Common Causes Behind Emergency Septic System Failures

10 August 2023
 Categories: , Blog

A septic system, though typically out of sight and out of mind, plays a pivotal role in the daily operations of many homes and businesses. When functioning correctly, it processes and disposes of wastewater efficiently, but when things go awry, the situation can rapidly escalate into a dire emergency. Understanding the primary causes of these unexpected breakdowns can help homeowners identify issues early and seek professional assistance before they evolve into more significant problems. Here are some common causes behind sudden septic system failures.

1. Inadequate Maintenance and Inspection

One of the leading causes of septic system emergencies is the lack of regular maintenance and inspection. Just like any other major household system, your septic system requires periodic check-ups. If tanks aren't pumped out regularly, or the entire system isn't inspected from time to time, minor issues can become major emergencies without warning.

2. Flushing Non-Biodegradable Items

Everyday items like diapers, sanitary products, and even 'flushable' wipes are frequently the culprits behind septic system blockages. These products do not decompose easily, leading to clogs and back-ups in the system.

3. Overloading the System

Septic systems have a maximum capacity. Using an excessive amount of water in a short time span, whether it's from doing multiple laundry loads consecutively or having several long showers, can inundate the system. This can result in an overflow or cause untreated waste to flow into your drain field.

4. Harsh Chemicals and Cleaners

Consistently pouring chemicals like paint, pesticides, or large volumes of strong household cleaners can severely disrupt the bacterial balance in your septic tank. These microbes play a vital role in breaking down and treating waste. Without them, the system becomes inefficient and may fail.

5. Tree Root Intrusion

The roots of large trees can infiltrate a septic tank or its associated pipes, causing blockages, breaks, and leaks. Over time, these intrusions can lead to significant damage and subsequent system failures.

6. Ground Movement and Structural Issues

Natural ground movements, sometimes influenced by external factors like nearby construction or heavy traffic, can lead to pipe damage or tank cracks. When this happens, septic leaks or backups can occur, often requiring urgent attention.

7. Poor Installation or Design

In some unfortunate cases, the septic system might fail due to initial design flaws or improper installation. If the system isn't tailored to the size and needs of the property or is set up haphazardly, it can easily lead to recurrent emergencies.

Contact a local company to learn more about emergency septic system services.