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Why Do Septic Tanks Break?

Why Do Septic Tanks Break?

At first glance, it would seem a septic tank is safe in its location several feet underground. A closer inspection at the facts will reveal that septic tanks are vulnerable to a number of threats. Some of these threats to the septic tank are within our control and others are external factors. Still, understanding the threats will help you take the appropriate steps in reducing risk of damage. Of course, you can always put yourself at ease by hiring the technicians at Septic Connection for any inspections, maintenance, repairs and septic tank cleaning. We offer emergency service, so do not hesitate to call Septic Connection any time.

How the Septic System Works

There are many types of septic systems, but their overall operation is similar. Here is a quick explanation of how your septic system, or wastewater treatment system, works.
In short, wastewater and sewage generated by your household travel through the plumbing drains and into the septic tank. This waste separates into three layers in the tank: a scum layer, a liquid waste layer, and a solid waste layer.
Bacteria and chemicals in the septic tank break down solid waste while the liquids continue through the outlet pipe and into the drain field. The wastewater percolates through the soil for treatment. Meanwhile, the solid waste and sludge fill the septic tank over time and must eventually be removed with septic pumping and cleaning.

Why Septic Tanks “Break”

When people ask why septic tanks break, they often mean to ask why septic tanks break down. It is a valid question either way. There are two categories for a problematic septic system: a fault and a failure.
A fault is when the system does not work properly. This can happen because of neglected maintenance, overwhelming water usage, accidental damage, and improper installation:

  • Bacteria in the septic tank breaks down sludge to save space but the tank must eventually be pumped out. Otherwise, the tank can overflow and send sludge toward the drain field. This is just one of the maintenance items you should not forget.
  • The drain field is where water percolates through soil for treatment. The soil in the drain field must be particular. For instance, compact soil limits percolation and flooding overwhelms the system. As such, be careful not to devastate your drain field with too much water usage.
  • Tree roots are surprisingly violent when it comes to plumbing systems. Invasive roots can penetrate through pipes and septic tanks. Driving over the septic system can also break core components.
  • Can something break if it is already broken? An improper installation certainly exposes you to a bigger risk of system failure.

Is Your Septic System Failing?

Whether your septic system has already failed, or you are proactively working to prevent it from happening, the folks at Septic Connection have you covered. We offer reliable and accessible septic system inspections, maintenance, repairs, and even replacements. Feel free to call any time, even if it is an emergency. Our live representatives and technicians are on standby to take your call.