Septic System Mistakes To Avoid

Three Most Common Residential Concrete Septic Tank Repairs

by Melinda Crawford

Regular maintenance and repairs are just part of life if you own a home with a septic system. However, while most homeowners understand that the septic tank needs to be pumped every few years, many fail to understand that the septic system will not last forever.

Many homes have septic tanks made of concrete. Although concrete is the most popular building material for septic tanks because of its weight and durability, it can degrade over time. Additionally, concrete septic tanks are constantly under pressure and in contact with soil and water. 

Three of the most common reasons for residential septic tank repairs on concrete tanks are the following: 

Septic Tank Damage From Age

Although the average life span of a concrete septic tank is many decades-long, its center baffle is made of concrete and can degrade in just a couple of decades. Most residential septic tank replacements result from irreparable center baffle damage. This type of damage cannot be repaired. The septic tank must be excavated and a new one put in place.

After many decades, the concrete on the tank's interior and exterior will start naturally degrading. After the tank degrades to the point where it has a small hole or cracks where water can transfer in and out, the concrete will continue to be eaten away by the water. This will result in sewage leaking into the soil, and the tank's degradation process will increase.

Septic Tank Damage From Hydrostatic Pressure

In areas with a high water table or after severe storms when the ground is saturated with water, hydrostatic pressure from the groundwater can actually push a cement septic tank out of the ground. If your septic tank has been pushed up from its installed location by hydrostatic pressure, it is said to have popped.

Septic tanks popping from hydrostatic pressure is a much bigger problem with polyethylene plastic septic tanks because they are lighter. However, recently pumped or installed concrete septic tanks can also pop after severe storms when the water table is excessively high.

Septic Tank Damage From Intruding Tree Roots

Next to the threat of concrete aging or hydrostatic pressure, a septic tank's most significant danger is intruding tree roots. 

While trees are fantastic for shade and beautiful landscaping, they can be deadly for your septic tank. As a tree's roots grow out searching for water, they can detect even the most minor leak from an aging concrete tank. The roots will grow into this small leak and, in the process, crack the tank.

Contact a local residential septic tank repair service to learn more.