Helpful Information For Homeowners About Dealing With Septic Tank Capacity Issues

Housing standards have changed a lot over the past five or six decades. For instance, early ranch-style home designs built back in the 1960s and 70s were relatively small in size, at least by today's standards. In addition, most were designed with only a single bathroom, usually situated along the hallway near the home's two or three bedrooms. Residential septic systems installed for these homes were often equipped with septic tanks that would also be considered small when compared to the much larger tanks used today. 

As these older homes have changed hands, many have undergone updates and renovations to add additional bathrooms, bedrooms, and expand the living areas. If the septic system was not also updated to accommodate increasing amounts of wastewater and solids produced due to the expansion of the home, current owners may find themselves dealing with ongoing tank capacity issues. 

What are common signs that septic tank size is insufficient? 

Because the septic tank is the initial destination for all wastewater and solids produced in the home, it can quickly become congested. When this happens, occupants of the home may first notice noises in the plumbing and experience difficulties in getting sinks and bathtubs to drain quickly or toilets to flush easily. If ignored, an overly full septic tank could even result in the backup of sewage into the home and damage to the structure of the tank or the drain field. 

What measures can homeowners take to reduce tank capacity issues? 

While the most obvious solution for an ongoing septic tank capacity issue is to update the septic system with a larger tank and drain field, homeowners may need to find a less expensive way to manage their system. Some helpful suggestions for proactively dealing with an undersized septic tank include: 

  • Installing water-saving fixtures, such as low-flow faucets and showerheads and water-saving toilets
  • Setting up a simple greywater diversion system to prevent water from the washing machine and shower away from the septic tank
  • Teaching family members to be vigilant about minimizing water usage in sinks and showers

Homeowners can also opt to discuss their situation with a reputable residential septic service that can help them design a schedule for more frequent septic tank servicing. While most residential septic tanks only need to be pumped out every few years, homeowners dealing with an under-sized tank may require this service much more often. A good plan might include having the tank checked seasonally throughout the year and pumped as needed. 

For more information, reach out to a local residential septic service.