as is the case with any underground utility, septic systems deteriorate over time.
REPAIR OR REPLACE?
Even with proper installation and routine maintenance, your system can still break down and the components will eventually require replacement. Your septic system is comprised of many working parts, all of these parts are subject to wear and tear and must be monitored in order to determine when repair or replacement is necessary.
Depending on the stage of deterioration there are primarily two options to return your system back to its proper working order.
WHY repair or REPLACE?:
There are many factors that contribute to the need to repair or replace the components of your septic system including:
Age of your System - The life span of a properly installed, well-maintained septic system is 25-30 years. That being said we have seen well cared for septic systems that are 80 to 90 years old; which means if you buy a new home hopefully replacement will never be an issue for you. However, if you own an older home where the septic system has been in place for many years there is a likely chance some components or the entire system will require repair or replacement.
It is important, especially with older septic systems, to inspect your system on a regular basis. A reputable Vac Truck company will inspect your tank when your tank is pumped - we recommend High Country Vac - phone: (403) 910-1411 & link to website or Advantage Vac - phone: (403) 554-6559 & link to the website. If you start to notice signs of breakdown in your tank or signs of your field being saturated please give us a call and we would be happy to come out and have a look. The average septic tank replacement will take one day and you will only be without service for approximately 4 hours. Many competitors will ask that you be away from your home for a few days in order for them to complete the septic tank replacement. We believe this is a needless extra expense and an unnecessary inconvenience that can definitely be avoided. We make it a priority to arrange everything beforehand and work diligently in order to do the septic tank replacement in a timely manner. Septic field replacements can also be done in one day.
You've outgrown your System – Septic systems are designed and installed to accommodate a certain capacity. If you have built an addition, developed your basement or significantly increased your water consumption there is a good chance your septic system will need to be upgraded with a larger septic tank and/or septic field. If your components have become undersized we can provide you with options to upgrade your system to properly serve your family and your lifestyle.
Sewer backing up into your home - One of the worst-case scenarios is sewer backing up into your home. This can be caused by many factors including a failed pump, no high-level alarm, a broken pipe or a saturated field.
Slow Drains/Toilets not flushing properly - Often times this can be a sign of a need for repair stemming from a clogged drain, sagging pipe, etc. however it can also be a sign that there is a bigger problem such as a field failure or a high level of effluent in the septic tank.
Standing Water - Any water that comes to the surface from your septic system is a definite sign of a problem. The issue may be a broken pipe, a saturated septic field or poor drainage; either way it is worth looking into as the longer it is left the larger the problem can become.
Contaminated Water Sources - If you discover that nearby water sources, including your well have been contaminated this needs immediate attention. This is worst-case scenario when your septic system or a neighboring septic system has malfunctioned and is not properly treating the effluent and polluting nearby water sources.
YearS AVERAGE LIFESPAND OF A SYSTEM
COMMON REASONS FOR FAILURE
The Number One reason for a septic pump failure is...
flushing of products that are not meant to be flushed!! These products get wrapped around the septic pump impellor which seizes the motor. Don’t flush anything which does not decompose quickly and naturally.
Pump repair cost — $500.00+.
WHY DON'T SEPTIC TANKS & SEPTIC FIELDS LAST FOREVER?
Septic Tank Replacement:
Septic tanks will inevitably deteriorate over time due to a number of factors; including but not limited to:
The harsh environment in the tank (septic tanks contain gases such as methane and H2S due to the household waste).
Divider walls breaking down and no longer holding the greases and fats in the trash compartment of the septic tank allowing them to flow freely into your septic field which will cause premature septic field failure.
Structural failure of the outside walls of the septic tank causes the tank to collapse requiring immediate attention.
It is important to note that these problems are not only seen in concrete septic tanks but in poly and fiberglass tanks as well.
Septic Field Replacement:
Septic fields fail for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:
The septic field has reached the end of its life span.
The septic field is improperly cared for. Septic fields should be virtually undisturbed - traffic of any type (vehicle, livestock, etc.) should not be allowed to drive on/across the septic field - with the exception of a lawnmower. Structures of any kind (sheds, pergolas, etc.) should not be built on the septic field. Please see our septic maintenance page for additional info.
Saturation of the septic field. Signs of saturation include standing water, sewer backups and the odor of untreated sewer. Common problems that lead to septic field saturation are poorly maintained systems that are not pumped out as required, poor site grading allowing surface water runoff and saturate the septic field, improperly installed or designed septic systems, and leaking fixtures such as toilets and water softeners.