Why Is Your Residential Septic Tank Filling Up Faster Than Usual?


Septic tanks work by separating household waste into three layers: scum, effluent, and solids. The scum floats at the top of the tank, while the effluent flows into the drain field for percolation. The solids that haven't been broken down settle at the bottom of the tank. An efficient septic tank system should only fill up after three to five years, after which you should pump it to remove the accumulated solid waste. If your septic tank is filling up faster than it usually does, you could be dealing with one or more of the issues below.

Blocked Tank Compartment

Dual-compartment septic tanks hold more wastewater than single-compartment ones; thus, they are great for large households. If your dual-compartment tank is filling up faster than usual, one compartment may be blocked. Dual-chamber systems have a pipe fitting that connects the first chamber to the second one. As the wastewater fills up in the first chamber, it flows into the second one through the piping. 

If large solids find their way into the pipe, they can block it, preventing water from flowing into the second chamber. As a result, the first compartment will fill up and overflow, even though the second one isn't full. You must pump out the septic tank and unclog the blocked pipes to restore wastewater flow.

Inadequate Anaerobic Bacteria

Septic tanks have anaerobic bacteria that break down solid waste into effluent and gas. During the process, the bacteria multiply and decompose waste faster, leading to efficient wastewater treatment. To maintain a healthy count of bacteria in the tank, you must avoid dumping chemicals into your drains and toilets. Chemicals and toxic substances such as bleach, drain cleaners, and disinfectants destroy anaerobic bacteria, slowing down the breakdown of solids. As a result, the tank fills up faster, necessitating frequent pump-outs. 

Deteriorating Waste Management Practices

Proper waste management habits are crucial to optimizing the performance of your septic system. For example, you should not flush solids such as diapers, facial tissues, wipes, paper towels, gloves, tampons, pads, or bandages. Even if these items are labeled "biodegradable", they take a long time to decompose. They settle at the bottom of the tank, creating a buildup that grows over time. As a result, the tank's capacity reduces, which causes it to fill up faster than usual. You must adopt proper waste disposal habits to prevent your tank from filling up and overflowing. 

Frequent pumping gets rid of non-biodegradable waste and frees up space inside the tank. A pump-out can also restore anaerobic bacteria in the system, speeding up the breakdown of solid waste. Thus, contact a septic service for septic tank pumping and cleaning services.


22 December 2022

Fast Facts and Deep Insights: Septic Edition

As you read the articles on this website, you will notice two things. First, they are all about septic services in some ways. Second, some go deep — and others are full of more surface-level facts. This is kind of like your septic system itself! The tank is buried deep, but the drain field is more superficial. You don't have to be an expert on septic systems, but as someone who owns one, you should at least know how to tell when something is wrong with yours so you can call for service. You'll get that level of understanding from this blog — and probably more!