septic pumping_tank - Septic System Failure

Septic System Failure – What Are The Causes

Septic System Failure What Causes Septic Systems to Fail?

Septic System Failure. The septic tank in your home will usually have 4 components. This includes the source, the tank, the drainfield, and the soil under the drainfield. There are many different septic system designs that are used in Southern California. The type of system you have depends on the soil and conditions you have. 

The septic system should be managed in a way that it doesn’t harm the environment, create an unhealthy condition, cause any problems for you, and works effectively to break down the solid matter in the wastewater with the help of microorganisms. 

What Does a Failing Septic System Mean?

When your septic system is failing, it means that it is no longer treating or disposing of wastewater properly. Improperly treated or untreated wastewater gets released on the surface areas or even back into your home through the pipes. When a septic system starts failing, it can make negative impacts on the environment and your health. 

In a practical sense, a failing septic system will cause the buildup of sludge and scum to make its way into the inlet and outlet pipe of the septic tank. A blockage is created and the wastewater backs up and increases the risk of flooding.

Signs of a Failing Septic System

If you experience the following issues, these can be associated with a failing septic system and you must call us at Diamond Septic Pumping for a professional inspection:

  • A bad odor from the septic system
  • The toilets, drains, and/or sinks regularly back up
  • The septic system needs more frequent pumping than normal
  • The bath, shower, or sinks drain slowly
  • Regular appearance of damp spots near the septic tank or the effluent release point
  • Household plumbing starts making gurgling sounds
  • If high amounts of nutrients and noxious bacteria appear in your water well

Causes of Septic System Failure

So, what can be causing your septic system to fail? There can be a number of reasons and the most common ones are described here.

i. Excess Water Usage

Septic tanks have limited capacity and they can process only a certain amount of wastewater at a time. The tank for a house is selected to handle the water flow rate matching that house’s size. The tank must discharge wastewater at the same rate or faster than the rate at which it takes water. When it can’t do this anymore, there is a problem.

Since the system takes on more water than it can discharge, the tank fills up. The excess water will usually move back through the pipes or onto the surface. There are two potential underlying causes here:

  • There is excess water usage in your home and the septic tank has become too small to meet your needs.
  • Runoff or drainage has entered the tanks from the outside.

Only a professional evaluation can help determine what caused the problem.

ii. Damage to the Septic System

Your septic system may be having problems because it has been damaged. As mentioned above, there are 4 key components to this system:

  • Pipe connecting the system to your home
  • The septic tank
  • The drainfield or leach field
  • The soil around the tank

The system can start failing if any of these components get damaged. 

Different types of damages can affect the system in different ways. Consider the following examples:

  • Tree roots often grow down into the system and puncture or dislodge the pipes or even enter the tank. They can also clog drain lines. 
  • Driving or paving on the drainfield can crush the components or compact the soil. 

iii. Poor Design & Installation

Poorly designed and/or installed septic systems are bound to fail.  Some of the common causes of such systems failing in a short period of time are as follows:

  • Inadequate size
  • Installation in impenetrable soil
  • Improper construction

There should be many inches of unsaturated soil under the soil absorption system to a limiting layer. Examples of limited layer include bedrock, water tables, and impervious soil. Our professionals will design and install your system only after an assessment of the limited layer. The soil is simply the most important component of this system and should be carefully evaluated and protected. 

A septic system can also fail due to the items being thrown into the septic system. This system is designed to handle only human waste. It can also process and break down biodegradable toilet paper. Oftentimes, people flush apparently harmless items down the drain that can clog the system or affect bacteria. So, when it seems that your septic system is failing, you should get it inspected by professionals. At Diamond Pumping Services, we can inspect, pump, and even dig and uncover the septic tank in your home. If the system requires replacement, we can handle the entire project for you.

Diamond Septic Tank Pumping

Comments for this post are closed.