4 Reasons You Have A "Problematic" Septic System

30 May 2018
 Categories: , Blog


A septic tank is quite sensitive. These systems are designed with certain operating conditions in mind. If the conditions in the system go outside what is optimal, you may start experiencing a few issues with your system such as foul odors or overflowing effluents.

In many cases, you can identify the cause of the issues with your septic system, and once you do this, you can take the necessary steps to change this.

1. You're Sending the Wrong Things Down Your Drains

A typical septic tank is designed to handle a very limited type of waste. Unfortunately, this doesn't stop people from using their drains as garbage bins. Some mistakes that people make in this regard include:

  • Flushing used diapers down the toilet
  • Disposing oil down your drain
  • Letting food particles go down the drain
  • Allowing sand and other heavy sediments to go down your shower drain etc.

These items can cause blockage of the system, and since some of them have parts that don't decompose, they could remain within the system for years.

2. The System's Capacity is Exceeded

A septic system that was designed to handle the needs of a small family may not cope if the number of people living in the building doesn't meet the criteria of a small family. A large number of people in a building means a lot more water and waste going down the drain each day, and thus, there'll be more water and waste than the system is able to handle. Expect your system to overflow in such circumstances.

3. You're Using Unfriendly Cleaning Agents

Septic systems rely on naturally occurring bacteria to break down the waste that is sent down the system. These bacteria thrive under certain conditions but are also quite sensitive to chemical changes in their surroundings.

Cleaning agents such as concentrated bleach can kill these bacteria when they go down the drain. This means your septic tank may not be able to perform its function. This can lead to foul odors in and around your home.

4. The Septic Tank Needs to Be Pumped

At some point in time, your septic tank will have to be emptied. It usually takes around two to three years if the system is being used as it's supposed to be. As the tank gets fuller, it may not function as it's supposed to. Water may stop flowing down the drain or toilet. At this point, the septic system will have to be emptied. For more information, check out a website like http://www.sosseptic.net.