If you are buying a new home, you have likely checked out everything inside to ensure things are in good condition. You should also check the septic tank outside. The septic tank on the property may have either a single or a double compartment tank that is generally made of plastic, metal, or concrete. There is a lid for each compartment that allows access for the pump out. Each lid is covered by a few inches of soil. The septic tank company has to pump each compartment. Below is some information about what maintenance should have been done on the septic tank, as well as some signs that there are problems with it.
Ask the current homeowner how often the tank has been maintained. Having the septic tank regularly inspected and periodically pumped is a good sign that it will have no problems. They should be able to show you paperwork proving this.
If the septic tank has not been periodically pumped, this can lead to problems. This is because solids and other debris, also known as sludge, accumulate at the bottom of the septic tank. Over time, these things will build up and if not removed the septic tank will clog up. When the tank is pumped, this sludge is removed.
Signs of Trouble
If the homeowner cannot provide proof that the septic tank has been properly maintained and pumped, there are things you can look for that signal there are problems. Walk outside and see if there is standing water in the drain field. The drain field is the area above the septic tank. If you see a lot of standing water or the ground looks muddy, this could be due to a problem with clogged or broken pipes. The drainage pipes may be broken or they may be clogged by nearby tree roots. The tank could simply need to be pumped.
The grass health in the drain field is also a sign. This grass should look just like the other grass on the lawn. If it appears to be healthier and greener, however, this means liquid from the septic tank is rising and the grass is getting more moisture, which will make it healthier.Once you move into your new home, only have your septic tank pumped by a licensed septic tank company to ensure it is done properly. You should never attempt to do this yourself, as you would cause a lot of damage if not done correctly.