Septic: From A to Z

How To Tell When Your Septic Tank Is Full And Needs Attention

The septic system on your property may need septic tank pumping every few years to keep it working correctly. Most septic services suggest pumping the tank out every three to five years, but some indicators will let you know if you waited too long. 

Sewage Backups

The septic tank contains the waste that leaves your home in the drains throughout the house. The tank is designed to hold the material while it breaks down, and the liquid then passes to the drain field where it leaches through sand, gravel, and soil. 

If the tank is full and the system is not working correctly, the system can back up and you may find sewage coming into the house. A septic tank pumping service can come and pump the tank out to make more space in the tank and allow the system to work, but it is essential to have a septic system company determine why the system backed up in the first place. 

Overdue tank maintenance can cause the sewage to backflow, but the backup in the tank is often a result of a clogged valve where the tank drains into the drain field. It is important to have a tank inspection done after the tank is pumped out to determine if there is a clog in the system or if it's just been too long between tank pumpings.

Puddling Water 

If you notice water puddling in the yard in dry weather and a foul odor with it, look to see where the drain field is in the system so you can tell if that is where the water is appearing. Puddling over the drain field is often caused by a septic tank that is full and allowing too much water to flow into the drain field. 

The drain field can't handle the volume, and the water will begin to puddle over it. If you see this, start by having a septic tank pumping service come and pump out your tank. If you have had a lot of rain or if the tank has not been pumped and cleaned, it could just be too much water in the system that is not being processed fast enough. 

Puddling is not typically because the drain field is not working. It is more often caused by a lack of proper septic tank service. Scheduling septic tank pumping every few years will help eliminate this kind of problem, but if you are concerned, you can have the system inspected by a septic service to ensure there are no problems.