Given its responsibility for the collection and breaking down of domestic waste water, your septic tank plays a big part in the smooth running of your household and it is something that is often taken for granted. So when things go wrong with your septic tank, as they sometimes do, it can be a right pain in the neck. Luckily, most septic tank problems can be easily identified and addressed with minimal fuss.

Read on for a practical guide to some common septic tank problems and how to solve them.

1. Build-up of solids in the septic tank

In a septic tank, all solid particles sink to the bottom while the effluent and water particles rise to the top. Eventually, if the septic tank is not emptied, the solid particles will build up until such time as the inlet pipe from the house becomes blocked. When this happens, you will notice that your plumbed appliances will drain very slowly, if at all. To address this problem, you will need to call a professional to come to your home and pump your septic tank until it is empty.

2. Broken drain lines

Broken drain lines are a common problem that can occur with septic tanks. If you notice that your plumbed appliances are not draining as they should but yet the water level of the septic tank looks normal, then the cause will probably be a broken or collapsed pipe. In this case, you will need to have the pipe replaced by a specialist contractor who will identify the broken or collapsed drain and replace it.

3. Tree roots

A very common septic tank problem is the issue of tree roots getting in through cracks in the tank. While sounding quite harmless, tree roots can actually do a lot of damage to a septic tank and can even stop it working altogether by blocking the inlet pipes and infiltrating the main tank. To remove tree roots, a simple cutting away will not suffice as the roots will simply grow back. You will need to hire the service of a professional contractor who will use the appropriate root eliminating chemicals that will do the job properly and most important, in an environmentally friendly way.

4. Strong odours

Any strong or unpleasant odours coming from your household drains or from the area around the septic tank can be indicative of a few different problems, some of which include solid waste build-up, chemicals killing the bacteria which breaks down the waste or an issue with the soak away area connected to your septic tank. In order to correctly ascertain what the source of the unpleasant odour is, you should call in a professional contractor who will carry out the necessary inspections.

While there are a large number of common problems that can occur with septic tanks, the majority of them can be easily addressed with professional assistance. Also, remember that regular maintenance of your septic tank will ensure that the occurrence of any problems is kept to a minimum.