What Happens If A Septic Tank Is Never Pumped Out?

man standing over a septic tank access point using a large black hose pipe to clean the tank.

Many homeowners assume that their septic tanks are working properly despite not having undertaken any kind of maintenance. However, septic tanks that are not pumped out routinely will develop issues that may be hidden at first but will lead to future problems.

These will undoubtedly become hazardous as well as expensive to fix. This blog highlights the problems that can occur due to septic tank neglect, and how you should monitor and maintain your tank to avoid such problems.

Why Do I Need To Pump Out My Septic Tank?

A septic tank is designed to collect paper, water, and waste from your house. The water will be dispensed in an absorption area, while the solid matter collected will remain in your septic tank and break down into sludge over time. The sludge will gradually build up into your tank and eventually fill up your septic tank.

It may take years before your tank is filled up to capacity, making it easy to forget when to get your septic tank pumped out. However, it is important that you do so every 3-5 years to avoid any problems, or when your septic tank is filled at 70% to a maximum of 90% of its capacity. If you wait too long, issues will inevitably arise.

What Are The Potential Consequences? 

If you do not monitor your septic tank and get it pumped out when needed, there are several unpleasant, costly, and even dangerous issues that can occur. Septic tanks do not need a lot of attention, but completely neglecting them and not pumping them out when required can cause very serious problems.

Unpleasant Smells In & Around Your Home

An overfilled septic tank can rupture under the pressure, causing potential leaks and releasing the smell that is normally contained in the tank. As waste can also clog pipes and render your septic system ineffective, foul-smelling wastewater will back up into your home. It will also cause damage that is highly unpleasant and expensive to clean.

Leaking & Pollution

A leaking or overflowing tank can be spotted by the presence of greener grass around the septic tank. You should not ignore this as it can pollute your garden with biological waste, create ‘swamps’, and sometimes even cause sinkholes in the drain field.

Groundwater Contamination

Harmful substances and bacteria can develop in your septic tank. Unfortunately, an overflowing or ruptured tank/pipe can lead to such hazardous substances dispersing and contaminating groundwater. Several pathogenic microorganisms can affect the quality of your drinking water and cause serious diseases such as cholera, legionellosis, gastroenteritis, infectious hepatitis, and leptospirosis. 

These will not only affect your household but also your neighbors, pets, and surrounding wild animals. Additionally, you may also need a new drain field once it has been contaminated, which is a very costly proposition. Now that you know the potential hazards and risks of not emptying your septic tank please contact the professionals here at Thistle Tanks at 01455 230616 or fill out our contact form. We cover areas including Leicester, Coventry, Warwick, Derby, Nottingham and Northampton.