Have you ever noticed that your septic tank is filling up with water? It can be unsettling but can be solved by knowing what you can do to prevent and fix the problem.
A septic tank can easily be filled with water if there are blockages in the plumbing system caused by non-biodegradables such as baby wipes and toiletries. Also, overloading the septic tank with rainwater, leaky faucets, and toilets can cause flooding. A non-functioning drainfield area will not absorb drainage water and cause backups.
In this article, we’ll explore the warning signs of a full septic tank and provide tips for what to do if your tank keeps filling up with water.
Understanding the Septic System
A septic system uses a tank, drain field, and pipes to store, filter, and disperse wastewater. The tank is typically made of concrete or plastic and buried near the home; its size depends on the size of the home.
Wastewater flows into the tank, where bacteria and enzymes break it down.
From there, it’s distributed out through the drainfield before being absorbed into the ground. It’s important to inspect all components regularly in order to prevent clogs or damage from occurring.
A brief explanation of how a septic system works
A buried concrete or plastic chamber with a normal liquid level and high water level works in tandem with pipes and a drainfield to process waste while preventing clogs or damage.
The septic tank is the system’s main component containing bacteria and enzymes that break down organic waste before it is released into the drainfield.
Pipes connect from the home to the tank, allowing liquid to flow into it. From there, any remaining solids sink to the bottom while liquids pass through an outlet pipe and flow into a leach field or drain field where they are absorbed in soil.
The water level in the tank must remain at a certain point so that wastewater can be properly processed without overflowing or backing up into your pipes.
What Can Cause Your Septic Tank to Overfill
Excessive water usage, drainfield issues, blockages in the plumbing system, not pumping out the tank regularly, heavy periods of rain, and leaks in the plumbing system are all potential causes.
To ensure your septic tank doesn’t overfill, consider monitoring your water usage and having it pumped out regularly.
Additionally, you should check for any leaks in your plumbing system and maintain your drainfield properly during periods of heavy rainfall.
1. Excessive Water Usage
Excessive water usage is one of the most common causes of septic tank overfill. Too much liquid in the tank can cause solids to enter the outlet pipe and create a blockage.
This blockage can lead to backups in your system and overflowing tanks.
Septic systems are designed to handle only a certain amount of water per day, so it’s important to be mindful of how much you use and try not to exceed that limit.
2. Drainfield Issues
Avoiding damage to your drainfield is key to keeping your septic system running smoothly.
A properly functioning drainfield allows liquids to slowly spread out and be absorbed into the soil, preventing water from filling up your septic tank.
To avoid drainage issues, don’t put anything but human waste, liquid waste, and coffee grounds down drains and toilets. Also, make sure you check for leaky faucets and repair any damages quickly.
3. Blockages in the Plumbing System
Clogs in the plumbing system can cause a great deal of disruption, and it’s important to take proactive steps to prevent them. Here are some key things you should consider:
- Monitor water usage and limit water going down drains while waiting for maintenance.
- Avoid flushing baby wipes or other non-organic waste down the drain.
Make sure there’s plenty of clean water being used for activities like laundry, dishes, etc., so that the tank doesn’t fill up too quickly.
4. Not pumping our the tank regularly
Regularly pumping out your septic system is essential to prevent it from overflowing and causing bigger problems.
Without regular maintenance, solids can build up in the tank and eventually overflow into surrounding ground or surface water.
This can cause serious environmental issues as well as costly sewage backups in homes and businesses.
Additionally, not properly disposing of paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and other materials that don’t break down easily can lead to clogged pipes or blocked drains which can add to the problem.
|Disposable Items||Impact on Septic System|
|Paper Towels||Clog Pipes/Drains|
|Feminine Hygiene Products||Block Drains|
|Ground Water||Contaminate Soil|
|Surface Water||Pollute Streams|
|Sewage Backups||Costly Repairs|
5. Heavy periods of Rain
Heavy rain can quickly overwhelm a septic system, leading to costly repairs and environmental damage.
During heavy periods of rain, large amounts of water can enter the septic tank, either through roof drains or from the surrounding area.
This extra water can cause the tank to fill up sooner than it would during dryer months.
Here are four things to keep in mind when dealing with extra water during a heavy rain period:
- Ensure that all roof drains are directed away from your septic system.
- Avoid driving over your drain field before a heavy rainstorm as this can compact and reduce its effectiveness for absorbing excess water.
- Direct excess water away from your septic system by adding gutters or other drainage solutions if necessary.
- Plant grass or small plants near your drain field to help absorb some of the additional rainfall.
6. Leaks in The plumbing system
Leaky pipes, running toilets and faucets can cause costly damage to your plumbing system, so make sure to keep an eye out for any signs of a leak. If you suspect a leak, take action as soon as possible.
A leaking pipe or fixture can cause water to fill up your septic tank faster than usual.
To check for leaks, look for wet spots on the walls or floors near fixtures, listen for dripping sounds coming from the walls, or look for pools of water on the ground around your home.
6 Ways to Keep Septic Tank From Filling Up
To keep your septic tank from filling up, it’s important to not flush non-biodegradable products, dispose of waste properly, and use septic-safe products.
Additionally, you should pump your tank regularly and avoid overloading the system by not planting trees too close to it.
Scheduling regular pumping is also key in preventing an overfilled septic tank.
1. Don’t Flush Non-biodegradable Products:
Flushing non-biodegradable products down your drains can cause major problems in your septic system, so it’s important to be mindful of what you put down the drain.
Anything that isn’t biodegradable will not break down naturally and can clog up the components of a septic tank, leading to frequent backups or overflows.
Non-organic items like diapers, paper towels, cigarette butts, tampons, and sanitary napkins should never be flushed as they can block the pipes or damage the drainage field.
Even substances labeled as flushable can still be problematic if used excessively or in large amounts.
2. Schedule Regular Pumping:
Failing to pump your septic tank on a regular basis can cause costly and frustrating issues, so it’s important to stay ahead of any potential problems by scheduling regular maintenance.
Professional septic technicians can provide guidance on the size of your tank and how often you should have it pumped.
- Every 3-5 years or as recommended
- After heavy rainfall events
- If signs of full tank appear
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
You must be careful with what you put down your drains, as improper disposal of waste can cause your septic system to malfunction.
Septic tanks need a balanced environment in order for the bacteria and enzymes to break down organic material. Flushing too much non-organic waste or large amounts of water can upset this balance and lead to clogs in the drain field, resulting in water backing up into the tank.
4. Use Septic-Safe Products
To maintain your septic system’s efficacy, it’s important to use products that are specifically designed to be safe for septic systems.
This means avoiding harsh chemical cleaners and other materials that can upset the balance inside the tank. Instead, opt for specially-formulated septic-safe cleaning products that won’t damage the bacterial cultures or disrupt the natural digestion process of the septic system.
In addition, you should avoid any type of non-organic waste from entering your drain field such as paint, motor oil, gasoline, and antifreeze. These contaminants will disrupt the healthy bacteria and cause problems with your septic system.
5. Don’t Overload Your System
Avoiding overloading your septic system is essential for its long-term health, so don’t wait until it’s too late to address any issues that arise.
Too much water or non-organic waste in the septic tank can cause major problems and lead to costly repairs.
Make sure to be mindful of the contents you put down your drains, as harsh chemical drain cleaners can upset the balance inside the tank and tree roots can damage drain fields.
Limit your use of water and only flush organic waste down the toilet, keep rain gutters clean, and direct excess water away from your septic system.
Also, consider limiting activities on or around your drain field before heavy rainstorms to maximize its effectiveness.
6. Plant Trees Away from Your Tank
Stay on top of your septic system’s health by planting trees away from the tank – it’ll help prevent any costly repairs down the line. Planting trees too close to a septic tank can create serious problems for homeowners.
Tree roots tend to grow towards sources of water, including septic tanks and drain fields, which can cause cracks or other damage. Additionally, tree roots can clog and break pipes in the system, leading to backups and flooding that can be very expensive to repair.
Here are a few tips for keeping your septic system safe:
- make sure there’s a minimum 10-foot distance between trees and your septic tank;
- monitor tree growth near the tank regularly;
- install root barriers around drain lines if necessary;
- remove dead trees near the tank as soon as possible;
- have your septic system inspected and serviced regularly.
How Do I Know If My Septic Tank is Full?
If you’re noticing slow draining or foul odors, or if water is pooling on top of your yard and sewage is backing up, it’s possible that your septic tank is full. It’s important to keep an eye out for these signs, as a full septic tank can cause major damage if not addressed quickly.
If you suspect your septic tank is full, it’s best to contact an experienced professional immediately. They can inspect the system and provide guidance on what steps need to be taken.
4 Ways to Know If a Septic Tank is Full
1. Slow Draining
If your drains are draining slower than usual, it could be a sign that something’s not quite right with your plumbing.
It’s important to pay attention to the speed of the water running through your pipes, as slow drainage can indicate a blockage or an issue with something else in the system.
2. Foul Odors Emerging
Foul odors from your drains could indicate that your septic tank is full and needs to be emptied out soon.
This situation can also occur if too much water or non-organic waste has been added to the septic tank, or if harsh chemical drain cleaners have been used.
If you’re noticing foul smells emerging from your drains, it’s important to get your septic system inspected and pumped every three to five years as recommended by a technician.
3. Water Pooling on Top of Your Yard
You may have noticed water pooling on top of your yard, which is a sign that your septic system isn’t functioning properly and needs attention right away.
This could be due to the septic tank being full and in need of pumping, or it could be from other causes such as heavy rainfall, leaky pipes/faucets, tree roots damaging the drain field, or using too much water.
If you see standing water in your yard near the septic tank or drain field, it’s time to call a professional for help.
4. Sewage Backing Up
Sewage backup and solid waste is an alarming sign that your septic system isn’t working right
Here are some things to know when dealing with sewage backup:
- Check for clogs in pipes or drains.
- Make sure drain fields aren’t receiving too much water from rain or other sources.
- Contact a professional if there’s a problem with the tank itself.
How Do I Get Rid of Water in My Septic Tank?
If water is filling up in your septic tank, the best thing you can do is contact a professional for help.
Septic technicians can guide water levels and tank size, inspect your system, and offer advice on addressing the problem.
Removing water from septic tanks requires special equipment unavailable to the average homeowner.
Regular septic system maintenance can prevent these issues from occurring in the future.
Make sure to get your tank pumped every 3-5 years.
Taking proper care of your septic system will save you money in the long run!
Septic Tank Keeps Filling With Groundwater
If your septic tank is constantly filling with water, it may be due to a high water table in the area.
To understand what this means, you need to know that a high water table is when the groundwater level is close to or above ground level.
This can cause problems for your septic system because the excess water has nowhere to go other than into your tank.
It’s important to understand how a high water table affects your septic tank and how you can manage the situation if it arises.
Understanding High Water Table
You may be experiencing a high water table, which can cause your septic system to act up.
A high water table is an elevation of groundwater close to the surface that occurs naturally due to various factors such as stormwater runoff, nearby bodies of water, and soil type.
If the water table is too close to your septic tank or drain field, it can raise the level of your tank and cause flooding in your yard.
This can also lead to clogs in the pipes as well as damage to the entire septic system. It’s important to understand how a high water table affects your septic system so that you can address any issues before they become severe.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I have my septic tank pumped?
It’s important to inspect and maintain your septic tank regularly. Generally, it’s recommended that you have your septic tank pumped every 3-5 years.
However, the exact frequency of pumping depends on the size of your home and the contents in your drain.
If you notice slow drains, foul odors, or standing water around your tank, it may be time for a pump out sooner than expected.
To help keep your system running smoothly, contact a professional septic technician who can inspect and offer guidance on how often you should have it pumped.
Are there any signs that my septic tank is full?
If you suspect your septic tank is full, there are several warning signs to look out for.
You may experience:
- Low draining in sinks and tubs,
- Foul odors coming from drains,
- Standing water in the yard near the septic system,
- Gurgling noises coming from drains,
- Sewage backing up into the home,
- An alarm trigger indicating a full tank.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to contact a professional septic technician immediately for help. They can determine if your septic tank needs to be pumped or replaced.
You now have a better understanding of why your septic tank is filling up with water. The key to keeping it from happening again is regular maintenance and inspections.
If you find that your septic tank isn’t draining properly or has filled beyond capacity, contact The Original Plumber & Septic for help.
Their team of licensed Georgia State Master Plumbers can provide the necessary services to keep your septic system running smoothly for years to come.
Don’t let a full septic tank put a damper on your day – make sure you get the professional help you need before it becomes an even bigger problem.