Your septic tank is only one part of your overall septic system, but it is a crucial one. The purpose of your tank is to contain solid waste and grease while allowing liquid effluent to disperse into your drain field. Septic tanks are typically constructed from concrete with a liner or coating to protect the walls from waste. Many septic systems last for decades, and often the septic tank will be the final piece that requires replacement. Despite this durability, cracks can and do occur from time to time, so it is important to recognize the signs of a crack and know your options for repairing it.
The Causes of Cracks
Your tank is just a big concrete box sitting in the ground, so why would it crack? Septic tanks can develop faults for a variety of reasons, many of them primarily out of the homeowner's control. Cracks that develop early in the life of the tank are often due to poor installation or construction, but issues with the landscape can result in cracks later in the life of the tank. The ground around the tank can shift due to severe flooding, earthquakes, or just time, all of which can cause the walls of your septic tank to shift and crack.
Recognizing the Signs of Trouble
Early on, cracks in a septic tank may produce no noticeable symptoms. For this reason, it is essential to have your septic tank regularly inspected for problems. A proper inspection can uncover small cracks before they become more significant issues, allowing you to deal with them before they present an environmental hazard or result in exceptionally costly repairs.
For larger cracks, you can expect similar symptoms to a failing drain field. If the break is severe, then wastewater will pool at the surface near the septic tank. Before this happens, you may notice that your lawn around the tank is much greener than the surrounding area. While this might look nice, you should never ignore these obvious symptoms.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a cracked tank, then it is vital to contact a professional to evaluate your system and recommend repairs. Small breaks will inevitably expand into more significant problems as time goes on, and it is rarely possible to repair substantial cracks. Once you contact a septic technician, they will first drain your tank and then evaluate it for damage. Most cracks can be restored from inside the tank using special protective equipment, allowing you to spend significantly less than you would need for a full replacement.
For more information, check out sites like http://www.southernsanitarysystems.com.