How To Know There’s A Problem With Your Septic Tank

Maintaining your septic tank is essential to preventing the system from malfunctioning. A well-maintained septic tank can provide excellent service for your home for many years, as well as can help avoid dangerous breakdowns. The septic tank helps separate solid and organic materials from the wastewater your home flushes out. It holds the wastewater long enough to help solids go down to the bottom and form. The floatable waste, on the other hand, goes to the top of the tank as scum. By doing this, the septic tank prevents both scum and sludge from traveling to your drain field. 

Signs Of A Septic Tank Failure

Since it’s an underground water system, it might be hard to see the signs of a failing septic tank. Below is a guide to help you know the signs of system failure and prevent worsening your septic tanks’ condition. Once you see these failure signs, find a reliable sewer service provider, like AAA Sewer Service, to help solve your septic tank problem.

  • Unpleasant Odor

A persistent unpleasant odor is one of the top signs that your septic tank might have issues. Sure, you might smell an unpleasant odor from the garbage bin lying around your house, but it’s most likely a septic tank problem if you regularly keep your home clean, and a weird stench still lingers around your home. The bothersome smell may come from a sewage leaking and might show signs on your drains or pipes. 

One of the prominent smells you may encounter is a rotten egg stench, which can be dangerous as it can be toxic sulfur. 

If the odor never goes away, locate where your septic tank is and see if the smell becomes even worse near the area. An increase in foul smell is an obvious sign that raw sewage has spilled from your septic tank, which will need repair. 

  • Pipe Gurgling

Another sign you should look out for is the gurgling of your pipes. If you use water and flush it out or drain it on your sinks, listen and check whether your pipes make unusual noises. The gurgling sound of pipes may be a sign that your tank needs pumping because it’s already full or needs further repair due to clogging.

It’s best to seek professional help immediately as clogging can worsen after time and ruin your pipes. If that happens, you might be needing a large amount of money for repairs. You also don’t want an overfilled septic tank as it will leak and emit an unpleasant smell in your home. 

  • Slow Drainage

Slow drainage can also be a sign of septic tank problems. When you use your shower, toilet, sinks, or bathtub, you shouldn’t experience any problem draining them as water should go down with ease. You will immediately see the sign if water starts backing up instead of draining. If this happens to you, you’ll need a professional to check for any clogs in your plumbing system. 

You don’t want any water coming back up, especially if it’s from the toilet, as it may prevent stool from going down. If you have trouble flushing your toilets and your standard plungers don’t help, then your septic tank might be full, or your pipes are clogged. An unattended clogging problem can damage your pipes severely, so contact a professional as soon as you can. 

  • Water Puddles

If you notice any pooling water inside your home and your yard, check to see if these locations are typically prone to puddles or not. Areas not prone to pooling water yet experience it can be a sign that there is a sewer that’s near the surface. You can’t leave this for a long time as the damage can worsen over time and cause pipe leakage inside your home, which can damage your floors, walls, and furniture. 

Standing water near the septic tank is also a telltale sign that there’s a problem with your septic system. If you see puddles in the yard, especially near the drain field area, it may be a sign of system failure. It’s a hazardous problem as it means that water has been accumulating in the drain field. It can be a serious hazard due to the toxic waste that you might be smelling openly. If you see any signs of puddles in unusual areas, call sewer services immediately and don’t attempt to solve the problem by yourself. 

  • Bug Problem

If you start seeing bugs and rodents in your home, your sewer system might be the one to blame. Despite how clean it is, a sudden infestation in your home might mean septic tank issues. Critters and rodents love the sewage area, and if there’s any leakage in your home, they might start living off of the leaks from your malfunctioning septic tank. Cleaning the drain will most likely not help you as the problem are your pipes, plumbing system, and the tank itself. Bugs will just come back every time, even if you already used different methods to make them disappear. 

Don’t let these rodents stay long in your home!  They can carry diseases that may harm your family, and that will only double your expenses. To avoid the worsening of infestation in your house, it’s best to call a professional who can fix the leaks and remove annoying rodents in your home. 

  • Greener Grass Spots

You might think that greener grass means a healthier yard, but it’s not always the case. It can also be a sign that there’s sewer leakage near the surface, which affects your grass’s growth. If you notice grass spots that appear longer and more vibrant than the rest of your yard, it may be because of a septic leach field.

It means that there’s leakage happening in your yard, and a part of it is receiving extra ‘fertilizer.’ Don’t leave it as it is for the leak can cause serious health hazards, so address the issue immediately by finding the spot and calling the right people to fix the leak for you. 

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Common Causes Of Septic Tank Failure

There are many reasons why your septic tank experiences issues, such as leaks, overfilling, blockages, and more. If you don’t regularly maintain your septic system, it may start to cause problems inside your home and your yard.

Here are the common causes of septic tank failures:

  • Overloaded Water System

An overfilled septic system can be dangerous. If your home produces too much wastewater and your current septic tank can’t handle the amount you produce, it can cause the wastewater to seep up to the surface and show signs of leakage. It can also cause the constant backing up from your drains, toilets, showers, and tubs. Because the water doesn’t have anywhere to go into the system, it starts to look for other places it can stay in, and it damages your home in the long run. 

  • Poor System Design

One of the biggest reasons why your septic system encounters failure is the system design itself. If the septic system’s planning and installation are poor, even initially, it’ll possibly not take long before showing signs of issues. Poor installation will just mean that your septic system is doomed from the beginning. It might be because of incorrect sizing, impermeable soil, too steep gradings, and poor construction. When installing septic systems, it’s best to find reliable services and those who offer repair and maintenance services at the same time. Avoid problems in the future by starting things right. 

  • Lack Of Maintenance

Although underground, septic systems still require a good routine of maintenance. It will only last long if you know how to take care of your septic tank and do routine maintenance to see any signs of an issue. If you fail to maintain and check your septic tank’s condition, it might begin to leak and fail without you noticing, which only worsens the problem as you’ve left it unsolved. You should schedule regular septic system inspections to see the ongoing performance of the system. You should also set a time frame on when you must have it pumped to avoid overfilling it. Through a routine inspection, you lessen the chances of significant failure and keep the issues at bay. 

  • Physical Damage

Septic tanks are durable, but they can also suffer from physical damage. Too much pressure on the soil can cause the pipes to shift or even crush them in the process. If this happens, wastewater will only begin to spill everywhere. Some of the reasons behind this issue are driving around the soil, construction, parking, and even tree roots that can hit the septic tank if they grow long enough. If you plan to plant anything near the septic system, it’s best to use grass rather than trees to avoid system problem.


Septic systems are effective ways to remove wastewater from the inside of your home. But, for them to last long, you need to take care of and maintain them. If the system ever does fail, always look for the signs and locations of leaks and clogs to hasten the fixing process .Hopefully, the guide above has helped you learn about the common causes and signs of septic tank failures. If you ever experience these issues, contact professionals to help you solve them as soon as possible.

How To Know There’s A Problem With Your Septic Tank was last modified: by