A significant amount of homes in the United States rely on septic systems to deal with their wastewater and materials, and like all plumbing, there are certain issues that septic systems and tanks are prone to. If your home has septic, these are problems that you will likely find yourself dealing with at one point or another. However, just because they’re common doesn’t mean they’re inevitable! There are ways to care for your system that will help you avoid these issues. Here are some to be aware of!


Clogs resulting in backups are one of the most common septic tank issues out there, but also the most dreaded. This can be the result of the tank not being pumped and emptied often enough, or it might be because of things getting into the system that don’t belong there. To prevent clogs from happening, always be timely when scheduling your septic maintenance, and avoid rinsing food scraps or grease down the sink and don’t flush things like wipes or sanitary products down the toilet, even those that are marketed as safe to flush!

Tree and Plant Roots

Though they seem weak and slow-growing, tree and plant roots can pose a major damage to your septic system over time by actually growing through the lines or other parts of the setup, eventually causing clogs and backups. If you have a septic system, you’ll need to be conscious of the plants in your yard. Try to choose slow-growing plants with less aggressive root systems for the area near your septic lines and tank, and consider installing root barriers or using chemicals on your plants that deter root growth in that area.

Damage to Septic Lines

If you have a septic system and you’re going to be doing any digging in your yard, be it landscaping, remodeling, or regular old gardening, you need to be wary of where you plant your shovel. It’s common for a digging operation to unwittingly damage a septic line, which can be difficult and expensive to replace and unpleasant to deal with in the meantime. Try to avoid digging anywhere around your septic system if you can, and make sure you exercise caution and know where your lines are when you can’t.


Foul smells coming from your septic system are extremely unpleasant, and they’re almost always a sign that something is wrong. A healthy septic system that is functioning properly shouldn’t give off any odors, so this could be a sign of a tank that needs emptying, loose plugs, clogged drains, malfunctioning vents, or other potential causes. It can be hard to identify the cause of a sewage smell by yourself, so calling in the professionals as soon as you notice it is the best way to deal with it, and staying on top of your septic maintenance is the best way to avoid these odors in the first place!

Excess Water

Septic tank overload is what happens when the volume of materials inside your tank exceeds its capacity. Avoiding this problem is simply a matter of good septic habits, like avoiding flushing solid items such as wipes, regularly getting your tank pumped, placing your plants carefully and avoiding driving over or digging around your septic system. However, you should also try to use your water wisely, especially if you know you have a particularly small septic tank. Limiting your water usage is not only good for the environment, but it can be beneficial for your tank as well!

If you want to keep your septic system in good working order, you absolutely have to have a professional plumber on hand to help you with maintenance and issues as they arise. In the Reading, PA area, no one knows septic like the experts at The Plumbing Works! Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you and your home.

Schedule Now
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Skip to content