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Some General Septic Tank Problems


Common problems, and some examples of things that can go wrong with the septic tank.

Baffle Collapse. The onion shape septic tank has a baffle inside them. The baffle is like an inner skin made of black rubber. The baffle is held in place at the neck of the tank by hooks. The tank baffle acts as a separation between the liquid and solid waste. Over time the baffle can tear, buckle or become dislodged from the attachment point. If this happens then there is no separation and the solids will be discharged into the soakaway. If this starts to happen then it’s only a matter of time before the soakaway becomes clogged up with sludge and fails to work anymore. A collapsed sewage tank baffle cannot be repaired or replaced. There is a method of repairing a collapsed baffle, by using such as a septic tank filter. This can be attached in the discharge pipe off the tank. This filter serves as a replacement baffle and is a lot cheaper that having to replace your sewage tank.

T Bar or T Pipe. The sewage tank t shape bars are t shaped pipes made from plastic or clay, that are fitted internally into the tank. One is attached to the inlet pipe and the other one is attached to the discharge point.

T Bars. T bars have been used on sewage tanks for hundreds of years and have served as a basic way to stop solids entering soakaway. During the last 200 years, t bars where made from baked clay. The problem with clay pipes is that over time they become brittle, so they eventually crack, break and fall off. T pipes can be replaced.


A healthy sewage tank should never smell. Bad smells are the result of little or no bacteria in the sewage tank. Modern living such as bleach, washing powders, etc. kill septic tank bacteria. Once the bacteria are dead, the smell is the result of gases emitted from the break down of the rotting waste. The solution for dead bacteria and the bad septic tank smells that are produced is to reinstall healthy bacteria into your septic tank. Modern bacteria comes in the form of dry bacteria cultures and can be poured into your toilet and flushed into the system. Within 2-3 days the bacteria cultures will start to multiple and the smells will gradually disappear.

Jason Restall

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