What You Need To Know About Septic System Backups

Septic System Backups

How often do you think about your septic system? Probably not very often, but you always hope it’s working without any issues. But, what happens if it does break or fail? Septic system backups are not only unpleasant but can be dangerous. 

Septic systems are buried underground and are designed to collect and treat sewage so that it can be safely returned to the environment. When a backup occurs, it may end up leaking into the groundwater system or overflowing into your home and yard.

What Causes Septic System Backups?

There are several factors that may cause septic system backups including clogged pipes, overflow of water into the tank, tree root damage, or obstructed pipes. If your drain field has been clogged with dirt and debris, it can cause backups in your home’s plumbing as well as damage to the main drain pipe leading from your house out into the yard or street. This happens when water backs up into your house instead of flowing through the drain. 

Surprisingly, one of the most common causes of backups is tree roots. Roots spread continuously and can easily find their way into pipes, clogging and/or damaging them. If you have trees on your property, it’s important to keep an eye out for the location of your septic system so you don’t have any surprises when it comes time to dig up the pipes for repairs. 

If septic system backups didn’t sound dangerous enough, the problem can spread to your neighbors or street if you don’t contain the issue fast. Overflowing waste and water can start to affect your neighbor’s property and damage underground pipes within the neighborhood. Eventually, an untreated clogged pipe may crack or rupture completely which can leave people at risk of contamination or injury. 

How Do You Avoid Septic Backups?

Although septic systems are durable and created to withstand use for decades, the best way to avoid septic system backups is to have your tank pumped every few years. This will remove any solids that might have stuck to the bottom of your tank and prevent them from blocking any drainage pipes connected to your property. 

If you recently moved, are considering moving, or just haven’t thought to check your septic system, it may be a good idea to have an inspection done to ensure the pipes are working and installed properly. Also, keep an eye out for leaks on any pipes leading in or out of your septic tank. If you notice any cracks, bulges, or odor inside or near these pipes, call a professional immediately. 

If you don’t want the expense of having your septic system pumped regularly (although we highly recommend it for the longevity of your tank), here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • Don’t flush anything other than toilet paper and human waste
  • Don’t excessively flush your toilet  
  • Never pour grease or oil down the drain 
  • Use cold water when you can (washing dishes and doing laundry)
  • Use environmentally friendly detergents and soaps

Who Should You Call for a Septic Backup?

If you experience a septic system backup, it is important to call a professional plumber right away. With over 30 years of experience, Sunset Septic Service is here to help. Home septic system problems are their specialty. 

Their experienced technicians will inspect, pump your system and get a septic service plan in place to take all the guesswork out of your septic system management. Scheduling regular maintenance will save you time, money, and frustration in the long run. Contact them today! 

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