Common Septic System Problems

Septic systems often have problems that are not from age and Biomat clogging. Many septic tank problems have solutions that do not require replacement. The suggestions outlined below are merely guidelines. Contacting Septic Genie for assistance is your best first option when you have a septic system problem on your hands.

Common septic system problemsSymptoms of system failure may include:

  • Liquid surfacing or soft spots in the soil over the septic tank or disposal field
  • Green growth or dead spots over septic system
  • Strange noises and gurgling in the plumbing lines
  • Slow draining plumbing fixtures
  • Septic odors in or around the house
  • Complete backup of the plumbing in the house
  • Liquid in septic tank higher than the inlet pipe

Causes of septic system problems and potential failure:

  • Roots in septic tank
  • Roots in disposal field
  • Settling of septic tank
  • Driving over or parking on the disposal field
  • Animals on disposal field
  • Medications or prescription drugs
  • Water softeners
  • Chemicals, paints, oil / automotive products in septic tank
  • Bacteria and enzyme additives
  • Hillside septic systems

Common septic tank “solutions” (Warning: These don’t solve the underlying problem):

  • Pumping septic tank
  • Filters (effluent)
  • Bacteria and enzyme additives
  • Replacing the drain field

Pumping septic tanks. Standard or conventional septic tanks (without a Septic Genie installed) should be pumped at least every five years. If not, solids will build up in the tank. The floating solids can get so thick that the inlet pipe from the house can become blocked and/or solids can leave the tank and settle in the disposal field. Plumbing fixtures, such as toilets, bathtubs and sinks, may drain slowly, make strange gurgling noises or completely stop draining. This can lead to premature disposal field failure.

If you are experiencing failure symptoms, having the tank pumped is a good first step to reduce the symptoms, but it’s not a full solution. Installing a Septic Genie in the septic tank will prevent the buildup of solids in the tank, and will clear the solids and Biomat from the disposal field, allowing your septic system to function properly.  With Septic Genie, there’s no need to regularly pump your tank to remove organic solids – they won’t build up in the first place.

Effluent filters. Installing an effluent filter will prevent solids from flowing from the septic tank to the disposal field, which may give the disposal field a chance to drain. However, if the disposal field is clogged with Biomat, adding an effluent filter will not eliminate the Biomat that already exists.

Only the introduction of Septic Genie Bacteria can clear the Biomat and restore the disposal field.

Installing an aerobic system. Intestinal bacteria prefers an anaerobic environment, so adding oxygen to your septic system will help slow the growth of Biomat. However, an aerobic system by itself does not ensure that ‘good’ bacteria will thrive in the long term.  Think about it – if aerators alone were able to permanently fix septic system problems, there wouldn’t still be systems failing all over the place.  

Septic Genie is the only complete solution –  its patented proprietary bacteria blend digests all organic solids and Biomat, and the Septic Genie unit creates the perfect environment for the bacteria to thrive.

Bacteria and Enzyme Additives. These are shortterm fixes and can actually cause more harm than good over time. Due to the septic system’s anaerobic environment, ‘good’ bacteria dies quickly and requires frequent addition of new bacteria. If you stop adding new bacteria, failure will likely recur. Enzymes in these products cause more suspended solids in the tank water, solids then pass to the drain field and cause premature septic system failure by clogging the soil around the drain pipes and preventing liquid from flowing into the soil as needed.

With the Septic Genie system, our special bacteria blend digests the solids before they have a chance to leave the septic tank.  Some of the bacteria is carried to the drain field in wastewater, where it digests all built-up solids and Biomat, allowing your drain field to function properly once again.

Replace the drain field. This is the most frequently recommended solution by septic professionals. Replacement extends the life of your septic system by removing the Biomat, but it doesn’t prevent more Biomat from forming.  From the minute the new drain field is installed, your septic system starts down the path toward failure again. Drain field replacement is also extremely disruptive and expensive, ranging anywhere from $7,000 to $50,000 or more.

Septic Genie – the only solution that works for the long term:

Install a Septic Genie. Septic Genie’s patented Aerobic Bacteria Generator (ABG) system is the only septic tank care method that combines the two elements needed to restore your septic system and drain field:

  • Septic Genie Bacteria Tablets – our patented powerful species of natural bacteria to digest the wastes from your toilet, along with the other household waste you send to your septic tank (the ‘bad’ bacteria), that causes Biomat.  The bacteria prevents solids from building up in your septic tank, so no pumping is required.  The bacteria also spreads to the drain field, digesting solids and Biomat that have built up over years.


  • Septic Genie system – The ABG is the perfect environment in your septic tank to help the Septic Genie Bacteria to multiply and eat the solids, and prevent Biomat problems in the future.

Complete our septic questionnaire and speak to one of our septic consultants to see if Septic Genie is the right solution for your septic problems.