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A properly functioning septic tank is a remarkable thing! Waste and water is carried from your home by gravity through lines leading to a septic tank, where bacteria naturally breaks down the solid materials and the liquid is fed to a “disposal field”, an underground area of your property where it is then absorbed into the ground. Normally this process runs smoothly and you don’t even think about it. Occasionally this process is disturbed and then you do have to think about it, and it could be quite unpleasant. Here we discuss three different issues that are common with septic tanks. Some problems can be avoided with prevention, and for those that septic system service, you simply call AAA City Plumbing. They have the expertise to get your septic system back to work and running properly.

Can A Septic System Back Up?

Short answer-yes, it sure can! There are a few different warning signs and a few different causes. And luckily, some prevention that can go a long way! Some warning signs that your septic system may be backed up are :

  • Frequently clogged drains-you are probably familiar with these. Water doesn’t flow easily. Caused by different things like too much solid material in a pipe, and obstruction such as a tree root, or a dip or bend in a pipe.
  • Sewage backup-if you have fouls smelling dark liquid coming up the drains into toilets, bathtubs and sinks, you have a serious septic tank issue
  • Standing water near the septic tank or foul smell on your property-both signs that the septic system isn’t working and could be backed up.

There are many different issues that can be causing these symptoms. Common issues may include the following:

  • Tree roots can damage septic tanks and lines. Roots are strong and can grow through connections, and as they grow, water flow is cut off, causing a back up. Prevention tip: keep all trees and shrubbery far away from all septic system components.
  • Garbage disposals. These are just not a good idea for homes with septic tanks. Often the disposed of waste isn’t broken down enough for the septic system and remain big enough to clog lines. Also the waste matter can be too big for bacteria to break down efficiently, causing the tank to fill too quickly also causing back ups. Avoid garbage disposal systems with septic systems.
  • Use of chemicals. Using harsh household chemicals can hurt the bacteria in your septic system that are needed to break down solid waste. Avoid using too many antibacterial detergents and never pour liquids like antifreeze, herbicides and pesticides, and other household chemicals.
  • Heavy machinery. Try to avoid automobiles, heavy machinery, and other heavy objects running over or resting on septic tanks lines.
  • Non septic safe solids. Avoid flushing anything down the toilet that is not safe for the septic system. This includes feminine hygiene products, wipes, facial tissues and even toilet paper not labeled “septic safe”.

As you can see, many septic system problems can be prevented. If you have any of these issue with a back up and your septic system needs service, the professionals at AAA City Plumbing can get it repaired and working again.

Can Your Septic System Freeze?

Septic systems can definitely freeze. There are things you can do to prevent this from happening, however. If there is snowfall, try not to compact it over the system or the drain-field. Compacted snow does not insulate as well as non-compacted snow. Mulching over the system and drain-field can also help to insulate the system. Utilizing the system regularly will keep flow through the pipes and prevent freezing. So if you tend to over winter away from your home, try to keep plenty of mulch over your system while you are gone. Try to keep the drain-field as dry as possible. It may be hard if there is thawing and then refreezing of snow and ice, and that is again where mulching can help. Having your septic system serviced before winter is a good idea. Have it cleaned and pumped before cold temperatures set in. A over full septic tank can can cause back ups which can really wreak havoc when they freeze. If you do have pipes freeze and leak in the winter, or any freeze-related damage to your septic system and need service, AAA City Plumbing can take care of it for you, even in the dead of winter.

Can A Septic System Be Repaired?

Yes! Most problems in a septic system can be repaired by trained professionals. If the repair costs are too high, a septic system can be replaced as well. Sometimes parts are too worn out or too old to be repair and simply need to be replaced. The most common repairs are broken pipes, broken hydraulic pumps, and replacing of bacteria for the tank. As has been discussed, many of these repairs can be avoided through thorough maintenance and prevention. Regular emptying and cleaning of the septic tank is invaluable to keeping the drain-field operating properly, as well as septic system service whenever it is required can keep your system running well. If you ever do need maintenance on your septic system or are in need of repairs, AAA City Plumbing has the equipment and professional technicians to get your septic system right back to optimal performance.


For more answers to your septic system service questions, be sure to read part 2, part 3, and part 4 of our 4 part series.

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