CSS Drainage, North Wales now specialise in the installation, repair and emptying of septic tanks.
Septic Tank Potential Problems
Like any system, a septic system requires maintenance. Although septic systems generally require less maintenance than others, in contrast to communally connected sewage systems, the maintenance of a septic system is often the responsibility of the resident or property owner. For this reason they are sometimes perceived to require higher maintenance than other systems. Neglected systems can pose the following problems:
- Excessive dumping of cooking oils and grease can cause the inlet drains to block. Oils and grease are often difficult to degrade and can cause odour problems and difficulties with the periodic emptying.
- Flushing non-biodegradable items such as cigarette butts and hygiene products such as sanitary products and cotton buds will rapidly fill or clog a septic tank, so as in other systems, those materials should not be disposed of in that way.
- As with all drainage systems, the use of garbage disposals for disposal of waste food can cause a rapid overload of the system with solids and early failure.
- Certain chemicals may damage the components of a septic tank, especially pesticides, herbicides, materials with high concentrations of bleach or caustic soda or any other inorganic materials such as paints or solvents.
- Certain chemicals can kill the septic bacteria needed for the system to operate. Most notably, even very small quantities of silver nitrate will kill an entire culture.
- As with communal sewage systems, roots from trees and shrubbery growing above the tank or the drain field may clog and/or rupture them.
- The flushing of salted water into the septic system can lead to sodium binding in the drain field. The clay and fine silt particles bind together and effectively waterproof the leach field, rendering it ineffective.
- Like communal sewage systems, excessive water entering the system will overload it and cause it to fail. Checking for plumbing leaks and practising water conservation will help optimize the system's operation.
- Very high rainfall, rapid snowmelt, and flooding from rivers or the sea can all prevent a drain field from operating, and can cause flow to back up, interfering with the normal operation of the tank. High winter water tables can also result in groundwater flowing back into the septic tank.