What is the Impact of a Leaking Toilet on a Septic System?

toilet

That frustrating “drip-drip-drip” from a leaky faucet or running toilet does more than annoy your family. Every drip is wasting water, which is not only bad for the environment but can also seriously affect your septic system. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that household leaks can cause more than 1 trillion gallons of wasted water each year.

leakyHomeowners with septic systems, however, should take extra precaution against leaking fixtures. Excessive water use from leaky faucets and fixtures in your septic system can cause disastrous results. The steady flow of water from a leaky toilet or faucet day and night can quickly flood your septic tank as well as the ground around the drain field, making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system, eventually leading to septic system failure. This is referred to as hydraulic overloading.

That dripping noise might not be as innocent as it sounds, so it’s important to pay attention. Every time you flush the toilet, take a shower, brush your teeth, rinse the dishes, or wash a load of laundry, water is flowing to your septic tank and your drain field. When your septic system is working as it should, the drain field gets a break during the day while you are out of the house during the day and again at night when you are sleeping. But, with a leaking toilet, the drain field never gets a break to dry out. All this extra stress on the septic system is no good. If your drain field is taking on more water than it can absorb, it never has a chance to dry out and make room for more water.

With nowhere to go, the water eventually backs up through the plumbing system and into drains and toilets in your home. Not only will the water flood the system, but it may also flush solids from the tank into the drain field. A flooded drain field can also lead to untreated sewage flowing into the groundwater and local streams, putting them at risk for significant environmental contamination.

You can protect your septic system by using water efficiently. Fix leaky toilets. Fix shower heads and faucets. Toilet leaks can be frustrating because they are often very difficult to detect. If your toilet was manufactured before 1994, consider buying a new high-efficiency toilet that has the EPA “WaterSense” logo. These high-performing, water-saving toilets can eliminate leaks while improving flushing power.

Observation alone might show you some of the leaks in your house, but others may be well-hidden. The residential plumbing experts at FloHawks will tell you that it’s much cheaper to simply fix a leaky toilet or faucet than to repair a failed septic system. Let us take care of your needs. It’s important to catch and repair leaks early to minimize septic system damage.

Repairing leaking fixtures is part of proper care and maintenance for your septic system. To ensure that your system runs well and performs at its best, get your system professionally inspected and serviced every two to three years. Don’t wait for an emergency. Call our trained professionals today for any leaks or septic system needs. Call us today at (800) 356-4295 or use our online scheduler here.