Determining whether your septic tank is too small for the home

Are you frequently experiencing a slow drainage system in your home? Are your pipes constantly getting blocked? It could be that your septic tank is too small for the premises.

An undersized septic tank may be unable to handle the amount of waste coming from the home, causing the main drainage outlet to back up into the premises. Most homeowners don't realize that their septic tank needs to match the size of the property in order to be effective.

Determining septic tank size

The size of septic tanks is based on the number of bedrooms that the home has. The smallest tank size is typically designed for a 3 bedroomed house, and is designated as 5P. For every additional room that a home has, the number increases proportionately.

For example, a 4-bedroom home will require a 6P system, and a 5-bedroom home will require a 7P system.

There are several ways you can tell that your septic tank is undersized.

1. The drains drain slowly

If you drains get clogged every time you flush the toilet, take a shower, or wash dishes, you most likely have an undersized tank. The evidence is even more convincing if you have checked your pipes for blockages or other forms of damage. The undersized tank may not be capable of taking in all the waste water from your home in a timely fashion, leading to slow drains.

2. Visible pools of water in surrounding soil 

Septic tanks rely on the porosity of the surrounding soil to take in waste water. As waste comes out of your home, it enters the tank where it undergoes separation and treatment. The final organic waste is then disseminated into the surrounding soil to decompose.

If your tank is too small for the home, the entire system will become clogged. This is because the amount of waste being taken up by the soil will exceed its carrying capacity. As a result, you will see pools of wastewater surfacing on the soil.

3. Foul odours near the tank 

Another sign of an undersized tank is foul odours in and around the tank itself. Foul odours arise due to an overworked tank that cannot treat waste faster than it is coming in. As a result, waste accumulates in the tank and around the drainage pipes, releasing a foul odour.

It's important to ensure that your tank is of the correct size for your home. If it is undersized, consider having a larger tank installed or adding another drainage alternative to easy the current strain. For more information or assistance, contact local septic tank maintenance.