Causes for Septic Tank Backups & Clogs: Prevention & Resolution
Septic tank clogging and backups are problems anyone with a septic system has to deal with at some point. While these issues seem inevitable, understanding the causes for septic tank backups and clogs and addressing them proactively will keep your septic system running smoothly.
What causes septic tank backups?
The most common cause for septic tank backups is excessive sludge buildup in the tank from solid waste that has settled on the bottom. Other contributors to clogging and backups in your system include non-biodegradable materials, greases and oils, or harsh chemicals being dumped into your system. Causes exterior to your system can include tree roots making their way inside your tank or drain field. Routine septic system treatments that maintain your septic system’s biology to ensure its ability to process solid waste into liquids will help maintain your septic system’s efficiency and smooth operation as it was designed. In addition, diligent action to avoid inorganic materials, anti-bacterial agents, and oils getting into your septic system will go a long way to helping you avoid clogs in your septic system.
Causes for Septic Tank Problems
Let’s get into a more detailed review of some of the most common causes for septic system tank issues.
Solid and Grease Buildup
At the bottom of your septic tank, solid waste and greases accumulate into a layer of sludge when left untreated over time. If not addressed, this or sludge builds up to a point that it blocks septic pipes, or it finds its way into the drain field, causing clogs and backups.
The introduction of non-biodegradable materials, like wipes, sanitary napkins, feminine products, or certain toilet papers will lead to blockages. Pouring greases, fats, or oils down the drain is also a common cause of clogs because they solidify over time.
Other External Factors
There are also external factors that can cause problems, like tree roots growing into septic pipes, or internal factors, like using harsh chemicals that kill off bacteria that are critical to the system’s performance.
Preventive Measures to Adopt
In our experience, the best way for homeowners to prevent septic tank backups is to be mindful of the following:
Stay aware of the waste you introduce into your septic system. Human waste and septic-safe toilet paper are the only things that should be flushed down the toilet. When non-biodegradable materials are flushed down the drain, they won’t be broken down by the bacteria in the system, so they’ll just continue piling up on the bottom of your septic tank until they are pumped out.
Reduce Harsh Chemical Usage
The problem with harsh chemicals and even soaps going down the drain is that most of them are anti-bacterial and they kill more than just the bacteria on surfaces you’re cleaning or on your hands. If you use antibacterial soap for example, when you rinse it down the drain it also kills the good bacteria inside your septic tank that’s responsible for breaking down organic waste. Limiting your use of harsh chemicals and making sure you’re not unnecessarily dumping these products down the drain protects the beneficial bacteria in the septic tank.
While this is a worthy goal, it is nearly impossible to keep all harmful chemicals and anti-bacterial agents out of your septic tank. If your septic system’s biology is weakened or dead, solids will build up and clog your system. That’s why it’s critical to use a septic maintenance product that can restore and enhance your system’s biology, ensuring your septic system is operating as designed.
Excessive water will flood a septic system, preventing proper waste treatment. Adopting water-saving habits, fixing leaks promptly, and opting for water-efficient appliances will keep the amount of water going into your tank manageable for the system, so treatment continues in a timely and effective manner.
Protect the Drain Field
Your drain field is a very important component of the septic system. Keep it protected from heavy vehicles driving over it and avoid planting deep-rooted trees nearby. Instead, allow only grass to grow over it as this provides natural filtration. If trees or aggressively rooted shrubs are planted near your septic system, the roots will seek out moisture, which your system has a lot of. If the roots grow into your system, they’ll collapse pipes or cause other damage to the tank and drain field, leading to clogs and backups. Use of an effective biological septic system maintenance product can help keep your drain field clear of debris and biomat that can develop over time and clog up the system.
Regular Septic Treatments
Using effective and proven septic system treatment solutions regularly will reintroduce biological additives into your system that break down and digest waste efficiently so it doesn’t pile up and create problems. The right septic system treatment will reintroduce beneficial bacteria and enzymes engineered to break down solid waste and boost water absorption. A good biological septic treatment will effectively reduce solids and sludge, saving you from backups and clogs while ensuring a cleaner, more efficient system.
If you’re intentional about protecting the health of your septic system, and you’re willing to put in the effort to undertake the above preventative measures, you’ll avoid messy and expensive septic system clogs and backups.
HOTROD Septic Treatment: The Right Septic Treatment Solution for Year-Long Septic Health
For homeowners seeking that extra layer of protection for their septic systems mentioned above, we offer HOTROD Septic System Treatment Solutions. Our septic solutions feature a unique, patented formulation that, unlike most septic treatment solutions on the market, actually works. The 26 active biological strains in our formula use beneficial bacteria and enzymes to break down solid waste, grease, and oils to increase water absorption within the field, maintaining the health of your septic system and keeping it running like new!
Just as our digestive process breaks down food particles, HOTROD Septic Treatment employs proprietary technology to disintegrate large waste molecules into manageable-sized ones. This technology aids in drastically reducing solids and sludge, in turn minimizing the causes of septic tank backup and clogs.
We know that septic system issues are daunting, but understanding their root causes and employing effective solutions will ensure that your system remains efficient, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly. As a homeowner, prioritizing the health of your septic system is not just a matter of convenience but also an investment in the long-term value and sustainability of your home.