Design & DIY

How can you tell if your septic isn’t functioning properly?

Septic not functioning properly

What are the warning signs that your septic is not functioning properly? — Sylvie Audet Faddis

Dark, stinking liquid backing up from your toilets or drains, or puddling around your septic bed, is a dead giveaway; so is a general sewage smell in the cottage, especially after it rains. The other signs may not be so obvious: slowly flushing toilets and slowly draining sinks and showers (even after you’ve used drain clearing products or plungers); a contaminated well (a high level of nitrates and bacteria when you have the water tested); algae and weed buildup in your corner of the lake; and lush, spongy, bright-green grass growing over the septic’s absorption field—which could mean excess liquid is travelling up through the soil, instead of draining down, as it should.

If you have any concerns, call a septic expert ASAP. A small problem now could turn into a big, expensive, disgusting one later.