What Causes a Percolating Septic Tank


What Causes a Percolating Septic Tank

Although a percolating septic tank is a common function of a home septic tank system, the percolation should only occur when the effluent is dispersed into the drainfield where it seeps or percolates into the ground. However, homeowners often discover their septic tank system is percolating out of the ground when pools of bubbling wastewater collect near their septic and drainfield systems. The causes of a percolating septic tank can indicate a serious problem within the septic tank system.

Neglected Septic Systems
Septic tanks are ingenious sewer treatment systems designed to treat solid waste when it is not feasible or cost effective to connect to municipal sewer systems. However, they do require regular pumping—cleaning—to maintain efficient operation and to avoid costly drainfield repairs. While the debate rages on for how often a septic tank should be pumped, most experts agree that you should schedule service at least every three years. Failure to pump your septic tank regularly could allow sludge, scum and solid waste to enter and damage your drainfield. A sure sign of drainfield problems is standing wastewater over or near the drainfield and septic tank.

Effluent Filter Problem
Many septic tanks are equipped with an effluent filter. In short, an effluent filter is designed to filter the wastewater produced by the household as it passes from the septic tank to the drain or leach field. Its primary function is to prevent or reduce minute particles of solid waste from entering the drainfield, which over time would reduce its absorption and lead to costly repairs. If the effluent filter becomes clogged, the wastewater cannot enter the drainfield. When this happens, the wastewater has nowhere to go. It will either backup into your toilets and sinks, or percolate to the surface above the septic tank.

Too Many Household Cleaners
The organisms within a septic tank are vital to its overall function as they consume the solid waste produced by your household. Millions of these efficient, waste eating creatures work around the clock reducing the solid waste that enters the tank. Common household cleaners such as bleach, ammonia and even some laundry detergents can kill off the vital organisms. Without them, it would only be a matter of days before your septic tank was full and your drainfield rendered useless as it would become clogged with solid material and be unable to absorb the wastewater. If your drainfield cannot absorb the wastewater, it has nowhere to go but up.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.