The septic tank helps to separate solid and liquid wastes. The liquid wastes flow out, and the solid waste collects at the bottom of the tank. After some time, you need to pump the septic tank to get rid of the solids. Below are some problems that might arise if you don’t pump the tank.

Slow Drains

Sewerage waste will fill the septic tank if you don’t pump it frequently enough. Once that happens, additional waste from the house will accumulate in the drains since they won’t have room in the tank. The more the drains clog, the more time and effort your fixtures will take to empty. Soon you will be standing in dirty water while taking a shower.


Sewer Backup

Slow drains are usually the first sign of a full septic tank. Expect sewer backup if you don’t pump the tank in time. A backup occurs if the tank plus and drainpipes are full of wastes, and additional wastes have nowhere to go but to spew out of the drain openings.

Here are some consequences of sewer backup:

  • The water can damage your house contents
  • The backed-up waste will fill your house with a foul odor
  • The water can damage your house’s structure
  • Germs in the tank can affect members of your household
  • The moisture can trigger mold growth in your house

In addition, the backup is also a huge inconvenience since you won’t be able to use your plumbing systems. For example, you can’t enjoy a bath if the bathtub is full of dirty water that won’t drain.


System Damage

Failure to pump your septic system can cause physical or mechanical damage to the septic system. For example, once the tank can’t handle additional wastes, the solid waste or sludge might overwhelm the inlet and outlet pipes and crack them. Fixing such pipes might cost you more than you would have spent to pump the tank.


Drain field Failure

Drain field failure is probably the most catastrophic effect of poor septic maintenance. Once the tank fills up, untreated waste (including solids) will spill over into the drain field. Too much solid wastes in the drain field will prevent further waste absorption.

Septic contractors refer to the condition as drain field failure. You might be able to rehabilitate a failed drain field if you are lucky. Otherwise, you will have to construct a new drain field.


Environmental Contamination

You won’t be the only one who will suffer if you don’t pump your septic tank. As previously mentioned, some untreated waste will end up in the drain field once the tank fills. Broken septic pipes can also spill some wastes. Depending on the environment, some of the wastes might end up in underground water or water wells. In such a case, even your neighbors might suffer.


Foul Odor

Sewer gases normally stay within the septic system and don’t reach the house. That won’t be the case if you don’t pump the septic tank for a long time. You might struggle with bad odor even before your drains back up, for example:


  • Waste will accumulate in the drain pipes, decompose, and emit a foul odor
  • The septic tank might overflow
  • Untreated waste in the drain field might fill your home with a bad smell

Many people wouldn’t want to live in such a bad environment.


Clearly, failing to pump your septic tank can trigger devastating consequences. Contact CAPE COD SEPTIC SERVICES, INC. to schedule a pumping service if you haven’t cleaned the tank in a long time. You may be able to avoid the above consequences if you act in time. We can also help develop a pumping schedule, so you never have to worry about your tank filling up.

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