Why It Seems Like Your Septic Tank Keeps Filling Up So Fast

Posted on: 5 December 2019

Few things can shut down your home's daily functions like a full septic tank. Generally, they need only be emptied once every few years, but if you find yourself with the same problems on a regular basis, there might be something else at play. Here's what could be going on in your home.

Liquids Can't Drain Quickly

If your drains are draining slowly or if you have standing water in your tubs, the problem may be somewhere closer than your septic tank. It's possible that you have a problem with a specific drain rather than your septic tank itself. If you are experiencing this problem and other symptoms, like bubbling toilet water when you shower, you may have a deep-line clog or even a septic line clog. These may affect only certain rooms that are all connected to a larger drain, or they may affect all drains in your house. A plumber can help locate this clog and clear it for you; if the problem is more than a simple drain clog, they will have to bring more specialized tools.

Septic line clogs don't just happen from the inside, however. As the one pipe responsible for carrying all waste away from your home, any issues can result in immediate and noticeable problems. If the pipe is old, it could be damaged or broken entirely. If it's near any large plants, it's also possible that roots could be growing into the pipe and blocking it from draining properly. If you suspect any damage may be the problem, contact a plumber immediately.

Tank Liquid Isn't Absorbing Into Soil

One of a septic system's most important components is the leach field or drain field. As heavy waste sinks to the bottom of the tank, lighter liquids stay on top and eventually work their way to the leach field, where they are then absorbed into the soil. This helps you avoid needing your tank pumped until it's full of mostly heavy waste, not just any liquid. If liquid can't drain, however, your tank will fill up much more quickly.

One common way this problem comes about is if it's been raining heavily in your area. This dampens the soil, meaning the liquid in the leach field can't be absorbed into the soil as easily. The good news is this means no damage to your septic system, but unfortunately, it means the solution comes down to waiting for better weather.

Alternatively, it could be that the leach field is either damaged or clogged with waste. This is a rarer problem and a more difficult one to fix. Signs of leach field problems are damp soil or sudden plant growth in a specific area, often accompanied by a foul odor. In these cases, having your tank pumped again would only temporarily alleviate the problem; contact a professional to have your leach field taken care of as quickly as possible.

Tank is Taking in Too Much Liquid

While a leach field is a great component that helps greatly reduce how often you'll need to have your tank pumped, there are habits that can reduce its effectiveness. Only so much water can be absorbed at once, so it's possible your tank is simply being flooded with too much water at once. Here are some things to look out for.

  • Make sure you don't have any downspouts draining into your tank; anything that catches rainwater should be diverted safely away from your tank and leach field.
  • Spread out household chores that require using lots of water, such as running the dishwasher, running loads of laundry, and taking multiple showers. Everything adds up quickly.
  • Check for any leaky fixtures, appliances, or toilets. A steady supply of water into the tank, even if minimal, may sometimes be more than the leach field can handle.

Checking your water bill can help you keep an eye out for heavy and unexpected water use, but staying diligent about how much water you put down your drains and how much goes down at once can go a long way toward keeping your whole septic system running efficiently.

To learn more about septic pumping services, contact a plumber who offers septic services in your area.