Your septic system's inlet pipe is what connects your home's plumbing to your septic tank. When you use the plumbing fixtures in your home like your toilet, waste travels by gravity through the pipe into the tank, where it will be broken down by bacteria. Unfortunately, the septic inlet pipe can sometimes break and start leaking.
Driving a heavy vehicle like an RV over the inlet pipe can break it, and it can also break from water freezing in the pipe. Tree roots can also start growing in the pipe, and the pressure of the growing tree roots can force the pipe apart at its joints. To find out how you can tell if your septic system's inlet pipe is leaking, read on to learn the common signs.
The Drains in Your Home Don't Work
One of the most common signs that your septic system's inlet pipe is broken is when the drains in your home no longer work. If you drive a heavy vehicle over the pipe, it can collapse. The end of the pipe leading to your home will be smashed into the dirt underneath it.
Septic inlet pipes are installed over compacted soil that provides a stable base for the pipe, and compacted soil doesn't drain very well. All of the waste entering your septic inlet pipe will be blocked by the soil, and it will start backing up into your home because it has nowhere else to go. When this happens, you'll need to have an emergency septic system service dig up the collapsed inlet pipe and repair it to fix your home's septic system.
The Soil Between Your Home and Your Septic Tank Is Saturated With Wastewater
If you have a smaller leak, such as from tree roots pulling the inlet pipe apart at its joints, then the wastewater you flush into the pipe may start rising to the surface. Since the soil beneath the pipe is compacted, wastewater from the leak will start rising up through the more porous soil above it. The area above your septic inlet pipe will be muddy, and it will also smell very foul — the water is from the waste you're flushing down the drains in your home, and it hasn't even had the chance to be processed by the bacteria in your septic tank yet. To stop the leak, you'll need to have the pipe dug up and repaired.
The Grass Above the Inlet Pipe Is Greener Than the Rest of the Grass in Your Yard
When you have a very small leak in your septic system's inlet pipe, sometimes the only indication that the pipe is leaking is that the grass above it will be greener than the grass in the rest of your yard. Grass will absorb the wastewater through its root system, making it grow very quickly. Wastewater also has a high nitrogen content, which makes grass greener. If the grass above your septic system's inlet pipe is suspiciously green, you should have the inlet pipe inspected to make sure that it's not leaking.
If your septic system's inlet pipe has been damaged, have it repaired by an emergency septic system service as soon as you can. If the damage worsens, you may not be able to use the plumbing in your home at all since there's nowhere for the wastewater to reach the septic tank. An emergency septic system service can inspect your inlet pipe, dig it up, and repair any damage that it has suffered.
Call a local company for more information about emergency septic system services.