Is Your Septic Tank Full? Warning Signs to Watch For
Your septic tank. It’s a dirty subject but it’s one that has to come up from time to time. If you live in an area where you have a septic system instead of a public sewer system, you already know the trials associated with septic tank care. One of your most important tasks is to be conscious of when you need to have your tank emptied so that it does not overflow and cause damage to your home or the environment around it.
It’s not uncommon for kitchen and bathroom sinks and drains to occasionally have a foul odor. This can happen in just about any home. With a septic tank, though, the odor will emanate from any drain and will be downright noxious. If you’re smelling something toxic and foul, call a professional sewage company to drain your tank right away.
Slow drainage is also a common problem in many households, often because of hair and other objects causing buildup in the plumbing. Those with septic systems need to be acutely aware of slow drainage in bathtubs and sinks as this is often one of the early signs the septic tank is full. If you notice slow drainage in the house accompanied by standing water in your yard, you definitely have a septic tank issue.
Alternatively, even if the drain is allowing water to go down at a reasonable pace, you may notice that the water is bubbling or making a glugging sound as it drains. This happens because the tank is too full and the water flow isn’t moving properly.
Standing Water in the Yard
You may notice standing water in your yard even if you haven’t yet noticed drainage problems in the house. The general rule of thumb is that the ground around your septic tank should be dry. If you have an overflow problem, you might notice not only wet spots, but toilet paper in your yard. This is pretty extreme, but it can definitely happen.
You Haven’t Had the Tank Pumped
The average septic tank, when properly cared for and treated, should only need to be pumped every three years. Some can go as long as 5 years. It depends on the size of your family and your usual water usage. If you’ve gone longer than the norm without pumping, you’ll want to have someone come out and pump the tank, just to be safe.
Do not – ever – try to work around having your septic tank pumped. I had a friend who thought it was a great idea to cut back on costs by putting a hose with a pump into her bathtub so that she could drain water into her yard instead of letting it go down the train. This is not only disgusting, polluting the ground in and around your neighborhood, but is also very illegal in most areas as well.
Septic tanks are generally out of date, but if you have an older home and still use one, you need to take special care to make sure it is properly treated and emptied on a regular basis. The cost associated with caring for a septic tank is far less expensive than the costs associated with cleaning up the pollution after a major disaster.