The septic tank helps deal with all the waste produced by the home, but it isn't maintenance-free. It needs to be properly cared for, which includes septic tank pumping at regular intervals. There are a number of signs it may be time to give someone a call to pump out your septic tank.
It's Been 3 to 5 Years
Most septic tanks need to be pumped out about every 3 to 5 years. The septic system functions by allowing more solid "sludge" to settle into the bottom of the tank while more liquid matter goes to the leach field. As time goes by, the amount of sludge in the tank increases, making it so more sludge escapes out to the leach field because the tank becomes full before it has time to settle. The exact time will depend on a number of factors, including how many people live in the house, how much water they use and whether there's a garbage disposal in the house.
Some septic systems have an alarm or flashing lights that go off once the tank becomes full. This is one of the easy ways to tell there is a problem, but not all systems have this type of alarm.
Backed Up Drains
If multiple drains in the house are all backing up, it could be a sign that the septic tank is becoming too full and needs to be pumped. Should cleaning the drain out with a snake or using a plunger not work with slow drains or should sewage be coming up, get the septic system checked out.
Another potential sign is the smell of sewage outside, especially if it's near where the septic tank is located. Septic tanks don't usually cause a lot of odors when they're functioning properly and not in need of pumping.
Condition of the Lawn
Keep an eye on the condition of the lawn near the drain field. If there are pools of water around the tank or the drain field or if the grass is suspiciously green compared to the rest of the grass, the septic tank most likely needs to be pumped out. In some cases, pooling water could be a sign that there's damage to the system somewhere even if it isn't time to pump it out, so it's a good idea to have someone from a company like Onsite Portable Toilets & Septic come and check it out to determine what's causing the problem.
After dealing with a debilitating sewage flood a few years back, I decided to turn my attention to the proper care and maintenance of our septic tank. We had never spent much time trying to keep things in good shape, but we didn't want to deal with another sewage problem. To make things right, we met with the septic tank professionals and talked about how to keep our system in good shape. We worked hard to check for problems, and we called in the professionals at the first sign of trouble. Ever since then, we haven't had any issues. This blog is all about keeping your plumbing on point.