March 26, 2020

How Do I Know if My Septic Tank is Overfull?

Ace Acme Septic Services - Overfull Septic Tank 2

Have you been experiencing slow drains, soggy drainfields, or other septic problems? It’s possible your septic tank is overfull. A poorly maintained septic tank can cause an unpleasant mess.

But how do you know if the septic tank is the problem?

Luckily, there are some easy ways to tell if you need septic pumping.

When Do Septic Tanks Overfill?

Most septic tanks need to be pumped every 3-5 years. If you have more people living in your home, use a garbage disposal, or have a more complicated septic system, you may need septic pumping more often. Once your septic tank is full, the liquid will begin filling into the absorption areas of your septic system through the outlet pipes.

Over time, even more sludge will accumulate and push the liquid out until the absorption field stops accepting liquid. The sewage liquid will sit in the water pipe and back up, overfilling the tank. It’s not usually obvious from the outside when your septic tank is due for pumping. However, you may notice some of the changes we list below if your tank is overdue.

5 Signs You Need Septic Pumping

Bad odors. Your septic system collects a lot of unpleasant-smelling waste from toilets, dishes, and laundry, among other things. Normally, these scents are blocked by a U-shaped bend in the pipe, which holds trapwater and keeps gasses from rising up where you would smell them.

If you begin smelling sewage, it may be a sign that the tank is overfull and sewage is overflowing into areas it shouldn’t be. Bad odors can also be caused by the trapwater drying up in areas that don’t get much use, among other causes.

Slow drains. Slow shower, toilet, or sink drains are usually just a sign of a simple clog. However, if all your drains are slow, you may be looking at a more serious problem.

If septic-safe drain cleaner doesn’t fix the problem, you’re most likely looking at an overfull septic tank.

Large puddles in your lawn. Most people will see some puddles in their yard after a heavy rainstorm. But if you’re seeing water pooling near your drainfield with no explanation, it may be a sign that your septic tank is overflowing.

Once your septic tank reaches capacity, water will begin pushing up through the pipes and into the drainfield. A soggy lawn over your septic system is a sign that you need to take action fast.

An overly green lawn. The grass or plants over your septic drainfield should look the same as the rest of your lawn. If part of your lawn is especially green or lush, you should be suspicious.

An overly healthy-looking lawn could be caused by septic liquid leaching out of your septic system. If your lawn in inexplicably green, it’s probably time to empty out your septic tank or check for leaks.

A sewage backup. A sewage backup is a sure sign that something is wrong with your waste management system. The lowest drains in your home, such as a bathroom or sink in your basement, will generally back up first if your septic tank is overfull.

If you suspect that your sewer backup is caused by an overfull tank, call a septic professional immediately.

How Do I Prevent an Overfull Septic Tank?

You can usually prevent an overfull tank by scheduling an inspection and pumping every 3-5 years. By taking a few measures to prevent septic tank issues, you should be able to keep your septic system running smoothly for decades.

Ace Acme provides septic pumping, inspection, and other septic services in Western Washington. As a family-owned company with generations of experience, we have the expertise and state-of-the-art equipment needed to get the job done right.

Contact us today for assistance with your septic system.

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