Septic tanks are an excellent way of managing household waste in the absence of a sewage system. When properly maintained, your septic tank will last for years and is less likely to cause issues such as blocked drains or contaminated drain fields. One of the most important aspects of septic tank maintenance is removing solids from your septic tank. Solids tend to block drainage pipes, interfere with the activity of anaerobic bacteria, and even contaminate the underwater table.

Ideally, most solid and liquid waste should be broken down into less harmful components inside the septic tank. But there are cases where people flush the wrong items down the drain. This results in a solid blockage that could also cause the following issues.

Solids block your drains and septic tank

If you regularly flush items such as paper towels, sanitary towels, cigarette butts, cat litter, and other types of solids down the drain, you will eventually notice that your septic tank is getting full. The most obvious sign of a clogged tank is sewage backing up into your home. Furthermore, your drainage pipes may eventually become clogged from the accumulation of these solids.

Blocked pipes and septic tanks interfere with the flushing of toilets, drainage of kitchen sinks, and even movement of bathwater. Before the issue becomes this complicated, make sure you have the drainage pipes and septic tank inspected for blockage.

Some solids are non-biodegradable

Speaking of blockage, many types of solids can't be broken down by the anaerobic bacteria in septic tanks. Any solids that don't become decomposed end up accumulating near the inlet or outlet pipe of your septic system. These deposits also harden over time, causing blockage and sewage accumulation inside your home.

Timely maintenance is critical to remove these solids and restore the smooth flow of water inside your pipes. Furthermore, removing non-biodegradable waste will allow the bacteria inside your septic tank to restore their normal functions.  

Poisoning of the underwater table

In some cases, tiny solid particles may pass through your septic tank and end up in the drain field. Because these particles haven't been treated by the anaerobic bacteria, they may still contain poisonous components that could contaminate the underlying water table. A good example is pet litter and cigarette butts. These items contain tiny particles that could release harmful chemicals to the underlying water. They could also cause your drain field to clog, where you may end up noticing pools of water and foul odors near the septic tank. Have your septic system inspected as soon as you notice a clogged drain field.

If something like this happens to you, or if you are in need of any septic tank services, contact a professional near you.