3 Most Common Septic Tank Issues

Posted on: 8 November 2017


Are you the owner of a property that uses a septic tank? Do you know how to tell if there are issues with the septic tank that need to be addressed? A septic system isn't something that most people generally think about. As long as it appears to be functioning, little thought is given to what's going on in the hidden tank. Although a septic tank doesn't typically need much in the way of maintenance, there are still some things that can hamper its functioning. Here are some things that you should out for and things that need to be done to solve or prevent the issue from happening:

Sluggish drains inside: When one sink is running slowly, that typically points to an issue with the sink itself. If the sink, toilet, and bathtub are all running slowly, that points to an issue outside of your house. As your septic tank starts to fill with solids, fluids often have a harder and harder time draining out. In some instances, your septic tank can become prematurely clogged by inorganic or difficult to dissolve materials that have been put down the drain. Once this occurs, the only solution is to have a septic pumping company remove all of the solids from the tank. Once the tank is empty, you can start anew, this time avoiding putting anything besides bathroom tissue and human waste down the toilet.

Malodorous scent: Although septic tanks are full of sewage waste, you shouldn't normally smell them. On very hot days, there may be a very faint odor, but this should not be a daily occurrence. If it does happen daily, the tank is likely over-full and needs to be emptied out as soon as possible. Should you put off calling the septic pumping company for too long, solids will start to leak out and contaminate the drainage field. Your only solution for this is to either move the tank or pay an expensive fee to have the drainage field cleaned. Fortunately, you can slow the accumulation of solid waste in your septic tank with the use of a special bacterial additive. These can be found at many hardware stores, or you can ask your septic pumping company which one they recommend.

Soggy ground: This one may be accompanied by a bad smell, but not always. If you've completely forgotten or you simply don't know where your septic tank is located, your first clue might be a patch of ground staying moist or marshy even when there is no rain. This can happen when your leach field starts to get clogged, and the water has nowhere to go but up. You should get your tank cleaned out as soon as possible and make sure to have the leach field inspected to be certain that it is still usable.