The septic tank, an integral part of your septic system, can malfunction and interfere with the entire system's performance. Below are issues that might plague your septic tank.
Pressure from the surrounding ground can push the septic tank out of the ground. For example, pressure from underground water or earth movements can push out an empty septic tank. That risk means you should not pump your septic tank when the ground is flooded. That would lighten the tank and increase its risk of floating out of the ground.
Two problems arise if a septic tank floats out of the ground. First, the tank movement can damage the inlet and outlet connections. The damage can spill waste and pollute the environment. Secondly, the floating ruins the inlet and outlet pipe slopes, interfering with the waste flow.
Different issues can crack septic tanks. Examples include:
- Shifting sands
- Wear and tear
- Expansion and contraction due to freezing and thaw cycles
Some tank materials, such as concrete, are more prone to cracking than others. A cracked septic tank leaks untreated waste into the ground, creating a health hazard. Groundwater can also squeeze into the tank, filling it quickly, reducing its capacity, and lowering waste treatment efficiency.
Collapsed or Crushed Tank
Different parts of the tank can collapse if pressure overwhelms them. For example, the tank lid or walls can crush if you operate heavy machinery over the tank's location. The pressure can also crush the following:
- The baffles or dip pipe that divides the tank and guides wastewater flowing out of the tank
- The inlet and outlet pipe that channel waste into and out of the tank, respectively
- The risers that contractors use to service and pump the septic tank
The effects depend on the affected tank part. For example, a crushed riser means contractors cannot pump the tank without repairing the riser. Collapsed walls reduce the tank's internal volume and, with it, the waste capacity.
Waste takes time to decompose in the tank. Septic contractors size tanks to handle the expected waste from the house, depending on the household size and water usage habits, among other factors. However, you can easily overfill the tank if you force it to handle more waste than the contractor designed.
For example, you can overfill the tank if you frequently entertain guests, extend your home and increase your household size, or install additional water appliances. An overflowing tank will send untreated wastes, including solid waste, into the drainfield. The waste can also back up into your house.
For more information, contact a local company that offers septic system services.