3 Main Causes of Septic Backups

If your home has a septic system, you know that it typically manages waste, much like a municipal waste system might. The downside to a septic system is that its maintenance is your responsibility, not the city’s. That means maintaining your septic regularly but fixing issues when/if they occur. One of the possible issues that you may encounter is a septic backup.

Septic backups are inconvenient, and they stink (literally) to handle. A septic backup occurs when wastewater cycles back through your plumbing system and begins regurgitating into your sinks, bathtubs, and showers. It can be incredibly gross but also dangerous. Bacteria, mold, and other viruses may be present in the wastewater. There can be many underlying causes relating to why your septic system has backed up. Today Lion Home Septic will explore 3 of the most common reasons.

Reason 1 – Chemical Exposure

We’ve discussed the use of chemicals in your septic system before. You can read the previous blog here. As a recap, harsh chemicals can have a serious impact on the health of your septic tank. Your septic tank has specific organic bacteria that form to break down the waste in your septic tank. This bacteria is specific to your septic and occurs naturally. When you add harsh chemicals to the mix, the natural balance is disrupted, and these bacteria die. With fewer bacteria left, waste takes much longer to break down. This can eventually lead to a backup in your system.

We highly recommend that you stop using all harsh chemicals in your home. This means nothing in the sink or the toilet when it’s clogged! Natural alternatives are much better not just for your septic but also for your health. We also suggest that you don’t add any chemicals directly to your tank. Adding chemicals advertised to “help your system” often just creates more damage.

Reason 2 – Using Your Drainfield Wrong

Although it may be easily forgotten, your drain field is an essential part of your septic system. Your drain field is the last place that wastewater travels to on its journey through your septic system. The wastewater will be distributed back into the ground once it reaches the drain field. Improper use of your drain field can lead to a backup. Below is a list of some ways your drain field should NOT be used.

  • As a parking area
  • To house livestock
  • To grow a garden or plant large-rooted plants
  • To house a pool or hot tub
  • As a place for a kids playground

All of the above misuses can affect the density of the soil and the pipes below. These things can cause septic backups.

Reason 3 – You Don’t Pump Your Tank

This reason is one that we cannot stress enough. You MUST get your septic tank pumped regularly! Lion Home Service experts recommend that you get it pumped every 2-3 years. However, you may have to do it more frequently if you have lots of guests or you know that it got a lot of use over a certain period of time. Once your septic tank becomes too full you can experience backups. You may start experiencing these backups during times of heavy use. But once it starts even the slightest “overuse” will cause a backup. Be proactive and get your septic tank pumped as is recommended above. If you’re unsure of the last time that you had your septic tank pumped then please call Lion Home Septic. Our experts would be happy to come out and do an assessment to let you know when you’re due for a pump-out.

We hope that this brief overview of septic backups was helpful. We know that having a better understanding of what can cause an issue helps you to resolve it! As always we want to remind everyone that we are available for your septic needs. Our team of experts are available to help you with any questions or concerns you may have. We also offer 24/7 emergency service should need it in case of a septic backup. Just call (970) 829-8222!

Also, visit Lion Home Septic to read our reviews or learn more about our service area!

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