Rural Specialty Service Helps Maintain your Septic Tank System

Homeowners in subdivisions, towns and cities have the convenience of a city sewage system into which their wastewater flows. Rural residents usually must install a septic system to handle the disposal of their wastewater.

Septic systems require regular maintenance to keep them working properly. If something goes wrong with the system, there will be noticeable signs of this both outside and inside your home. It is important that you respond promptly with a visit from your rural specialty services for necessary repairs and /or service to avoid serious damage to your pump, tank or drainage (leech) field. A smart homeowner knows the warning signs of septic system problems and handles them while they are still minor ones.

Septic System Problems and Their Warning Signs

The leech (drainage) field is the most vulnerable part of the system and usually the first section to develop problems. If it is well-constructed it should last a lifetime. The problem usually is that something is clogging up your field’s drain lines.

Wastewater backups that lead to such a major repair don’t develop overnight. There are obvious warning signals of which you need to be aware.

Warning Signs

  • Early: Usually lush and green vegetation is growing in the drain field, sometimes forming deeper green stripes over the drainage pipes where effluent that is not draining is feeding your grass or plants.

When the first warning signs appear, have your septic tank pumped to empty it. Eliminate it as the source of a blockage. If your system uses a pump, inspect the electrical breaker to make sure it has power and is working.

  • Worsening: Spongy ground where water is coming to the surface rather than draining underground; sewage smell in that spot. Inside, toilets that are slow to flush and drains that are slow to drain warn of impending backups.

Once you know the pump is working (or if your system is gravity-fed) the next step is to use a plunger and a plumbing snake on the lowest sink drain and toilet in the house. Check for impassible blockages that may be a warning sign of root-bound pipes. If you discover such a blockage, call for professional help. If a blockage in the drain lines or pipes has developed, it is usually only a partial one initially. The earlier you catch the problem, the easier it is to correct.

  • Serious: Contaminated runoff, standing water and intense sewage odor in yard. Inside, your floor or shower drains in the basement will overflow first. The foul smell of sewage accompanies a sewer backup into the house.

A septic backup may be an extremely serious indicator of major septic field trouble but may also simply be caused by a clog that was left unattended too long and is easily overcome.

Town and Country Services of Tonica and Princeton is your family-owned rural specialty services company for all your septic system needs. Call us today at 1-815-220-5107 or contact us at

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