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Cracked Septic Tanks and Your Environmental Footprint

Septic Tank Integrity

Your septic tank is the heart of your household sewage treatment system. A well-maintained septic tank can be relied upon to safely distribute the liquid effluent, and only the effluent, to the septic field while the tank itself retains solid sludge and provides a pro-biotic environment for beneficial bacteria which play an important role in breaking down the lightest layer of floating sewage known as scum. A crack in the tank can cause failure of the entire system, allowing contaminants to be released to the immediate surrounding soil. This is not the environmental footprint responsible homeowners want to leave on their communities!

Cracked Septic Tanks and the Environment

Cracked septic tanks can release bacteria, nitrogen, viruses, and other contaminants to the surface and groundwater sources; that means that the environmental pollution won’t always remain contained within just your property lines! With 1/4 of the homes in the US relying on septic systems to protect the surrounding environment, the Environmental Protection Agency has developed policies and regulations to ensure environmental compliance. Properties on or near wetlands can have a widespread effect on groundwater resources, so it’s even more important that those homeowners maintain a healthy environmental footprint. Environmental compliance regulations and penalties vary by municipality, but it’s always important to take immediate corrective action when:

  • The area around the septic tank is saturated.
  • Dark water with a strong odor is present at the ground surface.
  • Drainage from the house is extremely slow with frequent backups occurring in sinks and tubs.
  • Toilets aren’t flushing properly.

Septic tanks are usually well-constructed from reinforced concrete or fiberglass, but over years of exposure to shifting ground conditions throughout seasons of freezing and thawing, or even settling in the sandy soil in the warmer climates, cracks can occur. In some cases, an inlet pipe feeding waste to the tank itself may be the cause of failure. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above it’s time to get professional help to properly diagnose the problem!

Taking Action Against Cracked Septic Tanks

Cracked tanks need to be evaluated by a professional. While it may be obvious to the homeowner that a cracked tank is causing the problem, now the decision is whether to repair or replace the tank. At Wind River Environmental our tank sealing service is available when the septic tank is a good candidate for repair. We can advise you about tank or system replacement when it’s required.

We also have a pumping service to remove and responsibly dispose of the solid sludge captured by your septic tank, which is the best way to leave a healthy environmental footprint on your community while keeping your septic tank in good working order. See our Septic Pumping and Problem Solving solutions for more information!