What Causes a Clogged Septic Tank

Nov 02, 2022

What Causes a Clogged Septic Tank

A clogged septic tank can lead to sewage backups, foul odors, and health risks. This is one of the septic tank problems you want to avoid at all costs.

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Let’s look at the top 10 causes of a clogged septic tank.

Flushing Inappropriate Items Down the Drains

This is possibly the most common cause of a clogged septic tank. Human waste and toilet paper are the only items you should be flushing down the toilet. Anything else will not break down in the septic tank correctly, resulting in a clogged septic tank.

Tree Roots

If there are trees near your septic tank, tree roots can grow into your septic tank and cause blockages. Tree roots are naturally attracted to your septic tank and sewer lines, so they can be a big problem if you don’t take precautionary measures. You can have a septic company install physical barriers around your septic tank to keep out tree roots.

Improper Maintenance

Neglecting necessary maintenance tasks such as septic tank cleaning, septic tank pumping, and routine septic inspection greatly increases the risk of septic tank clogs and other problems. 

Drain Field Problems

Drain field failure caused by flooding, excessive rainfall, and sludge overload can cause the septic tank to clog and start to backup. If you notice problems with your drain field, reach out to a reputable septic company as soon as possible.

Damaged Baffle

A septic tank has two baffles—one at the inlet and one at the outlet. These baffles guide wastewater through the tank and allow the water more time to separate. A worn, clogged, cracked, or missing baffle reduces the effectiveness of your septic tank and increases the risk of clogs.

Pipe Damage

Wastewater from your home enters the septic tank through the inlet pipe and leaves through the outlet pipe. These pipes can get damaged as a result of corrosion and aging, broken seals, intruding tree roots, underground movements, and more. Damaged inlet or outlet pipes may obstruct the flow of solid waste and lead to a clogged septic tank.

Excessive Water Use

Flooding your septic tank with too much water limits the necessary bacterial activity in your septic tank, thereby interfering with waste breakdown. Besides, excessive water in your septic tank does not allow solids to adequately settle at the bottom of the tank.

Insufficient Water Entering the Tank

The anaerobic process in a septic tank requires a sufficient amount of water to break down solid waste. Insufficient water interferes with the process of waste breakdown, thereby increasing the risk of clogs.

Using Harsh Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners disrupt the good bacteria that help to break down waste in your septic tank. After repeated use of chemical drain cleaners, the natural bacteria present in your septic tank becomes less effective in breaking down solid waste, thereby causing clogs.

Improper Garbage Disposal Use

Grinding things like stringy vegetables, hard bones, coffee grounds, nuts and shells, onion layers, and egg shells can cause problems for your septic tank. Putting the wrong items down the garbage disposal can block the pipes leading to your septic tank.

Call Septic Blue of Charlotte for All of Your Septic Service Needs

Whether you need septic tank pumping, septic cleaning, septic tank repair, or a diagnostic visit, be sure to contact Septic Blue of Charlotte for reliable and affordable services. Septic Blue of Charlotte is a trusted septic company serving many areas in North Carolina. Call us today and we’ll be happy to help you keep your septic system as healthy as possible.