Why Septic Tanks Are Prone to Backing Up

Why Septic Tanks Are Prone to Backing Up

Dirty water coming up in your bathtub can be a loathsome sight. But if it happens to you, you’ll want to know what the cause is and the next steps you need to take to fix the problem. When your septic system backs up, the toilet may take longer than expected to flush. You will also realize that your drains will start flowing slower than usual. When this happens, your pipes will begin smelling like sewage. In a worst-case scenario, a septic system backup may result in sewage backing up into your toilet. When this happens, you need to understand why and know what could be causing the problem. Below we list some of the more common problems with septic tanks.

Flushing Unnecessary Items Down your Toilet

With a septic tank, what you flush down your toilet really matters. Never should you flush tampons, pads, napkins, and other unwanted items down your toilet. These kinds of things will never break up in your septic system. Instead of decomposing, these items will create a thick layer in your septic tank. The items can float around for many years until you have your system pumped, and while they are there, they can cause unwanted clogging and backups.

Roots of Trees Infiltrating the System

Trees constantly look for water underground just in the same way branches do above the earth. The roots are capable of stretching outright to your septic tanks. These roots wrap around and push their way inside the pipes that help in your septic system’s drainage. This can interfere with the flow of waste through the pipes and cause the septic system to get backed up.

Presence of Grease in the Drain

Ensure that you keep any grease out of your drains at all costs. Grease can coat your drainage pipes and even cause harm to your system and drainage field. Grease is hard to get rid of because of its stickiness. This feature makes it difficult for the bacteria inside the septic tank to break it down. Therefore, the grease that gets into the septic tank will float on the scum layer, which appears at the top layer of waste in the septic tank. If grease is allowed to accumulate in your septic tank, the upper layer will get heavy and will push down the wastewater and force it back into the pipes. This may prevent the wastewater from leaving the septic tank. Eventually, your septic tank will get backed up, and the drainage field might get clogged and damaged.


One of the questions you should ask yourself when your septic tank has a problem is, when was it last pumped? Septic tanks gradually get filled up with waste. Once the tank gets filled with solid waste, you may notice sewage backups in your toilet or slow drains in sinks. When we asked a Croydon plumber how often you should pump out a septic tank, their reply was simple; It depends on the number of people living in the house and the amount of wastewater that goes into the tank daily. Depending on the size of the tank, you will probably want to pump quarterly, or bi-annually.

The Bottom Line

Septic system backups can completely be avoided if the right precautions are taken. You should avoid behaviors that cause your septic system to get backed up. Don’t spill grease down your drains. Use your garbage disposal properly and watch what you flush into your septic tank. Avoid planting trees near your septic system and save yourself the agony of a blocked system.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *