Top Reasons for Malfunctioning of Septic System?

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Top Reasons for Malfunctioning of Septic System?

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Why Septic System Fails?

The septic malfunction may be due to poor maintenance or inappropriate design. Regular septic system maintenance, such as pumping the septic system, must be done at least every three to five years. Failure to perform routine maintenance can cause the solids in the tank to migrate into the drain field and clog the system.

What are the symptoms of failure?

Even if the septic system has friendly ways to recycle household wastewater, it still runs into problems like all other systems. A damaged septic system can lead to groundwater contamination and sewage ponding in the yard. 

As a homeowner, it is crucial to understand the main cause and symptoms of a septic system failure. 

  • Unexplained slow drains
  • A sewage backup into the home
  • Spongy or wet spots in the yard
  • The grass is unusually green over the septic system.
  • Foul odor near the system  
  • Gurgling sounds in the plumbing system. 
  • Straight pipe releasing untreated wastewater to the ground level
  • Algae bloom in the nearby lakes or water bodies. 
  • High coliform bacteria or nitrates levels in the surface waters or drinking water wells. 

Causes for Malfunctioning of Septic System?

Sewage backups are one of the most familiar plumbing problems in any home. Repairing the septic system and replacing it after a backup is one of the best things you can do, but preventing septic failure in the first place is a good way to save your money and avoid any kind of frustration. Here we have explained four main causes behind the malfunctioning of the septic system.

Full septic tank

An overfilled septic tank is one of the most common and well-known septic systems. If the tank is too full, waste and effluent will not be able to drain into the drain field properly. You may notice a problem with the home’s plumbing. It would be best if you kept your eyes on the signs that the septic tank is nearing capacity. You need to go for maintenance before the damage occurs. 

Damaged drain field pipes

The soil in the drain field needs to be loose enough to allow the effluent to seep through. Pipes are dumped closer to the surface than you may think. The vehicle’s weight is also enough to crack the drain field pipe, which can lead to many issues. 

One of the biggest problems the damaged drain field pipe poses is the opportunity for the tree roots to infiltrate the septic system. 

Neglected routine inspections

One of the most important things you can do is to avoid septic system failure by getting the tank regularly inspected by a certified professional. 

According to the environmental protection agency, the average home needs a septic system inspection at least every three years. However, you may require inspections as frequently as every year if the system features a more complex mechanical component. 

It is crucial to understand the causes of septic system failure to avoid costly repairs or replacements of the entire septic tank. It would be great if you kept these tips in mind. 

Diminished tank bacteria

The septic tank relies on a delicate balance to break down the solid waste. If the bacteria in the tank is disrupted, the waste will not break down properly.

Household cleaners are one of the main reasons behind the septic tank bacteria issues. Bleach, disinfectant, and detergent are a few examples that you should never pour down the sink. Even if the drain cleaner can cause septic problems if used too often, antibacterial cleaners and hand soaps will kill the bacteria in the septic tank just like the bacteria on the surface, so make sure to limit the use as much as possible. 

What can you expect in a typical septic system inspection?

Septic system inspections are crucial in making sure your system is operating properly. Regular inspections ensure that you and the family do not get sick due to the leak or any other problems with the septic system. Since the wastewater systems are located underground, homeowners may overlook having the septic inspection. Usually, an inspection will involve the following:

  • Review of the system permits, installation, and design records
  • Review of the septic system.
  • Inspecting all the tanks
  • Examining the septic tank sludge and scum levels
  • Observing the condition of the septic tank effluent filter.
  • Checking up for the backup signs, such as staining in the tank above the outlet pipe.
  • Examine the distribution box for structural integrity and ensure drain lines receive equal flow. 
  • Review the other available records of water use and required inspections, monitoring, and reporting to ensure system compliance with the local regulations regarding the permit conditions and other functions. 
  • Verify all the electrical connections, controls, pumps, and wiring are intact. 


The Septic tank system has a major role in the entire sinking system of the property. So you need to take care of it, and regular maintenance is necessary. For that, Crews Environment is here to help to help you with septic system service. You can contact us directly or fix an appointment with our experts.