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What Are the Dangers of a Failing Septic System?

Posted by ADB Septic on March 29, 2019

Every septic system has a lifespan, and even with proper usage and maintenance, it will eventually become too old to function and need to be replaced. If you do not keep up on important maintenance, this day will come even sooner. In either case, it’s important to replace your septic system when you see the signs of a failing system. Wondering why replacing a septic system is such a priority? We’ve outlined the top dangers of a failing system below.drinking water

Improper Functioning

When your septic system is worn out, one of the most obvious dangers is that it will no longer function properly. You might notice that your drains and toilets are draining more slowly than usual, or that the drains are gurgling or bringing water back up your pipes. You might also notice pooling in your yard, especially near your drain field. Finally, you might notice sewage smells coming from your yard as your septic system fails to properly dispose of waste.

Contaminated Drinking Water

Improperly treated sewage can leak into the groundwater around your home and contaminate your drinking water. Inadequately treated sewage from failing septic systems is the leading cause of contaminated groundwater and drinking water. Nutrients released from failing systems can be harmful, such as nitrate, which can interfere with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. When ingested by infants, nitrate can cause methemoglobinemia, or “blue baby” syndrome. Other possible diseases that failing septic systems can cause include dysentery, hepatitis, and acute gastrointestinal illness.

Polluted Coastal Waters

A failing septic system can leak nutrients and bacteria into coastal waters, which can destroy aquatic plants and animal habitats. Excessive levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water can lead to extensive plant growth. When this growth occurs, certain types of algae can become so abundant that they will block the sunlight from other plants, killing plants that are vital to the ocean’s ecosystem. Fish that benefit from these plants can also die, further disrupting the ecosystem. Excess algae can also use up the oxygen supply in the water, limiting the oxygen available for other living things.

Contaminated Surface Water

Leakage from a failing septic system can contaminate nearby surface water. When this contamination occurs, swimmers have an increased chance of contracting diseases. Eye and ear infections are common when failing systems leak into surface water. However, more serious diseases like hepatitis can occur as well. This type of contamination can lead to the closing of beaches to prevent the spread of these diseases.

Harmed Shellfish Beds

Failing septic system leakage can contaminate shellfish beds. Shellfish such as oysters filter their food from saltwater. If the water isn’t clean, they’ll filter bacteria and viruses as well. These contaminants won’t hurt the oysters, but can be very harmful to humans who eat them.


ADB Septic | CT Septic System Repair & Replacement

To avoid these health concerns, it’s important to perform regular maintenance on your septic system. Whether you need a routine pumping or an entire replacement of your septic system, A.D.B. Construction & Septic Corp. can help!

A.D.B. Construction & Septic Corp. is a septic services business in Manchester, CT. We proudly serve residential and commercial customers all over Hartford County and beyond with a full slate of services. With over 20 years of experience, we have completed countless projects of all scopes and sizes. Needless to say, there is nothing we can’t do when it comes to septic tanks, sewer systems, basement waterproofing, drains, and more.

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Topics: Septic System Replacement, Septic System Repair, Failing Septic System

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