What goes in the septic tank should stay in the septic tank. As wastewater central, a discovery that the water from inside the tank is overflowing and spilling out is a nightmare.
The most critical thing to remember about this scenario is that it's typically preventable. In many instances, a user error has led to the problem. Learn some of the issues that likely have you in this situation.
1. Maintenance Neglect
Septic systems work behind the scenes, but they do require maintenance. A homeowner that neglects this maintenance is a homeowner asking for a problem. If it's been more than five years since you had your tank pumped or inspected, this negligence is probably the reason for your septic tank problems.
The generic guideline for septic tank pumping is 3 to 5 years. However, the size of your tank and the number of people that live in your home will sway this number considerably.
For example, a four-person home with a 2250-gallon tank may be able to go as long as six years without a pump. However, a four-person home with a 1000-gallon tank would need a pump around every two years.
2. Landscaping Concerns
A tree planted too close to a septic tank is often problematic, particularly if the tree is large. Large trees often have extensive roots. Over time, the roots can grow aggressively and press into the walls of the tank. If the roots continue to expand, the pressure from the roots will eventually cause the tanks' walls to collapse. In some situations, this problem is hard to detect.
However, when the roots expand and cover the drain pipes, this will create drainage issues that cause the tank to overflow. Because this problem is generally progressive, you should have noticed slow draining issues before the damage got to the point of overfilling.
3. Bacterial Imbalance
Bacteria is often thought of as a plague. However, bacteria is a crucial part of your septic system. As waste pours into the tank, the trillions of bacteria naturally found inside work to break down this waste; this breakdown process maximizes space within the tank. The goal is to keep these bacteria thriving.
However, certain practices kill these bacteria, which in turns prevents the breakdown process and ultimately leads to overflow issues. A common culprit is antibacterial soaps. From the hand soap on the bathroom counter to the dish soap in the kitchen, frequent use of antibacterial products disturbs the balance inside the tank.
If possible, avoid using these soaps altogether. If you must use these soaps, restrict their use to maybe one bathroom in the house.
4. Poor Usage Habits
There is a wrong and a right way to use a septic system. Be sure never to use the toilet as a waste can. The bacteria inside the tank does a remarkable job at breaking down waste, but it is not capable of breaking down cotton swabs, paper towels, dental floss, or cigarette butts.
These items will stay in the tank, take up extra space, and cause the tank to fill quickly. If you've been in the habit of purchasing the first brand of toilet paper you see in the store instead of looking for a septic-safe brand, this could also be the reason for the overflowing. Only use septic-safe options.
An overflowing septic tank is a repair that requires immediate attention. Not only can wastewater cause widespread damage, but it's also hazardous. At Economy Septic Tank Service, we're here to help. Contact us to resolve your overflow issues and help you avoid this type of mishap in the future.