Septic Tank Problems

15 Jan. 21

5 Septic Tank Problems You Should Be on the Lookout For

Septic tanks may not get the most positive reaction when mentioned, but they are extremely useful devices, especially in rural areas that don’t have extensive sewage connections. These are typically found in the ground and are made of concrete, plastic, or fibreglass, processing domestic wastewater for basic treatment as a basic on-site sewage facility.

Like any plumbing fixture, septic tanks are also susceptible to issues. However, given the nature of a septic tank’s function, any faulty parts that could cause overflowing are a homeowner’s worst nightmare! Learning about some of the basic problems that such a fixture can undergo will help you know when to call for emergency plumbing services near you.

Keep an Eye Out for Warning Signs

It’s better to prevent a problem from occurring than it is to fix it when it’s already gotten much worse. Keeping a lookout for warning signs in your septic tank will help you address it swiftly and properly.

If any of the following signs are present, you may want to consult with your local plumber:

  • Standing water or damp spots near the septic tank area;
  • Any gurgling sounds coming from your plumbing system;
  • Slow water and sewage drainage than usual that backs up into the property;
  • Unpleasant odours around the septic tank and drain field; and
  • Growth of lush, bright green grass around the septic tank.

These signs should alert you to potential problems with your septic tank, which could be due to any of the following:

– Inconsistent Maintenance

This is the usual problem, and it’s quite easy to avoid, especially since it’s absolutely necessary to regularly get your tank emptied. Depending on the tank you have, this could happen as often as four to five times a year, while once or twice will suffice for others.

Make sure you set an appointment with a trusted plumbing company to avoid missing the basic essential preventive maintenance procedures.

– Ground Disturbances

While septic tanks are quite sturdy, even a small nudge could have a great effect like fractures or cracks in its walls.

– Wandering Tree Roots

Out of all the causes, this may be the most difficult to control because you don’t know which way plants’ roots will grow.

Positioning your septic tank in a location away from large trees or plants with thick roots will prevent them from growing right through the tank’s walls. These protrusions can cause leaks in the tank and prevent it from working properly, creating an awful mess in the surrounding area when it bursts.

– Baffle and Dip Pipes Damages

The baffle is the barrier in a septic tank that prevents any solids from entering the soak-away system. Should the baffle collapse, all of those lumpy bits could cause blockages that make your wastewater back up into your house. Dip pipes work hand in hand with the baffle to ensure that the right type of water flows into the soak-away system. Issues with this will also lead to backups in your pipes.

– Vehicular Damage

Though septic tanks are placed safely underground, some can be affected by heavy vehicles, like tractors. This is especially true in the countryside!

Other cars may end up parking right on top of it as well, depending on where it’s located on the premises. This added weight can put pressure on your septic tank and potentially damage it. Too-heavy vehicles might even cause it to collapse, which could lead to disastrous results.


The septic tank is a valuable plumbing fixture that needs to be maintained properly in order to avoid damage. Issues with septic tanks that grow into much bigger problems can lead to messy consequences, so it’s best to get it routinely checked. By knowing the common issues that these plumbing systems are prone to, you can be ready to call the nearest plumber in your area before it’s too late.

At 24 Hour Plumbing & Heating, our team specializes in everything to do with plumbing and HVAC systems. We can handle all types of plumbing emergencies in Calgary! Some of our services include drain cleaning, septic tank repairs and fixes, heating and air conditioning, and more. Book an appointment with us today!