A septic system is designed to contain human biological waste until it is either naturally broken down by bacterial action or is periodically extracted from the tank by pumping.
How a septic tank works is by breaking down this waste material into the three components of gases, water, and solids out of which the gases and water are eliminated into the immediate environments of the tank with the solid waste sinking to the bottom of the tank. This solid waste then needs to be pumped out regularly and efficiently to avoid common septic tank problems.
The first indicator of trouble linked to the septic tank is the emanation of foul odor. While there could be a number of triggers for this bad smell, the common denominator for all reasons is allowing the septic tank to handle wastes that it is not really designed to handle. This can include kitchen wastes, excessive amounts of water, laundry and dishwashing outputs as well as plastic and other non-biodegradable products.
Here is a look at some common septic tank problems and how to resolve them.
Too Much Water in the Tank
Overuse or misuse of water can make the tank hold more water than its capacity. This results in the solid wastes not breaking down and settling before the water level in the tank rises. With the rise in water level, solid matter also passes out of the tank through the distribution channels that are built only to handle liquids.
This issue can also aggravate and add to the woes of septic tank problems when it rains.
Solution: This problem can be managed by being more conscious about water usage. For instance, people can practice taking shorter showers or using low flow showerheads to manage water use. Also, it is recommended to spread out laundry over a few days rather than doing too many loads on the same day.
Plastic and similar products not only take up space in the tank but also do not disintegrate naturally. This accumulation also raises the water level in the tank along with forcing floating solid matter into the distribution system.
Solution: The obvious solution for proper septic tank treatment is to prevent kitchen wastes from entering the septic system. This means avoiding pouring kitchen fats down the drain while also keeping items like diapers, feminine hygiene products and paper towels out of the system.
Using Too Much Detergent
Overuse of laundry and other powdered detergents presents the possibility of residue accumulation in the pipes and tank. Plus, the phosphate content in these products promotes algae growth which can block perforations in the distribution pipes.
Solution: Avoid using powdered detergents while also regulating the amount of detergent used. Instead, it is recommended to use gel or liquid soaps for laundering as these do not have phosphates found in their powdered counterparts.
Use of Harsh Chemicals
Septic tanks often have to handle chemical products such as pesticides, solvents, brake fluid, paint thinners and motor oil among others. When placed in the septic tank equation, these products are distributed into the neighboring soil not only polluting it, but also making it unsuitable for plant life. These products also have the potential to target bacteria in the tank that is otherwise needed for breaking down the waste matter.
Solution: The solution for proper septic tank maintenance once again demands a change in habit by taking care to not put any toxic items like paint thinners and solvents into the septic system. Since these products will not be eliminated, they will only be distributed into the soil causing contamination and environmental hazards.
Septic Filter Clogging
This is a common problem that occurs when the septic filter is not properly cleaned on a regular basis. Tell-tale signs of a clogged filter include sluggish drainage in the building, high effluent levels in the tank, and the surrounding drain field being abnormally dry.
Solution: It is very important to have the septic system on your property pumped out on a regular basis to make sure that it works to its maximum potential. Systems that come with a septic tank filter require professionals to take a look at it every couple of years and clean it with grade quality biological cleaning agents rather than using harsh chemicals to clean.
Tidal Wave Response
For any of your septic tank problems in the Atlanta, Georgia area, contact us at Tidal Wave Response for quick and timely service and maintenance of your septic tank system. Our 24/7 emergency line ensures that we can help you with issues no matter the time of day.