Septic System Mistakes To Avoid

3 Signs You Should Pump Your Septic System

by Melinda Crawford

Your septic system separates solids from wastewater, allowing the effluent (liquid) to seep into the drain field. A well-maintained system will help prevent water contamination. Waste from a full tank can leak from the leech field and pollute your well water. Moreover, delaying pumping your tank can lead to costly repairs. Clogs can build up in drain field pipes, damaging them. This article will discuss signs it's time for septic pumping.

Pooling Water

Excessive water usage, a running toilet, or a leaking faucet send water down your drains continuously. This problem will overwhelm your septic system and the drain field. As a result, the drain field won't properly absorb the liquid waste, leading to flooding. You will notice lush green grass around the area. 

A full septic tank won't have room for incoming wastewater, so your system may develop leaks. Solid waste will sneak into drain field pipes, leading to blockages. The leech field will fail to absorb wastewater appropriately, causing flooding. You should pump your septic tank regularly to avoid these issues.


Your tank can become full prematurely if you don't maintain it properly. Flushing the wrong materials down your drains can interfere with the proper septic tank chemistry. Your septic tank harbors bacteria that are responsible for breaking down solid waste. For these micro-organisms to function efficiently, they need a conducive environment with a certain pH. 

If the environment becomes too acidic, the bacteria won't digest the solid waste correctly. This malfunction will lead to a rapid increase in the solids inside the tank. As a result, wastewater will be forced out of the septic tank prematurely, leading to foul odors. You will notice a strong hydrogen sulfide gas around your drain field and the septic tank.

Some materials you should avoid flushing include feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, fats, cleaning products, and paints.

Waste Backups

Stubborn drain clogs could be due to a septic system backup. Tree roots can penetrate septic tanks and drain field pipes in search of nutrients. Then, dirt and debris will accumulate on the roots, leading to blockages. Your septic tank will experience a restricted flow of wastewater. The clogs will gradually worsen and cause sewer backups in your pipes. 

The backups can travel to your drains. As a result, your toilet, kitchen, and bathroom will drain water poorly. You may hear a loud gurgling sound coming from the drainage fixtures. This symptom indicates your septic tank is unable to accept more wastewater. You should call your plumber to examine your plumbing system and determine if your tank needs pumping.