that may need routine maintenance. When your tank is flooded, the drains and pipes in your home may begin to back up and fail to drain properly. You may also notice a bad odor coming from your septic tank when it rains. Repairing a flooded septic tank is different than routine maintenance and a professional knows the difference. If you are concerned that heavy rain has caused damage to your septic system, or just have a question, call Septic Medic at 570-828-7444 or contact us online.

How to Maintain Your Septic System 

Septic Medic truck parked at a Pennsylvania home to perform septic tank maintenance

In the Pike County area, including Dingmans Ferry, PA and Bushkill, PA, many homeowners depend on an on-site septic system instead of a standard public sewer system. Located west of the Delaware River and east of the Poconos mountains, Turkey mounds, an elevated sand mound on the property, is the most common form of a septic system in this part of Pennsylvania. Having a relationship with a professional septic system maintenance and repair company and implementing regular maintenance services is the backbone to keeping your septic tank healthy. Without proper maintenance on your septic system you can cause costly damage and reduce the lifespan of your alternative sewage system by years. Investing the time to become aware of the do’s and don’ts about your septic system can provide you with a level of comfort.

Call Septic Medic at 570-828-7444 to learn more about our septic maintenance services for tanks & leach fields

How Much Does Septic Maintenance Cost?

Ultimately the costs of replacing a septic tank far outweigh the costs of yearly or bi-yearly septic system maintenance, and can increase the life and reliability of your system. The cost of a septic system replacement depends on the type of system you have installed on your property and the size of the septic tank that services your home. Price tags ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 are a very good reason to be knowledgable about the benefits of regular septic system maintenance.

How does the Septic System Work?

For those who are completely unfamiliar with septic tanks and septic systems, a septic tank is almost like a living organism; in fact, the bacteria within it is utilized to break down waste products. The septic system is designed to break down solid wastes and directs treated liquids. You have pipes that exit your home (like any other home): pipes running from the shower drain, the toilet, and the sinks. The waste water and solid wastes enters into a septic tank via these pipes. which usually is designed to hold around 1,000 – 1,500 gallons or more.

When new water enters the tank, it pushes out or displaces the older water, which then flows out of the tank into the drain field. Within the drain field or the turkey mound, is where the the old water is slowly absorbed.

Within a healthy septic tank, there are 3 layers:

  • The top layer is biomat which breaks down the solids.
  • A middle layer of “clear water” that leaves the tank
  • A sludge layer at the bottom which is generally solid wastes generated by the bio mat

Turkey Mound vs Conventional Septic Systems

A better understanding of the type of septic system you have and how it works will help you to prevent septic pump problems, prolong the lifespan of your septic equipment, and keep everything working in prime condition.

Mound Septic Systems are typically installed in areas with a high water table or in areas where there is a lack of soil underground. In these instances a pile of sand or gavel, also called a turkey mound, is built above ground to assist with waste water absorption. An electric pump is used to bring the wastewater above ground. Turkey mound septic systems often require more frequent maintenance than a conventional septic system. If suspect that your turkey mound septic system has become clogged with sludge, contact Septic Medic to schedule mound system repairs.

Conventional Septic Systems are most often installed in areas with lower water tables that have enough soil beneath the ground to support wastewater treatment components, including a tank and drain field. Depending on how much clay is contained in the dirt effects the absorption process. Septic maintenance services for a conventional system can occur approximately every three years compared to every one year for a turkey mound system.

What to Expect When You Schedule Septic Maintenance Services?

When we talk about septic maintenance services, the following areas are important to check out:
• Checking sludge levels to ensure they are not getting too high within the tank
• Looking for liquid waste that may be appearing on the surface of the ground
• Ensuring that baffles are intact and functioning properly
• Inspecting the tank lid for cracks
• Pumping your septic tank, which is recommended every 2 to 5 years depending on your usage
• Learning about what you can and cannot flush down the toilet, which can include disposable wipes, certain types of cleaning solutions and much more.

Septic Medic highly recommends that you schedule annual maintenance services in order to keep your septic system healthy. If you have a large family and use your septic system more than the average household, then we suggest getting biannual inspections.

 Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

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Homeowners Guide to Septic Tanks

Septic Medic tanker truck driving on a Pennsylvania road.

As a homeowner, one of the most important aspects is to make sure that you keep up with the maintenance in your home.  If you rented property or apartments your whole life, and this is your first time owning a house, then you might be in for a bit of a surprise. All the small details were likely managed by your landlord previously, such as taking care of your lawn, fixing any issues with your plumbing, minor annoyances such as squeaky doors or chipping paint, and so on.  So to become a homeowner means to be prepared for nearly any situation that may arise.

This is even more important when your home relies on a septic tank system for water usage and waste, such as the shower, the toilet and your sinks. A septic system requires that you know how to effectively unclog a drain, diagnose septic problems and understand the overall care for this type of system. Even if you cannot perform most of this maintenance on your own, it would be a great idea to learn how exactly the system works, what types of problems to diagnose and to know when to let a professional septic tank company deal with problems with your septic tank.

To start with, let’s try and understand how exactly the septic system works: when you have waste water or waste that flows out from your house, it goes through pipes and flows into the septic tank. There are two baffles within the tank that deflects waste downward. The inlet baffle deflects waste downward insuring that it does not go directly across the tank. The outlet baffles also performs a couple of objectives. This keeps anything floating, such as the biomat, from going out directly into the field or pump tank, and it allows only “clean water” to leave the septic tank. Also there should be a gas deflector at bottom of the outlet baffle to deflect gas particles containing sludge. The remaining liquid waste exits the end of the tank, where it is usually flowing out into the leach field. This is generally the traditional process for waste product flowing throughout your septic tank.

The septic tank itself is built with the ability to access it, usually from above. This allows the homeowner or septic tank professional be able to inspect the inside of the tank, and perform routine maintenance. This type of maintenance is critical to ensuring that your septic tank is functioning properly. If there are any issues such as sludge building up in the tank, or a loose pipe somewhere, you could end up running into issue such as having foul smells within your home, inability to flush your toilet and having backups into parts of your home.

A tank should be pumped when sludge buildup measure 1/3 or more of the liquid depth, and/or if the sludge level is higher than the gas deflector. Either of these will lead to a problem and it would be a good time to get a septic cleaning. Septic tank systems should be tested once every two years. It is recommended to test more often too, especially if you live in a household with a large amount of people that requires the use of resources on a greater scale, which in turn puts more strain on the septic tank system.

Some common ways to take the best possible care of your system is to:

  • Make sure that you pump your tank frequently, usually bi-annually or annually. Again, it depends on how much you use your system.
  • Make sure that you use only safe chemicals that are suitable for septic systems. Certain household chemicals that travel through your pipes can often be detrimental to the bacteria within your septic tank system.
  • Avoid flushing items such as disposable wipes down your toilet, as they will most likely build up and clog your pipes and system.
  • Try to be economical when it comes to using your water system – don’t shower multiple times a day and try to conserve your usage as much as possible to avoid overstressing the septic tank.
  • Keep an eye on things for anything unusual. Also make sure to check your leach fields for areas of grass that are robust or growing faster than anywhere else on the mound. Make sure that the water isn’t standing there or squishy, and that it is generally in good shape.

Homeowners shouldn’t truly be expected to know all the ins and outs of how to diagnose and fix septic tank problems, which is why it’s super important to have access to a reliable and trustworthy septic repair company that knows what it’s doing.

Septic Medic has the years of expertise when it comes to serving septic tank issues and problems within Pike County, PA; we are the number one resource for emergency issues that can arise, so contact us for everything from routine maintenance to emergency issues such as having a pipe break or the system backing up.  Septic systems are extremely durable when you take good care of them, and can last for years and years with the right amount of attention. If you are a homeowner in Delaware Township or the surrounding area, contact us online or call 570-828-7444, with our help you will be in the best hands possible!

 

Leach Field Repair

a septic tank drains into a leach fieldSeptic tanks serve a purpose that is not always apparent to those who live in highly populated or densely populated areas. Neighborhoods and homes that are located in these areas often have the benefits of sewer systems that are able to flush away and eliminate any waste water. But what about homes that are in less populated regions, or don’t live in a part of a town or city that offers a sewer line connection to their home or property? This is where septic tanks come into play; a homeowner with a septic tank, however, needs to be aware of some septic problems that may crop up, especially if regular maintenance and check-ups are not performed.

A septic tank system is generally designed to drain into a leach field. The maintenance and upkeep of the septic tank, as well as what you put down your drain, impacts the overall health of a septic system and leach field. When you eventually run into an issue with the leach field, there can be a number of issues. Some of the symptoms that will let you know a leach field are failing are:

  • Strong odors emanating from either the septic tank or the drain field region
  • Reluctance for water to flush normally, as well as noises coming from different pipes throughout the home
  • Standing water or wet spots located in and around the leach field
  • The toilet, shower or sinks backing up with water

Now while these are the symptoms, we still need to discuss what could actually be causing the leach field problem in the first place:

  • Bio-mat building and sludge build up
  • Lack of consistent septic tank cleanings
  • Broken drainfield pipes or soil that has compacted too much
  • Overuse of the septic system
  • Roots of trees that can get into the important elements of the septic system

So how is a leach field problem then fixed? There is no “quick-fix” unfortunately, but the good news is that by process of elimination and with the help of a septic repair company that has years of industry knowledge, it can be diagnosed with ease. One of the first methods one can employ is actually prevention: preventing this from happening in the first place by getting septic tank draining on a regular basis, having your system checked at least once a year by a professional and determining your needs based on your system usage. A next step is to check if there is a clog in the system somewhere, either in the drainpipe that leads to the field, or something further up the line that could be causing the system to become overloaded.

Sometimes it requires a new trench system to replace the current one so that it drains better and more efficiently, or you may even need a septic tank replacement. Other times, you will find that it is a quick and simple fix. Ultimately, it depends on the nature of your particular septic tank setup and how your lawn is set up.

Septic Medic will diagnose septic drain field problems and perform leach field repairs quickly and efficiently.

Contact Septic Medic to discuss installation, maintenance, repair and replacement services for your septic tank system. 

Specific for servicing the Bushkill Falls, PA area

Septic Medic septic tank pumping truck in Bushkill PA Septic ServicesLiving in the Bushkill Falls region of Pennsylvania definitely has its perks. It has been called the “Niagara of Pennsylvania”, and the region includes some of the most beautiful waterfalls, rivers and streams you can find in the area. Located in the region of the Poconos Mountains, the actual park was founded and open to the public in the year 1904. The actual Falls are still owned by the original family, which is a great thing to experience in our modern society. It is a deeply wooded region, and most individuals who live here tend to require the usage of septic tanks.

However, as beautiful as this region is in Bushkill Falls, it does not come without its share of septic problems. As with any heavily wooded region, there are some elements that you need to be able to watch out for, especially when it comes to keeping your septic system in top shape. 

Here are some of the more important aspects to consider:

Regular Maintenance

As with any septic tank system, it is important to make sure that your system is consistently inspected and kept up to date. This includes regularly having a septic repair company perform yearly inspections to make sure everything is functioning properly and identifying any potential issues early on, as well as performing tank draining and cleanings.

Leach Fields

The leach field is essentially where the runoff from the tank is purified and eliminated, but sometimes this area can become backed up, especially in a region such as Bushkill Falls.  Excess water can cause draining issues, and it’s also important to make sure that you aren’t overusing your system as well.

Trees

Yes, Bushkill Falls is a heavily-wooded region of the Poconos, and you need to be aware of any trees that could encroach on or near your septic system. Large trees can unfortunately be a risk when it comes to their roots, which can push under and through the soil, causing breaking or bending of the pipes that come out of your home. It can also impact the actual septic tank as well, so be sure to consult with your septic tank professional on the dangers of the trees on your property, as well as determining which ones may need to either be moved or at least addressed.

Altogether, the Bushkill Falls region is a wonderful place to live, and with the right and proper septic tank repair and maintenance, you will be able to enjoy a trouble-free existence on your property. Make sure to invest in regular inspections of your system, and you will do just fine!

How to Diagnose a Clogged Septic System

sink full of water due to a clogged drain

A clogged septic system can originate from the drain lines running to your septic tank, a clogged septic tank effluent filter, or a broken outlet baffle. The first step to troubleshooting a septic system backups is to identify the location of the clog. Millions of Americans rely on septic tanks each and every year in order to help eliminate harmful biohazard products and wastewater that flow from their homes. As long as a septic system receives routine maintenance services they are generally trouble-free, there may be times when a clog occurs. Most often a clogged drain line or pipe is due to waste or material that has accumulated over time, but it is important to check out the whole septic system to confirm you do not have any underlying damage. Septic system blockages can often be repaired with a routine pumping & tank clean out. For more troublesome clogs and backups a septic company may use hydro-jetting to clean your septic drain lines and leach field lines. High-pressure jetting can remove any masses that are causing a septic tank blockage as well as clean pipe walls and remove anything that could cause future clogs.

Septic problems can come in all shapes and sizes, which is why it is doubly important to invest in the services of a professional with an expertise in septic tanks and system design. Quality and service are Septic Medic’s top priorities. We will quickly and efficiently troubleshoot and diagnose clogged septic tank systems and leach field problems in Pike County, Delaware Township, and many other areas in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Contact Septic Medic online or call 570-828-7444 for septic maintenance, pumping and repair services for your septic tank system.

Steps to Troubleshoot Sewage Backup & Clogged Drains

While more often than not, the issue will be due to waste or material that has accumulated over time, it is a good idea to be able to check out the system as a whole, your indoor plumbing and outdoor environment for more problematic issues.

  1. Check the history of clogs: If you have a specific location in your home, a sink or a toilet, that frequently gets clogged then you’ll want to inspect it for properties installation, or explore whether or not that pipe is connected to a larger septic drain line so you can explore where the backup or odor is coming from.
  2. Take a flushable inventory: Often times people do not realize or remember that they cannot treat their septic system the same way you would a public sewer system. Items such as “flushable wipes” and other common household items, are not meant to work with septic tank systems and have a difficulty breaking down and can quickly clog pipes or a septic tank. Over time they can build up until there is a large mass that cannot dissolve and you’ll need you septic system pumped out.Certain chemicals that you use to clean your toilet, sink, or shower can also be problematic. Some chemicals can break down good bacteria in your septic tank and lead complicated issues down the line. Septic Medic’s professionally trained technicians will ascertain what household products or chemicals you are using and let you know if they could be causing clogs or disabling the functions of your septic system.
  3. Use a sewer line camera: A professional septic tank technician can scope the tank and system with a camera to inspect the drain lines for damage or blockage.
  4. Check septic tank filters: Intake and outlet drains can become blocked by floating solid waste or high sludge levels in your tank. Regularly pumping your septic tank can prevent sludge levels from rising and clogging the filters. Outlet baffles help direct wastewater away from the septic tank and into the leach field – when blocked it can result in pipe clogs and premature system failure.
  5. Inspect indoor plumbing and fixtures: If all the pipes leading to the septic tank outside are determined to be clog free then the next step is to check the plumbing within the building or home. This includes checking various plumbing fixtures throughout the home, on the ground floor and any upper floors.
  6. Look outside:  Checking outside the home can be another helpful way to determine the root of the problem. Trees with large roots that could be pushing or creating pressure on underground pipes. In addition, check the leach field to see if there is standing water that is unable to drain.

Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

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Let’s Talk about Sand Mound (Turkey Mound) & Septic Drain Field Problems

bulldozer digging a turkey mound for a septic system

What is a Sand Mound Septic System?

A sand mound, or turkey mound, is one of the common alternatives to septic drain fields in the Pike County, PA region. The turkey mound, an elevated sand mound, is a better choice for individuals who cannot risk a traditional drain or leach field due to either higher water tables in the region. A sand mound is also a great choice when your property has soils of differing extremes, such as too permeable or not permeable enough – be sure to have professional septic soil & percolation tests done when you install a new septic system.

How does a sand mound work?

Elevated sand mounds are built up from the septic tank and dosing chamber at various depths; and these depths are then determined by the particular layers of the soil and may change based on an individual’s particular property. The dosing chamber is what releases the effluent into the mound, and this is done in doses, not all at once. In this manner, it helps to distribute waste efficiently.

How to Fix Drain Field Problems

The majority of septic problems tend to occur below the surface, and without the proper tools and know-how, you could end up wasting a lot of time and still end up with no answers. So what exactly can you do if you have a septic emergency or need a septic system repair or tank replacement?

Contact a professional septic system company in Pike County, PA with the expertise and knowledge necessary to diagnosis your septic problem!

Common Septic & Sand Mound Problems

One of the more difficult aspects of owning a septic tank system is that it is not always simple to diagnose or spot an issue on your own.

  1. The elevated sand mound is unable to hold water.  Heavy rains can back up the entire septic system or cause problems with system components.
  2. The sand mound can become clogged with sludge or grease. In this particular instance, the portion of the mound that has been clogged needs to be removed and the sand scarified. The sand mound then will need to be replaced to the original levels.

Professional Septic Repair in Pike County, PA

Septic Medic is here to meet all of your elevated sand mound needs in Pike County PA and the surrounding areas, including Bushkill, PA and Milford, PA. Whether you’re running a mound system or a traditional septic tank setup, emergency situations can happen at any time – we are here to provide fast and reliable service!

Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444

Additional Septic Services include:

Keep Your Septic Tank Healthy with Regular Maintenance!

Septic systems offer a reasonable alternative to public sewage systems and are a great option for those who are unable to connect to a public sewer system, or for those who are too far removed from public utilities. Hundreds of thousands of home and property owners utilize a septic system for day-to-day activities. However, there are some differences between alternative wastewater treatment systems and traditional public sewer systems, which can mean there is a learning curve for homeowners that purchase a property that relies on a septic tank. Consider what happens when you don’t change your oil at the recommended mileage for your personal vehicle; failing to perform routine maintenance can often cause further issues down the line, and this ultimately means spending more money.

How to stay up-to-date- with septic maintenance?

In order to keep your septic system healthy and working in top condition you must be consistent with septic system maintenance services. Everyone should learn what maintenance is required to keep your tank healthy and trouble free, as this will help you avoid any serious issues down the road!

  1. Schedule regular septic system pumping and tank clean out.
  2. Regularly test the soil in the leach field to protect your water source.
  3. Address clogged drains and septic backups immediately to avoid human waste products from spreading into the immediate region and environmental pollution from spreading into local water sources.
  4. Get annual septic system maintenance inspections to measure layers of sludge and check how absorbent the drain field is around your property.
  5. Ask a septic system professional about which chemicals and products can do damage if you flush them and if you need a septic system repair or tank replacement address it quickly.

Contact Septic Medic today and schedule a maintenance inspection service.

Learn more about the benefits of regular septic system maintenance and what septic maintenance entails.

Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at 570-828-7444