With a septic tank system providing sanitation services for your home, septic tank back up is always possible. With regular maintenance services and proper use of the system, you should largely avoid septic tank problems that plague homeowners who aren’t responsible with maintenance and care. However, even those systems that are cared for can experience back ups during the cold season. Here are some of the more common reasons that septic tank back up occurs:
Issues with the Soakaway or Drainfield
In this case, the drainfield, which is designed to take on the waste removed from the home and processed in the tank itself, is usually clogged due to an imbalance, misused or some other issue. It’s possible to diagnose a soakaway problem before it becomes a huge issue. Here are some of the signs:
- Overflowing toilets
- Gurgling drains
- Tubs or showers that back up when you empty a sink
- Washing machine overflows
- Foul smells near the tank or drainfield
- Foul smells in the home where the drains are located
- Toilets that run slowly
The soil in the drainfield plays a critical role in the breakdown of bacteria in the waste process. The soakaway field must be at least 3 feet below the ground, which should feature a bed of gravel located below the outlet pipe. In this area, the oxygen levels are low, or sometimes non-existent. As a result, bad bacteria thrive in low oxygen, which causes a nasty slime to form in the soil. Ultimately, this slime blocks the drainfield’s ability to break down the waste. Poor installation and shifting soil over time can cause this problem.
Winter Weather Issues
Another challenge for septic tanks in the winter occurs when rain or snow causes the water table to rise higher than normal. When this happens, and the water level rises over the outlet pipe for the septic tank, it will prevent the tank from releasing the waste.
The best way to prevent septic tank back up problems in any season involves having a professional check the system. Regular maintenance ensures that a professional has a chance to evaluate the condition of the tank, the aeration in the drainfield, the soil’s permeability and the tank’s sludge levels. With these inspections, you can truly rest easy, knowing that your septic tank is duly performing its duties to deal with your household’s waste.
For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.
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