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4 Most Common Causes of Septic Issues | Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
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4 Most Common Causes of Septic Issues

If you are a homeowner and you have a septic system as the main wastewater management and disposal system, there are certain aspects of it that you should be aware of.

While septic systems are very efficient and functional in general, some issues may arise over time, just like with any other system in your home.

And in order to stay on top of them, be prepared or prevent them altogether, it is important to know what exactly causes those issues.

Read on to find out some of the most common causes of septic system failure.

Excessive Use of Water

Each septic tank has its limitations and is designed to handle a certain amount of wastewater at a time. When those limitations are exceeded, it may cause your septic tank to back up and overflow, causing water to seep up and flood your yard and lawn.

Excessive use of water

This can happen when you use too many appliances at the same time in your household, such as the toilet, washing machine, kitchen sink, and any other that produces wastewater. 

It can also happen if you wash several loads of laundry consecutively or when you have leaky toilets and leaky pipes. 

These septic backups and issues happen primarily because the septic tank doesn’t have enough time to discharge the wastewater that comes into it. It could mean that your septic system is too small for your needs or that you just need to be extra careful with your water usage.

Garbage Disposal in the Kitchen Sink

Many homeowners might not be aware of this, but with homes that have a septic tank system, garbage disposal in the kitchen sink may cause significant septic tank issues.

With a septic system, all water that runs from your house, including the wastewater from the kitchen, goes into your septic tank. And when you have a garbage disposal, the amount of solid waste that goes into the tank is significantly increased.

While garbage disposal, in reality, is meant to dispose of the waste such as leftover food on your dishes, you should be extra careful if you have a septic tank. It is recommended to put everything you can into the trash can instead of into the garbage disposal. This includes all solid food and waste, as well as grease. 

Otherwise, your main drain line and the septic tank will eventually back up and overflow, causing a significant and costly mess in your backyard.

Lack of Maintenance 

Having your septic tank inspected regularly and pumped by qualified professionals is very important. Most of the wastewater and the contaminants from that water drain out and break down naturally.

However, a certain amount of those contaminants that settle on the bottom of the tank as sludge will not break down naturally. It inevitably builds up over time, and that is one of the main reasons for pumping and cleaning your septic tank regularly.

If you don’t, the sludge becomes too great for your tank to handle, it starts to drain out into your soil, the tank backs up, or it even stops working altogether.

With regular septic tank maintenance and cleaning, on the other hand, you will save yourself the stress and the costly mess caused by a failed septic system.

Damaged Septic System

A septic system may fail or malfunction due to some physical damage, as well. As it is located in the ground, below the surface, one of the most common sources of damage to it are tree roots.

Tree roots are sometimes known to penetrate and grow down into your septic tank, causing some damage to your water pipes or the tank itself.  Apart from breaking and moving the pipes and the tank, they can also clog the drain lines.

In addition to tree roots, any excessive pressure on the soil just above your septic system may easily damage it. Therefore, it is best to avoid putting any kind of pressure on the area where our septic tank is, as well as avoid planting trees around it. 

Tree roots


Now that you know some of the most common sources of your septic system issues, you can take some extra precautions to prevent them. 

Make sure to inspect your system on a regular basis and schedule a septic tank pumping every two to three years for optimal function. Bynum & Sons Plumbing is at your disposal for all septic services anytime!