Common Reasons for a Clogged Septic Tank

Emptying,household,septic,tank.,cleaning,and,unblocking,clogged,drain,withMaintaining a healthy and functioning septic tank is crucial for any property that relies on a septic system for wastewater management. However, one common issue that many homeowners face is a clogged septic tank. A clogged septic tank can lead to unpleasant odors, sewage backups, and potential damage to the surrounding environment. In this blog, we will discuss some of the most common reasons for a clogged septic tank.

1. Excessive Use of Water:

Using excessive amounts of water can overload your septic system and contribute to clogging. When too much water enters the septic tank in a short period, it can disrupt the balance of bacteria responsible for breaking down solid waste. This can lead to the accumulation of solids in the tank, causing clogs and reducing the tank’s overall capacity.

2. Flushing Non-Biodegradable Items:

Flushing non-biodegradable items down the toilet is a common mistake that can result in septic tank clogs. Items like paper towels, menstrual products, baby wipes, dental floss, and even cat litter do not break down easily and can accumulate in the septic tank, leading to blockages. It is crucial to only flush toilet paper and human waste down the toilet to prevent unnecessary clogs.

3. Pouring Grease and Oil Down the Drain:

Improper disposal of grease, fats, and oils can have detrimental effects on your septic system. When poured down the drain, these substances can solidify and create a barrier within the pipes and septic tank, leading to clogs. It is essential to dispose of grease properly by allowing it to solidify and then throwing it in the trash.

4. Tree Root Infiltration:

Tree roots are relentless in their search for water sources, and if your septic tank has any cracks or leaks, tree roots can infiltrate the tank. Once inside, these roots can grow and multiply, causing blockages and potentially damaging the septic system. Regular inspections and maintenance can help detect and address any cracks or leaks that may attract tree roots.

5. Insufficient Pumping and Maintenance:

Regular pumping and maintenance of your septic tank are necessary to keep it functioning optimally. Over time, solid waste and sludge accumulate in the tank, and if not pumped out periodically, it can lead to clogs and backups. It is recommended to have your septic tank pumped every 3-5 years, depending on the size of your household and water usage.

6. Improper Drainfield Care:

The drainfield plays a crucial role in the septic system by allowing effluent from the septic tank to disperse into the soil. If the drainfield becomes clogged or overloaded, it can cause the septic tank to back up and potentially fail. Avoid parking vehicles or placing heavy objects over the drainfield, and keep the area clear of excessive vegetation to prevent damage and maintain proper drainage.

7. Harsh Chemicals:

Using harsh chemicals, such as bleach, drain cleaners, or strong detergents, can disrupt the natural bacteria balance in your septic tank. These chemicals can kill beneficial bacteria responsible for breaking down solids, resulting in clogs and reduced tank efficiency. Opt for septic-safe cleaning products that are biodegradable and do not contain harmful chemicals.

8. Aging or Damaged Septic System:

An aging or damaged septic system is more prone to clogs and failures. Over time, the components of a septic system can deteriorate or develop cracks, leading to leaks, clogs, and reduced functionality. Regular inspections and proactive maintenance can help identify any potential issues and address them promptly, preventing further damage to the system.


Understanding the common reasons for a clogged septic tank can help homeowners take proactive steps to prevent such issues. It is important to practice proper water usage, dispose of waste responsibility, and schedule regular maintenance to keep your septic system in optimal condition. If you experience persistent or severe clogs, it is advisable to consult a professional septic tank service provider to assess and resolve the problem effectively.

Need Septic Contractors in Bethel, OH?

Gullett Sanitation Services, Inc. offers mobile de-watering of sludge and slurries in and around Bethel, OH, utilizing Roediger belt filter presses, as well as services and repairs on all major brands of home aeration systems. We also work with jet aeration and cleaning for sewer system lines (up to 8 inches in diameter), permits and consultation for biosolids, the transportation of non-hazardous wastewater, sludge removal from all types of waste lagoons, service and repairs on residential sewer systems, and the removal of grit, rags, and debris from anaerobic or aerobic digesters. Give us a call today and let us be your septic and dewatering service in Ohio!