5 Signs That A Septic Tank Is Full & Needs To Be Pumped

If you own any property that runs on a septic tank, you need to know how to maintain your septic system. If you were to neglect the septic tank, it could result in several issues and cost you thousands in repairs. There are multiple factors to consider when learning how to keep your septic system running effectively. 

Routine pumping is perhaps the most significant thing you can do to extend the life of your septic tank. The pumping frequency will depend heavily on how many members live in your household, size, and other situational factors. If you don’t keep up with your tank, you might start to see one or more of these five signs that could indicate your septic system needs to be pumped. 

septic tank is full

5 Warnings Signs Your Septic Tank Is Full

1. Pooling Water

The most obvious indicator is to look out for the pools of water surrounding the system’s drain field. Water pooling is one of the common signs of an overflowing septic tank. Once the tank reaches max capacity, you’ll see a lot of standing water at the top of the surface. It’s easy to mistake this for rain and assume all is well but don’t let the waste water fool you. Double-check your tank if you see this problem on your property and get it pumped once you do. 

2. Foul-Smelling Odor

Once the tank fills up with waste water there will be limited space for odors which causes your property to get a sewer-like smell. Sometimes these smells can come through from the drains or toilet. If you start to notice bad smells, this is a warning sign that your septic tank could be the culprit. It’s essential to have it inspected immediately since the last thing you want is your house or land to smell foul.

Keep in mind that your septic tank holds some of the most unpleasant things like waste water and solid waste, so the smells that come from it aren't exactly the most pleasing. As soon as you see standing water on the surface, get rid of it to prevent any sewage smell.

3. Sewage Gridlock 

A raw sewage backup is the most obvious indicator of a full tank, and no doubt this is something you will never want to experience. If you aren’t routinely pumping and you one day find sewage backing up into your tub or shower, contact a septic tank services company immediately. Sewer backup can ruin your house and cost thousands in damages. Hopefully, you’ll never have to experience this, so be sure to stay on top of your pumping schedule.

4. Healthy and Green Grass

The external area around the drain field and surrounding areas can often reveal signs of leakage. Similar to pooling water, one of the visual warning signs you have a full septic tank is very green grass. If you find the grass surrounding the septic system looking greener and healthier than the lawn, it’s a sign of septic leakage. Too much green means it’s getting over watered and nourished, and you should check for an overflowing tank.

This will usually occur as a drain field becomes clogged due to solid waste, which then leads to an overflow and into your yard or area where it's located. That's why its essential to routine check the area around the drain field. 

5. Requires Septic System Maintenance

septic tank being pumped

Generally, your septic tank requires service every 3-5 years, though it can vary depending on water usage and the number of people in your home. If you own a large house with a big family, chances are the tank should be pumped more often. Other homeowners might only need to clean their septic tanks once every 7-10 years. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you should still inspect it every 1 to 3 years.

You need to determine proper emptying intervals since pumping out or emptying a full septic tank is crucial to ensure smooth and reliable functionality. If the system is not functioning properly, it can lead to multiple severe issues throughout the home, such as sewage backup or bubbling.

To control the water usage, you should have a better idea of how frequently you do laundry every day. Also, make sure not to leave the tap running or use water unnecessarily. Do not allow clog-inducing materials such as chemicals, oil, or contaminants for optimized maintenance.

If the septic tank is not pumped on time, the solids will slowly and gradually build up around the tank reaching the pipe and resulting in obstruction. Once it becomes clogged, you will be in for a costly and smell repair! That’s why it’s crucial to contact a professional and make sure your septic system is in good shape. 

Bonus Tip: Be Proactive!

Most homeowners aren’t aware of how to properly maintain a septic system. If you neglect the septic tanks, you’ll be in for a world of heartache. Getting your septic tank pumped is a must-do chore to keep it working efficiently. A septic system can operate efficiently and serve you for several years to come. If maintained properly, it can function for decades. On the other hand, if you find any of the issues above, you need to deal with this problem as soon as possible.

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Isaiah Ram

Isaiah Ram is a writer and DIY contractor from Atlanta, Georgia. He writes to inform and help unleash the potential in people and businesses. He currently works closely with Septic Masters and would love to connect and answer any other questions you have regarding septic tank pumping.