When you use the plumbing fixtures inside your Fairfax, Virginia home, it’s easy to forget about the journey the wastewater takes once it enters your drainage system. However, if your home is equipped with a septic tank, it’s essential not to take it for granted.
Septic systems are prone to several issues, whose origin isn’t always immediately obvious. A prompt diagnosis and repair of the problem is essential to ensure it doesn’t get worse or cause issues that affect your ability to use your plumbing. If you’re experiencing septic tank problems, there are a few common concerns you should be aware of.
Problem 1: Tree Root Damage
Did you know the root systems of trees and shrubs can grow through the walls of your septic tank, or the pipes leading from your house to the tank? Roots are amazingly resilient and resourceful in their search for moisture and nutrients – both of which are abundant in your plumbing. However, when the roots infiltrate your plumbing, they can stop the flow of water and cause backups.
Problem 2: Flushing the Wrong Things
When you routinely flush things other than human waste and toilet paper, you are courting a plumbing disaster. Non-biodegradable products like diapers, tampons, Q-Tips and kitty litter will fill up space in the septic tank and will never break down over time, raising the liquid level in the tank higher. Even moist towelettes that are marketed as flushable don’t break down properly and will eventually cause problems with your septic tank.
Problem 3: Lack of Maintenance
If you’re experiencing problems like slow drains or backed-up toilets, one of the first questions to ask yourself is when was the last time you had your septic tank pumped out. Septic tanks are designed to collect solid waste gradually. Once the tank becomes full, you may begin to have problems with sewage backups in your home. How often you need to get your septic tank pumped depends on several factors, including how many people live in your house and how much wastewater you generate from activities like showering, doing the laundry or running your dishwasher.
Problem 4: Introducing Harsh Chemicals Into Your Plumbing
Many people incorrectly assume that they can use their septic system as a quick and convenient way to dispose of toxic materials like solvents, paint, pesticides, brake fluid and motor oil. However, putting any of these chemical products into the septic system won’t eliminate them; instead, you will be distributing them into the surrounding soil, polluting the earth and the groundwater. These substances are also harsh enough to kill the bacteria in your tank that work to break down the solid waste.
Problem 5: Damage From Digging
Digging without knowing the location of your sewer lines and septic tank can lead to messy and expensive repairs. If you’re doing a project that involves digging – like planting a tree or building a deck – call 811 before you start to have your septic lines and other underground utilities marked.
End Your Septic Tank Headache
If you live in Fairfax, Virginia, Baltimore or Washington, D.C., and you suspect your septic tank is causing plumbing problems on your property, don’t wait to call the Freedom Plumbers team for repairs. With 30 years of experience, there is no issue we can’t resolve.