Septic Tank Leaking
We often consider concerning septic systems, despite the fact that they perform an incredibly essential service. Once these leak, though, all we can concentrate about is the leak.
The water usage is limited inside our homes, while the septic tank is leaking into the lawn, putting the environment as well as community’s health at risk. Simply put, if a plumbing emergency happens, we want to be ready to handle it calmly, efficiently, and with knowledge.
An inability to correctly keep the system, the inclusion of cleaning chemicals in the wastewater, environmental factors, including design defects can all contribute to an overflowing septic tank.
1. Insufficient Maintenance of Septic Tank Leaking
Non-biodegradable elements, as well as some solid debris, sink to the bottom of the tank when wastewater passes through it. The muck level grows over time. To avoid an overflow, it is suggested that septic tanks be drained every three to five years. Of course, the frequency with which the tank is pumped is determined by the tank’s size as well as the amount of wastewater it holds.
For example, a 1,000-gallon tank in a four-person home should be pumped every two and a half years. In contrast, a four-person family with a 1,500-gallon tank will only need to pump it out every four years or so.
2. Cleaning Products Are Killing the Useful Bacteria
As previously stated, microorganisms in a septic tank aid in the breakdown of wastewater before it reaches the drainage field. Solids will not break down if the bacteria levels in the tank are insufficient, and they will begin to build at a higher pace than typical. This might cause the tank to overflow or choke drainage pipes or trenches.
Bacteria levels may decrease as a result of cleaning chemicals in the effluent. Any cleaning chemicals that are harmful to humans can also destroy the microorganisms needed to keep a septic system running. As a result, it’s critical that cleaning chemicals like bleach, toilet cleansers, and disinfectants don’t end up in the waste system.
3. Damaged Pipes Between Tank and Drainage Field
When wastewater from a septic tank is broken down, it flows via multiple pipelines and into a drainage field. An overflow can also occur if the pipes in this region are broken.
Tree roots can sometimes grow through pipes, causing the pipe walls to collapse and preventing effective drainage. Clogged pipes can also cause overflow.
4. Poorly Designed System
A system that has been built incorrectly might occasionally cause overflow. In order for wastewater to drain correctly, drainage pipelines generally require a 1 to 2 percent slope. The wastewater will not flow as needed if the slope of the pipes is too shallow, and the pipe will need to be rebuilt.
Septic Tank Leak Repair Cost
However, there have been no obvious indicators of a leaky septic tank, and most homeowners would not know indeed there is leaking until it is opened and emptied out. This could be done as part of regular maintenance or as part of a real-estate examination.
The cost of replacing a septic system is determined on the system type. The typical ranges are as follows:
- Drain fields that are gravity fed range in price from $5,000 to $10,000, with a median of $7,500.
- Mounds range in price from $10,000 to $50,000, with a typical price of $30,000.
Where Do Septic Tank Leaks Occur?
Septic tanks can leak in a variety of places, but these are five of the most prevalent.
Concrete has been placed around a waste line that enters the septic tank in our shot. In the same way that the concrete pooled in this spot, the sewage line trench would gather and direct a considerable amount of water into the septic tank in wet weather.
If indeed the pipe is just not secured in that position, it may leak at the sewer line joining the septic tank or the effluent line exiting the septic tank; most earlier septic tanks did not offer sealant until a residence solution was utilized.
Many installers pour concrete all around waste pipe reaching the tank, which may work in some cases but complicates future repairs.
A rubber gasket should be included in modern septic tanks to aid in the sealing of the tank’s entrance and exit holes. The gasket may well not seal correctly if the waste lines entering and exiting the septic tank are at a severe angle to the tank.
Damaged sewage pipe, including effluent plumbing, might allow ground water or surface runoff to enter the septic tank or drain field. Surface water may enter the septic tank through a septic tank cover or cleanout port, especially if it is below ground.
Depending on the weather, rust corrosion to a steel septic tank might allow effluent to flow out and water to leak in. Cracks in a concrete septic tank can also allow effluent or water to leak out, however we haven’t seen this as frequently as with rusted steel septic’s.
Septic tanks made of fiberglass or plastic that have been damaged can also leak at a seam or point of damage, however we haven’t heard of this happening.
Roof runoff and surface drainage should be directed away from the septic tank as well as the drain field to decrease the risks of water seeping into the tank.
Septic Tank Leak Test – Water-Tightness Test Standards
The requirements and techniques for septic tank weathertightness testing are outlined here.
While these septic tank leak test techniques are primarily concerned with the tank’s ability to prevent sewage or wastewater leaks, they also address the danger of groundwater or surface runoff seeping into the tank. Keep in mind that these tests don’t cover everything.
- Water seeping into a septic tank through inlet and exit pipe connections that aren’t well-sealed
- Water pouring into a septic tank through access covers and lids.
- Drain-back is when wastewater from a faulty drain field flows backwards into the septic tank.
Causes, Effects, & Repair of Leaks Out of or into the Septic Tank
1. Do Not Pump Water Out
You should not pump water from your tank onto your yard. This is a serious health danger since it may be walked through by children and dogs, and it could end up in a stream. This, in turn, might result in waterborne illness, which is potentially fatal and spreads quickly from person to person.
2. Determine the Exact Location of Your System
Water will enter a flooded tank through any opening, including the inlet and outlet pipes, the manhole cover, and the tank cover. The tank may then be filled with groundwater, which may contain soil and silt. If this happens, any floating waste inside the tank, such as scum, will rise to the surface and clog the inlet and outlet pipes.
Water from the drain field may also make its way into the tank. You should determine the exact location of your tank and drain field on your property. If you’re unsure, contact your local health district office.
They may have files containing information about your septic system’s installation. Determine the depth of your drain field as well as the depth of your tank’s top. By putting a pointed metal rod into the ground at the top of the tank, you can determine the depth.
The majority of tanks are only two to three feet below the surface.
3. Inspect for Damage
Look for any signs of damage near the septic tank and drain field. Things like soil holes and settling are common indicators. Hire a licensed specialist to come out and inspect your system if you notice any signs of damage. When the earth is wet, it’s best to avoid using heavy gear near the drain field or tank.
4. Measure the Depth of the Groundwater
The depth of the groundwater from around tank as well as drain field should be measured. One can use a soil probe or drill a trench with an auger to do this.
This should be done within 10 feet of your tank and 20 feet of the drain field. Utilize your tank as a storage tank if you decide that now the head of the tank is at minimum 3 feet just above water table however the drain field is wet or inundated.
In this scenario, the tank should be pumped, but at least half of the capacity should remain in the tank. If you remove any more, the septic tank may float upward due to the water around it, causing damage to the connected pipes.
Water from the drain field and the house may enter the tank while it is being pumped. The technician performing the pumping should inspect the output pipe for obstructions.
5. If You Have a Mound System, Turn off the Power
A lift station is commonly seen in above-ground septic tanks with a mound for infiltrating wastewater. If your electrical control box is submerged in water, ensure sure the power is switched off before touching it.
Then, open the lid and let it to dry. Before turning on the control box, however, have a qualified electrician inspect the components to ensure they are safe to handle. If your pumping chamber and septic tank are not connected, have them pumped out at the same time.
6. Reduce Water Use
It is beneficial for the home to minimize their water consumption once the septic system can indeed be utilised again. Ensure there are no leaky sinks or showers, because no toilets are leaking.
Even though a faucet leaks one drop each 15 seconds, this may contribute to a significant amount of water in the septic tank throughout period. If any of your fittings are leaking, have them fixed as quickly as possible.
The water through your sump pump in the basement must not be pumped into the septic tank. Furthermore, be certain that it will not leak near the drain field. Roof gutters should indeed be diverted from the drain field as well.
7. If You Continue to Experience Problems, Hire a Licensed Professional
The septic tank or drain fields might be destroyed if you’re experiencing plumbing problems after the water table has went back to normal levels. Setting as well as shifting may happen whenever the groundwater level is high, which can damage the septic tank and also the drain field’s distribution network.
As a consequence, the inlets and outputs of the septic tank may become clogged. Consult a septic system contractor or a licensed septic tank pumper if some of these events occur.