A septic tank is an underwater sedimentation tank made of brick, concrete, PVC, or fiberglass through which domestic wastewater flows for primary treatment. The septic tank absorbs organic matter and separates floatable substances such as oil and grease from the wastewater. It is then dispensed into perforated pipes and slowly absorbed into a treatment plant or absorbed into the soil. It would be best if you cleaned your septic tank regularly to prevent antibacterial substances and toxins from building up and killing the bacteria that separates waste resulting in system failure. There are different septic tanks based on the material used to construct them. For instance, we have a concrete septic tank, steel septic tank, plastic septic tank, aerobic septic tank. The choice of which to install depends on your preference. Often these tanks develop problems that require maintenance to resolve.

Septic tank problems and their solutions 

Septic tanks are susceptible to several problems, including:

1.   Damage from tree roots

If your septic tank is located near trees and develops a leak, the roots will grow through the cracks into the tank and eventually clog or damage the septic system. Cutting the roots away will not solve the problem permanently since they often develop back. Hence you should call a septic tank repair professional who will use appropriate root-eliminating chemicals and repair the tank's leak o ensure the problem doesn't recur. You can avoid this problem by planting trees away from the septic tank to prevent the roots from growing into your septic tank and damaging it.

2.   The  accumulation of non-biodegradable material in the system

Non-biodegradable items such as tampons, dental floss, and nylon paper bags are a risk to your septic tank since they do not decompose. When such materials continuously get into the septic tank, they cause clogging; the water in the tank fills up quickly since the decomposing process is slow. To prevent the problem, avoid flushing non-biodegradable materials items into your tank. If you accidentally do so, plan for immediate pumping and cleaning of the septic tank. 

3.   Inadequate maintenance

Improper care is one of the major causes of septic system failure, especially when clogged substances are not pumped out. Septic tanks should be emptied and pumped every 3-5 years to prevent solid particles from building up and blocking the inlet pipe, which carries waste from the house. You can notice this problem when your system starts to drain the water slowly or a strong odor emanates from the drainage. The best remedy is calling a professional to pump the empty septic tank.  


Septic tanks require regular maintenance for proper functioning since they are subject to many problems such as leaks and clogging. It is risky to check and repair the septic tank yourself since you may not have the skills and proper proactive gear like gloves and gas masks. Therefore, to ensure your septic tank functions optimally, contact a septic tank repair plumber for regular checks and maintenance whenever you suspect a problem.

Septic tank maintenance should be looked after by a specialist to avoid costly mistakes.