Four Common Septic Tank Problems What to Look For and How to Avoid Them

block_septic2Septic tanks are out of sight and out of mind.  Besides routine septic tank pumping, do you ever need to think about your septic system?  You may think you don’t, but when you notice slow drainage, septic smells in your home or a sewage backup, it’s time to think again.  Here’s a list of four of the most common septic tank problems, their solutions and tips on avoiding septic system issues in the future.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeptic Tank Problem #1 – Sludge Buildup

Sludge buildup is the most common cause septic system backups.  The best way to avoid backups cause by sludge buildup is to follow our septic tank care tips designed to prolong the life of your septic tank.  Basically you want to watch what you put in, maintain high levels of biological activity and regularly have your tank pumped and cleaned.  To solve a sludge buildup, hire a professional to pump your septic system clean.

repair-a-septic-tank_300_200Septic Tank Problem #2 – Broken Drain Lines or Tank Baffles

This septic system failure is often caused by sulfuric acid eating away at the concrete or steel.  Hire a professional septic service company to perform a video inspection of your septic system to locate the broken sections.  If your septic tank baffles are failing, it may be a sign that you old tank is sure to follow.  While replacing the broken baffles or drain lines, it may be a good idea to consider replacing your old tank with a new fiberglass tank and filter system as well.

Septic Tank Problem #3 – Tree Roots Getting in to Septic Tank

Tree roots are another cause of broken drain lines and cracked septic tanks.  Roots climb towards moisture and may eventually find their way into your drain lines or septic tank.  You’re average weed killer isn’t going to tackle the root systems of large bushes and trees.  It’s best to hire a professional that knows local regulations and can recommend a comprehensive solution for your particular problem.

Septic Tank Problem #4 – Septic Filter Clogging

Septic tank outlet filters are great because they protect your drain field from getting overloaded with solids.  Most new septic tanks come with outlet filters and many places now require them.  Filters can get clogged if regular cleaning and maintenance is neglected.  Most septic service professionals will clean your filter when they pump your tank, but it’s best to double-check.  Some filters are able to be cleaned by the homeowner with a garden hose.  It’s always good to inspect the filter to see if grease, paper or other non-biological material is getting into your system, as that may cause additional problems later on.

We hope this guide will help you diagnose, repair and prevent septic tank problems in the future.  If you live in Snohomish County, Washington and need any septic system service, from inspections to installations to septic tank pumping, call Snohomish Septic Service for professional and courteous service; they be reached at 360-310-4430.

Septic Tank Pumping, Care & Maintenance


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Edited by Justin Vorhees