LESLIE: Jacob in Illinois is on the line with a septic problem. What’s going on?
JACOB: Around the septic tank, it’s probably about maybe a 20-foot radius around it. There’s a little circle of grass that doesn’t grow nearly as good as the rest of the yard. I didn’t know if that was an indicator of a problem. Because there’s no problems, that I can tell, with the tank itself.
TOM: Well, is this where you would think the septic field is or are we concerned about the septic tank?
JACOB: I just didn’t – I guess it – I don’t know what the septic field is.
TOM: Well, that’s where – what happens is you have a series of pipes that come off the tank and they usually snake across an area of lawn. And when the effluent rises in the septic tank, it basically flows into the pipes and it goes out across your yard and then soaks into the soil. So that’s what the field is.
A problem with the septic field could cause grass not to grow. Usually, it’s the opposite. Usually, all of that effluent is acting as a fertilizer and making certain places greener than others. So I don’t recognize that as a normal problem associated with septic but when was the last time you had your tank cleaned?
JACOB: Let’s see. I haven’t had it cleaned in 15 years, since it was put in.
TOM: Yeah. Well, that might be the first place to start. Have the septic system cleaned and inspected.
JACOB: OK. Alright.
TOM: Jacob, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.