What Can Go Wrong With A Septic Tank?

Posted on: 27 May 2019


When you live in a home with a sewer connection, the main problem you worry about is a massive clog developing in the main line that leads to the sewer. On the other hand, when you live in a home with a septic tank, you need to be concerned about issues with the tank itself. What problems can occur in a septic tank? Here are the big three you need to be aware of.


Your septic tank is designed to slowly accumulate solid waste and allow liquid waste to flow out. The solid waste at the bottom of the tank will slowly break down and be rinsed out of the tank along with the liquid. But if you add solid waste to the tank faster than it's able to break down, especially if that waste consists of items that won't deteriorate, the tank will become overfilled and there won't be space for much liquid. This may cause smelly liquid to back up into your yard, or even into your drains. Luckily, the solution is easy: you need to have the solid waste pumped out of the tank. Going forward, flushing only toilet paper and having the tank pumped preemptively every two or three years will keep the tank from overfilling again.

Clogged Lines

There are a few lines leading out from the septic tank into the leech field. If you pour too much grease down the drain, these lines can become clogged with grease. Sometimes, non-biodegradable items like wet wipes and tampons may also work their way into the lines and cause clogs. Signs of a clog tend to be similar to those of an overfilled tank. Your yard may get wet, or you may find that multiple drains in your home do not drain. A septic company will have to come clear the line, often by unearthing the tank and send a snake through the line.

Leaky Tank

Septic tanks can last for 30 to 40 years, or even longer. However, they do sometimes develop leaks, especially if the tank becomes damaged by someone parking on top of it or by tree roots growing into it. A leaky septic tank will cause your yard to be mushy, but your drains will probably still work just fine. Sometimes your septic company might be able to patch the leak, but often this indicates that you need a new tank.

Are you having septic troubles such as a wet yard or slow drains? Call your local septic repair company, and have them come diagnose the issue. Chances are, you have one of the three problems discussed above.