What Causes a Septic Tank to Overflow?

What Causes a Septic Tank to Overflow?

Septic systems are most common in areas that lack a municipal sewer system. All of the homes waste funnels through plumbing pipes, into the septic tank where solid waste settles at the bottom and liquid waste or effluent flows through the outlet. The treated wastewater is directed to the drain field where it is distributed back into the soil.

A structural or functional error anywhere in this process can clog the system and cause the septic tank to overflow. By being able to accurately diagnose the issue, you can pursue the most appropriate treatment option.

Insufficient Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential for a thriving, properly functioning septic system. Septic owners should have their tanks pumped routinely to rid the tank of solid waste which can disrupt the system. University of Georgia studies suggests that you should pump your septic systems once every three to five years. Factors including septic tank size and water usage can help you determine when exactly to pump your tank.

By ignoring septic pumpings, you allow sludge to creep into drain field pipes. Although sludge naturally sinks to the bottom of the tank, a constant flow of water in a full tank can push sludge upward and toward the outlet. It doesn’t take long for the solid waste to clog the perforated drain field pipes and back up the entire system.

Bacterial Deficiency

Bacteria is good for your septic system, which is why it most important to be extremely careful when choosing household cleaning products. Any product with bleach can be harmful to your septic system as it effectively kills all bacteria. It may be good for your white laundry but not your septic tank.

The bacteria in your tank is sacred. It holds the sole responsibility of breaking down sludge buildup to promote a healthy and proficient system. When your tank has a bacterial deficiency, solid waste can gather at a rapid pace which will require more frequent tank pumpings. If you fail to do so, your tank will likely overflow.

Clogged Drain Lines

Clogged drain lines are the overarching issue that causes a septic tank to overflow, but excess sludge is not the only culprit. Invasive tree and plant roots are prime suspects when it comes to drain field disturbances. Aggressive tree roots will seek out sources of water by any means, even if that means cracking concrete or infiltrating drain field pipes.

Once tree roots find their way into the septic pipe system, not only will it overflow but pipes can crack and ultimately require a septic system replacement. To prevent tree roots from being an issue, check out safe plants to grow over your drain field.

Be proactive instead of reactive when approaching septic system care. Septic Maxx offers septic tank additives that can effectively unclog pipe systems, replenish bacteria levels in your tank, and promote a healthy septic system. Browse our products and place your order today!

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