A failed septic system can be a nightmare for your home. Apart from making it difficult for you to use the toilet, septic system failure is also a health hazard, since it may pollute the environment. Knowing the common causes of septic system failures will help you prepare for them properly. Here are some of the reasons septic systems fail.
Poor Soil Conditions
Not every type of soil or soil profile is suitable for a septic system installation. The tank and drain field can both be affected by poor soils. For example, the tank can float out of a waterlogged soil (particularly if the tank is empty). An impervious soil will not be able to absorb the treated wastes from the septic tank.
Septic Drain Field Flooding
Flooding in the septic drain field is also a recipe for disaster. Once the drain field is flooded with water, the treated wastes emanating from the tank won't have anywhere to go, and the drain field will be contaminated, endangering the environment. That is why the ground around the septic drain field should be designed to encourage water to flow from the area.
Septic Tank Malfunction
A malfunction in the tank that allows effluent to flow into the drain field can also cause its failure. This may be the cause, for example, if the tank baffles are damaged and both liquid and scum waste is allowed to drain from the tank.
Tree Root Intrusion
Planting trees near the septic tank and its components is never a good idea. This is because the trees' roots may intrude into the tank, via tiny cracks or the outlet or inlet, and plug them. if the tank outlet is clogged, for example, the tank may overflow, and untreated waste may spill all around it.
Physical Damage to the Septic System Components
Anything that causes physical damage to the septic tank and its components can cause its failure. Damage to the inlet and outlets connections, septic tank cover or sides can all lead to its failure. For example, operating heavy machinery over the septic tank installation area may damage and block its outlet and cause similar problems as root intrusion.
Lastly, soil compaction over the septic drain field may also cause its failure. For example, driving construction machinery over the septic drain field may compact the soil to the point where it can't accept any more water. This will make the drain field stay flooded all the time because the water can't percolate into the soil.
For more information on caring for septic tank systems, contact a local septic service company.