Having your septic tank pumped regularly by a septic tank service is essential to keep your home's plumbing functioning properly. Here are three signs that it is time to have your septic tank pumped.
Standing Water in Leach Field
Your septic tank disposes of water and effluents in the soil in an area known as the leach field. Not all waste materials can be disposed of in the leach field, as heavier elements will fall to the bottom of the tank. When the tank is full, these solid materials will begin to clog parts of the drain pipes that lead into the leach field.
As the leach field drain pipes become clogged, they are no longer able to distribute waste water evenly through the leach field. This will eventually oversaturate the soil in the areas where the pipes are not clogged, causing waste water to rise to the surface. If you see any standing water on the surface of the soil in your leach field, it is a clear indicator that the septic tank needs to be pumped as soon as possible.
Slow Drains and Sewage Backup
As your septic tank begins to fill up, your drains and toilet will start draining water more slowly. This happens because it takes longer for the water that goes down the drain to filter through solid materials that have built up inside the pump.
Once the septic tank is completely full, waste water from the septic tank is likely to begin backing up through your home's drains. This will appear as black, foul-smelling water flowing out of the drains. Any further use of the drains will only cause the septic tank to overflow further, releasing more waste water into your home. If you see sewage backup in sinks, toilets, or bathtubs, pumping the septic tank is necessary to prevent significant water damage to the interior of your home.
Bad Odors Inside and Outside
Even if your drains are still working properly, you should pay attention if you notice any foul odors from drains inside your home. Bad odors from drains are often the earliest sign that your septic tank is getting too full.
You may be able to smell a foul odor outdoors around the leach field before water is visible on the surface. This indicates that a clog is present somewhere in the drain pipes below and the soil is just beginning to become oversaturated.
If you have your septic tank pumped at least every three years, as well as any time you notice these signs of a full tank, you can keep your septic tank in good condition for years to come.