What Causes Septic Tank Backup?

Thursday, July 1, 2021
Foul and unsightly, septic tank backup is never a welcomed guest. It’s vital to understand what causes your septic tank to backup so you’ll know what to do to help prevent it from happening. If left ignored, you run the risk of breaking your septic system. Avoid a costly emergency repair by practicing proper septic system care.

Common Causes of Septic Tank Backup

There are many reasons that could behind septic tank backup. Some causes are easier to identify than others which is why a septic inspection is smart if you’re unable to find the culprit. Let’s take a look at five possibilities for why your septic tank is backing up.

Overfull Tank

If it’s been a while since your last septic tank pumping, then the backup might be caused by an overfull tank. Honey Wagon generally suggests pumping every 3-4 years for a family of 4, but less frequent pumping (every 4-5 years) may be needed if only 1-2 people live in the house. Check out other factors that affect how often you should get your septic tank pumped in our FAQs.

Clogged Lines

A clogged line could be the reason why there’s backup, which is actually a plumbing issue rather than a septic problem. There are different things that can cause a clog such as hardened grease, food debris, and non-flushable items.

Compressed Soil

The drainfield is an important component of a septic system because it removes contaminants and impurities from wastewater. When the drainfield’s soil is compressed, it’s less able to filter. This leads to more wastewater in the tank, which increases the likelihood of backup. Make sure not to park or leave heavy machinery on the drainfield so the soil isn’t compacted.

Harsh Chemicals

Your septic tank needs beneficial bacteria to break down solids, which is why you shouldn’t use harsh cleaning chemicals because they’ll kill these helpful little guys. If there aren’t enough bacteria to break down waste, then your tank will get full more quickly and possibly cause backup.

Water Overloading

There’s only so much wastewater your septic tank can handle at a given time. Give your tank breaks between laundry loads, showers, and flushing to prevent septic tank overload. You should also consider installing energy-efficient appliances to reduce water consumption.

Prevent Backup with Proper Septic Maintenance

When you have a septic system, it’s crucial that everyone in your home is mindful to prevent backup and other issues. Regular pumping is essential, but there are other important considerations like what goes down your drains, how you treat your drainfield, which cleaning products you use, and how much wastewater goes into the tank. Proper septic maintenance goes a long way in avoiding unsightly backup!
Honey-Wagon provides septic tank pumping and cleaning services to make maintenance easier. Established in 1986, we’re a family-owned septic company in the Kansas City area that serves Miami, Wyandotte, and Johnson counties in Kansas, and Jackson and Cass counties in Missouri.
Contact us today at (913) 681-3563 or (816) 525-5100 to request a septic service estimate!
Staff 7/1/2021