3 Common Septic Tank Problems, Repairs, and Prevention

Sustainability and waste management are the twin pillars of modern civilization. To maintain high sanitary standards, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, R.R.O.1990 and Canadian Building Code and Act require homes and buildings to install septic tank units in their premises.

Due to its location and the risks they present, you need a professional to perform septic tank maintenance for you. However, there is much you can do to prevent issues. Here are some of the most common septic tank problems, along with the necessary treatment and ways to prevent them.

Septic Tank 101

To encourage bacterial growth, the tank is filled with water after installation

Made specifically for toilet and sink waste, a septic tank is a mainstay in any home. However, how does it work and how is it prepared? After installation, the tank must be filled with water first, to encourage bacterial growth. These biofilm colonies will then convert the waste matter into effluent water waste and solid sludge. This mix of solid and liquid waste can either be transported to the leach drain or directly ejected into the soil.

A scum blanket covering the top with a hard crust is a sign of a well-operating septic tank. This coating serves as a tight seal to prevent air from entering the tank and promote sewage breakdown. At the bottom of the tank lies the denser sludge waste that builds up over time.

These solid waste clumps, if left unchecked and unpumped, can cause problems and blockages in your toilet and sink drains. To prevent that from happening you should be aware of the common problems that may plague your tank. By acknowledging these signs and symptoms, you will be able to maintain your home sanitation better. You should also practice safety habits that will protect your tank and family from biohazard leakage.

Common Concerns

Tree roots can damage your septic tank

From environmental and manmade, septic tank problems are often difficult to notice. You have to be vigilant of the symptoms and be alert in your troubleshooting. To do these check-ups more efficiently, it is always best to call expert septic technicians. Here are some of the common problems regarding septic tanks:

What is the most common cause of septic system failure?

1.Not Draining
A septic tank full of water that is not draining is often caused by too much waste stuck in the pipes. However, this sludge is not only made of organic waste but usually from industrial household objects thrown down the toilet or sink. Cooking grease and oil are the most common kitchen waste that can block the pipes.

Moreover, paper towels, coffee grounds, dental floss, pesticides, paint thinners, photographic solutions, and pharmaceutical products also release chemicals that can cause an increase in sludge viscosity. Flushed condoms, feminine hygiene products, diapers, and cigarette butts will also block your septic tank pipes.

Septic tank problems can sometimes arise when it rains. Unpredictable weather can cause ground flooding in your tank. These heavy rainstorms can cause water to gather and seep into your septic tank’s drain field. Canadian snow, when it melts, can also cause the same problems. The drain field is the part of the tank that allows purification and waste dispersion.

If that rainwater occupies the space where the wastewater exits, the septic tank will be unable to self-clean. Wastewater will be unable to flow out of the drain field. Clogged drain fields will become saturated and will lose the ability to absorb the wastewater being drained out. Since it has nowhere to go, the wastewater will backflow to your toilet and sinks.

3.Root Blockage
Planting trees right in your front yard is always a good idea. It is there to give you shade, fresh air, and maybe even fruits.

However, when developing your landscape, have your septic tank installed as far away as possible from branching trees. Even small shrubs can grow around the tank and cause blockage in the pipes themselves.

Some assume that it’s a good idea to do otherwise since it can help drain out the water. However, your tank already has that built-in feature with its drain field system. If that part is blocked by the roots, your septic tank will have a harder time self-cleaning. This may even cause E.coli growth and biohazard leakage.

Tank Protection

Practicing household habits to protect your septic tank is the best way to prevent damage and save repair costs. These practices are fairly easy to remember and will also save you money in utility bills in the long run.

Here’s what you can do:

Garbage Bins Are Your Friends

Your toilets and sinks are only for liquid and organic waste. Anything other than that should only be for the trashcan. Putting a trash can beside your toilet and kitchen will help you avoid the urge to throw unnecessary trash into your pipes. These industrial chemicals, products, and plastics will surely block your septic drainage and cause backflows.

Go Easy on the Faucets

An average family uses 70 gallons of water annually. You should take note that all this water will most likely end up in your septic system. Septic tanks will often have a large fluid capacity. However, it is always best to limit your water usage in your bathroom and kitchen.

Along with your septic tank installation, you should wisely choose efficient toilets, aerated faucets, and water-saving showerheads. Having a washing machine schedule will also greatly help in your water efficiency endeavours.

Have your septic tank cleaned regularly by professionals

Schedule a Cleaning

Scheduling an expert septic tank service is the best way to maintain and clean your tanks. By simply searching online using phrases such as “septic tank cleaning near me” or “septic tank pumping near me”, you can have septic technicians ready to serve you at your door. Also, once you have observed the problems mentioned above, you should call for an expert right away.

Upon arriving they will do an inspection first, followed by minor and major repairs, and pumping. Now, when all the work is done, you should ask yourself “what to do after the septic tank is pumped?” Well, after the cleaning service, follow the preventive habits mentioned earlier to maintain the clean status of the septic tank. Septic pumping and cleaning should always be done every 3 to 5 years.

However, when the system has too much damage, you can always replace your tank with another. Septic tank replacement costs can range from $3,500 to $15,000 based on the septic system type. To know when to replace a system, it is best to ask for expert advice from your septic technicians.

Have a regular cleaning schedule for your septic tank to avoid problems

To ensure proper sanitation and prevent any biohazard risks, always call experts to install your septic tanks. Pick the right septic tank size and type for your home, since others will work better on different house sizes. Lastly, always remember to practice septic blockage prevention habits and you are good to go.

If you are in Ontario and are looking for a trustworthy plumbing company to cater to your septic tank concerns, look no further than Plumbing Authority Inc. We offer septic tank repair and installation as well as backwater valve installations and rebate programs to name a few. Dial now at (647) 992-7473 or email us at plumbingauthoritygta@gmail.com for your free on-site estimates and concerns.