How to Tell When Your Septic Tank Needs to Be Pumped

August 26, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

How often should you pump septic tanks? The general standard is every three to five years, but if you’re looking for a more exact estimate, you’ll need to consider a variety of factors, such as the size of your household, the size of your tank and the amount of water used and waste generated.

Perhaps a better method of determining when you need to schedule septic pumping is to watch for some telltale signs that indicate your tank is getting full.

Here are a few of the most common signs that indicate a need for septic tank pumping.

Sewage backup

Perhaps the most obvious sign you need to get your tank pumped is if you experience a sewage backup in your home. In fact, this is a sign that you’ve actually waited too long to get the job done, and you should get a professional out to your property immediately.

The problem is most likely to occur first in lower-level bathrooms and sinks, or in floor drains. When the problem happens, it’s important to take immediate corrective action. Backups that come from your septic tank carry with them bacteria and other substances that can be hazardous to your health. Avoid trying to clean up the backup yourself, unless it’s a very small amount—have a professional take care of it instead, and remove items from the path of the water.

Foul odors

A common symptom of a tank that’s getting ready to overflow is foul odors, both inside and outside the home. You might notice a sewage smell coming from your drains, though this is not always a sign of septic problems—standard plumbing clogs also create unpleasant drain smells. You should inspect your plumbing before concluding it is a septic issue.

You could also smell foul odors around your drain field, which usually are a sign of an overfilled tank that is letting excess waste get out.

Changes to your lawn

Beyond foul odors in your drain field, you might also notice physical changes to your lawn, such as areas of standing water. You might also see areas where the grass is particularly lush and green compared to the rest of the lawn. If this occurs over the drain field, this is a sign that wastewater is fertilizing the grass, causing rapid growth. While you might like the healthier grass, this is a sign that you need to get the tank pumped to prevent it from turning into a more serious issue.

Time since previous appointment

If you haven’t noticed any of the aforementioned issues but you know it’s been quite some time since your last septic pumping appointment, it’s a good idea to get one scheduled as soon as you can. Keep records of how often you pump your septic tank to ensure accuracy. Getting in this habit will help you keep the tank in great condition for many years to come.

For more information about septic system maintenance and how often you should have your tank pumped to avoid sewage backups and other issues, contact Cleveland Septic today.

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