Septic tanks are used in suburban or rural areas where there is no centralized sewage system. These wastewater treatment units collect, treat, and release water back into the environment. Like any other type of system, it can fail. Here are some of the top causes of these failures.
1. Lack of Routine Maintenance
Like many other systems in your home, septic tank units must be routinely maintained. Neglecting this task can lead to several issues, such as accumulations of scum, sludge, and hard water. Eventually, this debris will create blockages in the tank, leaving you with a non-functioning system.
You will want to have the tank pumped out about every three to five years. Along with that, you may want to have a service team inspect the unit for leaks or cracks. Plus, these professionals should also make sure that the distribution box and drain field are in working order. If you fail to have the system inspected on a regular basis, it could lead to an overloaded tank. In turn, that will cause a massive failure of your system.
2. Overloading the System
Septic tanks are designed to hold a certain amount of wastewater. When the system is overloaded, it could fail. Many times, this happens when there is excessive usage of water. All that excess water enters the tank at once, overflowing the unit.
If you want to prevent this overload, make sure to have a septic system that can meet your home’s water capacity needs. You might also want to look at your household’s water practices and take a few conservation measures. Along with that, check around your home. If you have leaky faucets or inefficient appliances, this could cause overloads on your septic tank.
3. Flushing the Wrong Substances
Septic tanks are designed to handle human waste and water. If you are flushing the wrong items, this could lead to failure. These systems cannot break down non-biodegradable items, such as diapers, paper towels, or sanitary products. Adding these items to your system will lead to a clogged tank.
Chemicals can also cause problems for your septic tank. The excessive use of disinfectants and chemical cleaners often disrupts the balance of beneficial bacteria. In turn, there isn’t a diverse enough microbiome to break down waste, leading to a reduction in the tank’s effectiveness.
If you want to avoid these problems, you should only flush septic-safe and biodegradable toilet paper down the drain. Also, never flush non-biodegradable products. You might even want to swap out those harsh chemicals for more environmentally friendly ones to keep a healthy balance in your tank.
4. No Maintenance on the Drain Field
The leach or drain field is an important aspect of the septic system. It is part of the final stage of the treatment process. The effluent is distributed back into the soil for more filtration and purification. If you don’t properly maintain this area, it can lead to unit failure.
Soil compaction, biomass buildup, and root intrusion are all common problems in this area. Many of these issues can cause the effluent to back up into the septic tank. In turn, that can lead to a full system failure. To maintain this area, you should avoid planting shrubs or trees near the space. Also, make sure there is proper grading and insulation to keep the surface water from flooding the field.
5. Wrong Tank Size
Another factor that can lead to problems is the tank size. If a tank is too small, this promotes the system becoming overwhelmed by wastewater. When the tank is overloaded, all the human waste, paper, and scum will build up. In turn, you will have clogs and sludge blockages in your system. Additionally, smaller tanks will need to be flushed more frequently than larger models.
There is an easy way to prevent these issues. You always want to get the proper size septic tank for your home. Reach out to a professional plumber to find suggestions for your household.
6. System Past Its Lifespan
A septic tank has a limited life expectancy. The tank’s structural integrity can deteriorate due to environmental factors, corrosion, or age. All of these factors can lead to structural damage, including leaks and cracks. Unfortunately, that means that wastewater and contaminants will begin to enter your soil.
For this reason, regular maintenance is essential. When your septic tank is inspected, a professional can spot any potential problems that may be developing. Replacing or repairing those broken components can help extend your system’s lifespan.
7. Poor Soil or High Water
Your septic system needs the right water table depth and high-quality soil. Unfortunately, not all areas are able to have septic tanks. If you experience problems on a regular basis, you should look at other options, such as an aerobic treatment unit or a mound system. These systems can handle the challenging conditions of a high water table or poor soil.
8. Contamination of Groundwater
Contaminants in the environment can cause problems for your health and septic system. If your system starts to fail, it can leave untreated waste to seep into the groundwater. With that, pollutants and pathogens could end up in your home. Not only does that harm the local ecosystems, but it could also cause health concerns for those relying on groundwater for drinking water.
Once again, regular maintenance and inspection can prevent these issues. Any septic tank that is leaching into the ground should be immediately replaced.
9. Poor Installation
When you choose a septic tank for your home, it’s imperative that you hire a professional for the installation process. Some problems are directly tied to a poor installation process. These systems might not have the right slope or proper separation distances from water sources or buildings to work efficiently. With that, your system may be prone to early failure.
You should always hire a qualified technician to design, install, and maintain your system. These individuals have the right tools and skills to make sure your system can operate without any issues. Plus, they know the local regulations in your community.
A failing septic tank can lead to sewage backups, contamination, and foul odors. If you want to have a professional assess these problems for you, call Express Septic & Drain Cleaning in Caldwell, Idaho. Our company focuses on septic tank services. We will go above and beyond to help you maintain a healthy home environment. We strive to be your trusted source for any repairs, replacements, and maintenance services in the area.
We pride ourselves on delivering a higher standard of service to our clients. Our company offers several types of treatments to keep your septic system in top shape throughout the year. Plus, we provide convenient online bookings and monthly specials to help you save on your services. If you are ready to schedule a septic tank service, contact Express Septic & Drain Cleaning today.