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How to check septic tank is full

Signs That Your Septic System Is Full

When a septic tank fills up, the waste that has accumulated in it must be drained out. If you live in a home with a septic system, you should know how to tell whether it’s full. Discover three warning signals to keep an eye out for.

1. Standing water pools form

When water collects near a septic tank for no apparent reason, a full septic tank is the most likely cause. This is especially true if there hasn’t been any rain in a while or if the water contains visible waste.

When this happens, pools of water form near the drainfield of your septic system. The drainfield is a system of pipes that drain water into the earth as it passes through the system. They aren’t designed to handle solid waste, which should be deposited in the septic tank itself.

However, if your septic tank becomes overburdened with solid waste, the sludge may migrate into the drainfield’s pipes. The drainfield will not function correctly if solid waste clogs these pipes. When water enters the field, it will not flow through the pipes as intended, and instead will pool in one spot.

If you ever observe pools of water near the drainfield of your septic system, make sure no one enters that area of your yard. Avoid the area until you can properly resolve the problem because the water is likely tainted with human feces. Pumping out the tank and unclogging the drain pipes will require the services of a professional septic tank service company.

2. Strange Odors Emanate From the Ground

Hopefully, you’ll notice that your septic tank needs to be pumped before your drainfield becomes clogged. Sniffing the air around your septic tank and drainfield on a regular basis is one approach to keep an eye out for a potential problem.

The trash that goes into a septic tank has a foul odor. Because it’s full of kitchen garbage, human waste, and ordinary wastewater, it smells downright revolting.

These nasty odors are not an issue when a septic system is functioning correctly since they are confined within the system and underground. However, if you discover a foul odor around your septic tank and drainfield, the odor indicates that gases are escaping from the drainfield.

These gases aren’t an issue in and of themselves, but they do stink up your yard. However, they are an indication that your septic tank is beginning to overflow. Waste is near the drainfield and leaking gas into it when scents first appear. However, the trash will not be disposed of in the drainfield right away.

You should be able to avoid clogging the drainfield if you have a septic tank service provider pump out your septic tank as soon as you sense a foul odor. Because no pipes need to be unclogged, the service will be straightforward. You won’t have any wastewater collect in your yard, either.

3. Several Drains Slow Down

A clog has most likely formed in the pipes directly connected to that drain when it becomes slow. The blockage is not restricted to a single localized place if several drains in your home begin to slow down. Instead, it has spread throughout your home and may be present in your septic system.

Water will travel through your septic system more slowly as waste piles up in it. The problem will only get worse if the waste is not removed. In this case, you should pump your septic tank as quickly as possible.

Signs That Your Septic Tank Is Overflowing and Needs to Be Pumped

Owning a home with a septic tank comes with its own set of issues. It’s a little more serious than forgetting to empty the bins if you neglect to empty your septic tank.

If you’ve had a septic tank for a long time, you’ve probably seen that there are certain telltale signals that it needs to be emptied.

If you’re new to owning a septic tank, the symptoms listed below are the most important things to be aware of.

How to detect whether your septic tank needs to be emptied

  • Water that has accumulated
  • Drains that are slow
  • stench
  • A lawn that is excessively healthy
  • Back-up sewer
  • Pipes that gurgle
  • Flushing Issues

What Does It Mean To Have A “Full” Septic Tank?

Before we go into the seven warning flags to look for, it’s crucial to understand what a “full” tank means. There are three different ways to define full.

1. Normal Level – This simply implies that your septic tank is at the capacity it was built for. This means that waste and wastewater can flow freely into and out of the septic tank thanks to the intake and outtake valves. When a tank is pumped, it gets emptied, but as it is used, it returns to its typical “full” state.

2. Sludge Accumulation: Septic tank owners frequently experience this issue. Sludge can accumulate over time and become trapped. This muck will not go away on its own and must be removed. The flow of waste water will proceed to the drainage area.

3. Overfilled Tank: The drainage field will reach a point where it will no longer receive water. Water will back up into the overflow tank if this happens. Water levels will reach their maximum capacity.

Now that we’ve learned how a septic tank can become overflowing, let’s look at the seven warning signals to look for.


Pools of water accumulating around your septic tank’s drain field are the first item to look for. This is a telltale sign of a septic tank that has overflowed.

If it hasn’t rained in a while and you’re seeing a lot of water, it’s almost certainly your septic tank.

This is most likely to happen when your tank is full and solid water is clogging the system. This will force fluids to rise to the surface of the ground.


Take note if you notice your sink, bath, or toilet emptying slowly around your home. This could indicate a clog in your septic system, or it could indicate that your system is full and needs to be emptied. Slow drains are a sign you don’t want to overlook in any case.

The first line of defense may be to use a septic-friendly drain cleaner, but if the problem persists, it’s preferable to get it emptied. In addition, if you see any of the other danger signals, make an appointment to have it emptied as soon as possible.


Because all of your home’s waste water will be directed to your septic tank, you should expect a foul odor. It will also have a distinct odor that you will notice.

If you notice odors near your septic tank, it’s another clue that it’s either full or close to being full. It’s also possible that you have a leak, so have a quick look.

The flip side of scents is that not only you will be able to detect them.

Your neighbors may also be eager to complain. That being stated, it’s preferable to discover a solution as soon as possible.


A septic tank that is overflowing has a relatively favorable side effect. It’s possible that the grass above your septic tank is the healthiest grass you’ve ever seen.

It will outshine other items in your garden, allowing you to notice it.

If you observe this, it’s another red flag to be aware of.

If it’s near your septic tank, it’s possible that water is flowing out of your system, which means it’s either leaking or full.

In any case, it’s time to get it checked out.


This is one you won’t be able to avoid, and it’s one you definitely don’t want to happen. It is the most evident, as well as the most harmful.

Keep a watch on your house’s lowest drains; if they show indications of backing up, you should get your tank emptied as soon as possible.

6. Gurgling Water

If you hear gurgling sounds coming from your pipes, don’t ignore them.

Especially if they’re reliable. It’s yet another indication that your septic tank is full and needs to be drained.

7. Flushing Issues

If you notice that all of your toilets are having trouble flushing or have a weak flush, your septic tank may be full.

If this symptom appears on all toilets in your home, it’s likely that there’s more to the problem than a local blockage.

The Importance of Septic Tank Maintenance and Emptying

Keeping a routine is the easiest way to figure out when your tank needs to be emptied. It’s a straightforward yet effective solution. You may not notice any of the above-mentioned warning indications if you can determine adequate emptying intervals.

The size of your septic tank and the number of individuals that use it will determine how often you need to empty it.

Septic tanks should be emptied every 3-5 years, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The precise timing will be determined by a number of factors.

The following considerations will affect how often you should empty your tank:

  • Size of the Family
  • Size of Septic Tank
  • Quantity of Wastewater Produced
  • The amount of solid waste produced

If you’ve recently purchased a home with a septic tank, make sure to inquire about the previous owners’ routine. Or, at the very least, inquire as to when the tank was last emptied so you can get a ballpark estimate.

If you don’t have access to this information, it’s best to be safe and get it emptied right soon. This will leave you in a clean state and give you a fresh start on your plan.

Maintaining your septic tank will also save you money in the long run. It will keep the tank working well in the long run, avoiding any major issues. So, if you observe any of the aforementioned indicators, have your tank emptied as soon as possible.

Otherwise, you can find yourself with a serious problem and a large mess on your hands and elsewhere.

In the worst-case situation, you could end up with a big charge or fine to pay!

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