Septic tank troubleshooting tips

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A septic tank should last for several years, even decades, before needing replacing – but that doesn’t mean everything always runs smoothly.

If your tank is causing problems, there are steps that can be taken to address some of the more common issues.

What’s wrong with my septic tank?

Certain problems are relatively easy to identify – here are some of the most frequently encountered.

Blockages

If dirty water from drains or toilets is backing up into the building, it may be a straightforward blocked pipe problem.

Over-the-counter solutions or plumbing equipment could be enough to clear it – or failing that, a callout from a plumber you trust.

But if the block is due to something more serious, like tree root damage, a sewage treatment specialist might be the answer.

Tree root damage

Roots can actually grow through the walls of the tank underground, causing liquid to leak into the surrounding earth.

At the same time, groundwater can seep into the tank, further impairing its draining operation.

The most effective way to treat tree root incursion is removal by chemicals applied by a professional.

Ground movement

Similar to tree root damage, if the ground around your tank or sewage treatment plant moves, it can cause problems with groundwater.

The pressure can cause cracking, allowing water to enter and stop the septic tank working properly.

And of course, this increases the risk of sewage backing up into the property – seek professional help in this case.

Baffle damage

The part of your tank that separates the lumpier, solid waste from the liquid can sometimes become damaged.

Whether caused by external pressure or internal movement while emptying, a malfunctioning baffle means ineffective drainage.

To enable correct treatment of liquid waste and avoid soil pollution, it may be simpler to replace the tank rather than attempt a repair.

There are several other factors that can cause problems with your septic tank – but these can often be hard to identify yourself.

Some tanks are many decades old, have outdated components and design and will likely require professional treatment.

Still need help with your septic tank?

Struggling to solve problems with your septic tank, or think it might be time for a replacement?

Due to recent changes in environmental legislation, it may not be as simple as a like-for-like swap.

Depending on whether or not your building is connected to a mains sewer, you may now need a small sewage treatment plant instead.

If you’d like to arrange a visit from one of our specialists, or simply want to discuss your problem over the phone, please get in touch.

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