Common Causes Of Septic Tank Leaks

A septic tank contains gallons of contaminated wastewater. So, when this water leaks from the tank, it's evident that you have a major problem on your hands. If you experience a leak from your tank, learn about some of the reasons why it's happening and how to resolve the matter.

Overgrown Tree Roots

A leading cause of septic tank leaks is overgrown tree roots. Tree root systems can expand several feet from the base of the tree. If your septic tank is within this general area, the force from the expanding tree roots will put undue pressure on the tank's exterior. Over time, the tank will succumb to this pressure and crack and, ultimately, cause the contents within the tank to leak. 

Repairing a root intrusion is a two-fold process. Part one involves removing the roots, and in some instances, this part would also include removing the tree. The second phase of the repair involves replacing the area of damaged PVC or concrete to properly seal the tank and prevent a future leak. 

Aged Tanks

Another common reason for septic tank leaks is an aged tank. The average septic tank is intended to last for several decades. However, the lifespan of a tank is sometimes limited based on its design, particularly when it comes to steel tanks. The greatest threat to steel septic tanks is rust and corrosion, which is often brought about by exposure to moisture, gas, and other elements naturally found in soil. 

As rust and corrosion develop around the tank, it causes the metal to deteriorate, which creates holes in the tank. The only suitable repair for this type of leak is a complete replacement of the tank. For the best result, the new tank should be constructed from concrete or plastic to increase the lifespan of the tank. 

Damaged Pipes

Within the septic tank system are a set of pipes that transport wastewater into the tank and a set of pipes that transport the wastewater into the drain field. If either of these pipe systems is damaged, the wastewater will leak from them, and depending on the location of the damage, the contents from inside the tank can also leak.

Pipe damage is often the result of rust or corrosion or caused by external damage, such as a vehicle driving over the drain field and compacting the pipes. However, fortunately, this issue can typically be repaired by replacing the pipe. 

Do not ignore a septic tank leak. Contact a repair professional, such as American Pumping Service, as soon as possible to have your system inspected and the appropriate repairs made.