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Main Causes Of Septic Backup


Having issues with septic tank backup? Septic tank problems are complex, and many factors can contribute. Find out what’s clogging your septic tank in our guide!

The septic system plays a crucial role in maintaining the hygiene of your house. After all, it treats the wastewater generated from daily household activities.

In that context, the most important component of a septic system is the underground septic tank, where all the wastewater is collected for treatment.

Septic Backup

Septic tanks are designed to store and treat wastewater safely, but if they become overloaded, they can back up, resulting in a huge mess.

There are many reasons for septic tanks to back up, including overuse, a clogged septic drain field, invasion of tree roots, groundwater flooding from excess waste, and broken pipes.

Unfortunately, in some cases, the water in the septic tank may start to back up through your sink, showers and household drains. Other signs like gurgling drains, odd smells and a sluggish flow rate might accompany this. Such a problem poses a major health risk for the inhabitants of your house.

Because of this, you must fix a septic system backup as soon as possible. However, to resolve the problem, you will need to know its causes first. We have addressed that in our detailed guide, so read on!

7 Main Causes Of Septic Tank Backup

There are many different reasons septic systems may start to back up. So, we have listed the most common causes for you below:

1. Clogged Pipes

Clogged Pipes Grass

A blockage in your plumbing pipes is one of the biggest reasons behind a backed-up septic tank. This occurs when foreign objects become lodged inside them. These foreign objects are usually non-flushable solid waste, such as facial tissues, paper towels, hair, feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, etc.

The septic system pipes are designed to handle water and flushable solid and human waste like toilet paper. If you flush anything else down the pipes, they will get stuck and block the water flow. Once that happens, the wastewater will start to back up through your drains and water fixtures. So, to avoid that, make sure the objects you are flushing are septic-safe.

2. Blocked Septic Filter

Pointing Blocked Septic Filter

A septic filter is a component that controls the flow of solid waste to the drain field. If the septic filter becomes blocked, the solid wastes cannot flow into the drain field. Instead, they start to back up through the drain pipes into your home, which is unhygienic and poses health risks.

The septic filter gets blocked when you pour grease, oil and solid wastes through your drains or garbage disposal. So, to avoid this problem, properly dispose of oil and other scraps.

3. Invasive Tree Roots:

Invasive Tree Root Pipe

Tree roots can grow through the septic tank pipes, which causes them to burst. This, in turn, releases untreated wastewater into the groundwater, contaminating it. In some other cases, the roots may cause the pipes to get blocked, causing septic backups.

Fortunately, if you avoid planting trees near the septic tanks, you won’t have to worry about tree roots damaging them. Alternatively, avoid installing the underground tank near existing trees.

4. Septic System Overload

Your septic tank will fill up quickly if you have a large family or use lots of water for household activities. This will cause the system to become overloaded, eventually leading to septic system backups.

You can avoid such a problem if your tank size is large enough. However, suppose you do not have the funds required to install a large tank. In that case, you should manage your water usage carefully to avoid stressing the system.

5. Heavy Rainfall

Heavy Downfall Sewage

Excessive rainfall can also cause septic systems to back up. In such cases, the ground surrounding the septic tank gets flooded, which ultimately overwhelms the system. As a result, excess water starts to back up through your drain field, pipes, and household water fixtures.

Building additional drainage channels along the septic system can resolve such an issue. These channels will help eliminate you can avoid such a problem so your septic tank doesn’t overload.

6. Incorrect Installation

Incorrectly Installed Septic Tank

In many cases, septic tank backups result from faulty installations. The septic system is relatively complex, so if you hire untrained plumbers, they will not be able to install it correctly. Similarly, if you use old pipes or rusty parts, they will get damaged or clogged. As such, you will have to deal with frequent septic backups.

To avoid such issues, only hire qualified professionals for installation. Likewise, the septic tank components used should also be of high quality.

7. Using Antibacterial Soaps And Other Harsh Chemicals

A typical septic tank uses anaerobic bacteria to break down the solid waste in the water. If you use harsh chemicals and antibacterial soaps, it will kill the bacteria, thereby disrupting the biological composition of the tank. As such, the solid waste will keep accumulating inside the tank and eventually back up through the pipes.

The obvious solution to this problem is to avoid using such harsh chemicals. This will maintain the bacterial composition inside the tank and prevent sewage backup issues.

Backed Up Septic Tank: Find Out Why!

You can avoid most septic backup issues by taking preventative measures for each cause. However, if you eventually end up with such a problem, you must address it according to the underlying cause.

For instance, if there are clogs or blockages in the pipes, you can clear them using high-pressure jets, drain augers and so on. But if the pipes have become damaged, you will need to get them replaced.

We would suggest getting help from a professional in either case, as they will have the necessary tools and expertise to deal with the septic tank problem. That’s where Big Blue Plumbing Bribie Island comes in, for we have both.

Have an issue with the septic tank backup, or do you need your tank pumped? You can depend on our services to fix your septic tanks quickly and affordably. Besides fixing septic backups, our technicians will take all necessary measures to prevent future ones.

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