Septic systems can be dangerous if they are not properly taken care of. The dangers come in various levels and extents depending on their cause and you should understand them to prevent injuries in your home. Here are four cases in which you should know you are dealing with a dangerous septic system:
It Is Old and Collapsing
An aging septic tank becomes dangerous when the soils around it begin to sink and its walls begin to crumble. This usually happens when the material of the tank has experienced more wear and tear than it can handle. For a steel tank, this may mean that rust has penetrated and weakened the tank. For a concrete tank, this might mean that the cracks of years past have finally come home to roost.
Working around such a septic tank is dangerous because you risk falling into the tank. Working around such a tank is highly prohibited, especially for DIY repairs. If you must do anything around the tank have a buddy nearby who can call for help in case of an accident. Ideally, however, leave all the operations to a professional plumber.
It Is Open at the Top
Open septic tanks are also dangerous even if their walls are still structurally strong. One reason for this is the obvious danger of slipping and falling into the tank. Then there is also the risk of methane, which can overwhelm you and even cause you to lose your consciousness. It's anybody's guess what might happen to you once you are disoriented; there have been fatalities reported from such cases.
It's Sitting near Electrical Wires
Improper installation of electrical wires or septic systems can leave them dangerously close to each other. Such a setup increases your risk of electrical shock when working near or on the septic tank. It doesn't help matters that buried electrical wires resemble tree roots so you might find yourself pulling them off or trying to cut them with a sharp tool.
It Is Flooded
Lastly, a septic system also becomes dangerous when its drain field becomes flooded. The flooding reduces the permeability of the drain field soils and debris in the flood water blocks the outlets. The result is that the system cannot get rid of its wastes and they have to back up into your house. This is a serious problem because such wastes may contain dangerous bacteria and viruses.
Call a plumbing company the minute you realize your septic tank poses a danger to your household. After the issue is fixed, don't forget to consult the plumber for information on how to avoid a repeat problem in the future.
Contact a company like PlumbWise, Inc. for more information and assistance.