Understanding and Addressing Mound Septic System Problems

In the realm of home maintenance, few systems can present as many unique challenges as a mound septic system.

Acting as the unsung hero of rural homes, a well-functioning mound septic system can be easily overlooked – until problems arise. Just like that time when I was called for a small leak, only to find an ancient septic system on the brink of total collapse.

Let’s dive into the world of mound septic system problems, and I’ll show you how to navigate through them like a pro.

Understanding and Addressing Mound Septic System Problems

Common Problems with Mound Septic Systems


If your house suddenly smells like a sewage treatment plant, don’t panic!

Foul odors usually originate from sinks or shower drains, and there’s a product I recommend for that – Unique Septic System Digester. This stuff works like magic, enhancing the bacterial process inside your septic tank and getting rid of the stench.


Think of sludge as the cholesterol of your septic system. Over time, a layer of this black sludge might seep into your leach field, signifying deeper problems within your lateral lines or the leach field itself. If you find yourself in this mess, consider using a septic field rejuvenator.

It’s a mixture you sprinkle over your leach field, and before you know it, your leach field will be as good as new.

Standing Water

Stumbling upon a pool of water in your leach field can be disconcerting. This standing water typically indicates poor drainage, which can occur due to heavy rainfall, biomat buildup, and other reasons.

A couple of bottles of Unique Septic Field Rejuvenator flushed down the toilet usually solve the problem. But if it persists, you may have to call in the professionals.

Slow Moving

Nothing tests your patience like a slow-moving septic system. Not only can it cause odors, but it can also slow down your drains.

If you encounter this problem, give your system a break for 24 hours. If things don’t go back to normal, it’s time to call in the rejuvenator again.

Blocked System

A completely blocked system can wreak havoc in your home, causing backups and a whole lot of stress. A blocked system can stem from various issues, including blocked lateral lines, heavy biomat layers, system breaks, or large debris.

Starting with the rejuvenator can potentially clear up the backup, but if it doesn’t, a professional inspection will be needed.

Sometimes the Septic System needs to be unblocked
Cleaning and unblocking septic system.

Symptoms of Mound Septic System Problems

Each problem has its tell-tale signs, from slow drainage and unpleasant odors to water pooling around the mound and lush, green grass around the septic tank area.

If you spot any of these symptoms, it’s time to inspect your system.

Troubleshooting Mound Septic System Problems

Troubleshooting involves a blend of detective work and careful observation. You’ll need to identify specific issues, inspect your system safely, and know when to call in the cavalry.

How to Fix Common Mound Septic System Problems

Addressing septic system problems often requires a targeted approach. From fixing oversaturation to managing system blockages and adjusting improper installations, we’ll look at various solutions for common issues.

Preventing Problems with Mound Septic Systems

Prevention, they say, is better than cure, and that’s as true for septic systems as anything else. A few simple strategies can help keep your system running smoothly:

Regular Maintenance:

Much like a beloved vintage car, your septic system can’t run on autopilot forever. Regular maintenance is the key to preventing small problems from escalating into costly repairs or even complete system replacement. Here’s how you should approach it:

  • Regular Inspections: Scheduling regular inspections is paramount to catch problems early. These should be conducted by a professional who understands the intricacies of a mound septic system. The frequency of inspections will depend on the size of your tank and the number of people in your household, but typically, every 3-5 years is a good rule of thumb.
  • Pump Your Tank: Over time, solids build up in the septic tank and if left unchecked, they can flow into the drainfield, leading to clogs and serious damage. The frequency for pumping varies depending on your tank’s capacity and household size, but typically, it should be done every 3-5 years.
  • Check Drainfield and Surface Water: Regularly check the area around your septic system for signs of trouble. This includes soggy areas, lush grass, or pooled water. These may be a sign of a leak or a clog in the system.
  • Keep Records: Document every inspection, pumping, and any repairs done on your system. This record-keeping will help identify recurring issues and provide valuable information to any septic professional servicing your system.
  • Watch for Signs of Trouble: Even with regular maintenance, issues can arise. Be alert to changes such as slow drains, odors, gurgling sounds in the plumbing system, or sewage backups. These are signs that your system is struggling and needs attention.

Think of regular maintenance as a wellness check for your septic system. Just as you wouldn’t skip your car’s oil change or ignore unusual engine noises, don’t ignore your septic system. With regular maintenance, you can ensure it functions properly for years to come.

Use the Right Products:

The functionality and longevity of your mound septic system largely depend on the products you introduce into it. In a nutshell, you should only use septic-safe products. They are specifically designed to work in harmony with the natural processes in your system.

The beneficial bacteria inside your tank are crucial to break down the waste. Therefore, you should avoid harsh chemical cleaners, bleach, and antibacterial soaps that can harm these microscopic helpers. Instead, opt for environmentally-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products.

A stellar example of a septic-safe product is the Unique Septic System Digester. This product acts like a probiotic for your septic tank. It introduces billions of bacteria and enzymes that enhance the biological process inside the tank, effectively breaking down waste and eliminating odors. It’s like giving your septic system a health boost, helping it to work more efficiently and mitigating common problems such as foul odors and sludge buildup.

Proper Use:

Don’t treat your toilet (and by extension), your septic system as a trash can. Non-degradable items like baby wipes, sanitary products, and cat litter have no place in a septic system.

Monitor Water Use:

Large volumes of water can overwhelm your septic system. Try to distribute water use throughout the day and repair any leaks promptly.

When to Call a Professional

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you’ll need to call in a professional. If you’ve tried the tips above and your system is still having issues, or if you notice signs of serious problems such as sewage backup in your house, it’s time to get help. When choosing a septic system service, look for a company with a good reputation and plenty of experience.

What is the lifespan of a septic mound?

with proper care and routine maintenance, a well-constructed mound septic system can last between 20 to 40 years, or even longer. However, a septic mound system, like any septic system, can have a variable lifespan depending on several factors such as the quality of installation, the level of maintenance, and the amount of use it receives.

What are the disadvantages of a mound septic system?

While mound septic systems can be more expensive to install and maintain than traditional septic systems due to their complex design and the need for additional materials like sand and gravel.
Second, the mound itself can be visually unappealing or take up a significant amount of yard space.
Third, these systems can be more sensitive to improper use, such as overloading with wastewater or introducing harmful substances that can disrupt the bacterial balance in the system.
Finally, mound systems might require more frequent maintenance, including pumping and inspection, to ensure optimal functioning.

Why do mound systems fail?

Mound septic systems can fail for a variety of reasons. One common cause is overloading the system with more wastewater than it can handle, leading to oversaturation and improper treatment of the waste. Other reasons include improper installation, lack of regular maintenance, or introduction of substances that harm the beneficial bacteria in the system, such as certain chemicals or non-degradable items. In some cases, environmental factors such as excessive rainfall can lead to system failure by oversaturating the drainfield. Regular inspection and proper use can help to identify and mitigate these issues before they lead to system failure.

How often should I pump my septic tank with a mound system?

You should make sure your septic tank is pumped at least every 3-5 years. The frequency of septic tank pumping depends on various factors including the size of your tank, the number of people in your household, and the amount of wastewater generated.
It’s important to note that mound systems may require more frequent maintenance due to their design and sensitivity. Always consult with a septic system professional to determine the best maintenance schedule for your specific system.

Final Thoughts

A well-functioning mound septic system is a cornerstone of a comfortable, healthy home. Understanding common problems and how to address them is key to maintaining your system. Stay proactive, remember these tips, and you’ll be well-equipped to handle any issues that come your way.

With this information in hand, you should be well-equipped to tackle any mound septic system problems that come your way. But remember, when in doubt, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals.

Sometimes, a quick phone call can save you a heap of trouble down the line. Happy plumbing!

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