Household waste is a necessary consideration if you live in an area that is off mains drainage. It is great when all is working as it should, but sometimes issues can occur so you’ll need to understand potential problems with a septic tank and how to fix them.

What Issues May I Have With My Septic Tank?

These problems can come in all shapes and sizes and can be down to a number of factors. They include (but are not limited to):

  • Age – wear and tear can cause elements to break such as the T pipe or baffle. Some septic tanks are truly ancient and so may cease working eventually too
  • Ground shifting – the ground moves all the time, whether we want it to or not, and significant subsidence can cause cracks in the main chambers or cause it to shift which could block or damage the T-pipe or baffle
  • Damage from above – septic tanks are common in rural areas and so are heavy machines. The simple act of driving over the ground above a septic tank could cause it to break
  • Tree roots – yes, nature is beautiful but it can also be damaging to underground structure. Roots can penetrate the tank allowing waste to flow out or excess water to flow in, and they can also damage a drainage field or soakaway
  • Blocked soakaway – putting the wrong items down the sink or toilet, or having a damaged T pipe or baffle could lead to solid waste being passed into the soakaway. This network of pipes is what the waste water passes through in order to soak into the ground to be treated by the soil. Blocked pipes mean problems

What To Do If Your Septic Tank Does Have Problems

First things first. You need to call your local expert to come and have a look at your system. You need to ascertain what the problem is and get it fixed ASAP because let’s face it, issues with human waste will not be pleasant if they get worse. In extreme cases, systems can back up right into the home, causing toilets and sinks to overflow and they won’t be overflowing with clean water!

Common Septic Tank Problems

The second thing you can do it look into your house or landlord’s insurance policy. There are many cases where damage (such as accidental) might be covered by your policy so look in more detail and maybe give them a call. It is highly unlikely they will cover anything age-related, regarding wear and tear or if there is no visible damage to the tank. But for more significant issues, there is a chance it will be and it could end up saving you thousands.

When you’re buying a property with a septic tank, or having one installed, it would be worthwhile to ensure any insurance policies will cover septic tanks and to what extent.

Septic tanks are a fantastic addition to a property without mains drainage. Ensure yours is properly maintained, insured and nothing gets flushed down the loo that shouldn’t and hopefully it won’t require any excessive outgoings.