Maintaining a Safe Septic System

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What Causes Septic Tanks To Clog?

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When your septic tank functions well, you can easily forget that it exists. But once that septic tank clogs, you'll soon have a very smelly problem to deal with. A blocked septic tank can render the sinks and toilets in your home unusable until you fix the problem. But what causes septic tanks to clog in the first place?

Septic tanks clog for many reasons, some of which are outlined below.

Disposing of non-degradable items

One of the most common causes of blocked septic tanks is disposing of non-degradable items in the toilet. Some of the worst culprits are:

  • Cigarette butts
  • Plastic wrappers
  • Baby wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Sanitary towels

These solids will not degrade. Instead, they will remain in your septic tank and eventually block the pipes leading into your tank.

Overusing garbage disposal

Although food items do degrade, if you use your garbage disposal to dispose of large amounts of food on a regular basis, your septic tank will eventually clog. And tough food items like bones and eggshells can also clog the pipes leading into your septic tank.

Pouring oils and greases into drains

Oil and grease may enter your drains easily when in liquid form, but once it hardens inside the pipes leading to your septic tank, it won't be long before your septic system clogs. If you use oil in your kitchen regularly for cooking, dispose of waste oil by throwing it away with your normal garbage.

Using too much water throughout the day

If you flood your septic system with more water than it can handle, you will eventually overload the system. Overloading your septic tank will lead to backups in the sinks and toilets in your home. You may also see water pooling in your yard. Try to spread your water usage evenly across the week to avoid overloading your septic tank.

Using too many harsh cleaning chemicals

Harsh cleaning chemicals can seriously harm your septic tank. Flushing or draining powerful chemicals into your septic system can corrode your septic tank and the pipes leading to it. This will lead to blockages and structural problems. Harsh chemicals also kill the bacteria in your septic tank that break down the solids you flush into the tank. This will fill the septic tank with solids, and block the tank.

Allowing trees and bushes to grow near the leach field

Trees and bushes should not grow near your septic tank. The roots of large bushes and trees can block your septic tank and the pipes leading into it. Since your septic system is rich in water and nutrients, roots will naturally seek to find a way inside.

Is your septic tank blocked or not working as it should? Then call a septic tank pumping service today.