Signs That a Septic Tank is Failing

Saturday, February 25, 2023
Septic tank maintenance is essential in order to prevent septic system failure. Maintenance ensures that the tank is adequately sized, that it is structurally sound, and that sludge and scum levels are monitored and maintained. Regular pumping of the tank also helps to prevent failure, as accumulation of solids can lead to blockages or backups. Regular inspections should also be conducted to check for structural damage, tank leaks, and other potential problems. Proper maintenance of a septic tank can help to ensure a long-lasting, properly functioning septic system.
How can I prevent a septic system failure?

Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent a septic system failure. This includes inspecting the system every 1 to 3 years and pumping the tank every 3 to 5 years (depending on tank size, number of people in the household, water use, whether a garbage disposal is used, and the amount of solids in the tank). Home and property owners are responsible for routine maintenance. If you rent a home, you are responsible for proper use and operation of the system.
Common signs of a failing septic system include:
  • Water and sewage backing up into pipes
  • Slow drainage in tubs, showers, and sinks
  • Gurgling plumbing
  • Standing water or damp spots near the septic tank or drainfield
  • Sewage odors
  • Bright green grass over the septic tank or drainfield
  • Straight pipe discharging wastewater to the ground
  • High levels of nitrates or coliform bacteria in surface or drinking water
If I smell a foul odor coming from my septic system, does that mean my system is failing?

If you detect an odor inside or outside your house, it could be because of a blocked or clogged roof vent, or a frozen vent pipe due to cold weather. Wind patterns or other environmental factors can also be the cause. To reduce the smell, the vent may need to be cleaned or raised, or a charcoal filter can be used. If the soil around the drainfield is soft, wet, or spongy (especially if there has been no rain recently), this could be a sign that there is a problem with the septic system which could be causing the smell.
If you feel your septic tank is failing or it's ready for a service, contact us to set up an appointment!
Staff 2/25/2023