Have you recently purchased a house with a septic tank? Is this the first time that you'll have ever owned a septic tank? Caring for a septic tank isn't difficult, but it is different than what you might otherwise be used to. One of the things that you need to know is that you should be on the lookout for signs that your septic tank is in need of replacement. Some of these signs include:
Healthy and vibrant plants near the tank: A septic tank functions by allowing the raw sewage to enter at one end of the tank. Solids will fall to the bottom of the tank, leaving effluent water on the top. At the other end of the tank, this effluent water flows into the surrounding ground via a leach field. Because of this excess water, the grass growing over your leach field may grow faster and more vibrant than the grass on the rest of your land. However, there is a big problem if any nearby trees or bushes send roots into the septic tank. As with sewer pipes, they can easily force their way into the smallest opening, potentially causing serious damage along the way. The only sign that this is happening is that a nearby tree or bush always looks healthy and vibrant, even in the hottest sun when other nearby plants are starting to wilt and look droopy. Your septic tank pumping company can confirm whether or not this has happened and if your septic tank needs to be replaced.
Always needs pumping: If it feels like you're calling the septic tank pumping company every other month, it is likely time to replace your tank. In an attempt to save money, the previous homeowners may have installed a tank that was too small for the house. They may have gotten away with it for a while due to low water usage, but your water needs will obviously be different than theirs. If you don't know how big your septic tank is, the size may be printed on the last receipt you received for pumping out your septic tank. If not, the company should be able to tell you. Once you know how big it is, you can start shopping around for a tank that has a larger capacity.
Age: Everything will deteriorate over time and septic tanks are no exception. The older your septic tank is, the more likely it is that something could fail catastrophically. This would create a huge and expensive mess that would have to be cleaned up. If you're not sure when the tank was installed, ask your septic tank pumping company to perform an inspection on the tank itself. They should be able to pin down the decade in which the tank was installed, in addition to looking for any potential trouble spots.