Septic System Backup: Causes, Warnings, and How to Fix It

Septic systems are one of the most effective ways to meet a home’s plumbing needs at a comparable cost to a traditional wastewater treatment system. Despite this, it is important to maintain a septic system to ensure that septic System pumping continues functioning properly. Failure to take care of your system will often lead to problems, perhaps even the most dreaded one- backups – when you fail to maintain your system.

Septic system backups can pose a health risk in addition to being an inconvenience. Often, a backup can be caused by several factors contributing. Keep reading for more information on troubleshooting septic system backups and avoiding septic system repairs

How does a septic system work?

Septic system design typically consists of two parts: 

1) An underground watertight tank that is used to store the sludge and waste products. 

2) The second component of this system is a drain field that treats and filters rainwater as it flows back into the soil. This process keeps dangerous waste from entering the environment and only allows treated water to escape when everything works smoothly. Septic tank pumping near me every few years is the only thing required to keep the system working properly.

Common Cause of Septic Backup?

Inadequately maintained septic tanks

Approximately every three to four years, you need to empty your septic tank of solid waste. Regularly pumping your septic tank will prevent solids from building up and causing a backup.

Tree roots

Roots from trees can grow into septic tanks and block pipes. Your septic tank and pipes can leak and crack when tree roots invade them. This problem commonly causes septic tank backups. It is necessary to remove the roots if you are experiencing this problem. 

Clogged pipes

A clogged sewer line can cause waste to back up your home sewer line and septic tank. You’ll need a professional for septic tank pumping and cleaning out clogged pipes.

Installed septic incorrectly

Having a septic tank that is poorly installed can cause many problems, including a septic tank backup. To ensure that the septic tank installation will go smoothly, you must have the tank inspected by professional services in Wilsonville if you are experiencing septic tank problems.

Backup Warning Signs You shouldn’t  Ignore

You may be under the impression that the septic tank backup happened overnight. There are, however, tell-tale signs that indicate a septic tank backup. Taking action quickly will prevent the entire system from malfunctioning.

The following are some warning signs of a malfunctioning septic design in Sherwood.

Sluggish toilet flushing

This is one of the first signs of a septic tank backup but is often ignored. Sludge may be filling the septic tank if all toilets in the household are flushing slowly. However, a clogged pipe could cause slow toilet flushing in some cases.

Slow drains

Slow drains in the bathroom and kitchen could indicate a backup in the septic tank. It is advised that you have the system checked by a qualified plumber if you experience long waiting times for sinks to drain.

Unpleasant smell of a sewer

No odor should come from your septic drain and tank. A home with unpleasant odors may pose a health and safety risk to your family if there are unpleasant odors around the septic or in your home.

A gurgling sound from the toilet or drain

When a gurgling sound comes from either the toilet or drain, a clogged septic tank is most likely to be the cause.

Ways to avoid and fix Septic Backup

Preventing septic tank backups begins with regular septic system maintenance. Make sure you pump your septic tank three to five times a year. The pumping of septic tanks can prevent clogs. Routine maintenance also makes it possible to detect damage.

Besides having your system pumped, you can also take some simple steps to stay proactive. Showers and tubs can be equipped with hair catchers to prevent excess waste from clogging pipes. Also, properly flush foreign objects like baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, paper products, or paper towels.

Drain field protection is also important. A special type of soil is used in your drain field to allow liquids to flow. Compacted soil can restrict water flow. Keep your drain field in good condition by not driving over it or storing heavy equipment on top.


The problem of septic tank backup is serious and needs to be resolved as soon as possible. After reading, you will better understand what causes septic tank backups and what warning signs you need to be on the lookout for. Call a professional septic service in Newberg immediately if you notice any of these signs.

Are you experiencing any septic tank issues? Reach out to American On-Site Septic today! Let us know what you need, and we will gladly help. We are a septic tank installation company offering septic tank pumping services and maintenance. Contact us to schedule an appointment



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