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Question DetailsAsked on 6/20/2017

I've had my septic tank pumped twice in two months. What's the problem?

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2 Answers


Thank you for reaching out. I am sorry to hear of your septic tank issues. Issues like heavy rain can your septic tank to be unable to drain properly. Tree roots in the drain lines could also cause problems. Without having a professional visit your home to diagnose the issue, it would be hard to tell. By searching the list for the "Septic Tank" category, you can find provider in your area that specialize in septic issues. We would also encourage getting 3 esitmates on any major repair.

Answered 3 years ago by Member Services


WHY did you have it pumped twice - backing up in the pipes, overflowing, or what ?

Here are a couple of previous questions with answers on septic issues - more can be found in the Home > Septic link under Browse Projects, at lower left.

I am assuming this is a septic tank with leach field, not just a septic tank only. If no leach field, then the tank is simply a sewage holding tank and has to be pumped every time it nears full - comonly only used for rarely used vacation homes, and homes near watersheds or beaches where leach fields are not allowed for public health reasons. In those cases, usually 1000-5000 gallon tank, because a normal person generates 25-50 gallons of sewage water a day - so a normal 500 gallon range tank would only last a few days to maybe a couple of weeks for a household depending on how many people there are and their water usage habits.

Now - assuming you have a leach field coming off the tank, and the septic tank (which is normally "full" of liquid to the outlet pipe level in normal operation) is causing backup into the house or overflowing, then it could be as the Member Services rep said - excessive rainfall or watering causing oversaturation of the leach field (if it not draining into the ground as it should), tree root blockage, or the field is just getting old and needs to be jetted out to open up drainage, or be rebuilt/replaced. Or it might have been allowed to overfill and solids and floating grease made it into the manifold or leach pipes, plugging them. This can also happen if the leach field is allowed to go dry for an extended period and it forms a very stiff coating on the leach field pipe openings that blocks water from draining out - normally only happens in dry areas where an unused field can actually go dry between rains.

Some manifolds/tanks also have one-way valvesin them (not a great idea - they tend to stick) - and if it sticks shut can prevent most of the watewr from making it into the leach field.

One other reason - if you have a lift pump at the tank because the leach field is higher in elevation than the tank outlet and it fails, then it does not pump the water to the field and the tank overfills.

Septic Tank would be the Search the List category for this type of work - and you need a firm that diagnosis and fixes septic system problems, not just a pumping firm. Will probably have to be pumped (tank and manifold) again to provide access, then be inspected (with hosing down or pressure washing and hosing down as he progresses through the system - at least visually, and may times with a sewer camera as well, to see where the issue is.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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