Why Do Septic Systems Fail?

Why Do Septic Systems Fail

If you live on a property with a septic system then there are certain things you want to aware of so you aren’t caught by surprise. When a septic system is regularly maintained and functioning properly, you may never notice a difference between having a septic system versus being connected to the city or county water line. However, if you start to notice drains are slower to empty or even sewage backing up into your home, then it’s very likely time for a septic tank repair. Septic tanks don’t last forever, but there are things you can do to prevent septic system failure. It helps to understand more about how and why septic systems fail so you can know how to prevent it in the future.

Here are 4 reasons why septic systems fail and why you may need septic tank repair.

Lack of Regular Maintenance

Perhaps the main reason why septic systems fail is due to lack of regular maintenance or no maintenance at all. A septic system is designed to function well on its own, but there are limits to its abilities. For instance, a septic tank is only designed to hold so much waste before it requires septic tank pumping. While liquid waste is processed through the septic tank and released via the drain field, solid waste sinks to the bottom of the septic tank and eventually builds up. Once solids have built up inside the tank, that means less room for liquid waste to be properly treated and passed through without the risk of backed-up pipes or overflow.

Excessive Water Usage

The amount of water you use can also damage a septic system. If you have the sink, washing machine, and shower running all at once, that’s a lot of water going through your plumbing and into the septic tank at once. The septic tank may not be able to effectively process that amount of water at once, which can lead to poorly treated water and solid waste ending up where it’s not supposed to. When you overload the septic system with water, this can lead to backups, overflows, and other damage to plumbing and the septic tank, leaving you needing a septic tank repair. Leaky faucets or appliances can also cause too much water to flow into the septic tank at one time.

Septic Tank Damage

The septic tank is only designed to process human waste. When other items are flushed down the toilets or drains, it can wreak havoc on the septic system. Hence, you should take note of things to never flush down your toilet. If you have a garbage disposal in the home and put lots of solid food waste down the drain, it can lead to a buildup of solids that affects wastewater treatment inside the tank. A complex series of bacteria inside the septic tank is designed to properly treat waste and introducing elements like pet waste and inorganic objects into the septic tank can negatively impact the balance. Septic tank repair may also be necessary if they crack, which can occur if too much pressure is put on the tank from above, like driving or parking a vehicle.

Drain Field Damage

The drain field can also be damaged by vehicles driving or parking in the area. It is important to know where your septic tank and the drain field are located on your property. While these parts of the system are underground, too much pressure and weight on the soil above these structures can compromise the integrity of the system. Roots of trees and shrubs can also go deep enough that they can clog the perforated pipes of the drain field. These perforated pipes are how the treated water is released back into the ecosystem, so when the water isn’t able to leave the septic system, it can back up and cause an overflow.

How to Prevent Septic System Failure

The best things you can do to prevent your septic system from failure are to conserve water usage, be mindful of what goes into the septic tank, and above all, schedule regular maintenance. Septic Masters, LLC, offers inspections, septic tank repair, drain field repair, and emergency maintenance all with our team of licensed professionals. You should never try to fix a septic tank or drain field issue without professional help, which is why our team is available 24/7, 365 days a year. We will also inspect your septic system and develop a regularly scheduled maintenance and septic tank pumping plan that is best suited for your home so you can get the most out of your septic system for years to come!

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