When taken care of and functioning at maximum capacity, your septic system is an efficient way to rid your home of wastewater. But in order to keep your system running properly, you must pump it regularly. A lot of people are unsure when they should pump their tanks, so here are 6 ways to tell your septic tank needs pumping.
Most homes require the septic tank be pumped once every 3-5 years depending on a few factors:
1. How large your tank is
2. How many people live in your home
3. The amount of wastewater used in your home
When your tank fills up, it must be pumped or it can lead to sludge backing up into your yard and home, and eventually destroying your septic system all together. Repairing and replacing a septic system can be very expensive, so maintaining your tanks and field lines are extremely important. Let’s look into some ways you can tell whether or not your septic tank needs to be pumped.
1. Water Build Up
If you notice water pooling up in your yard, this is an obvious indicator that your septic tank is filling up and needs to be pumped. When your septic system is working at its maximum capacity, waste water should flow into the ground and not be seen. If water is building up in your yard, chances are your field line pipes are beginning to clog, and waste and water can begin to seep from the pipes and create puddles around your septic tank. This is one main way to tell your septic tank needs pumping.
2. Slow Draining Pipes
Your interior pipes are connected to your septic tank, so there are ways you can inspect your septic system from indoors. If you notice your toilet flushing slowly, or your shower drains draining slowly, this can mean your septic tank is too full. When you flush your toilet and it reacts slowly, gurgles, etc. this can be a sign water is being prevented from draining at a normal rate. The same is true for your shower, dishwasher, sinks, etc. When these signs are ignored, you risk your tank backing up into your home and having solid waste in places you do not want it.
3. Foul Smells
Have you ever flushed your toilet and wondered why it smelled of sewage? This can be a clear way to tell your septic tank needs pumping. You may be outside and notice a stench, especially around the drain field or above your septic tank, this might mean your tank needs to be serviced. As your septic tank becomes full, it releases foul odors due to the sludgy waste that builds up over time.
This is worst case scenario! No one wants their septic tank backing up in their home. Talk about a mess. The substance that backs up into your home is usually dark in color and smells just like it came out of your septic tank. You will need (and want) to have your tank serviced immediately.
5. Green Grass
Green grass? Yes. A section of considerably healthy grass in comparison to your other grass usually means it is time to have your tank pumped. If one section of grass is growing faster than the rest of the yard, that is another indicator. When a septic system is full, it slowly leaks waste into your yard, which can act as fertilizer to your grass. A little leakage from your system is fine, but excess can mean system failure, which if left too long can result in having to have it repaired.
6. Nitrate Concentration in Water
Last but not least, the nitrate levels in your water can be an indicator that your septic tank needs to be pumped. How do you know what your levels are? Check them. It’s simple to test your water and if you have a septic system, you may want to do this regularly. As the waste in your tank builds, it grows bacteria and releases nitrates. When your tank gets overly full, it leaks those nitrates into the soil and surrounding water which can end up being dangerous if not taken care of.
Pumping your septic tank regularly is so important for the life of your septic system. It is worth every penny to have your tank pumped, because that cost pales in comparison to having your whole system replaced. Not taking care of your system also pollutes the groundwater and can cause many other problems both inside and outside of your home. Let’s make sure to take care of our septic systems and be are aware of the signs our septic tank may need pumping. We would love to help you out with all of your septic tank needs! We can inspect your tank for you, as well as pump it. Give us a call at (706) 949-1460 or send us an email, and one of our amazing experts will get in touch with you today!