Very Important Tips and Advice About Plumbing

What Might Be Causing a Property's Septic System to Fail

A high-quality septic system that is well-maintained by a homeowner should last for many years, if not even decades, before it needs major repair work or outright replacement. However, once you notice leaks from the septic tank or odours inside the home that are coming from the septic system, it's time to call a repairperson. Note a few issues that often cause a septic system to fail, so you can avoid these as much as possible, and also know what types of repairs might be needed to your septic system and even to the lawn around the tank and pipes.

Driving on the drain field

The drain field is where wastewater and other liquids emerge from the tank. If you should repeatedly drive over or park on this drain field, this can cause the soil to become very compact, so that liquids cannot drain from the tank as they should. In turn, the pipes and tank become clogged and may then overflow. Once the drain field is repaired, you'll need to avoid this area and ensure you don't use it for parking, so that the septic system doesn't become damaged again by this misuse.


Roots around the septic tank and pipes can cause quite a bit of damage, as very strong roots from larger trees especially can put extreme pressure on these parts of the septic system, causing cracks and leaks. The roots can also then grow through those cracks or other openings in the system, blocking the flow of liquid and solid matter to the septic tank and to the drain field. Once the damage to the septic system has been repaired, a contractor might need to cut away those roots, and may even suggest you remove certain trees and landscaping on your property, to protect the septic system from repeated damage. 

Items in the septic system

It's never good to think of your home's septic system as a catchall for anything and everything you want to toss out, as certain solid materials can clog septic pipes and may not break down in the tank itself. Note, too, that chemicals and even items like prescription medications and water softeners can damage the pipes and the inside of the septic tank. Avoid putting any type of refuse into the sinks or toilets or down the bathtub drain, but use a rubbish bin instead, and this will protect the septic system from future damage and corrosion.